In order to choose the best scuba mask for you, you need to know what you’re looking for!
There are many different types of scuba diving masks out there, from framed to frameless, single lens to dual lens or even panoramic lens dive masks.
Although most of the best scuba masks are available in a variety of colours and all have tempered glass, only a few have special features such as UV protection, corrective lens compatibility or low volume.
Some are instantly recognisable as scuba diving masks with classic teardrop lenses, whereas others have more quirky or retro designs!
Also, a few dive masks come in different shapes and sizes for different face shapes.
The pros have been highlighted, the cons have been exposed and each dive mask has been given a special award that fits it best!
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Affordable, reliable and with a double feathered skirt that’s made from super soft silicone to provide a comfortable and non leaking seal, the Cressi Liberty Triside (aka Liberty Perfect View), is designed to fit many faces types.
Also, it’s a framed mask design, so it offers an extra secure fit (find out more about mask designs and features here).
The classic inverted teardrop shape of the front lens allows it to provide a good downward view whereas the two side windows (a rarely seen feature on masks!) widen this to a panoramic view!
As with all the diving masks we’re reviewing, the Cressi Liberty Triside has tempered glass which make’s it’s shatterproof.
It is available with either a black or clear silicone skirt and the frame comes in a wide selection of colors.
The split strap features push button buckles which make it easy to adjust, whilst the nose pocket is easy to pinch for effortless clearing and equalization.
We’re seriously impressed with the Cressi Liberty Triside – it’s comfort, wide field of view and secure fit are all great features that make it feel like a bargain for the low price that it comes at.
In most ways, the Cressi Panoramic 4 is identical to the Cressi Liberty Triside; being a 100% soft silicone, framed, double feather skirted mask with push button buckles and side lenses to offer a panoramic field of view.
However, whereas the Liberty Triside has a single front lens, the Cressi Pano 4 has a dual lens; meaning a nose bridge divides the lens across the centre.
Besides the obvious aesthetic difference, double lens masks generally have lower volume which can make them easier to clear but less suited to those with beards or big noses.
(Find out more about mask types & differences by reading our mask info section here).
Ultimately it comes down to personal preference whether you prefer a dual or single front lens dive mask. More people tend to opt for single mono lens masks, which may explain why the Cressi Panoramic 4 is a little cheaper than the Liberty Triside.
Despite being so affordable this is a good quality mask; it is durable, comfortable and offers a superb field of vision; one that is wider than that of most other masks, thanks to the two side windows.
The Cressi F1 is the best budget friendly frameless dive mask. Frameless masks take up less packing space and exert less drag underwater due to having a low profile.
Also, frameless masks have low volume design: there’s minimal space between the wearers face and the front lens. This makes the mask easier to clear, whilst using up less air to do so.
Low volume masks perform well at depth to, because less pressure is exerted on the wearers face. However, low volume masks can increase the likelihood of leaking for those with facial hair! (Click for more info on mask types).
This is another matter of choice and diving style; however if you are seeking a frameless, high quality mask for an extremely low price then the Cressi F1 is a superb choice.
Being so compact means it is easily stowed away in a bc pocket, which also makes it a great backup mask.
Featuring a super soft silicone skirt and an unusually wide head strap that results in an extremely comfortable fit, the Cressi F1 is of single lens design (with tempered glass) and offers a wide field of view.
The strap buckles are easy to adjust and seamlessly moulded onto the silicone skirt which provides a tight, waterproof seal. The mask itself is available in a wide selection of colors!
The Kraken Aquatics Dive Mask is the cheapest of all the scuba diving masks we’ve reviewed, but it is still a good enough quality mask to count on when scuba diving.
Kraken are a fairly new manufacturer, but they’re quickly gaining a reputation for creating high performing scuba diving gear at budget price.
This dual lens mask is a simple and basic design that gets the job done.
Also, the thick double feathered skirt seals well to the majority of faces, whilst the nose pocket is easy to grip for equalization.
This mask has a 100% silicone skirt resulting in a comfortable feel and is available in several colour options. It has medium internal volume which means that it’s suitable for most face shapes.
However, the split strap does feel a little flimsy and less durable than that of some other masks and the whole mask itself is pretty bulky. It also has no special features to speak of.
