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Mares EOS Dive Torches: An In-Depth Review

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MARES EOS SERIES magnetic zoom
MARES EOS SERIES magnetic zoom
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Introducing the Mares EOS Series

MARES EOS SERIES | SRP: AUD$239.95-$659.95

Mark Evans: Mares have always had a decent line-up of torches, and the new EOS range definitely ticks all the boxes regardless of whether you wanted a compact back-up torch or a more-powerful primary unit.

The range runs from the EOS 10LR and EOS 10LRW back-up lights through the EOS 5, 10 and 15LRZ units, to the range-topping EOS 32LRZ. We took three of the line-up for a spin to see how they faired in the water.

Mares EOS 10LRW: The Compact Back-Up Unit

SRP: AUD$239.95

Compact Design and Features

Let’s start with the back-up unit. First up, this is a neat little compact torch, which easily slots into a BCD pocket, thigh pocket on your drysuit, or the pocket on tech shorts. It is small enough you could even bungee it to your harness shoulder strap techie-style if you so wished.

However, despite its compact dimensions – it is just 15cm long and less than 3cm diameter – it sat nicely in my hand, even when wearing thick neoprene gloves. The anodised aluminium body has a good feel to it.

The button to operate the EOS 10 sits perfectly under your thumb, and it is a simple matter to give it a quick double-press to turn it on at full power, which is a bright, white 1,000 lumens. Another press drops the power to 50 percent, so it is pumping out around 500 lumens, while a further press flips into SOS flashing mode, with the brightness back up to the full 1,000 lumens. Another press cycles round to full power mode again. To turn it off, you do the double-press once again. Around the button you have an LED visual battery charge indicator, so at a glance you can tell what the battery level is on your torch at any given time – green is a full battery, yellow indicates a half-charge, and red is a low battery.

Mares EOS 20LRZ Grip
Mares EOS 20LRZ Grip

Wide Beam Angle for Photography and Videography

Now the one that Mares sent in the review bundle was the LRW, which as the ‘W’ in the name suggests, has a very wide beam angle – a full 120 degrees. This is aimed squarely at the videography and photography crowd, as this would make a great light for illuminating a wide area of subject matter without a hot spot. It is small enough it could fasten on a camera housing cold-shoe mount or arms and not feel in the way. It isn’t ideal as a standard back-up torch, as it obviously illuminates a vast area and doesn’t penetrate too far, but Mares also does a spot-beam version, with a 12-degree angle, and this is the one to go for as a redundant unit. All the other specs are much the same, it is just that angle of the light beam.

Charging and Accessories

Both come in a neat zippered case, complete with USB charging cable and wrist lanyard. The EOS 10 torches have run times from 90 minutes (on full power) to 150 minutes (on 50 percent power). They take around five hours to fully recharge. I liked how the end cap unscrewed for charging, but was attached to the torch body with a little length of elastic cord – a nifty way of preventing that end cap from going walkabout while the torch is charging.

Mares EOS 20LRZ: The Powerful Primary Torch

SRP: AUD$579.95

Triple CREE LEDs for Enhanced Brightness

Next up is the 20LRZ, which is instantly recognisable thanks to the trifecta of CREE LEDs mounted in the head. Made from anodised aluminium likes its smaller siblings, it again sits well in your hand and tips the scales at just under 600g, so it has a decent heft to it without being too heavy.

MARES EOS 20LRZ trifecta of CREE LEDs mounted in the head
MARES EOS 20LRZ trifecta of CREE LEDs mounted in the head

The 20LRZ has the same button control – a quick double-press to turn it on at full power, which is a vivid white 2,300 lumens, with a runtime of two hours and 30 minutes. Another press drops to low power, so it is pumping out around 670 lumens, while a further press flips into SOS flashing mode. Another press cycles round to full power mode again. To turn it off, you do the doublepress once again. Around the button you have the same LED visual battery charge indicator – green for full battery, yellow for half-charge, and red for low battery. The 20LRZ makes a great primary dive torch, but it is still small enough to slot into a thigh pocket on a drysuit with ease.

Adjustable Beam Angle and Magnetic Zoom

The torch has a 12-degree beam which sliced through the murk of a good old British quarry, but then, with a simple twist of the head, you can broaden this beam angle right up to 75 degrees via a magnetic zoom to illuminate a wider area. Like the operation button, this twist motion was easily done even wearing thick neoprene gloves or drygloves.

Convenient Charging and Storage

It comes in a zippered case with wrist lanyard and USB charging cable. Charge time is around seven hours. Like the EOS10, the end cap is held securely by a length of elastic during charging.

Mares EOS 32LRZ: The Top-of-the-Line Torch

SRP: AUD$659.95

High-Powered XHP50 LED for Maximum Lumens

Finally there is the top-of-the-line EOS 32LRZ, which is back to one LED, a powerful XHP50, which offers up 3,200 lumens on full power. Once again, it is constructed from eye-catching anodised aluminium, and it doesn’t come in much heavier than the 20LRZ. At nearly 23cm in length, with a head diameter of just over 6cm, it will still go into a drysuit pocket when not in use, but it is a great primary dive torch, sitting nicely in your hand.

Mares EOS 32LRZ Grip
Mares EOS 32LRZ Grip

The 32LRZ has the same button control as its siblings – a quick double-press to turn it on at full power, another press to low power, and a further press for SOS flashing mode. Another press cycles round to full power mode again. To turn it off, you do the double-press once again. Around the button you have the same LED visual battery charge indicator – green for full battery, yellow for half-charge, and red for low battery.

MARES EOS 32LRZ SOS Flashing mode
MARES EOS 32LRZ SOS Flashing mode

Extended Runtime and Adjustable Beam Angle

This torch’s full-power mode has a runtime of around two hours and 15 minutes, and this produces a very bright light that again had no issues in the depths of a UK quarry. Even dropped down to the lower power setting, you are still getting nearly 1,000 lumens output. Like the 20LRZ, you can adjust the beam angle from 12 degrees up to 75 degrees by twisting the head of the torch.

Durable Construction and Charging Features

It comes in a zippered case with wrist lanyard and USB charging cable. Charge time is around seven hours. Like the rest of the EOS series, the end cap is held securely by a length of elastic during charging.

Optional Goodman Handle for Hands-Free Use

Mares also does an optional Goodman handle (£55) so you can mount the EOS torches on the back of your hand, rather than having to hold them. Visit Mares website to buy the product.


This article was originally published in Scuba Diver ANZ 54.

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Tarek
Tarek
7 months ago

Micro USB in 2023. No.

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Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editorial Director Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. nearly 40-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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