Best Freediving Masks
While the sport of freediving does not require you to tag along with a breathing apparatus, you are still going to need a diving mask. One could assume that any old diving mask would do but to be honest, it is best to stick with models that have been optimized for freediving.
For example, it is ideal when they offer a low volume as you do not have to equalize as often and less air will be trapped inside. Yet, other factors, such as how the mask fits you and the quality of the lenses, are also just as important and will play a role in your final decision. So, without further ado, let’s check out the ten best freediving masks that you can get your hands on.
- Aqua Lung
- Patented design
- Effortless to clear
- Omer Zero 3
- Comes with storage box
- Fantastic head strap
- Cressi Nano
- For advanced freediving
- Compact shape
10 Best Freediving Masks
Aqua Lung Micro
Due to the properties of the high-grade silicone, the skirt is able to naturally mold to the contours of your face and deliver a leak-proof seal. Plus, the wide headpiece also ensures a more secure fit.
The aforementioned wide headpiece also aids in comfort, on top of a superior fit. However, what is nice is even after hours of use, this mask still remains comfortable.
Aqua Lung’s patented design works wonders here as they have positioned the lenses inside the ocular orbit of the eyes. This not only maintains a low internal volume but also significantly enhances your peripheral vision. Finally, the lenses are made from shatterproof tempered glass.
Thanks to the Cardanic Joint Buckles that will rotate both up-and-down and in-and-out and the Counterposed push button system, you can make adjustments on the fly with ease.
To offer a wide variety of choices, Aqua Lung has gone through the effort of designing their mask in various color schemes. There are several different clear and dark-colored skirts available.
What is it that makes this mask so great? Is it the superior design of the lenses? Or, is it the fantastic integrated adjustment system? That really is up to you to decide but one thing is for sure, this is the best freediving mask out there.
- Features a patented design to increase the field of view
- Has a low profile and is effortless to clear
- Reduces in-water drag and enhances stability
- Perhaps adjusts too easily
Omer Zero 3
Both the wide split strap and the double feathered edge silicone skirt combine to provide you with a great fit.
Most users and buyers seem to concur that this mask is extremely comfortable to wear and use. Still, there was a particular user who pointed out the frame can begin to press up on your eyebrows and cause discomfort over time.
If you prefer a freediving mask with a wider field of vision, the Zero 3 could be the ticket. As compared to some other masks on the market, it provides a 30 percent higher field of vision and also sports safety tempered lenses.
One buyer went as far as to say that the adjustment system on the Zero 3 was the best they had ever seen. It is no surprise why as the strap buckles can swivel 30 degrees up and down and sport quick adjustment tabs.
There are a few different variations of the skirt available but they all are dark. The reason Omer went down this path was to avoid glare and excess reflecting light.
If you wanted to compare the top two models on this list, they both feature excellent fields of vision and adjustment systems. However, the Zero 3 lost out on the top spot in the end because of the potential discomfort issue of the frame.
- Comes with a mask box for storage
- The skirt is designed with milled surfaces to prevent sunlight from refracting
- Designed with a fantastic head strap adjustment system
- The frame can become uncomfortable over a period of time
Cressi Nano 2
It is worth noting that the fit may be a little snug if you have a wider face. That said, the double feathered edge crystal silicone skirt does provide an excellent seal to the face.
To evenly disperse the pressure of the mask on your face and subsequently enhance the overall comfort, Cressi designed the Nano 2 with a wide anatomical split style mask strap.
This is where the Nano 2 separates itself. First off, it integrates a dual frame and this joins two rigid frames together to greatly reduce the internal volume. Secondly, the lenses are inverted teardrop tempered glass and this increases your downward visibility.
As Cressi describes it, the buckle system of their Nano 2 is very flexible and almost indestructible. Plus, the buckles themselves are simple and easy to adjust.
There are a few different color options to choose from but all of them feature a darker skirt; which can pay dividends if you ever wanted to go spearfishing.
Cressi was bound to make an appearance on this list and their Nano 2 could just be the best mask they have ever mass produced. Those with wider faces may disagree but it should properly fit a majority of buyers.
- It is designed for advanced freediving and spearfishing
- Made with a compact shape to assist in cutting through the water
- Features inverted teardrop lenses
- It will probably be too snug for users with wider faces
The Mystic Mask is designed in the same manner as several other freediving masks. It combines a double feathered edge silicone skirt with a wide split style mask strap to enhance the seal.
While the silicone on the skirt is incredibly soft and pleasurable against your skin, a buyer noted how it was not very forgiving with their facial hair.