But, if you’re just dipping your toe in to diving and want to have your own mask; but you’re hesitant to fork out too much cash, the Kraken Aquatics Dive Mask is a very decently performing mask at an exceptionally low price.
The Tusa TM-5700 Liberator is capable of accepting corrective lenses, making it the best scuba mask (at budget price) for those with prescription lenses.
The fact that this dual lens dive mask more closely resembles a pair of sunnies than a scuba mask could well be a make or break factor in it’s appeal!
It is a cheap, but high performing mask that has been designed to fit a wide variety of face types, thanks to TUSA’s use of Computer Aided Design technologies to create masks that offer a high level of fit, comfort and beauty.
The double feather edged silicone skirt is made of high grade crystal silicone to further enhance comfort, whilst also providing a snug and watertight fit.
The quick adjust strap is effortless to work – even with thick gloves, whilst the nose pocket is easy to pinch for hassle free underwater equalization.
Available in a range of frame colors and with clear or black silicone skirt options, this medium internal volume mask has a quirky design and a high overall customer satisfaction score.
The next scuba mask up that accepts prescription lenses, the Cressi Big Eyes; is significantly more expensive!
Although it’s more expensive than other cheap diving masks, the Sea Dive Oceanways Superview HD has some impressive features!
The HD single lens is coated in optical multi-coat technology which not only enhances colors underwater but also offers some protection against surface glare.
However, this optical multi-coat technology doesn’t have a UV rating, so although it certainly does help reduce surface glare; it’s not 100% effective!
Also, whilst this mask additionally claims to be anti-fogging, that simply ain’t true! It fogs up like any other dive mask. Hmm…
The masks inverted teardrop shape does improve downward vision considerably, which is cool and overall the field of view is decent – although you don’t get the awesome peripheral field of vision like you do with the Cressi Liberty Triside.
To be honest, we’re not crazy on the Oceanways Superviews: this mask is a good concept but due to being cheap, it lacks in overall quality and can’t fully deliver.
Click the green text below to jump to the Diving Squad Review for that mask!
Framed Masks offer maximum fit and stability. They are the best choice for anyone who struggles to find a good fit on a mask.
The Tusa Freedom Mask comes in two versions, for different face shapes:
Otherwise, both versions of the Tusa Freedom Mask are the same; they feature a single lens design (tempered glass), which offers an extremely wide field of view and excellent downward vision thanks to the inverted teardrop style.
They also both feature TUSA’s patented 3-D mask strap, which fits more snuggly against the heads curvature than regular mask straps.
The internal volume of a Tusa Freedom Mask is high, making it less likely to leak and a good choice for those with beards or big noses.
Plus, the super soft silicone skirt is dimpled in key areas around the forehead and cheekbones to increase softness and create a firm, watertight seal.
Because of their extreme comfort, excellent field of vision, high durability and availability in two sizes for different face shapes, the Tusa Freedom Masks are easily our favourite framed mask option at mid-price.
The Oceanic Shadow masks come in two versions for different face shapes:
These are frameless design masks which means they’re more compact and create less drag underwater due to being low profile.
Also, frameless masks have low internal volume which makes them easier to clear and perform well at depth as there’s less bulk for increased water pressure to push against. (Read about Mask Designs here).
Oceanic Shadow Masks have a single lens design (tempered glass) that offers a wide field of vision, whilst the soft skirt is made from 100% soft silicone for ideal comfort and fit.
One slight frustration is that the plastic buckles are somewhat bulky and can dig into the side of your head if you wear a hood when scuba diving. However, no hood = no problem!
In many ways, the Oceanic Shadow Masks are similar in terms of overall quality to the Tusa Freedom Masks; but by being frameless they meet the needs of people who prefer scuba masks of the frameless variety.
If you’re one of those people and you want to spend within mid-range, than the Oceanic Shadow is the best low volume mask for you! It is also a favourite choice among many Diving Squad members.
Although it’s a little more expensive than some of the other mid-price options, the Aqua Lung Reveal X1 is a rather excellent quality mask.
The double feathered skirt is made from a new grade of silicone and features Advanced Fit Technology to give a comfortable seal; one that is both stable and leak free.
This mask is a single lens design with a large, crystal clear lens in a classic inverted teardrop shape – resulting in a superb field of vision. The lens is made from tempered glass, so it’s shatterproof.
