I was so super excited, it came in a small cardboard box with Mares all over it. I rushed to open it, there it was a Mares XR drysuit and it was mine for the weekend. I lifted it out of the box and that was the first thing I noticed, how light it was weighing only 2.8kg it was super light. Then I opened the drysuit bag which had the cool Mares XR logo on which is a nice touch. Lifting the suit out I couldn't stop smiling the black breathable trilaminate with it's grey Kevlar protection to the shoulders, shines and behind the knees looked really cool (Kevlar is a seriously strong material like body amour).
I had to try the suit on there and then, I found it really easy to get into with its double zip diagonal across the chest of the suit. I had to adjust the suit which was really easy by pulling the adjustable drawsting for the waist and adjusting the crotch strap, as easy as that all snug and sorted. The boots are 4mm neoprene with a ridgid sole and a adjustable velcro strap around the outside which is a really great feature keeping the boot nice and secure. Fitted and ready for the next days diveing.
So the weekend came were I was lucky enough to test drive a Mares XR Kevlar Drysuit at Capernwray Dive centre, while instructing the SSI Wreck Speciality Course. I was instucting Alexandrea Prior the reigning Miss Scuba United Kingdom.
Alex has owned her XR drysuit since becoming Miss Scuba UK and dived in it a few times and I must say I was rather jelous and finaly Mares had organised one for me to try out. I was super excited while driving and wouldn't stop talking, we arrived and got our kit ready, the paperwork sorted, even the sun was even out happy days.
I got changed and into the suit, We had our brief and made our way down to the waters edge, we walked into the water I felt really comfortable, the water was 4 degrees and I must admitt rather cold but the suit performed excilently the two large compartment pockets were really handy to store the slates and tape measure needed for the SSI Wreck Speciality, the velcro pocket was easy to open even with whilst wearing gloves and the large size made it easy to find what I was looking for.
Juring the dive I found the suit very comfortable and I was bone dry, I was warm except for my hands they were cold if I was lucky enough to have a Mares XR suit I would have dry gloves fitted which is made possible due to the latex wrist seals. Alex was also bone dry and very comfortable, I was so impressed with Alex during her Wreck Speciality she never moaned about the water temp she just got on with what had to be done. Once the Speciality was complete we got out of our gear debrifed and made our way home.
Drying the suit could not have been easier I hung it up to dry and a couple of hours later it was dry, other suits I've had have taken days to dry.
So would I buy one? Yes I would, I realise it's a serious piece of kit and obviously you need to be serious about your diving but I am. It looks great, It's light, Warm, Flexible, incredibly well made from hard wearing and durable material. The Mares Xr Drysuit has loads of features which makes it one of the best I've worn. I own a few drysuits
- Scubapro Everdry 4
- Oceanic Flex Dura
- Mares Profit
- 0'Three RI 2-100
But I have to say without a doubt the Mares XR tops the lot.