Review: The Mares Kaila SLS and the Dragon SLS Jacket in the test by divingthisworld
Tami & Chris from divingthisworld have tested Mares ADV Jackets for Scubaonline. You can read their review in this test report!
The feeling of weightlessness - no diver wants to do without it. To be able to explore the underwater world safely and comfortably, the choice of the right jacket plays a decisive role. In this review, Tami tested the Mares Kaila SLS and Chris took a closer look at the Mares Dragon SLS.
Appearance & Comfort
Visually, both jackets pass the test straight away! Especially the white details on the women's jacket and the embroidered dragon on the side of the men's jacket stand out immediately.
When touching the jackets, Tami & Chris were surprised by the thick shoulder and back padding. These were also noticeable later in the practical test in the water. They make the jacket extremely comfortable and back-friendly to wear! In addition, the shoulder strap buckles can be swivelled and therefore adapt nicely to the shape of the body.
Especially for the two of them as diving instructors, daily wearing comfort is of course very important.
Stowage Options for Weights
Without weights, snorkelling would usually be the only thing to do, so weights are a very important consideration for a new BC.
Both Mares jackets have two trim lead pockets on the back (1 kg per pocket) and very large weight pockets on the front. So there will be no lack of space for weights in this jacket. Tami & Chris were able to easily stow the required amount of weight even while diving with their dry suit. What they especially liked about the weight pockets was that they could be easily taken out and put in even when fully loaded!
They were also very surprised by the SLS - the Slide and Lock System. Because when the weight pockets are fully inserted but not locked in, you see a red sign on the weight pocket. Only after they are fully engaged and clicked does the green confirmation sign appear. This makes it much easier to check whether the pockets are secure, especially in the buddy check.
Buoyancy Force & D-rings
Even more advanced divers will not be disappointed with this ADV jacket! The Mares Kaila & Dragon have a very high buoyancy force. They are therefore optimal for deeper dives and still have enough buoyancy at the surface even with increased weight (e.g. during dry dives). In addition, a jacket with sufficient buoyancy will not let you down in an emergency situation with your buddy!
Especially on deeper dives or as a professional diver, a stage tank or other accessories are often taken along. This is no problem at all with these two Mares jackets, as they each have two D-rings on both sides and are therefore ideal for attaching additional tanks etc.!
These two points are definitely big plus points, which, according to Tami & Chris, mean that the jackets can no longer be classified as just a beginner's jacket!
If you take a closer look at the jacket, you will notice many more bonus points. For example, the pockets of the jacket are made of a stretch material, so that even bulky objects and accessories can be stowed away.
Furthermore, there is a small integrated emergency whistle on the chest strap at the buckle, so you always have it with you and can't lose it! There are also two eyelets on the jacket above the bag, so that you can easily attach a diving knife. Both points are very important for Tami & Chris in their job!
Conclusion on Kaila SLS and Mares Dragon SLS
Last but not least, you can now read the final feedback from Tami & Chris:
"The Mares Kaila SLS and Dragon SLS are classic ADV jackets at first glance, but they offer a lot of interesting extras! They are perfect for us as instructors, because the configuration of the jacket plays an important role in courses, but you don't want to wear a pure beginner's jacket. And we simply don't have to do without points like the D-rings, the diving knife or the buoyancy force with this."