Furthermore, an innovative strap better forms to the curvature of the wearers head than most mask straps, whilst quick fit one touch button buckles allow for easy adjustment, even when wearing thick gloves.
There’s a number of very slick double colour options available for the frame, whereas the super soft silicone skirt is available in both clear and black.
Because it’s framed, the Aqua Lung Reveal X1 is an especially good choice for anyone who struggles to find a good fit. It’s high volume also makes it less likely to leak and so it’s also a good choice for those with beards or moustaches!
For anyone in search of a truly awesome scuba mask; one that’s framed and has high internal volume; the Aqua Lung Reveal X1 is a stellar option – it’s a little pricier than other mid-range masks but you’ll notice the higher quality. It feels like a high end scuba mask!
Not only is the Cressi Big Eyes Evolution the cheapest mid-price scuba mask in this article, it’s also one of the most stylish, thanks to the acrylic colour of the frame’s centre matching the strap buckle clips.
This is a double lens mask and can accept prescription lenses / corrective lenses.
The raked tempered glass lenses have an inverted teardrop shape to offer extra downward visibility, making it easy to check things like one’s dive gauge and what’s directly below.
This mask is made from 100% super soft silicone with a double feathered skirt that is available in black or clear. There are many bold colour choices for the centre of the frame and strap buckles.
The Cressi Big Eyes Evolution is unusual in that despite being framed, it has low internal volume, meaning the lens is as close to the wearers face as possible. Not only does this make the mask easy to purge air from, it also means that the visibility matrix is improved by 25%.
Another mask that also accepts prescription lenses yet offers an even wider field of view – but is less conventional looking, is the Mare X Vision.
Another frameless mask, the ScubaPro Ghost has an extremely sleek and stylish appearance which may well be a make or break factor, depending on one’s personal preference.
Compact and easy to store in a bc pocket, this low volume dive mask features unobtrusive and easy to adjust buckles that offer a wide range of strap angles, making it easy to get the perfect fit.
The large and ultra clear mono-lens ensures distortion free and uninterrupted viewing of one’s surroundings.
You can choose between a black of clear hypoallergenic silicone skirt as well as a black or white finish for the overall mask.
However, the mask is not available in any other colours which will be frustrating for some!
Like most frameless masks, the ScubaPro Ghost is low volume which means it is easy to clear and exerts less pressure on the face at depth due to it’s low profile.
This is a high quality and durable mask, characterised by a distinct yet subtle aesthetic mould. It looks and even kind of feels like the scuba mask Batman would wear and if it’s good for the Dark Knight then it’s good for us.
Retro in design yet modern in terms of quality and features, the Aqua Lung Pacifica is reminiscent of the vintage “fish-bowl” mask style from times come and gone.
Novel design aside, this is a high performing scuba mask that offers excellent value for money.
The large, open style window gives a wide and unobstructed view of one’s surroundings from side to side and up and down.
The skirt is made from 100% hypoallergenic silicon and whilst thin, it is extremely comfortable.
Instead of a nose pocket, the Aqua Lung Pacifica features a highly effective purge valve for quick and effortless clearing. A purge valve is a seriously cool feature and one that few masks have!
This is a high volume mask meaning there’s some distance between the face and the lens; subsequently it’s less prone to leaking than other masks and is therefore a good choice for those with facial hair or a large nose (as such people are more prone to leaky masks).
Overall the Aqua Lung Pacific is a high quality, comfortable and durable dive mask that visually stands out from the crowd in a fun and quirky, yet subtle manner.
It’s got those vintage scuba feels and is one of the best scuba diving masks in terms of style, wide field of view and ease of clearing.
Thanks to the award winning design of it’s frame; which juts out to the bottom and to the sides, the Mares X Vision Mask offers a massive field of vision, one that is up to 30% wider than that of some dive masks.
However as a result, the overall look of this dive mask is a little “loud” which may not appeal to some users. Personally though, we think it’s a pretty slick looking mask – it also has a range of matching bright colour options for it’s frame and strap.
Small ribs around the Mare X Vision’s nose pocket relieve pressure whilst the unique, X-shaped bi-silicone strap ensures a comfortable and secure fit.
Also, it can accept prescription or corrective lenses.
Unlike many framed masks, the Mares X Vision is low volume, which makes ear equalization easy and pressure at depth minimal.
