Patented is a disposable absorbent article which includes two laterally opposing longitudinally extending backsheet strips attached to an exterior surface of an absorbent assembly in laterally opposing attachment zones. Each backsheet strip may include a water-impermeable layer and may be extensible. The absorbent assembly includes a lower covering sheet that is doubled by folding and thereby includes a first layer and a second layer. The absorbent assembly also includes laterally opposing side flaps which are formed by folding doubled portions of the lower covering sheet laterally inward. A longitudinally extending elastic gathering member is attached to each side flap adjacent to its proximal edge. When the article is worn, the elastic gathering members contract and raise the side flaps to form side barriers.