A few design features make this a unique mask. On one side, this is only made up of a polycarbonate frame and this reduces the internal volume and increases your field of view. Additionally, the front panel is molded to the mask.
To guarantee that the strap will not slip when it is wet, the teeth have been increased in size. In addition to this, the buckles are made from an Acetylic Resin to increase traction and the buckles swivel up-and-down in an arc of 70 degrees.
There are no clear skirts and instead, you have the option of choosing from black, black and green, and camouflage.
This is the third freediving mask out of the four already listed that again steals the show due to its adjustment system and improved field of view. All things considered, those are two areas that are certainly critical.
- It can be disassembled to install prescription lenses
- The mask frame and skirt have a non-reflecting satin finish
- The straps will not slip when they are wet
- Can be a tad unforgiving with facial hair
- The lenses do not allow great binocular vision up close
Oceanways Superview HD
The Superview HD is tailored to fit most medium to large faces; making it an ideal choice for those that do not want a snug fit. In addition, an anti-fog coating has been applied to the lens.
Outside of the double silicone seal which provides natural comfort, this design is unique in the fact that the lens has been engineered to reduce the number of light nanometers your eyes experience. As such, your eye fatigue will be reduced.
Not only has the lens been tinted to improve the color contrast, it is also made of tempered glass. Also, Optical Multicoating technology has been implemented to minimize the amount of glare and UV in the lens.
Buyers and users have not seemed to have too many issues with the adjustment system as it adjusts quickly and easily. As a side note, though, it can’t be removed.
This is also a highly-regarded spearfishing mask and the dark silicone skirt aids in the art as light is not reflected on the inside to distract you.
In terms of freediving, this could be seen as a hit or a miss mask. As its volume is not quite as low as other models, some freedivers may foresee this becoming an issue. If so, that is no big deal as there are plenty of others to select from.
- The lens is made from tempered glass
- A comfortable seal is provided by the double silicone skirt
- Sports Optical Multicoating technology to minimize glare
- Other freediving masks offer a lower volume
- The lens does scratch easily according to one user
Mares modeled this mask paying attention to the ergonomics of the human face and have optimized it to fit most sized faces. Now, a few buyers have noted the fit around the nose was off and fogging resulted.
Other freediving masks use traditional designs but what you will notice about the Viper is that it is not traditional at all. Mares uses a non-feathered edge skirt that has been molded ergonomically to deliver superb comfort.
The ultra-clear tempered glass lenses, which are impressive enough, have been engineered close to the diver’s face and this ensures a low profile and impressive field of view.
Fantastically enough, the ergonomic buckles incorporate a double button system. The result for you is easy and quick adjustments to get the perfect fit.
Once again, most of the available skirt colors are dark but for those who prefer, there is a white skirt available.
The Viper truly has all the potential to be the best freediving mask you will ever buy. Even though it is completely irrelevant, all things considered, the black skirt also provides a menacing look.
- Features one of the most advanced designs out there
- Mares optimized the fit for all face sizes
- Both novice and professional divers can enjoy this
- Various users have had fogging issues
Kraken Aquatics went with a silicone skirt as, besides providing excellent comfort, it molds to the shape of your face. What is achieved is a superior seal and watertight fit.
For the most part, the comfort of this mask has been praised. Kraken Aquatics even suggests that over time, you will forget it is on your head it is so pleasurable to wear.
This is a one-piece lens and instead of plastic, it is crafted of tempered glass and this better resists scratching and shattering.
It really is as simple as this in regards to the adjustment system. Merely pull the straps until your desired fit is achieved and then the buckle will hold the straps securely in place while you are diving.
Granted, there is not a ton of variety with the colors but there are at least a few options to choose from. Plus, you get to choose from either a dark or clear skirt.
Kraken Aquatics may not blow you away with the design that they have set forth but it is a high-quality freediving mask with the basic essentials covered. Heck, it is a brilliant choice if you are on somewhat of a budget.
- Designed with a tempered glass lens
- It is rugged enough to be used as a scuba diving mask
- The silicone conforms to all portions of your face
- Does not include a protective case for whatever reason (one user pointed out)
- A few buyers experienced issues with fog build-up
As one user pointed out, who had a wider face, the Superocchio Mask did not fit them well. Even though the double feathered edge does create a perfect seal, it is not ideal for wider faces.
The silicone mask strap sports a wide split strap design and as you know, this disperses the pressure evenly on your face. However, one buyer noted that the skirt was a bit stiffer than other models.
Both of the tempered glass lenses are engineered close to your eyes and this increases your field of view no matter the direction you are looking at.
So you do not have to spend unnecessary amounts of time concerning yourself with the adjustment of the mask, Cressi ensured the strap buckles on this mask are simple to adjust.
The black on black design is not only ideal for freediving but also spearfishing as unwanted reflected light is not an issue.
Despite the potential issues with the fitting and comfort that some buyers have alluded to, Cressi delivers another high-quality diving mask which features an impressive frame design.
- Has a wide split strap design to evenly disperse the pressure
- The low volume minimizes both drag and resistance
- Can be used for freediving, spearfishing and scuba diving
- Maybe too snug for wider faces
- One user pointed out the skirt is stiffer than others
For a woman’s face, the nose on this diving mask may be too large. However, the non-toxic silicone skirt and adjustable strap both stay tight on your face to prevent strong water pressure from being an issue.
While remaining snug on your face, the silicone skirt also sits gently on your forehead to prevent discomfort from being your enemy.
To begin, the tempered glass lenses offer superior scratch and shatter resistance than other lenses. Next, it is a two-window design and allows more light in to provide a sensational field of view.
The smooth adjustment of the strap allows it to tailor to several different head sizes. Plus, the anti-slip strap will keep the mask in place under all conditions.
There are both clear and dark skirts available and it is also worth noting that the all-black mask is a single window mask as opposed to a two-window design.
Sometimes, cheap does not necessarily indicate poor quality. There are times where this claim is true but in the case of this diving mask, it is nothing more than a mirage.
- Has great protection under high water pressure
- Sports tempered glass lenses
- Integrates a one-piece structure for superior sealing
- One user pointed out the nose piece is probably too large for women
One nice aspect of this freediving mask is it is very flexible. What this means is it is going to properly fit and seal to several different types of faces. The double feathered edge skirt certainly helps with this, as well.
The lightweight nature of this model prevents the mask from being cumbersome on your face. On top of this, the silicone skirt is extremely soft against the skin.
There is actually no frame on this mask and besides being easier to pack (as it will fold flat), the field of vision you experience is also enhanced as it sits closer to your face. Oh, the lens is also made from tempered glass.
Because the buckles swivel, you can adjust the strap to enhance the fit within seconds with little to no hassle.
Cressi leaves the ball in your court in regards to the skirt color you desire. The clear versions will assist in translucent light and the darker skirts do not allow light in and are beneficial for hunters and photographers.
You can free dive and snorkel with this mask, thanks to the included dry top snorkel, which provides you with some solid versatility. Just be wary of the noted fogging issues as several users have had hassles with it.
- The frameless design aids in a wider field of view
- Comes equipped with a dry top snorkel
- Very flexible and can fit a wide range of faces
- Several buyers have had unrelenting fogging issues even when they apply anti-fog coatings of some kind
Criteria Used For The Evaluation
How Well it Fits and Seals
Have you ever tried on a pair of shoes that did not fit your feet properly? Everyone knows how painful it can be to wear a shoe that improperly fits but when you start talking about a freediving mask, the risk is tenfold. The good thing is, if you want to look at it this way, you will know right away if your freediving mask does not fit. If it is too loose, water will begin leaking through the mask and you will need to go back up. This is where things can get a little tricky as if you plan to order a mask online, you can’t physically try it on for yourself to test the fit.
Pay attention to the product details and user feedback to see how well the mask seals and what types of faces it will fit. Sometimes, certain masks will be tailored better for small to medium faces; and others for medium to large faces. Also, facial hair can sometimes come into play and if you want to keep your luscious beard, aim to invest in a freediving mask who’s seal will not be compromised by it.
If It Is Comfortable and Pleasurable to Wear
As was briefly alluded to at the beginning of this guide, freediving masks will typically be engineered with a low volume to reduce the amount of air that becomes trapped inside and the amount of drag you experience. Most all freediving masks will have this in common but what they may not have in common is their comfortability. Much like with a pair of sneakers, both the fit and the comfort go hand-in-hand. Again, unless you have access to a retailer that sells freediving masks, you will not be able to test the comfort of a mask upfront. Of course, it still may not do any good because they need to remain comfortable throughout your diving adventure.
This is one of the reasons why so many of the entries on this list integrate a silicone skirt as this provides a great seal while also being extremely soft and comfortable against your skin. If a mask does happen to provide discomfort, though, it will typically be because of pressure points. Simply put, you really do not want to go freediving with an uncomfortable mask on.