Special Lenses: In addition to normal lens options, the Mares X Vision is available with gold mirrored lenses to increase visibility in cloudy waters or with silver mirrored lenses to reduce the reflection of shallow water or a sandy seabed. Nice!
The SeaDive EagleEye Rayblocker features (un-rated) anti-uv and anti-glare ray coating on it’s tempered glass mirrored lenses.
This gives your eyes some protection from surface glare as well as reducing distortion and enhancing colour (slightly) underwater.
In many ways, the SeaDive EagleEye is similar to it’s cheaper cousin the Oceanways Superview, however it does offer slightly better quality.
It also features a nose purge to keep the inside of the mask dry from accidental leaking. An easy adjust buckle on the mask skirt makes it easy to get the perfect fit.
This is an ok mask with medium internal volume, which makes it suitable for many face shapes and it will offer slightly better glare protection than standard dive masks.
It has a wide field of view, with decent downward vision thanks to the inverted teardrop shape of the tempered glass lens.
Honestly though; if you want a scuba mask with legit UV protection; you’re way better off forking out a little more and buying a higher quality dive mask that has graded UV protection: one of the Gull Masks.
Click the green text below to jump to the Diving Squad Review for that mask!
There’s so many things we love about the extremely high quality, framed & polarized Gull dive masks. Finding the perfect fit is easy thanks to there being three varieties of mask:
These scuba diving masks all have a UV420 graded polarized lens which provides effective protection against UV rays whilst also enhancing underwater colours and clarity via blue lens tinting.
A 10 degree inclination angle and the shape of the inverted teardrop lenses work together to provide improved downward view, whilst a soft damper means there’s none of the extra stress on cheekbones that’s normally associated with enhanced downward view masks.
Furthermore, the extremely large lens also offers a wide field of view from side to side with good upward range as well.
The super soft silicone skirt has a curled lip and an integrated strap clip. This all in one design ensures firm but gentle contact with the face that is leakproof.
Pulling on the strap gives an effective seal that’s less likely to leave impressions on one’s face. Plus, the drain skirt improves water expulsion during mask clearance and minimizes pooling!
It’s easy to use the quick release buckle and fine pitch strap, even with thick gloves, making adjustment simple and hassle free.
These are low volume masks and subsequently they’re easy to clear and exert minimal pressure on the face at depth!
Available in many bold frame colours and with a seriously cool design, Gull masks are high performing, crammed with awesome features and exceptionally comfortable scuba masks.
These scuba diving masks offer superb fit, durability and the ability to improve your aquatic experience by reducing surface glare and enhancing underwater colours. This is our Number One TOP PICK Scuba Mask!
The Atomic Venom Frameless has been crafted to offer superb comfort, high quality optics and streamlined style in this compact, lightweight frameless diving mask.
Exclusive “Gummi Bear UltraSoft” silicone creates an exceptionally comfortable and fully watertight face-seal, whilst a second, more rigid silicone skirt material keeps the mask firmly positioned, even in the most turbulent of conditions.
The single lens is made of exclusive Schott SuperWhite UltraClear glass, which allows up to 96% of available light to reach the eyes, thereby brightening colours and enhancing clarity underwater.
Furthermore, the lens is computer designed and of optical quality – it is also distortion free to maximise upward, downward and side to side vision. Nice!
The split strap curves around the wearers head seamlessly and feature an easy swivel buckle system which you simply squeeze to adjust.
Being a low volume mask, the Atomic Venom Frameless is easy to clear with minimal air and also exerts very little pressure on the wearers face even when diving at considerable depth.
The frame is available in black or red, but not any other colours just yet!
If frameless design masks are your thing, than the Atomic Venom Frameless is the best scuba diving mask that money can buy! We seriously love it for it’s comfort, low volume and superb optics.
The subframe provides the perfect amount of extra space in the mask to stop it from pushing against the face yet internal volume is still low, resulting in a comfortable mask that is easy to clear and which exerts minimal pressure at depth.
Because of these traits, the Atomic Aquatics Venom is the best scuba mask for those with facial hair, big noses or who struggle to find a good fit.
However, it’s not just going to benefit those people. Honestly, the Atomic Aquatics Venom is an insanely high quality professional diving mask; it will make a superb companion to any scuba diver.
