Thursday, 10 October 2019 08:01

Maru Cosmic Dust Pacer jammers tested and reviewed

Written by Wim Stevenson

Open water and "wild" swimming are becoming increasingly popular both as stand alone activities and as part of duathlons and triathlons.

With swimming becoming a fixture at outdoor festivals such as Keswick we decided it was time to take a look at what's available in swimwear for the open water swimmer.

Maru Cosmic Dust 1

What Maru Say:

Looking like a cosmic neon rain shower, the print of our Cosmic Dust Pacer jammers is sure to brighten up any swim session. They make a great choice for training or leisure swimming and the drawstring waist means you can be certain of a secure and comfortable fit.

Features:

  • Made from our long-lasting Pacer fabric
  • 100% Chlorine proof
  • UPF 50+ fabric
  • Drawstring waist for comfort and secure fit
  • Fabric – 100% Polyester

Cosmic Dust Pacer jammers on test:

I’ve been open water swimming about a year and a half up to this point. Only going in when my local stretch of North Sea was especially calm, hopefully somewhere on the warmer side of ‘absolutley freezing’ and generally as appetising as it can get.

Maru Cosmic Dust 3

However, this summer was going to be different. It was to be a time of total immersion in the incredible outdoor playground we have at our feet with no more soulless hours in the gym. The idea was if it wasn’t an inherently natural experience then it wasn’t going to happen; swimming in the sea, running along the sand and hills were the keys, but I was going to allow myself some time in the pool to try and get to grips with the dark art of swimming well too.  This focus on outdoor training will also bode well for when Brexit brings about a collapse of civilised society, and we are forced to forage, fight, run, and swim how our ancestors did; outside.

As such, I was after some swimming kit that could do both; perform in a pool whilst also going under a wetsuit comfortably, ideally with some form of eco credentials befitting a reinvented man of nature such as myself.

Maru Cosmic Dust 2

Enter the Maru Cosmic Dust Pacer Jammers. Awesome aesthetics aside, there are some nice ‘passive’ features that stood out. Namely that the fabric is 100% chlorine proof and intentionally long-lasting. This means that they won’t degrade and fall to bits – I am a BIG fan of environmental actions that do not compromise quality and performance, and this is EXACTLY the sort of thing that can get overlooked. In general the tide seems to be changing (pun intended) towards this approach, and the reassuring heft of these jammers adds to my confidence they will last a good while.

Furthermore, their overall approach to sustainability is reassuringly holistic. As well as producing long-lasting kit, they also have an entire range made from a Ecotech fabric, which includes ECONYL regenerated nylon. This ‘Black Pack’ range is made from 100% nylon waste that would otherwise have been sent to landfill or found its way into the ocean. What’s more is 100% of the profits from their Ecotech ethical range is donated to the SEA LIFE trust.

So, super keen to get cracking on my new athletic philosophy, and confident in the ever-slimming chances I won’t get my head stuck in a beer can, I threw myself – quite literally – into the sea. The fabric of the Pacer Jammers, as previously mentioned, is reassuringly weighty, and I sslightly coarse to the touch. This means they are a bit on the warm side when not in the water, but that isn’t really what they are all about. Once IN the water they become a comfortable second skin. The waist is very low – typical of this kind of pant I think, but they hold against the body reassuringly well.

Maru Cosmic Dust 4

Their refined silhouette slips under a wetsuit no bother, and the jazzy pattern gives the gawking crowds – attracted by my emerging from the sea ‘a-la James Bond’ – an extra thrill or two. They are also very quick drying and on the warmer days I found it only took 15 minutes or so of lying on a towel basking in the tepid Northumbrian sun before I could return to the car and not get shouted at for being a disgusting soggy mess.

SO all good so far. However, the other half of my reinvention was to spend some time in the pool actually becoming a not-totally-awful swimmer, thus reinforcing my image as a Natural Action Man. As such, I got my hands and feet in some Training Fins and Hand Paddles (also from Maru). Designed to build strength and minimise distruption to any stroke technique, I thought they’d be a simple way of keeping me looking super buff. There was just one problem: the mind-bending tedium of pool swimming.

Unfortunately therefore, these still remain unused to their full potential. As the weather settles in to the serene calm of late summer, I have started introducing them every now and again in the sea, ‘just to see’, and they are minimal enough to not hinder swimming. I think I may have got a bit big for my boots though as I am such a god awful swimmer to start with! I think sometime with an open-sea-swimming Shaman (or an equally rustic mentor) is on the cards. I have not given up on them yet though, so expect a revisit. Once swimming outside is beyond the comfortable reaches of the self-agrandising casual such as myself and I am once again forced to return to the pool I think they will come into their own.

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