Whether you plan on snorkeling or diving, selecting your first diving mask can overwhelm, yet choosing the right one makes a huge difference between a fantastic experience and a frustrating one. No one likes a misty or seeping mask and depending on a dive shop to have one, which is perfect for you, isn’t ideal. Here is how to find the appropriate diving mask for your needs. In this article, we will cover;
- What you should seek In a diving mask
- What to remember when Using a diving mask
- Multi-lens vs. single lens masks
- The silicon skirt
- The fit
- Clear plastic glass vs. colored masks
- Your field of vision
What you should seek in a diving mask
Hold the mask gently against your face with the strap looped in front, out of the way. Gently inhale with your nose. If the mask stays there – no air leaking in and you don’t have to continuously suck in through your nose – then it should create a seal for you.
You should go for a premium mask which has a 100 percent silicone seal of surgical grade. A lot of mask manufacturing companies don’t mention on the package if the mask’s seal is 100 percent silicone, meaning some investigation will be required rather than relying on shop assistant’s forthrightness.
Masks that aren’t 100 percent silicone tend to slit, crack, and harden over time, which means that despite them fitting perfectly initially; eventually there will be leakage. An additional benefit is the fact that silicone is a rather hygienic substance.
What to remember when using a diving mask
The more fresh air that gets into the mask, the more dampness you will have which will condense on your lens. For the same reasons, avoid exhaling excessively through your nose. Some nasal exhalation is necessary while diving to re-pressurize your mask, but try to keep it to a minimum.
Avoid taking your mask on and off while snorkeling; the general rule is, once you put your mask on, leave it on. Each time you pull the mask off of your face, some new damp air will move into the mask which will then condense against the colder inside of lens surface.
Multi-lens vs. single lens masks
A multi-lens mask is in essence a single-lens or dual-lens mask which has side windows to improve peripheral view and to allow more light in. The dual lens design places the glass closer to your eyes, increasing your field of view. Dual lens masks are ideal for divers wishing to fit corrective lenses or prescription lenses to modify their vision underwater. Single lenses are generally used by those with smaller faces, or those who tend to get distracted by inflated peripheral vision.
The number of lenses which you choose are irrelevant if the mask you choose has lenses that are cloudy. Any visible impairments or faults that you see on the surface will be exaggerated under the water. When deciding how many lenses to opt for, bear in mind the profile of each option. The higher a mask’s profile, the more drag it will cause underwater.
The silicon skirt
When you try on different masks, be sure to look at the skirt’s edge; the part which will be making contact with your face. Masks come with skirts of variable widths, and generally if the skirt’s edge
has contact with your skin, then it is more likely to seal well.
Now the fun part of determining the right color. There are a variety of options of frame color, according to the trends at the time, and varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and mask model to model. Generally though you have two options of seal color, and those are clear silicone or black. Unlike clear silicone which tends to discolor over time, black silicone mask skirts look great and don’t discolor. Although clear silicone mask skirts let more light in to the mask, creating a more open sensation, this light causes it to turn yellow and opaque.
Fit is arguably the most important factor to take into consideration when it comes to choosing the mask that is right for you. When trying masks on, remember these checks;
- Put the mask on without pulling the strap over your head
- Push onto the mask front with two fingers while breathing in with your nose
- Should the mask now not seal correctly initially, then make sure that you don’t have any hair caught inside the mask or if the straps are Should it still not be sealing properly, then just put it down (you don’t want to ever see that mask again)
- When you find a mask which seals, ask your mate to make sure that the mask’s second seal is also sealing your face all over. The masks second seal is not meant to cut across the eye sockets; it should seal flat against your face all the way round.
- Put the strap on your head, adjusting it for comfort. Generally, masks of low volume tend to provide a very broad field of vision compared to larger masks which are available, but they aren’t suitable for all face shapes.
- There are many options you can look at to increase your scope of vision, which include single screen lenses, masks with side windows or low cut lenses.
- While your mask is secured, pinch your nose pocket to emulate equalization. Sometimes the nose pocket is not easily accessible which is why this is a useful test.
Clear plastic Glass vs Colored Masks
There are lenses which are made with Vision Enhancing Coatings which increase under water clarity when the light conditions are lacking. These masks have a unique tint which makes images clearer and crisper by decreasing glare as well as filtering targeted wavelengths of light coming in.
The most vital thing when it comes to recreational scuba diving is visibility. The capacity to witness coral and marine life in vibrant color is of the utmost significance, and is the reason why color corrected scuba masks are among the best improvements in scuba equipment in quite a while.
Your field of vision
While you mask is on, while you keep your head totally still, try rolling your eyes all different directions while checking your peripheral view. You may note that some masks will make give you tunnel-vision, while others will allow you to feel as though you are seated before a french window.
