Maybe we have been a little enthusiastic with the title, but Mares Illusion wetsuit has indeed an amazing camouflage with real photografic quality, which is quite unique on the market.
Illusion line is complte , with wetsuit, gloves, socks, bermuda and backpack.
Let us see in more detail the Illusion wetsuit, received by AP in the 5 mm thickness for jacket and 3 mm for pants. The complete offer of the Illusion, launched on the market this year, is available in 3-5-7 mm for the jacket and 3, 5 mm for the pants, which is a good compromise also in Winter (not too cold) when one can use 5 mm trousers and 7 mm jacket. To this, one can add bermuda, also with Illusion camouflage, which will help themal insulation. The Illusion line is completed by 3 mm socks and 2 and 3 mm gloves, and also a backpack with Illusion camouflage. All this Illusion line hits the eyes as point of reference for real photografic camouflage.
For the complete technical data sheet of the Mares Illusion click here.
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Materials and protections
Neoprene of the wetsuit is open cell inside and lined outside.
As said, photografic Illusion camouflage is really excellent, with images of posidonia, rocks and sea weeds in general. Now, this does not mean that the effect in the water will be necessarily the best possible, as we know that colours underwater change and also view of fish is particular, as already analyzed by AP in a specific article. Certainly, though, the Illusion camouflage is special.
External lining is in Lycra, so particularly elastic.
External protections are on the knees, but not on the elbows, and are made with polyurethane layer made with octagons, diminiscing in quantity and dimensions moving from the center to the external area. The same solution, which also has an antislip function, is appplied to the sternal protection. Such protection has an internal 3 mm thick pad of compact dimensions, equal to 9,5 cm x 18,5 cm.
Finishings and cuts
Bondings of the Mares Illusion are of good quality. Finishings of wrists, ankles, face contour and waist aim to simplicity, with net cuts and no folded neoprene. Such solution evidently will loose some thermal insulation and resistance in such areas, but a good quality neoprene will make up for that.
Well refined are such areas for what concerns stitchings, which are internal, but small and neat. On the waist Mares uses a solution which is opposite to most competition, with the front profile higher than the rear, so with greater attention to covering the stomach more than the back. In particular, the height of the Illusion size 4, measured from the inseams of the pants to the profile of the waist is equal to 47 cm frontally and 42 cm at the back.
In the lower part of the jacket the internal surface of the neoprene is open cell along almost all the circumference, except the area of the button and the beaver tail, a solution that improves sealing, but most of all is more elastic and tends to dry faster than the externally and internally lined neoprene.
The Illusion version of the backpack is simply the classic Mares backpack with Illusion camoufalge. Material is neoprene, while the pockets for weights can accomodate 500 grams or 1 kg, for max total weight of 4 kg. In the rear a lace is present with at its end a ball, which can be connected to the weight belt, while there is also a fast release system for the backpack, which is a good solution for safety and comfort.
Socks and gloves
Illusion camouflage is also available for socks and gloves, with the first in 3 mm thickness, while the second are in 3 and 2 mm solution.
Gloves are made in double lined neoprene for maximum resistance and ease of wear. In the 3 mm solution the internal surface of fingers and palm are covered with a layer of polyurethane, while in the 2 mm version the cover is in amara, and on the wrists there is a tightening system with elastic band and strap. Amara is a synthetic leather made of 60% polyamide and 40% polyurethane. Amara is a soft material resistant to tough weather, with in addition alti-slip characteristic.
Socks are in externally lined and internally open cell neoprene, for best thermal insulation, while the sole in lined also internally to avoid the foot slipping internally to the sock, especially if soapy water goes into it. Stiil the sole has externally a double thickness texture layer as reinforcement.
Bermuda with Illusion camouflage perfectly integrates with Illusion wetsuit and all other accessories seen. Material is externally lined and internally open cell neoprene. Two lateral pockets permit positioning of weights from 500 grams to 1 kg, for maximum 2 kg.