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MARES REGULATORS - LOOP 15X & XR R2S-VR

Posted 25/4/2017

Recently the two new Mares regulators, LOOP 15X and R2S-VR were introduced on the market. New or improved regulators are introduced every year by diving sport manufacturers, and this year was Mares’ turn. A regulator with a vertical hose connection.

Of course one gets the hear doubts from all sides, as is always the case when something new is introduced on the market. I too had my doubts, but also a great curiosity. My doubts were as follows: First- Whether the hose guide at Backmount is comfortable or whether it could stick to the BCD; second – whether the mobility of the head is restricted or not by the hose connection downwards; and third – how the customers will react to it.

“The proof of the pudding is in the eating” so I tested the XR R2S-VR several times. The R2S-VR is delivered with the well-known and long-established first stage R2S, only DIN300, in a version for air as well as in a version for up to 100% O2. This is probably because this regulator is designed for the Technical Diving area whereas in TEC Diving there only use of DIN. The LOOP is delivered with the first stage 15X which has only recently been put on the market replacing the predecessor 12S. Both INT and DIN300 were supplied, both models only for air, although upgradeable to O2 pure. So, in the first stages there are no innovations. Two good and well-known mid-class 1st stages, which has already been on the market for some time.

Now to the 2nd stages. Is there a difference between them? I don’t think so. The VR and the LOOP look identical and both weigh only 199gr. Without disassembling them, I think that these are identical models, which are marketed with different names and for supposedly different uses within sport and technical diving.

 

As I mentioned before, I tested the VR in the Atlantic, both as a Backmount and as a stage regulator. I was very pleasantly surprised, especially with the Backmount.

The breathing resistance is gentle as with other Mares regulators, thanks to the S-VAD on the 2nd stage and the DFC connection on the 1st stage. In addition, the second stage weighs only 199gr. and is hardly noticeable under water. Also, the mobility of the head is not restricted by what it is now the vertical hose connection of the 2nd stage. Anyone who dives with Sidemount or Stage can directly imagine the benefits. Long hose guides fall away, the regulator is easy to connect left or right, also the delivery of the 2nd stage to his buddy can be done without a lot of circumstances, just turn around. The loop or the VR is also good as an octopus or a secondary regulator to use. This simple handling of the regulator reminds me a little bit of the MARES Octopus MV.

In Backmount use I had my doubts as previously stated, but I was very positively convinced. The hose line under the arm through was comfortable, the freedom of movement of the head continued and if I think about Wreck or Cave Diving is less of a sense of danger. Also, my concern that the hose could stick to the BCD has been expelled. Everything quite problem-free and top.

Conclusion, in the field of TEC diving whether for the stage or Sidemount, the new vertical hose guide is an absolute improvement in diving comfort and safety. At the Backmount, I also see a more comfortable hose guidance and therefore a better safety aspect. For me personally these two new regulators are an absolute top, as far as Sidemount and Stage are concerned. Better and more comfortable is impossible. The only thing that surprised me about these new models is, that no one has ever come up with the idea before.

For me personally, the new regulator for the stage and Sidemount, quite clear.

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