The Mares Magellan is a super lightweight travel BCD designed specifically for the travelling diver with a focused effort on weight reduction and improved comfort. It offers all the features you need combined with new designs and technological solutions that make it extremely comfortable to use. It's trouble free for both male and female divers.
ScubaLab Travel BCs Best Buy 2019
If the name didn't alert you to this BC's globe-trotting focus, the stripped-down design would. The lightest BC here, its harness has some of the thinnest, narrowest straps we've seen. But while the harness is sparse, there's just enough of it in exactly the right places, and that landed the Mares Magellan among top scores for comfort and stability. The sharply curved shoulder straps keep everything in place without restricting movement, and the padding — in the soft back plate and waistband, and where the shoulder straps cross the collarbones — is positioned just where it's needed. The integrated weights load and ditch easily (though small-handed divers found the big release buckles a bit of a reach). For stowage it was rated just average because D-rings are few and the drop-down zippered cargo pocket is tricky to reach under the weight pocket. Chosen among the favourites of multiple testers, the easiest packer and well below the average price here, the Mares Magellan is our Best Buy.
The Perfect Travelling Companion For Your Dives
Ferdinand Magellan (1480–1521) was a Portuguese explorer who was the first to sail around the world in Spanish service. The new Mares Magellan BCD is named after him, and that is not surprising: it is a perfect BCD for travellers.
The Mares Magellan is a rear inflation (backlift) BCD with a rear wing style bladder that is kept in check by elasticated straps that drawn the bladder inwards as it deflates to stop it from flapping and creating drag when empty. The rear bladder obviously lends itself well to the travel ethos, reducing bulk and excess material usage but often in the hunt for weight savings lift capabilities are lost. Happily Mares seem to have realised this and delivered a travel BCD with 18.5 kg of lift (S/M size) so it actually remains useful for buoyancy.
The Magellan weights just 2 kg (S/M) but still delivers 18.5 kg (41 lbs) of lift, making it a very versatile and capable travel BCD. It is made from a mix of high quality, durable materials (including Cordura). Compressible materials have been added to the shoulders, back and weight pocket areas for even greater comfort.
New concave curvature shoulder straps (patent pending) — These new shoulder straps have an unprecedented ergonomic shape, offer a great level of adjustability, and provide a better fit for women as well. The shoulder straps have the standard adjustable quick release buckles at the bottom but they also have adjustment at the top, allowing the strap to be moved vertically to suit your own anatomy (ladies!). As is the current trend the shoulder straps anchor towards the back of the waist line for a more snug fit and the waist buckle adjustment has been simplified so that the diver just needs to put their thumbs through the D-rings and push away from the body to tighten rather than across the body. Ultimately allowing for maximum comfort and freedom of movement.
Another big advantage is the soft neoprene band at the shoulder straps. This offers extra comfort on the bare skin. The ergonomic concave (hollow) shoulder straps also provide improved comfort at the neck and shoulders.
The BCD does not have a rigid backpack which means it can be rolled / packed down to a really small size, saving significant space in your dive bag and luggage. A strap loop system allows the BCD to be quickly and easily adjusted to your body.
The harness is where a lot of the weight reduction has happened. There is no velcro cummerbund, no bulky clips, no unnecessary additional of a billion D-rings. (It's a travel BC after all, how much stuff are you going to need to attach to it!) The harness is fitted with two 40 mm (1.6 in) aluminium D-rings below the weight pockets and two 25 mm (1 in) aluminium D-rings on the shoulder straps. With torso adjustable shoulder straps, adjustable chest and waist straps, all equipped with squeeze-style side release buckles for easy donning and doffing.
The Mares Magellan BCD is fitted with an integrated weight system with quick release buckles, knife grommet holes on the left side and a roll down pocket on the right side. The integrated quick release weight system is simple and easy to operate with a large quick release buckle. The pouches slide into their slots and the red female section of the buckle clicks reassuringly over the male part. The pouches themselves use a velcro closure to keep your weights secure. The weight pockets vary in size depending on the size of the BCD. The L/XL includes two 6 kg (13 lbs) capacity pockets, and both the S/M and XXS/XS have 4 kg (9 lbs) capacity pockets.
