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Welcome to Dive Gear Reviews, a comprehensive guide to scuba diving equipment. Scuba diving is an expensive pursuit, so looking up reviews for a particular article of equipment is a wise precaution before investing any hard-earned money in it. However, consumer reviews may or may not be written by an experienced diver, and magazine reviews could be suspect due to the advertising ties of the publication in question. Dive Gear Reviews provides cross-referenced reviews assembled by an expert, making it possible to see at a glance what multiple sources said about a particular piece of scuba equipment. If one magazine loved a scuba regulator or a dive computer, but the consumers hated it, that information will be found here.

Mares Prime BCD Review

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Mares Prime BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

The Prime is the new starter BCD from Mares, and is therefore the de facto successor to the old Icon BCD. The basic version is very straightforward jacket BCD, featuring a rigid backpack with a solid carrying handle on the inside, the usual cummerbund and sternum strap, and sizable pockets. It’s made from Cordura 420, giving it a good balance between heft and durability, and accordingly weighs in at just under 7 lbs unloaded (3.8 kg).

One thing about the Prime is that the lift changes between each and every size, so cold water divers intending to use the Prime should check what the exact lift is before purchasing one. Medium has 15.3kg / 33.7 lbs of lift, while Large takes a dramatic step up to 20.5 kg / 45.1 lbs. A version with the Mares MRS integrated weight system is available.

Some consumers have complained that the BCD has few D-rings, and no big D-rings at all. If the Prime was meant as a replacement for the Icon, this is actually a step backward, as the Icon offered more cargo-carrying options.

Scuba Diving rated the Mares Prime their Best Buy BCD for 2013, but the only objective reasons Dive Gear Reviews can see for giving it such an award is that it is new and it isn’t that expensive. Nothing is really wrong with the Prime, but nothing is really great about it either.

Average Price: $425 for MRS version