Mares Quad Air
The Mares Quad Air has a monster display with jumbo-size digits, and features hoseless tank data integration for up to three transmitters. The three-row layout comprises all relevant data, including tank pressure, and there are two customisable fields for ancillary information.
The four buttons provide an intuitive user interface, it is multi-gas capable, and there is a decompression dive planner with user-adjustable surface interval. It features a long battery life, and when it does run out, it is user-replaceable.
The Mares Quad Air might be a pretty big computer, but it benefits from a long battery life thanks to the dot-matrix display, but when it does finally run out on you, it is user-replaceable – simply use a coin to whip off the cover on the back, swap out the battery (available in most electrical shops), check the O-ring is clean and undamaged, and then screw it securely back into place. Job done.
The Mares Quad Air headed off to the wilds of Murcia in Spain, with Publishing Director Ross Arnold taking it for a spin on a series of dives throughout the week. He liked the large screen and very clear display, and the easy-to-navigate menus. For a fairly large computer, he noted how lightweight it is, thanks to its plastic construction. He also liked the chunky strap, which was easy to get tight around a thick wetsuit so it didn’t move around or become loose at depth.
While the Mares Quad Air doesn’t break the bank, coming in at a very wallet-friendly £318, is a supremely capable little computer. As the name suggests, it can handle hoseless air integration, but impressively it can deal with up to three transmitters. Combine this with its multi-gas capabilities and you have a budget entry-level technical diving unit on your hands. Certainly one to consider if you are watching the pennies.
The Mares Quad Air is the ideal computer for warm-water divers, as despite its large size, it is very lightweight thanks to the construction of the body. However, that large screen and display also makes it great for diving in colder waters with less-than-perfect visibility. The thick rubber strap is also pretty chunky, and will strap around a drysuited forearm with no issues.
The Mares Quad Air benefits from having a big, clear display, with decent-sized digits for those with iffy vision. Yes, colour screens are currently taking the market by storm and are undoubtedly very bright and clear, but it has to be said that the old-school dot-matrix display on the Quad Air is exceptionally easy to read, even in lousy conditions where the vis is less than perfect.
The Mares Quad Air, as the names suggests, is an air-integrated dive computer, and it gets its info on your tank contents via the LED Tank Module, which screws into your first stage. As well as permanently pairing with the computer, and having a user-replaceable battery, it also has a vivid colour LED on the end which allows for a quick tank check on the surface and also alerts your buddy of a low-air situation on the dive itself. It’s also handy on a night dive.
And so the Mares Quad Air comes to the end of its run in Long Term Test. This computer has accompanied us on dives both here in the UK and in warmer waters abroad, and it performed well in all conditions.
In a time when colour screens are all the rage, the large LCD display on the Mares Quad Air proves that old-school can still be effective, and it is easy to read even in low-vis environments.
Even with its large screen, it is lightweight thanks to its construction, and the buttons are easy to use even with gloves. A great air-integrated computer for the price point.
Check out our Shearwater NERD 2 review.