The large, roll down, folding and self-draining BCD pocket is a handy little extra positioned on the right side of the cummerbund. Having pockets incorporated into the weight pocket slots adds considerable bulk which is a no no for travel BCDs and, to be fair, how much can you normally get in them anyway. The roll down pocket is secured with a small tab when not in use, has a large toothed zip at the top for easy operation. It can obviously conform to a much greater variety of shapes compared to a fixed dimension side pocket.
If you were wondering about trim pockets the Magellan doesn't actually come with any, but they are available as an optional extra. If you want to fine tune your trim or just redistribute some of your weight then they are a no-brainer really. The optional trim pockets fit onto the tank strap and allow your weight to be better distributed for optimal trim.
The Mares Magellan BCD comes standard with three pull-dump / over-pressure relief valves: one incorporated into the top of the Ergo Inflator; one located on the right shoulder; and a third is located on the rear lower right. Activation of the valves are made easy with both the upper and lower right valves coming with pull cords and the valve incorporated into the Ergo Inflator is activated by an internal cable attached to the inflator mechanism.
Inflator includes a 3/8 inch threaded low pressure quick disconnect hose. BCD is made from durable 420 Cordura nylon fabric with a urethane internal laminate with radio frequency (RF) welded seams for air-tight integrity. BCD has a foldable non-ridged backpack for compact transport and strap loop backpack feature for easy adjustment. BCD comes with an owner's manual.
Mares Magellan BCD Features
- True Travel BCD
- Rear / Back Inflation Bladder Design
- Innovative New Strap System for Increased Comfort!
- Trouble free for both male and female divers
- Extremely Light Weight: Size Small/Medium Weighing Only 2 kg (5 lb)
- High Lift: 18.3 kg (38 lb)
- High Quality, Compressible and Durable Material:
On Shoulders, Back, and Weight Pocket
- Integrated Quick Release Weight System:
Simple and Easy to Operate
Vary in Size Depending On Size;
XL Two 6 kg (13 lb) Capacity Pockets
M/L and XS/S; 4 kg (9 s.)
Inside Hook and Loop to Section Pocket Capacity
Zippered Closure for Positive Weight Retention
Optional Trim Weight Pocket System
Trim Weight Pocket Capacity
Air Cell; Durable 420 Cordura Nylon Fabric
Urethane Internal Laminate w/Radio Frequency (RF) Welded Seams
Weight Pockets; Durable Polyester 600 and ABS Plastic Material
- Large Folding and Self-Draining Pocket for Accessory Storage
- Aluminum D-Rings:
Two 40 mm (1.6 in) D-Rings Below Weight Pockets
Two 25 mm (1 in) D-Rings On Shoulder Straps
Multiple Accessory Attachment Points
- Torso Adjustable Shoulder Straps, Adjustable Chest and Waist Straps
- All Straps Equipped with Squeeze-Style Side Release Buckles for Easy Donning/Doffing
- Concave Ergonomic Shoulders (patent pending) Increased Comfort in Chest/Shoulder Area
- Provides Trouble Free Comfort for Female Divers
- Maximum Comfort and Freedom of Movement
- Three Pull-Dump/Over-pressure Relief Valves:
One Incorporated into Top of Ergo Inflator
One-On Right Shoulder
Third Located on Rear Lower Right of Bladder
Easy Activation; Pull Cords and Cable Activated Ergo Inflator Valve
- Mares Ergo Inflator:
Intuitive Use and Secure Grip
Comes with 3/8 inch Threaded LP Quick-Disconnect Hose
- Foldable Non-Ridged Backpack for Compact Transport
- Strap Loop Backpack Feature for Easy Adjustment
- Owner's Manual
Mares Magellan BCD Size Chart
Sixes: XXS/XS, S/M, L/XL
What We Think...
The Mares Magellan is a well thought out BCD. Of course, we prefer rear inflation BCDs and this one ticks that box. Its weight is impressive given that it looks sturdier than other minimalist travel BCDs, material choice and quality is good as you would expect from Mares and the extra adjustability makes it very comfortable. If you are after a travel BC then the Mares Magellan really needs to be very high on your shortlist.
Note: This item cannot be delivered outside of Australia.
Order In Item:
This is not a regularly stocked item in our Rye dive shop. It will be ordered for you from the Australian supplier, typically resulting in a 3-4 day delay.