Underwater colours and clarity are enhanced by it’s “exclusive Schott Superwhite glass” lens which allows 96% of light to reach the eyes.
That very same lens is formed with a high bridge and inverted teardrop shape to ensure maximum upward, downward and side to side vision.
The super soft silicone skirt is double feathered with a wide split strap design that further ensures an excellent fit and watertight seal on the face, one that is entirley leak free.
The Atomic Aquatics is an insanely high quality scuba mask – be prepared to fork out though, because it’s also about as expensive as a dive mask gets!
However, those who can afford it will soon notice the incredible quality of this awesome scuba diving mask.
Otherwise, these high end, double-lens (tempered glass) scuba masks are the same.
Their unique ribbing texture showcases the patented Trufit Technology that has been used to create a revolutionary mask skirt:
The hypoallergenic silicone skirt contouring the face is thinner, giving a softer feel whereas the silicone nearer the frame is thicker and firmer to provide support and rigidity.
This results in an extremely comfortable fit with zero pressure points.
According to users, the patented technology particularly shines through with the Scubapro Synergy Mini; which creates a superb fit for users with small, thin and otherwise petite faces.
ScubaPro Synergy masks come with black or clear skirting and there are a very wide variety of bright, acrylic colour options for the frame. Mirrored lens and corrective lens options are also available.
The dual lens design is low volume and provides a very good range of view, whilst the buckle and strap system is easy to use.
The rotating buckles attach to tabs on the skirt rather than on the frame, which optimizes strap angle and range of motion when dialling in fit.
If getting a perfect fit is your number one priority and you have a small face; the ScubaPro Synergy Mini is the best scuba diving mask for you!
The Hollis M1 Frameless is actually the cheapest high end scuba mask that’s made it to the Diving Squad reviews and subsequently it holds great value for money.
It offers incredible optical quality thanks to it’s “Saint-Gobain Diamant” Crystal Clear lens of tempered glass.
Because this lens has low iron content; it produces a higher light transmittance, eliminating distortion and improving colour and visibility in low light conditions underwater.
Plus, unlike some frameless masks, this one is applicable to a wide variety of face types – from large all the way down to small.
Ultra compact, lightweight and also formidably streamlined, the Hollis M1 is everything that a frameless mask should be.
It is a low volume mask which means there’s minimal distance between the glass and the wearers face; this makes it easy to clear and exert less pressure on the users face at depth.
The strap and buckle system are easy to adjust even with thick gloves, so you’ll always be able to get the perfect fit.
If you’re seeking a high end dive mask, but don’t want to break the bank too much, the Hollis M1 is an stellar option.
(If you do want to splash out for an even fancier frameless option, check out the Atomic Venom Frameless Mask. )
The Oceanic Cyanea is a stylish and innovative scuba mask, one that’s been designed specifically with a huge field of view and excellent comfort in mind.
With a minimalist frame and oversized lens, it offers a truly impressive peripheral view, having a wider field of vision than any other mask.
The lenses consist of crystal clear tempered glass which contains fewer impurities and lets in more light, resulting in enhanced colour underwater.
The Oceanic Cyanea uses a micro frame construction and subsequently it is both compact and low volume, which makes it easy to clear and also means it exerts minimal pressure on the face.
The mask strap is inspired by ski-goggle and creates a perfect and comfortable curvature over the wearers head. The elasticised material is chlorine and UV resistant. A silicone grip ensures that it remains securely in place.
As for the super soft silicone skirt, it has a double feathered seal to create a large, watertight seal over one’s face and stability ridges for an extra secure and comfortable fit.
You can opt for a black or clear skirt as well as several extremely vibrant colour options diffused within the centre of the mostly clear frame as well as matching up on the lettering of the strap.
If maximum field of view and underwater clarity are your biggest priorities, than the Oceanic Cyanea is a superb, professional dive mask that goes above and beyond these requirements.
There are several scuba diving mask designs with their own sets of pros and cons as well as various features that they may or may not include. Let’s find out more:
Scuba Mask Designs:
(Framed Masks can be Single or Mono Lens but Frameless Masks are just Single-Lens!)
Dive Mask Technical Jargon:
(The lens/lenses and skirt are sealed to a plastic frame, which the skirt is moulded to).
(Feature a glass lens that is moulded directly into the mask skirt).
