Scuba diving is a great sport for people of all ages. While training is required, it is easy to learn. One task that you will learn is how to clear your mask of water while underwater. It is a simple procedure and easy to master. Some divers prefer an alternate method, using a scuba mask with a purge valve.
The difference between a regular scuba mask and a scuba mask with a purge valve is simply the addition of a one-way valve in the nose section. While diving, we seldom exhale from our noses. When we do, it is for equalizing pressure or for clearing our mask. When we clear our mask in the normal manner, while we exhale we need to tilt the bottom of the mask away from our face to allow the air to escape. We do not need to tilt the mask with a purge valve in the mask. The exhaled air will open the valve to escape. Many divers prefer this method of clearing a mask of water.
Listed below are the 5 best scuba masks with a purge valve in 2021 – each outlining their unique features that help to bring out their functionality to its full potential. Select the mask that appeals the most to you.
- In addition to easily identifying your mask, a mask strap reduces the struggle for divers with long hair, as the strap can be easily moved on and off of your head without your hair becoming tangled.
- Skirts with softer silicone material can help to reduce water leakage for those with large dimples or beards. The harder silicone materials are less adhesive to your face when you have facial hair or smile underwater frequently.
- Similar to how an underwater camera uses colored lenses to display colors accurately at depth, colored mask lenses help the diver see colors more accurately and more vibrant than otherwise.
Scuba Diving Expert
How To Choose A Scuba Mask With Purge Valve – Buying Guide
When choosing the best purge valve scuba mask to invest in, you should remember that fit is the most important factor to consider. A properly fitted mask will let in little or no water. Even a properly fitted mask will let in a little water during a dive. If you have to clear your mask only once or twice during a dive, then you have a good fit. However, if you need to frequently clear your mask, you do not have a good fit. More importantly, the water in your mask may become a distraction and that can be dangerous.
The fitting of a scuba diving mask with a purge valve is the same as a mask without a purge valve. Place the mask against your face, clear any hair under the skirt (flexible part of the mask against your face), and inhale through your nose. Hold your breath and remove your hands. The mask should stay in place for as long as you hold your breath. If it does, then you have a good seal.
You will also need to test with the strap. The strap should be comfortable, and keep the mask from moving. The strap’s main purpose is to keep the mask from moving, not to keep it tight to your face. You do not want the strap too tight, as that will cause the skirt to buckle and create a leak.
It also helps to purchase a scuba mask with a flexible return policy so if it doesn’t fit you well, you can easily return or exchange for the proper size. Going through the scuba mask reviews also helps to understand how it fits based on actual customer comments and experiences.
You should also consider the skirt color when choosing the best scuba mask with a purge valve. You will either find a dark-colored skirt or a clear one. A dark skirt on your scuba mask will prevent excess light while a clear one allows more light in.
This means that clear skirt scuba masks will enhance vision and widen the view. This is especially ideal for people who prefer light and have vision problems. However, some divers find reflected light in the peripheral vision to be a distraction, especially photographers.
A black skirt on your scuba mask improves distant vision because of the absorbed lights. Black skirted scuba masks are ideal for more seasoned divers as well as professionals such as underwater photographers.
The skirt’s color and effects are a personal choice. Try both skirt colors to decide which one works better for you.
Volume is a relative term for the amount of airspace a mask creates when you are wearing it. Smaller airspace is easier to clear water from and easier to eliminate mask squeeze. Some individual’s facial features may cause a low-volume mask not to fit. Dive masks with purge valves tend to have large volumes so might take a little extra effort to equalize.
The best purge valve scuba masks will either feature a single window or double window construction. You may also see the words pane or lens as a substitute word for window. A single window scuba mask has a single lens which gives them a wider field of view. They tend to be compact and easier to store.
However, if you require corrective lenses, single-window scuba masks may not be the best choice for you. Double window scuba masks are constructed with two lenses. In many masks, each of the two lenses can be replaced with a prescription lens or an insert can be used. Double window scuba masks are less compact however, they fit a wider range of faces.
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As small a detail as it may appear, when choosing the best scuba mask with a purge valve, you must carefully examine the straps. At first, you must ensure that the straps offer a snug fit without putting excess pressure on the skirt. Wider-shaped straps comfortably surround your head and are often worn when diving with a hood or long hair.
Split straps provide a more stable hold with minimal movement. The best purge valve scuba mask will have straps attached to the frame or molded onto the silicone base to enhance longevity and durability.
The strap should not be considered a deal-breaker. Straps are easy to replace and are inexpensive. Many divers purchase strap covers or wrappers to make their masks easy to identify.
Scuba masks come constructed with several kinds of skirts. Skirts create the seal to keep water from around your face. Feathered and multi-level skirts are ideal designs and are used to create that leak-proof seal by increasing their size. Their sizes also differ from narrow to wide depending on your preferences.
Q: How do you clear a scuba mask with a purge valve?
It is pretty simple to clear a scuba mask with a purge valve. Secure the top seal of the scuba mask then look downwards while exhaling through your nose. This will result in the water inside the scuba mask being forced out through the built-in purge valve as you exhale. The purge valve then automatically shuts when you stop exhaling.
Q: What is a purge valve scuba mask?
A purge valve scuba mask is a dive mask that comes with a built-in purge valve. The purge valve is in the nose pocket of the dive mask and is made of small silicone flaps. These flaps are forced open as you exhale from your nose. The additional air forces the water out of the valve.
Q: What Are The Benefits Of Using A Scuba Mask With a Purge Valve?
The main benefit of using a scuba mask with a purge valve is that you do not need to break the seal of your mask to clear it. Most divers will use two hands to clear a normal dive mask. One hand is placed on each side of the mask. The diver starts to exhale and the hands are rotated so that the bottom portion of the mask is moved away from the face. This could allow a little water in until the exhausted air can push it out. Some divers are uncomfortable with this feeling.
A diver using a scuba mask with a purge valve only needs to place the fingertips of one hand to hold the mask in place as they exhale from the nose. The extra air will push the water out of the purge valve.
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The scuba mask with purge valve reviews outlines how handy they are underwater. Their multifunctional advantage to allow you hands-free diving while effectively keeping water out of your vision makes them worth the purchase. Additionally, their integrated construction doesn’t compromise on their protective mask design.
The buying guide offers clear guidance on what to look for when choosing the best scuba mask with a purge valve. The list of the 5 best above is an excellent avenue to explore to find a mask that will work for you underwater.
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