Mares have never been afraid to try things a little out of the ordinary – just look at the top-of-the-line Fusion 52x and its motorcycle-throttle-like venturi control! So that is why I was not surprised to see a Mares logo on the Loop, with its bizarrely routed hose. Regs tend to be either right or left, this one, the hose protrudes from the bottom of the reg between the vents of the exhaust!
While this obviously has an impact on its use as an everyday regulator – it is designed to be used ‘under the arm’ style – it does make it perfect as a stage cylinder reg, and when stowed sits nicely at the top of the cylinder. It also means you don’t have to deploy the full length of hose to be able to use it. It is teamed up with a compact balanced diaphragm first stage.
The Loop gave a nice, smooth breath in all positions. The mouthpiece is comfortable, the purge works well and there are no controls to fiddle with, it just works well out of the box. As we said above, it is designed to be routed under your arm for use as a primary regulator, and while I can see the thought that has gone into this novel approach, I am not sure how many divers will adopt it. That said, it is good to see Mares trying something new – and as stated above, on a stage it is perfect.
- RRP: Loop 15X $400 / £272 – Loop Octo $140 / £90
- FIRST STAGE: Balanced diaphragm
- PORTS: 4 Low Pressure, 2 High Pressure
- SECOND STAGE: Vertical connection
- USER ADJUSTABLE: No
- WEIGHT: A-clamp 1.146kg, DIN 972g (including hose)