If you have have a beard, moustache or a big nose… or if mask fit stability is ever an issue for you, we strongly recommend going for a framed scuba mask as overall they offer the absolute most secure fit.
Furthermore, if you need to fit prescription or corrective lenses in a scuba diving mask, you’ll have to go for a framed option; one that is also double lensed and which features corrective lens options.
If none of the above apply to you and you want to have a light and streamlined mask that has low volume and so is easy to clear and performs well under pressure whilst also offering a huge field of view, we suggest a frameless mask!
That said, nowadays you can find framed masks that have low volume and excellent ranges of view. Similarly, you get frameless masks that offer extremely secure and stable fits. Furthermore, some of the newest mask designs have sub or partial frames which further blurs the line between frameless and framed masks.
Ultimately, it’s important to consider not just whether a mask is framed or frameless, but the other features, materials and overall quality that it incorporates. However, you can use the general rule of thumb that framed masks offer the most secure fit and corrective lens options, whereas frameless masks are the most compact and streamlined masks.
Take a look at the two images above. The mask on the left is a single lens mask, whereas the mask on the right is a double lens mask because of the nose bridge dividing the lens down the middle.
If you need to add corrective lenses into a mask go for a double lens option. However, if you don’t then you’re free to choose between a single or double lens mask. This comes down to personal choice based on which aesthetic look you prefer, your diving style and the other features in a mask you’re looking for.
Just remember, all frameless masks are single lens, whereas framed masks can either be single or double lens. There’s a few other lens types and features out there as well – keep reading to find out about them!
This is the glass / faceplate / window part of the dive mask, through which you behold the underwater world!
A single lens that is undivided by the nose bridge. Some users find that a mask with one single lens gives the feeling of a more open, spacious mask. Single lenses cannot accept true corrective lenses.
Most masks use a twin/dual lens construction as this positions the viewing glass closer to the wearers eyes, which can increase field of view. They can accept prescription or corrective lenses. Twin lens masks are always framed.
These are essentially single or dual lenses, with side windows to increase peripheral vision as well as to let in more light. This results in an airy, open feel. A great example of a good panoramic mask is the Cressi Liberty Triside.
However, the intersection of the front and side lenses, whilst producing a seamless joint when the mask is worn in air, can create blind spots and distortion at depth. It’s a trade of between being able to see what’s on your flak, vs the aggravation of distortion at depth.
A polarized mask reduces harmful or irritating light glare, though it only does this truly effectively if it has a UV rating, like the Gull Vader. Polarized masks can also improve underwater visibility by making colours brighter and shadows more defined.
The classic scuba diving mask is that of a teardrop lens; i.e. it looks like two teardrops! This is a reliable shape to get a good all round field of view. Inverted teardrop lens generally refers to masks where the bottom section has been lengthened slightly, to offer improved downward view which makes it easy to do things like read a dive gauge.
Nowadays, virtually all diving masks have safety or tempered glass lenses, meaning they will not shatter on impact. A few masks have plastic lenses to reduce the weight of the mask, but these are also resistant to shattering.
Some models of framed, dual lens scuba diving mask have the ability to accept corrective lenses (they will need to be specially fitted by the manufacturer). Whether negative or positive dioptre correction is available or bifocal correction, varies with each mask and brand.
Corrective lenses are usually available in half dioptre increments. If your prescription happens to fall between two lens strengths, go for the stronger of the two.
The mask skirt is the soft portion of the dive mask / snorkel mask that makes a seal against your face. To be effective at stopping leaks, the skirt must wear a water-tight seal against your face. Modern dive masks usually have what’s called a “double feathered” skirt design lining: two edges of silicone that act like a suction cup outlining your face.
Most quality mask skirts are made out of hypoallergenic silicone, but the thickness and suppleness varies from mask to mask. Generally speaking, better quality masks have high quality silicon skirts that mould to your face like a second skin, creating a comfortable, watertight seal.
Some manufacturers add different surface textures in the forehead and cheek areas to further increase comfort and improve the seal.
Try to avoid plastic / siltex skirted masks which often cause face rashes, are uncomfortable and more prone to leak (don’t worry none of the scuba masks we’ve reviewed have plastic skirts, they all have silicone skirts!).
