Appeared in DIVER September 2007

John John Bantin has been a full-time professional diving writer and underwater photographer since 1990. He makes around 300 dives each year testing diving equipment.


VALUE-ADDED IS A CATCHPHRASE of marketeers. How can they give their product an edge over their rivals when it comes to shop-counter appeal
Added features are usually the answer, and sometimes things can get over-complicated. The Mares Origin 5 is not. Its a simple 5mm wetsuit with a front zip that has no frills, but is ideal if you are diving in water that is tropical yet liable to cold thermoclines.
I took it to the Red Sea in mid-summer. Other divers were wearing 3mm suits and even Lycra skins, so I looked a bit over-dressed.
However, quickly unzipping the front could allow some refreshing water to flush through if I needed it, and I was otherwise protected from accidental abrasions from boat or rocks.
Wetsuits used to be difficult to get into. Divers disappeared in clouds of talc and expletives. Today, thanks to super-flexible neoprenes such as the Mares Trilastic, this is no longer the case. Its easy for almost anyone to get a good fit without going through purgatory.

Finished in panels of black, red and grey, the Origin 5 looked quite stylish and it was nice to see a bit of colour among all the black wetsuits hanging on the liveaboard rack. Look at the picture and make up your own mind about the appearance.

Although it has the semblance of a collar, your throat is very exposed in this suit. If you were diving in water that was cold enough to need a hood, youd need one with a ruff.
The suit might have been a little tight for me, so I had to ensure that I pulled the legs
up into the crotch fully, or it would have been too short in the body. Once on, it was like a second skin.

The Origin 5 has lightweight knee-pads incorporated into the legs. With Trilastic neoprene 5mm thick, it seemed to me to be the perfect suit for use in the Red Sea in summer.
The front zip was convenient too, when I found I had forgotten to put on my Galileo diving computer heart-rate monitor. Of course, a front zip also lends a little autonomy to a gentleman diver!
This suit doesnt cost too much, either.


PRICE £100
COLOURS As pictured, or black/grey
SIZES Mens XS-XXL, womens XS-XL
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