Avoid a mask which distorts your peripheral visibility. If you wear glasses or contact lenses when on land, you may want to use a corrective lens when in the water. Many mask manufacturers offer permanent and removable corrective lens options.
A superior intermediary dive gear item, this is a premium quality mask that can be purchased at a decent price. It features sturdy construction with a low volume style which makes clearing it very simple, while providing quite a broad range of visibility for a non-panoramic mask.
- Easy adjusting buckles for convenience
- Tempered glass lens for safety
- Stylish Low volume design for wide field-of-view and easy clearing
- Sturdy lightweight frame
Octomask GoPro Hero4 and Hero3+ Dive Mask for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
The Octomask features a safety tempered glass lens, a low volume design that keeps the mask close to your face for perfect visibility, as well as its super-soft silicone skirt that ensures a perfect seal. This is a mask that fits practically anybody.
- Its feature include an ultra soft silicone skirt crafted from the highest quality silicone which ensures 1 of the best fitting masks you have ever come across
- It includes an aluminum thumbscrew and a travel for your mask in order to make storage and attachment to your GoPro camera a total breeze no matter what time you decide to go snorkeling or scuba diving
- Works with all GoPro models including the new GoPro session and GoPro Hero 4, in addition to all other previous models.
With a smaller skirt, this mask sits closer to your face, and with its large button style strap make adjusting it very easy. The slick design reduces drag. The fundamental disadvantage is the price, which may be a bit steep for someone seeking their first mask.
- Broad vision and low volume
- Hydrodynamic design without external exposed frame
- UltraClear lenses, distortion-free
- Unpaired resistance to breakage and durability
This snorkel/mask combo is a comfy wear thanks to its adjustable strap and soft silicone skirt. The ANGGO mask is crafted with a removable mount for your GoPro Camera. You can also get a mask with no GoPro mount. This gives divers a terrific opportunity to film amazing videos while out diving. The skirt is 100% super soft silicone, which fits the face just perfectly.
- One Size Fit All
- Tempered Glass Lenses: 3.5mm thickness
- With Anti-Fog Film
- Comfortable Wear: Soft mask with 100% silicone skirt
Should you be a seasoned diver then you will most likely have met at least one other diver who uses this mask. It provides great visibility due to its extra large lenses. The mask rests on the face with unprecedented comfort and does not leave any marks on the skin, even after extended use.
- Made by Cressi: manufacturer of water sports equipment since 1950
- Made in Italy with Premium High Quality Materials
- Inclined Lenses for an increased visibility (+25%)
- Cressi’s Exclusive 100% Crystal Clear Silicone Skirt
Works with the GoPro series: Action sport camera GoPro Hero 1, 2, 3, 3+, Sj4000. Beginning with its high-end special hypoallergenic silicone, this mask’s secret is its flexible engineering, which is specially designed to provide a more secure fit. The adjustable strap and soft silicone customize your fit for more comfortable wear, for longer. This means no more leakage or pesky discomfort.
- One-Piece Lens
- Rugged Enough for Scuba Diving
- Convenient Buckle for Easy Adjustment
- Tempered-Glass Lens for Safety
An excellent mask for both snorkeling and scuba diving. Tailing the radical principles pioneered by the Big Eyes, the Matrix reaches new heights. The silicone skirt is soft and features a newer profile as well as a broad sealing ring for outstanding grip and never before seen comfort. The lenses are positioned as near to the eyes as possible, and this additional gain in the peripheral field of view takes you to the next level.
- Hard protection box included
- Italian Made Diving / Snorkeling Mask
- Internal volume: very low
- Strap buckles: pressure, with instant adjustment
This leading double lens Spectra Mask offers a broad view with a comfy waterproof seal, as well as a low-volume style to allow for simple clearing. This mask makes use of a silicone skirt which is double-sealed for ideal comfort.
- Super comfortable fit for any face shape
- Designed for maximum visibility
- Low volume for clearing convenience
Any earnest diver realizes that ScubaPro is one of the most respected names in scuba equipment, and this diving mask is no exception. With a terrific field of vision from the two tempered glass lenses, this high end mask offers astonishing performance. Large strap readjustment swivels make sure you are never left bungling while attempting to adjust your mask while under the water.
- Extremely lightweight and low profile
- Easy-adjust swiveling buckles
- 100% liquid silicone skirt
- Low volume design with unobstructed panoramic view
With a really trendy design and a hardy build, this masks is great for anyone who is seeking a top quality scuba snorkeling or diving mask. Its great big nose pocket finishes off the outline of this very well engineered scuba mask quite nicely. Its massive single lens sits close to the face, which provides a really big field of visibility. The buckles, which are very sturdy, can rotate 180 degrees. This mask can also be found with a black silicon skirt.
- Round-edge skirt
- Five-position strap angle adjuster for micro-adjustment
- Large frame with minimal internal volume
- 180 degrees Rotational Buckle System