A disposable absorbent article 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 laterally opposing side flaps which may be formed by folding portions of the absorbent assembly 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. The absorbent assembly includes an absorbent core that may contain superabsorbent particles, which may be contained inside pockets. A portion of the absorbent assembly such as the portion that lies between the backsheet strip attachment zones may be extensible and may include a water-impermeable layer.