Low volume Design masks have been designed to have very little space between a diver’s face and the mask glass (this is known as the internal volume). This means they hold very little air and thus require less air to equalise and clear, which can be a huge advantage! As well as making things easier, it saves air, saving more for scuba diving!
Frameless Masks always have low volume. Some newer designs of framed mask also have low volume.
However low volume masks sit very close to the face which can be irritating for some people, or increase the risk of leaking if they have a large nose or facial hair.
By contrast, high volume masks can be harder to clear and exert more pressure on the face when at depth; however they’re less prone to leaking.
Mounted in the bottom of the nose pocket, a purge valve is designed to keep water from building up inside a leaky mask. All you have to do is ensure that the valve is at the lowest point and exhale through your nose whilst holding the mask against your face to force the water out.
This is particularly useful for divers who struggle with getting a mask to seal and frequently suffer from a leaky mask, such as those with a moustache or who smile a lot underwater.
Most scuba masks don’t have a purge valve and it’s not essential – but if this sounds like a really cool feature that you want to have on your mask then we recommend going for the AquaLung Paficia.
Some buckles are easy to operate and make strap adjustment easy whereas others are just frustrating. The buckle systems on many modern masks mount on the skirt, rather than to the frame. This improves the range of motion for strap positioning as well as enabling the buckles to be folded flat against the lens for easy packing.
If you have long hair, it’s a good idea to get a mask strap wrapper to reduce the risk of entanglement and hair breakage.
As with all diving equipment, a little care and maintenance for your new mask goes a long way towards keeping it in working condition for a long time.
The first time you buy a dive mask, it’s very important that you treat/clean/defog it before scuba diving with it; otherwise it’ll end up fogging up in a major way and you’ll not be able to see anything!
That’s because during the manufacturing process, a film of silicone and mould release agents forms on the surface of a scuba mask and this film is annoyingly resistant to the usual defogging methods of spit, baby shampoo or commercial defogger.
But how does one clean or “defog” a new scuba mask? All you need to do is get a small blob of regular toothpaste and rub it firmly in circular motions all over both sides of the mask lens/lenses. Be sure to push the toothpaste in extra hard – I find rubbing it in firmly with a thumb is the best way! (Some people prefer to use a dry toothbrush).
Once you’ve firmly coated both sides of the mask lens/lenses in toothpaste leave the mask for about fifteen to twenty minutes and then wash the toothpaste off using water. Be sure to get all the toothpaste off, you would not want it to irritate your eyes when you wore the mask! Then repeat the entire process three or four more times! Might be good to put on a good scuba diving movie for this one.
Another strategy is to burn your mask. You can do this using a lighter – hold it to the glass lens and move it about. You’ll notice the glass turning black which means that the silicone layer that is stuck to it is burning off. Once the glass is all black you can let it cool and wash it with dish soap or toothpaste. You may also have to repeat this process a few times if the mask still fogs.
If you do opt to burn your mask, take great care not to damage the skirt and also do not apply heat for too long on any one spot of the lens! A steady sweeping motion across the surface of the lens is best!
Throughout the time that you are using your scuba mask you’ll also want to give it a little lovin’ in the form of some basic care and cleaning to ensure it remains clear, doesn’t end up fogging and is safe to use.
Caring for your scuba diving mask is easy. After every dive wash your scuba mask with fresh water until it is fully clean. Warm, fresh water that is less than 120°F is best for dissolving salt crystals that are stuck to the mask. Afterwards rinse, it throughly and dry it off with a towel.
Periodically, you should take the time to do a deep clean on your mask, to cut through build up that may not have been removed in your post dive cleanings. To do this, take watered down dish soap and rub it into both the lens and skirt. Make sure you get into all the sides, the nose area and every little pocket around the mask.
Next, use fresh, warm water to clean the soap of. Rinse the mask three times to ensure all the dish soap is removed. Leave the mask to dry and only stow away when it is completely dried off.
When storing your mask, be sure to keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. It’s best to store it in an airtight container or insects may start to chew on the mask, especially if it’s not cleaned properly.
Store with the face covered or lens up to avoid scratches. Also, if you have a clear skirted mask store it away from other scuba gear as the black colour of other gear items can discolour a clear skirt.
This is something you learn when taking your open water certification, but just in case you’ve forgotten, here’s what you need to do:
Don’t forget to check our scuba diving refresher tips if you need to further brush up on your scuba skills.
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