Mares Puck Review: Keeping it Simple and Reliable
|Memory||38 Dive Hours|
|User Changeable Battery||Yes|
|Nitrox Compatible||Yes/Up to 40%|
|PC Interface||Yes (Not Included)|
|Integrated Digital Compass||No|
If you are a new diver and are looking for a dive computer that is simple and easy to use, or if you’re just looking for a great backup computer that won’t break the bank, then Mares Puck Dive Computer would be an excellent choice for you.
It is very easy to program and much easier to read.
The Puck sports a single button to scroll through the menu option, which makes it very simple and easy to operate and a favorite among entry-level divers or outfitting a dive center.
It also has larger digits, making it very easy to read, as well as a backlight on demand for low visibility conditions or night dives.
It uses a conservative algorithm for an even larger margin of safety, this is perfect if you are an entry-level diver or just very conservative. However, there are two “personal correction” settings to make the computer more liberal if you need it to be.
It is available in both wrist mount or console base. There are two different console version of this dive computer, the Mares Mission Puck 2 which comes with a submersible pressure gauge, and the Mares Mission Puck 3 which come with a submersible pressure gauge and compass.
The one that you choose will generally depend on your personal preference and which would work best for your type of diving or existing equipment.
In this mares puck review we are going to look at what makes this computer so simple and easy to use, as well as some of its more important features, and what other diver’s around the internet are saying about them.
So, What Makes The Mares Puck So Easy To Use?
The guys over at SimplyScuba.com put together a great video review of the Mares Puck Dive Computer. In the video, you can take a closer look at the dive computer and how easy it is to operate.
Simple and Easy User Interface
Have you ever had a dive computer where you need to press a sequence or combination of buttons to get certain features or modes? Well, the single button feature on the puck will take all the guess-work out of figuring out which buttons to press or hold.
Simply press the button to scroll through menu option and hold it down for a couple of second to select options. It’s that simple.
The easy to find bright red button also allows you to operate the dive computer in any dive condition, even if you are wearing thick dive gloves.
Easy to Read and Interpret Display
No need to squint to see what’s on your computer anymore. Every vital information is in large digits and can be read at a glance. They are big enough to be seen clearly even with the plastic display protector on, mares claims this is because of the high contrast of the digits and its wide display.
It also has a bright backlighting for viewing the display in low visibility or on night dives. To activate the backlighting simply hold the button for 4 Seconds. Once, activated it will stay on while you scroll tough menu options, otherwise, it will only stay lit for 4 seconds which is more than enough time to read the information on the display.
It will also give you main and alternative screen both on the surface and underwater. There is also no need to manually active the puck into dive mode, it will anatomically enter dive mode when you descend 4 feet. While in dive mode you can also view different displays by pressing the button.
It also displays the ascent rate with a number and a bar graph that is easy to read and can also display both imperial or metric units, and set to dive in salt and fresh water. And, if you’re planning on diving deep, it also has a deep stop feature with a countdown timer.
Alarms and Warnings
As a new scuba diver, you might be distracted by the many beauties of the underwater world and might forget to check your dive computer regularly, or might just need a reminder when you extend your boundaries.
No need to worry thou, the puck will give you a warning in audio alarm for the flowing dive conditions.
- Omitting Your Decompression Stop
- Ascending too fast
- When you’ve reached your none decompression limit
- Deep stop
- Maximum depth allowed by the max PPO setting.
However, the puck does have the option to exclude audible alarms and uncontrolled ascents, which is great if you are an experienced diver or if you’re using the Puck as a backup computer.
Does It Have User Changeable Batter?
The Mares Puck does come with user changeable batteries as well. It uses 3 volts CR2450 Lithium Battery which should give you about 170 dives depending on dive conditions (batteries usually last longer in warmer weather) as well as backlight usage and other factors.
The ability to change your own batteries can save you money on maintenance cost. Changing the batteries can be quite easy and step by step instructions can be found in the user manual.
However, doing so requires your close attention, and if not done properly you can ruin the entire computer.
Mares declines any responsibility for any damages caused by you replacing the batteries and recommends that you still take your computer to an authorized center to get the batteries changed.
The computer can also show you the level of the battery as well as how many times it has been replaced. This is great for planning dive trips as it will let you know if you have the adequate battery life to complete the trip, as well as when to get replacements.[notice]There is no battery hot swap available on the computer, so if you change batteries between dives you will lose all previous dive information. If this happens it is recommended to wait for 24 before diving again.[/notice]
Mares Puck Dive Log and PC Interface
With the Mares Puck, there is no need to quickly write down your dive information after each dive, It will log as much as 40 hours of dive time for you, so continue driving and not have to worry about logging your dives.
The logbook will show you your dive numbered from your most recent dive to the oldest. It will also give the maximum depth reached on the given dive, as well as dive start date and time. You can also to press and hold the button to get additional technical data of the dive.
You can also upload your logged dive to your PC by using the optional US interface. Doing so will give you more extensive data storage, as well as better management and viewing functionality of your dives.
What Are Other Diver’s Saying
The overall feedback from other divers on the internet is great. Many of the Mares Puck Reviews I read were raving about how easy this dive computer is to use and that the manual is very easy to understand, making the computer very easy to set up and operate.
Also that the dive computer screen is uncluttered and was very easy to read and that it was super easy to scroll through menus.
There were a few negative reviews, but few and far apart. There were a few complaints about the strap not being very reliable, As well there were a few complaints about the backlight not being bright enough. But, these were mainly from divers that were doing cave diving. For recreational diving, the backlighting was quite sufficient.
So what’s the bottom line?
The puck would defiantly be among the top dive computer I would recommend for entry-level recreational divers, or simply as a backup dive computer to clip onto your BC in case your primary fails.
It single button interface makes it very easy to operate and the bright large digits make them very easy to read. It 3 modes (Air, Gauge, and Nitrox) is great if you are diving Nitrox or planning to dive with Nitrox, or if you would like to use the computer only as a depth gauge and timer while free diving.
All of this is pack in a compact easy to use single button user interface computer and set at a price point that won’t put a dent in your pocket. For the money, you simply cannot get a better computer.
But, because the low-cost and it simplicity you will find that it might lack features of more expensive dive computers, like air interaction and digital compass. But, these are things that you can do without for now.
Other minor inconvenience would be the ability to hot swap batteries, and the fact that it does not have a “Step Back” feature when viewing menu options.
With one button dive computer menus come one after the other, so if you accidentally pass the menu you want you will have to cycle through all the other menus, instead of pressing the back button.
But, these are still a minor inconvenience and don’t hurt the rating of this really great but simple dive computer.