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Guide to Mares regulators from 2000-2020

Discussion in 'Regulators' started by lowwall, Mar 16, 2020.

  1. Demetris

    Demetris Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Cyprus
    2
    0
    1
    Hello!!
    i am almost ready buying a new Mares 22 reg however i found two different sets in the market. Mares Abyss 22 Navy II and Mares Abyss 22X. The truth is that they look like the "Abyss Navy (II): Produced from @ 2011 to present (2020)" and the "Abyss 08: Produced from @ 2008-2018" mentioned above. Am i correct? And from what i understand only the Navy II is certified for cold water. Correct?

    Demetris
     
  2. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

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    You are mostly correct.

    The Abyss 22 Navy (II) is certified by the US Navy to pass their standards for use which includes extremely cold water temperature use.

    The standard version, currently the Abyss MR 22X, is generally fine for use in cold water and per Mares' product guide is CE certified/approved for cold water use defined as less than 10 degrees celsius (50 degrees farenheight).

    The primary differences are as follows:

    MR 22 Navy (II) First stage:
    1. High pressure poppet is the older tri-material design - Mares has to use this older part to keep the Navy's certification rating even though the current high pressure poppet in use in their X series first stages is the ACT poppet.
    2. comes with Mares' oil filled CWD (cold water dive system) kit installed

    Abyss Navy (II) Second Stage:
    1. Black faceplate
    2. Teflon coating on interior of the 2nd stage body and some bit piece parts to prevent the formation of ice crystals under very extreme conditions.

    MR 22X First stage:
    1. Current model ACT poppet.
    2. No dry kit but you have the option to install the oil filled CWD or the dry CWD if you feel you need one.

    Abyss Second Stage:
    1. Silver faceplate
    2. No teflon coating on interior or bit piece parts.
    3. There was an update to the demand lever a bunch of years ago that they could not use on the Navy certified 2nd stage as it would cause Mares to lose the Navy's certification.

    The questions to ask yourself are:
    Do you really need a 1st stage with a cold water kit installed?
    and
    Do you want the hassle of an oil filled cold water kit? The oil filled kit will add to the cost of service.

    The tri-material poppet can be replaced with the ACT poppet when the 1st stage is serviced.

    I dive with a pair of Mr 22 Abyss Turbos from 2000-2004, no cold water kit, and they have performed flawlessly in water temps down to between 2-3 degrees Celsius.

    The Navy certification just means that the Navy version of the reg set passed some super rigorous testing where the regulator continued to function in extended extreme conditions even when it iced over. The reality is that most recreational divers will not come close to the criteria that the reg set was tested for, and if you were doing that kind of diving or planned to, you would not be asking about it.

    Here is link to the report from the testing that was done by the Navy: https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a561760.pdf

    It should be noted that production of the non-Navy MR22 Abyss reg set was discontinued by Mares in 2018, but is still supported for parts/service. The Navy version is still produced because Mares does not have another reg set in their line-up that has officially been tested to meet the US Navy's criteria.

    -Z
     
    lowwall likes this.
  3. Demetris

    Demetris Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Cyprus
    2
    0
    1
    Thanks!!! From your experience for how long after the product has been discontinued Mares supports the regs? As you mentioned above, your reg is almost 20 years old.
     
  4. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

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    It is hard to say, especially with a company that has roots in Italy where design decisions are sometime based on form rather than function. Given the success of the MR22 and Abyss stages it seemed odd to me that Mares discontinued them. It would seem that tech diving has become increasingly popular and tech training has become more and more considered a part of the mainstream dive training continuum (a whole separate discussion in and of itself), Mares seems to have given the Abyss 2nd stage a slight facelift and now market it as the DR 2nd stage under their Extreme Range (XR) line of products which they intend to appeal to the tech diver market segment. From what I can tell the major differences between the first stages is the form and finish coupled with different number of high and low pressure ports which is useful for hose routing considerations for different configurations (e.g., primary donate, streamlined setup, doubles, sidemount, stage, etc.), but the internals are relatively the same as has been used for all their MR regulators with exception of the MR42 1st stage which used some smaller scale parts due to its size.

