Diving Squad Rating:
The Cressi F1 mask is quite possibly the best budget-option frameless scuba diving mask currently of all time.
Before diving into what we love about it, let’s quickly recap what it means for a dive mask to be frameless.
Most scuba diving masks have a frame; a hard bit connecting the glass lens to the skirt (the soft bit which seals to your face).
However, a few dive masks are frameless which means the lens connects directly to the soft skirt.
The result is a scuba mask that’s a little more compact and which also exerts slightly less pressure on the wearers face which also makes it easier to clear.
Comfortable and able to fit just about every shape of face, the Cressi F1 makes an excellent backup mask thanks to it’s compactness makes it easy to store in a bcd pocket.
“The Cressi F1 is my favourite backup mask of all time – by being frameless, it’s super compact and easy to squish into a bcd pocket even if there’s already something in it.
Because it’s so cheap, it’s no biggy if I have to lend it to someone or it gets lost.
I also like that being frameless it’s a little kinder to the old money maker (my face) as it doesn’t exert so much pressure.
If I’ve been diving a lot with a framed mask recently and my face feels a bit sore, I like to switch to the Cressi F1 for a few dives because it’s so soft and light”.
Alex Hatton – Founder & Grand Admiral of the Diving Squad
The Cressi F1 features a mono-lens; which I prefer to a double lens as it provides a more uninterrupted view.
Overall field of view is good and all-encompassing; the shape of the lens expands outwards at the top and incorporates a teardrop shape towards the bottom – this sculpt is classic of many dive masks as it provides good all round vision.
Sure you don’t get any side windows for extra peripheral vision as with the Cressi Pano 3 and there’s no inclination for extra downward view as with the Cressi Focus …but I would say that in terms of a well balanced field of view – up, down and outwards the Cressi F1 is an awesome all-rounder.
So far, so good!
The skirt is the part of the dive mask that creates a seal against the wearers face so it’s important that it feels comfortable and is watertight. The Cressi F1 features a skirt that is construted from high-grade silicone – which is the case for most scuba dive masks as silicone is both soft and comfortable as well as durable and watertight.
I’ve got to say that although it’s hard to measure / quanity the quality of the exact silicone material from which a skirt is made, the Cressi F1 really does feel just a little bit softer than many other dive masks out there!
Part of the reason it feels so soft against one’s face is undoubtedly because it’s frameless (meaning it exerts less pressure) but even just when running my fingers over the skirt of the Cressi F1 it feels a little softer than that of many of my other scuba diving masks. 5 / 5 here!
The main selling point of the Cressi F1 is that it’s a frameless dive mask, meaning there’s no hard frame in between the skirt and lens.
Frameless masks are more compact; which makes them excellent backup masks because you can easily stow them in a bcd pocket.
They’re also a little more streamlined and exert less pressure on the wearers face making them extra comfortable to wear – plus they’re easier to clear.
The downside of frameless masks is that they’re less durable – although with the Cressi F1 being such an incredibly low-cost dive mask I don’t feel this really matters as it’s super cheap to replace.
The Cressi F1 mask strap is made from soft silicone for a comfortable feel and features a double split at the back which is a highly common feature in dive masks as it’s a great way of evenly dispersing pressure against the back of the wearers head.
Whereas many framed dive masks feature strap buckles attached to the side of the frame, in the case of the Cressi F1, the one-push buckles are moulded directly into the skirt for a flexible fit and reduced drag.
The prominent adjustment button on them is easy to push down on even whilst wearing thick dive gloves.
I’m a big fan of the Cressi F1 – it’s insanely cheap yet offers superb value for money and also the rare feature of being a frameless dive mask.
There’s so much going for frameless dive masks – they’re compact, streamlined, easy to clear and exert less pressure on the wearers face.
Sure they’re not quite so durable but it doesn’t matter when they’re as cheap as the F1 and so far my own one has yet to show any signs of wear and tear.
It’s also a really nice looking dive mask – especially so because for whatever colour you choose to have it in, the entire mask is that colour; as a posse to framed dive masks where the frame and skirt rarely match in colour (but note that some colour options for the F1 are quite rare, white is most common!).
The F1 is comfortable to wear, seems to fit just about every face shape and also offers good all-round vision.
Or check out these Reviews of Other Frameless Dive Masks we dun’ gone wroted: