Diving Squad Rating:
The Cressi Pano 3 – aka Cressi Wide View: is a rather unique scuba diving mask in that it’s one of the very few models to offer side windows – which widen the wearers peripheral (sideways) view.
This is complimented by the front lens being singular (as a posse to double); meaning field of vision is also uninterrupted.
There is a hard frame between the soft silicon skirt and glass lens which helps it provide a more stable fit whilst also having greater durability.
Despite its many awesome features, you may be surprised to read that the Cressi Pano 3 is actually one of the cheapest scuba masks to ever hit the market – if offers awesome value for money!
“I really like the Cressi Pano 3 – it’s side windows widen your peripheral vision just a little bit more than most other scuba diving masks – whilst also giving it a quirky appearance.
The side windows do mean that downward field of view is only average – it’s as good as most dive masks but slightly less than a few others (although said others don’t have side windows!).
I’m really surprised by how cheap the Cressi Pano 3 is considering that unlike other similarly priced dive masks its actually more comfortable, sturdier and looks nicer.
This is one of my favourite scuba diving masks to use for wall dives, reefs and anything else that involves looking at grand sweeping expanses”.
Alex Hatton (Founder of Diving Squad)
Scuba diving masks are generally available with the front lens being either mono (singular) or dual (double).
In the case of the Cressi Pano 3, its front lens is mono; which provides an uninterrupted field of view at the cost of being unable to accept corrective lenses.
(Although there is a version of it that has a double front lens – the Cressi Pano 4).
Because I’m lucky enough to not need corrective lenses, I personally always opt for a mono lens as you can see just a little bit more!
Where the Cressi Pano 3 really stands out; are its side windows – an extension from either side of the front mono lens that expands peripheral vision.
This is a really cool and unique feature which incredibly few scuba diving masks have. It really does let you see a little bit more to the side where your vision would be cut of by a normal dive mask.
If you’re going to be scuba diving somewhere where the main thing to see are sweeping expanses – e.g. coral reefs or wall dives this comes in seriously handy!
It might not be so useful if you’re looking for macro (small critters) however (although it won’t be a hindrance!).
Check out the photos to right to see examples of the side windows in action!
The skirt of a scuba diving mask is the soft gel part between the frame of the lens and the strap – it’s what fits over the wearers face to provide a leak proof feel that is comfortable and soft against the skin.
In the case of the Cressi Pano 3, the skirt is made of soft silicone and has a double feathered edge to allow it to fit to most face types. I’ll level with you – this is pretty standard in any scuba diving mask with little variation so in this respect the Cressi Pano 3 mask skirt is nothing unusual or special.
However that’s because a soft silicone skirt with a double feathered edge works so well – silicone is comfortable and durable to wear and a double feathered edge is generally superior to a singular feathered one because it allows a mask that fits to a great versatility of face types.
So as far as it’s skirt goes, the Cressi Pano 3 has one of a design and material that is well known to be effective and subsequently used by most scuba diving masks.
I find it to be extremely comfortable and fit my face nicely without any leaking. I’ve also lent this mask to other divers on a couple of occasions and no matter what shape or size face they have, they always say it provides an awesome fit. Sometimes it’s hard to get my Cressi Pano 3 back off them!
With regards to scuba diving masks, a frame is the hard part between the lens and the skirt. Scuba diving masks either have these (in which case they’re framed) – or they don’t in which case they’re frameless! There are advantages and disadvantages to either design.
The Cressi Pano 3 mask is framed – the upside of this is that it provides a more secure fit, greater durability and s less prone to leaking. The downside is that takes up slightly more packing space and can exert a bit more pressure on the wearers face. However I’ve never found it to put too much pressure on my own facee.
The majority of diving masks are framed and if you can only have one mask I would say this is the design to go for. Frameless masks (such as the cheap Cressi F1 and the more expensive Aqualung Plazma) make awesome backups because being more compact they stow away in your pocket more easily but otherwise they’re generally not as favoured as framed masks.
The Cressi Pano 3 comes in a wide variety of frame colours. Something you should definitely know when picking a frame colour for this mask is that the options with red metallic and blue metallic frames are quite a bit more expensive than all of the other colour options, without offering any actual extra benefit!
Like it’s skirt, the strap of the Cressi Pano 3 is constructed from soft silicone for a secure and comfortable fit.
There is a wide split at the back to ensure even distribution across the back of the wearers head; this is another feature that is almost universal in most scuba diving masks due to it’s effectiveness and popularity.
The buckles feature a quick release strap for effortless adjustment and are now located not on the frame (as is the case on many other dive masks) but a little further back on the skirt in order to reduce stress exerted through to the side skirt, allowing a slightly better fit.
I really like how prominent the adjustment button releases are on this mask – more so than that of most other scuba diving masks, which makes them just a little bit easier to push down.
If you want to have the widest peripheral view you can possibly have, the Cressi Pano 3 is your absolute best option.
It’s one of the only scuba diving masks to offer side windows and compared to the few other models that also offer this feature, it is higher in quality; doubtless due to the fact that it’s made by Cressi, a titan in the scuba diving gear industry.
This is a comfortable and easy to clear mask that will suit most face types and with a strap that that fits just a little more snugly than many other dive maskS.
I still haven’t figured out why it’s as cheap as it is but I’m not complaining. This is still one of my favourite scuba diving masks of all time.
Or read about other cheap scuba diving masks: