Every scuba diver needs a good scuba mask as it is a diver’s window to the underwater world. For novice or uncertified divers, they may be confused as to what mask types are available, how to choose a mask, and more. We are going to go over what scuba masks are, different masks types, how to find a mask, and even go over a few popular mask choices.
Below, we will also discuss the difference between buying and renting a scuba mask. Each one has their pros and cons, so understanding those will help anyone considering scuba diving or snorkeling in the future. We highly recommend owning your own mask and diving suit at a bare minimum.
A scuba mask is one of the most important pieces of scuba diving equipment, aside from the tank . It allows you to explore the underwater world with your eyes. You want a high-quality mask that fits well with the best possible viewing area. When you’re scuba diving, you don’t want to miss out on anything, such as exciting water life, which is why it’s so important for a mask to have a good fit.
Every quality mask will feature a tempered-glass lens, for added safety. If the lens isn’t made of tempered-glass, it should at least be made of really thick, strong, high-quality composite materials. There should also be a comfortable double-skirt made of silicone. There should also be an enclosed nose and an adjustable strap. Masks should fit comfortably to prevent fogging, which will interfere with your viewing.
When purchasing a mask, there are ways to check if a mask fits correctly. Hold a mask in your face, without the strap on. Gently inhale through your nose. The mask should stay attached, without any air leaking in and without having to continuously inhale. If it doesn’t, there is an issue with the seal.
The mask skirt should rest evenly through on your face around the entire edge. Those with a mustache or beard will have a harder time finding a mask that seals, but it is still possible. Before actually purchasing the mask, put a scuba regulator in your mouth. If the mask fits you properly, this shouldn’t break the seal.
Look around and make sure the mask doesn’t leave you with any blind spots. When you put the strap around your head, and then remove the mask after, there shouldn’t be any red marks. Too tight masks are more likely to cause fogging. You should try on several different masks, and go with the one that fits best with the most comfort.
Classic scuba masks have one big lens. Your nose goes inside the lens. The mask is incredibly high volume and, generally, the seal on these masks is poor.
One lens masks will typically have a nose pocket. Also, the lens allows for unobstructed views forward. However, many times these masks don’t leave too much room for your nose bridge. This can especially become a problem once you’re underwater with pressure on the mask.
A two lens mask, or a split mask, usually allows for more room for your nose. Also, these masks are lower in volume. The divider in the middle isn’t as noticeable as you’d think, your mind will ignore it.
Masks with three or four lenses have windows on the side as well. These masks allow for both better peripheral vision and more light. You feel less claustrophobic with these kinds of masks. You won’t be able to exactly focus out of the extra windows, but they allow you to see motion in a more natural way. These windows cause the mask to be higher volume. These masks also have room for your nose.
Frameless masks don’t have the stiff plastic frame that the other mentioned mask types do have. The silicone skirt is glued directly to the single front lens. These masks are incredibly lightweight, and low volume. Frameless masks are usually more flexible. They are very comfortable if you find a good fit, but it can take a little longer to find the perfect fit with these masks.
High volume masks are farther away from your face, have more air on the inside, and have more buoyancy. Low volume masks have fewer problems sealing, and it’s easier to purge water from a low volume mask. However, you will usually have less visibility with a low volume mask.
The Tusa M1001 Freedom HD Scuba Mask is a one lens mask with low volume and a huge field of view. The buckets are capable of rotating 180 degrees. This is an extremely comfortable mask that featuring a high-quality lens. A large nose pocket makes this mask even more comfortable. Many one lens masks lack a comfortable nose pocket.
For those looking for a two lens scuba mask, the ScubaPro Spectra Dive Mask is a great option. The adjustment straps are guaranteed to stay comfortably on your head while you’re underwater. Tinted mirror orange lenses avoid all surface glare.
A 3 lens, tempered glass provides a panoramic style perfect for improving your field of vision. The Phantom Aquatics Panoramic Dive Mask is ideal for those searching for exactly that. The strap is split, which helps keep an even seal around the skirt and keeps out all leaks. This mask, when fitted correctly, won’t fog up.
The Cressi Big Eyes Scuba Mask is another great two lens scuba mask. It’s incredibly popular, and for a good reason. The lenses are large, which provide incredible visibility. It is comfortable and low volume. The lenses have an inverted teardrop shape, which gives you an expanded downwards view. This is really ideal for scuba diving around colorful reefs, as it allows you to really get a good view of everything going on around you.
Finding a great scuba mask doesn’t have to be a headache. It is all about knowing what scuba mask type is best for you. There are plenty of different scuba mask types available and each one is different from the last, which is why it is so important to understand the different types.
Those concerned with having a large viewing space would definitely want to go with a higher volume mask. These masks may cause more problems with sealing, so it’s a bit of a trade-off. There are masks made specifically for expanded views, which are great for people whose main concern with scuba diving is seeing incredible underwater views.
The most important thing about scuba masks is that they fit correctly. When masks fit incorrectly, they could fog, leak, and even make it difficult to see out of. Aside from that, you don’t want a mask to be uncomfortable when you’re scuba diving. If it’s too loose, it could even fall off while you are diving. You want the straps to fit correctly as well, as otherwise, you may be fumbling with the straps underwater.
Scuba divers are faced with the decision of either buying or renting a scuba mask. There are cons and pros to both options.
If you never plan on scuba diving again, renting a scuba mask could be more cost efficient. However, when you rent a scuba mask, it can be difficult to find one that fits your face correctly. Dive shops don’t always have the widest rental varieties, so you may end up going out to scuba dive only to not be able to find a good mask. This could lead to wearing the wrong sized mask, which leads to a lot of problems itself.
Also, you can never really be sure of a dive shops sanitation processes. Most people don’t want to wear a mask that’s been worn by others without being properly sanitized, so that’s a risk that runs with renting. Masks are not that expensive, and it’s usually cheaper to purchase your own instead of renting every time. If you purchase your own mask, you can be sure that it will fit your face perfectly. Also, you know that it is clean as you know nobody else is wearing the mask.
Masks don’t take up too much space, so many people opt for buying their own mask rather than renting. It’s pretty popular for scuba divers to purchase their own masks, and rent other scuba diving equipment, such as a tank. This takes away the need to carry around big stuff while allowing you to have the perfect, clean mask.
Scuba diving masks are an essential piece of equipment. Hopefully, now you understand the importance of masks and also understand the different masks types available. A scuba diver with a good fitting mask and a type that suits their scuba diving style is a happy scuba diver.
If you are planning on scuba diving soon, you should visit our travel blog for the best articles about scuba diving tips, scuba diving locations , and more. This is where you can contact me directly with any travel related questions you may have. Enjoy your dive!