Mares Quantum BCD
Quantum is a completely new BCD by Mares. Based on a standard front adjustable design, it introduces many new ideas, not the least of which is a brand new integrated weight system, and boasts exceptional sturdiness and stability.
Mares listened to its customers and the Quantum is the result of comments received over a long period of time. A new bladder was designed, maintaining high lift capacity while allowing more mobility and freedom of movement by keeping a low profile on the side lobes. The shoulder pads were the object of long experimentation in order to find the sturdiest yet most comfortable geometry, and are specific to each size of the BC. Even the position of the stainless steel D-rings are optimized for ease of use instead of cosmetic appeal. Talking about D-rings, a small technopolymer D-ring was added to the right shoulder at a 45° angle, allowing for the placement of a lanyard to a console, so that the latter hovers in the field of view of the diver when in a swimming position. The sternum closure adjustment is on one side only, that of the corrugated hose. This prevents a loose end of a strap getting in the way of the pull knob of the right shoulder dump valve. On the sternum strap closure buckle we find the new low profile whistle. These are all many small details that add up to great value.
The connection between shoulder pads and straps take advantage of the Mares swiveling buckle, allowing for optimum routing of the strap. This is further enhanced by the bottom end of the strap sewn onto a D-ring instead of directly onto the side lobe, so that the arc of the D-ring allows the strap to move in relation to the swivel buckle at the other end.
It doesn’t stop here. Mares introduced new materials as well. For the first time on a BC, the outer panel of the cargo pockets is constructed of an elastic material: this allows for an increased capacity of the pocket, while keeping the profile very slim when not in use. Stowing a mask, a marker buoy or anything else is now child’s play. The pockets also utilize an ergonomically routed heavy duty zipper for ease of use and durability. The new material utilized in this bcd is supratek. Mares has been using supratek for wet suit kneepads for many years, and based on experience found it suitable for this purpose: elastic, tough and abrasion resistant. To cosmetically finish the Quantum, microinjected labels give the side lobes a rich and elegant look.
Quantum is the first Mares BC to come with the new SLS integrated weight system. This system is the outcome of years of hard work and is such a novelty that the examiners of the patent application had unusually positive reviews. The SLS will get its own press release, but a few things pertinent to its implementation on the Quantum BC are worth mentioning. A dedicated tunnel on the side lobes ensures easy insertion of the weight pouch. A stiffener plate is built into the floor of the tunnel to keep the fabric stretched and reduce friction due to wrinkling when inserting the weight pouch. The tunnel is separate from the cargo pocket so as to minimize any interference between the two. The tunnel is of sufficient capacity to hold a full weight pouch and assures maximum stability.
In this context we should mention the trim weight pockets. These are placed on the back of the aircell, on either side of the backplate, which minimize rotational inertia, yet are still easy to access.
Quantum utilizes the new monoplate backplate, which works for single tanks and twin tanks alike (up to twin 12l / 80cuft via a dedicated set of two longer straps). The monoplate structure is very strong yet lighter than the typical “two plate with aircell sandwiched in between” approach. One unusual aspect of the backplate is that the rear surface, onto which the tank rests, is 5° off vertical: this is small enough to be hardly noticeable, but large enough to guarantee an additional 5cm / 2” of distance between the bottom of the tank and the diver: undesirable contact is avoided. If used with twin tanks, the monoplate features two small winglets to retain the aircell away from the contact surface of the tanks, for an easier fit of the BC onto the tanks.
The backplate features a soft cover for comfort, but also for stability. The friction / grip elements on the side, minimize sideways movement across the body of the diver during a rotation.
Quantum features the new quick connector on the inflator, with three holes instead of the hole and bridge combination, for a 30% increase in flow rate. Quantum is already certified according to the new EN1809:2014.
It should be mentioned that the new camera attachment kit was developed at the same time as the Quantum, and that Quantum has 3 options to mount this kit: high on the left lobe (which is also a good place for a knife) and low on both the left and right lobes. The latter allow for easy hooking and unhooking of the extension pole without having to bend the elbow excessively.
- Monoplate backpack fits single or twin tanks
- Swivel buckles and D-ring attachment on side lobe
- SLS weight system
- Visual confirmation of proper weight pouch insertion
- Personalization label on weight pouches
- Stretch cargo pockets
- High flow rate inflator connection
- Openings on side lobes for hose storage
- Trim weight pockets
- Optional BC attachment kit