    Right now, many of the critical internal parts of the Mares lineup are the same as that used in the Abyss and MR22. The high pressure seat and poppet design of their current models, for example, is relatively the same that they have been using for quite a number of years. Given that they have recently released new products that use the same internal parts as older designs. I would wager, as others have state previously in this discussion thread, that parts for the Abyss and MR22 will remain available for quite a few years. Those parts that are not routinely changed at service intervals, such as the metal ring that holds the faceplate on the 2nd stage, should continue to be available as long as the Abyss Navy (II) is being made/marketed.

    The Abyss MR22 regulator in any of its verisions (except the Ruby) are great work-horse regulators that should provide years of trouble free service and are easy to maintain. The biggest detractor to self-service of Mares regulators in not complexity but availability of service kits/parts to the diving public. But like, Aqualung, and ScubaPro, Mares is fairly well recognized in the diving industry around the world, so service and parts should not be too hard to find no matter where you decide to dive.

    I don't think you will be disappointed with either regulator set you are evaluating for purchase.

    I have already stated my recommendation to avoid the hassle of the oil filled cold water kit unless you plan to routinely dive in waters less than 5 degrees Celsius for prolonged periods of time....

    ...kind of off topic but I often find during the winter that the air temp is colder than the water temp which means their is greater potential for issues before entering the water than there is once in the water. I reduce the chance of problems in the water in cold water (less than 10C) by using 2 first stages and routing my primary 2nd stage and wing inflator to one, while routing my octo and drysuit inflator to the other. Additionally I dive with a slung pony bottle all year round with its own first and second stage....my mentality is that if a a problem develops, particularly in cold water, it is time to end the dive. The chances of all 3 first stages or all 3 second stages crapping out on the same dive are fairly remote, but that remote chance is why my protocol dictates that I would head to my safety stop/surface/exit point should a problem develop particularly in cold water.
     
  5. lowwall

    lowwall Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago
    1,141
    1,065
    113
    I'll second Zef's post. Service parts for the Abyss second stage and 22 first stage should be around as long as Mares is. Not only are the regs still in the lineup in the form of the Abyss Navy II and DR XR second, but some of their latest models use the same key service parts.

    Even if Mares somehow disappears, the most commonly replaced parts like O-rings and poppets are available from third parties (although aftermarket poppets may have a shorter service life). Even less common parts should be available as new old stock for a long time given that these have been used around the world for nearly 25 years.
     
    Bob DBF and Zef like this.
  6. lowwall

    lowwall Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago
    1,141
    1,065
    113

    Attached Files:

  7. Catito

    Catito Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Palm Beach County, Fl
    238
    197
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    Hi:

    You have a lot of knowledge re Mares regulators...why did mine fail today (between dives) with air rushing out of this side hole?
    CA051E34-E503-4ABC-9341-A3DC78849D0D.jpeg
     
  8. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

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    Without personally seeing/handling/inspecting your regulator it is not possible to know exactly what failed in your 1st stage....but if air is coming out of where you indicate, then it could be that the diaphragm of your 1st stage is compromised. That could happen as it is possible for this part to fail due to age/use, it could happen due to improper assembly or adjustment, it could happen perhaps due to a failure of an internal o-ring on the high-pressure side of the 1st stage.

    -Z
     
    lowwall likes this.
  9. Catito

    Catito Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Palm Beach County, Fl
    238
    197
    43
    Thank you very much. Sending it back for repairs.
     
  10. scubapeter

    scubapeter Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: finger lakes region, new york
    87
    20
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    Unless I missed it, under the budget/rental category I believe the Rebel 2nd stage falls between the Nikos and the Rover.
     

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