When you are new to the scuba diving world a scuba mask should be the first piece of equipment you purchase. This is because you will need a mask that perfectly fits your face so it doesn’t leak. Renting a mask can get you by for a dive or two but if you plan on diving regularly you will want your own mask. Your face shape is unique to you so it is important that you get the best scuba mask specifically for you. What works for you may not work for others.
We found the top 10 scuba masks on the market for all face shapes and have listed them here.
How To Choose A Scuba Mask – Buying Guide
The right mask will be a combination of fit, feel and comfort. You should not buy any scuba gear that makes you feel uncomfortable or nervous in any way. These feelings will only get worse when you’re under water.
Dive mask reviews agree that getting the right fit is a crucial part of purchasing a dive mask. There are many ways to ensure it will fit. The easiest way is to put it up to your face where it would sit without the straps and breathe in through your nose. If the mask stays on your face it fits. If it falls it does not. This will allow you to continue to put the straps on and snug it to your face.
- Keep in mind of pressure points or places that do not feel comfortable. If it doesn’t feel good in the store it will not get better when you’re underwater.
- While it is on your face look around and make sure you don’t have any blind spots or distorted vision. This will only get worse when submerged.
- The strap should be supportive but not constricting. A wider one will generally reduce pressure by distributing it over the entire width but is a personal preference.
This is the main feature that will determine your visibility, and thus your enjoyability, under the water. If you can’t see what’s in front of you the dive will be pointless.
- Corrective lenses: If you use glasses and don’t want to wear contacts while diving, look for lenses that can have your prescription added to the lens. This will allow you to throw your mask on without worrying about lenses falling out or adjusting your glasses underwater.
- Lens angle: Most masks do not have the same lens angle as your face. This will allow you to look around easie, mainly down. The lower angle reduces the amount of glass you need to see through which will create less strain on your eyes. A lower amount of volume in the mask will also make it easier to purge and equalize the water and pressure.
- Single lens masks have an uninterrupted look and feel. There are no seams that can distract or interrupt your view. These are an excellent choice for people who don’t mind moving their head to see the full picture.
- Multi lens masks make use of more than one pane of glass to expand your periphery. Instead of having a large bezel and surround, these masks will have an angled piece of glass that allows you to see more of the water around you without having to move your head.
This is a critical part of the comfort of your mask. It can cause unwanted pressure points and even pain, or make for an ultra comfortable setup where you forget you’re wearing a mask. We find that a large width silicone strap works best as it will not slip and disperses the weight over a larger distance.
The buckles should be easy to adjust even in adverse conditions. Look for masks that have a dual strap system. Being able to tighten one side at a time creates the perfect fit. Ones that have this where the straps connect to the mask make it easy to adjust instead of having to reach behind your head. This lessens the pressure on the skirt against your skin making the mask fit better and more comfortably.
The skirt is the part of the mask that rests against your cheek and is responsible for creating the watertight seal. Even though it uses pressure to do this you should not be able to feel it. Comfortable materials are used to increase comfort and add an extra layer to the all important seal. A high-end silicone is mainly used for this part of the mask. It is comfortable and does an excellent job at creating a seal. Some manufacturers also use a dual skirt system for added comfort and seal.
The frame of the mask is a key aspect of sight and look. If the frame is too bulky it can alter your sight lines restricting your vision. A clear silicone frame will allow you to see through it while making you feel like open and airy. The darker the frame the more likely you are to feel claustrophobic.
Some frames allow you to completely disassemble the components allowing you to easily clean and care for your mask. This will increase its lifespan and ensure it will not fog on your next dive. This feature also lets you interchange pieces making it much easier to repair and fix. The frame is also the part that dictates the overall size of the mask. If the frame is bulky and large it will add weight and put a strain on your neck and shoulders.
Frameless masks have all of the components like the skirt and buckles molded together. This greatly reduces the weight of the unit but makes it almost impossible to repair. Forget about installing prescription lenses on this type as it is not possible to remove or work on the glass.
The size of the nose pocket can vary. Finding one that fits comfortably is key as it can cause pressure that can affect your dive. A slight space between your nose and this soft piece of material will ensure you stay comfortable even on prolonged dives.
Caring for your mask
If you take care of your mask it will last you for years. There are simple things that you can do after every dive to ensure it is fully cleaned and ready for the next day on and in the water.
How to combat fog
Your mask will come with a film on it from the manufacturer that will cause your brand new mask to fog the first time you use it. To combat this it is recommended to use a cleaner to get rid of this film. Instead of buying an expensive cleaner you can try using toothpaste. This will get rid of the film and create a layer that fights fog. Make sure you rinse the inside of your mask with freshwater to get rid of the extra residue.
Instead of spitting in your mask in an emergency bring baby shampoo or a defog solution. Bacteria from your saliva can affect your skin and eyes which can be bad while diving. If you are doing multiple dives in a day put your mask in a pot of freshwater. This will keep it from fogging as it keeps it clean as it will dissolve any salt water crystals that have accumulated.
During the dive
When entering the water it is recommended that you put a hand on your mask to ensure it keeps its seal to your face. Never leave your mask face down on anything but a clean soft cloth. People who wear glasses know the trials and tribulations of a scratched or blurry lens. This is the same as a marked up mask.
After the dive
Much like between dives give your mask a bath in fresh water to dissolve the salt water. If you have the know how and your mask is capable of being taken apart do so. Clean each individual piece with a soft cloth. Avoid using alcohol or any product with an oil base as it can degrade the masks materials.
Even though many masks are beautiful and stylish it is not recommended to store them in direct sunlight. A cool dry place is a perfect place to store your mask. If it comes with a carrier you can store it in that or place it on a soft cloth.
Globo Surf Overview
When deciding on which dive mask works for you, we recommend opting for a top rated dive mask. This will be one that has been tried and tested by scuba divers just like yourself. They are built to stand the test of time and deliver a clear vision of the underwater world. This will make sure you do not have pressure points so that you can enjoy your dive even longer and allow you to see everything without discomfort or fogging.
Have a scuba mask on our list? Let us know how you like it in the comment section below.