The Design of the Lenses and Frame
Now that we got the comfort and fit out of the way, it is time to assess the actual main component of a diving mask: your visibility. The first aspect to take a look at is the frame and if it sports a single lens or a two-window lens design. While the latter can increase your peripheral vision and allow you to see more creatures and sights around you, single lens frames are oftentimes preferred for users who have smaller faces. And, once again, you want to ensure the frame has a low profile and sits closer to your eyes as this will be beneficial when you are freediving.
However, the physical makeup of the lens or lenses is also critical. Did it seem like a reoccurring theme was happening with the lenses? Well, if you noticed, the term tempered glass came up more than a few times and this is not by coincidence. Besides offering great clarity and a better resistance to scratching than other materials, tempered glass lenses are also a safety feature. The water pressure will continue to increase the further you go underwater and tempered glass will be able to handle this pressure and not crack or rupture under it.
Their Adjustment System
Outside of the fit, comfort, and design of the frame, the last primary component that you need to assess is the adjustment system. Freediving masks are not one-size-fits-all models and because of this, they will come equipped with a buckle system. For the most part, all you are looking for is the adjustment process to be easy and fluid. No one wants to tamper around with a buckle system that simply refuses to function properly.
But, this also brings us to another reason why silicone is so useful as silicone straps will slip less than other materials. The result is an easier-to-adjust system that can even be adjusted with thicker gloves. As a side note, in addition, the strap should not be cheaply made and if it is going to snap within one or two uses it is probably not suitable.
The Different Colored Skirts Available
Why does it matter what color of skirt you have; it is not as if you are trying to win a beauty pageant? The reality of the situation is the color of the skirt has nothing to do with visual appeal and all to do with performance. You may be thinking how on earth a different color would have performance differences. Yet, this is the case and it comes down to clear skirts versus dark skirts.
Darker skirts are often preferred by spearfisherman and freedivers as they do not allow as much light inside and do not provide distractions if you are attempting to hunt your prey or capture an image. On the flipside, a clear skirt is going to allow more light inside and will actually increase your peripheral vision. Again, this is at the expense of your focus as the extra light can prove to be more of a distraction than anything else.
Q: Is Freediving a Dangerous Activity?
It would be more appropriate for this question to be asked to you before you even begin to look into freediving masks, but we digress. Because you are not relying on a breathing apparatus to provide oxygen to your body, does this make freediving dangerous? It goes without saying that there is a risk of drowning when you freedive but this risk is also prevalent in scuba diving. The worst thing that could happen to use is to lose consciousness while you are underwater as you will drown unless someone is alongside you.
However, this should not happen as long as you stay within your limits. Some freedivers will reach excessive depths but they have experience and have learned to hold their breath for extended periods of time. But, there are basic safety precautions that you can follow to ensure a safe diving experience.
Q: How Do You Care for Your Mask After a Dive?
Even though the entirety of the time you are using your mask it is underwater, there is still some care involved after you finish your dive and when you plan to store it away for the season. For starters, and this is necessary if you freedive in the ocean or sea, you should thoroughly rinse off and soak your mask in warm fresh water. This can dissolve the salt crystals and any other contaminants that are lingering on the mask. Simply dry off the mask with a towel afterward and you are good to go.
Now, when it comes to storing your mask you should always keep it in a dry and cool location. Oh yeah, and never leave it exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods of time. In addition, try to keep the mask separated from the rest of your equipment if it has a clear skirt as it can become discolored.
Q: Can You Test a Mask to See if it Fits?
Alright, for those who are ordering online you will have to try on your mask when you receive it in the mail. Thankfully, you can do this before entering the water to ensure you do not have to find out it does not fit the hard way. This is all you need to do to see if the mask fits you the way it is intended.
To begin, hold the mask up to your face and fit it snugly up against it. You do not have to push it up excessively tight; just enough for it to be snug. Now, begin to inhale through your nose. The logic behind this method is that if you can let go of the mask and it stays in place while you are inhaling, it is a proper fit. However, if it falls then the seal is not effective and you have some further researching to partake in.
Q: How Do You Prep a Freediving Mask?
Now that you know some basic tips and general maintenance to perform after you have completed your dive, it is time for you to understand that you may have to partake in some prepping work before your dive. Prior to your first dive, you need to remove any film that is located on the lenses as this can cause fogging during your dive. Speaking of fogging, this is the primary reason you may need to do some prepping work.
Of all the issues with diving masks, the one that always comes to the forefront is fogging. The good news is you can help prevent the build-up of fog by coating the lenses of your mask beforehand. There are several tried and true methods you can go with including anti-fog sprays, a special lens cleaner or even toothpaste (which may be the oddest one of the bunch).
Q: What is the Difference Between Scuba Diving and Freediving?
At this point, you are more than aware that freediving does not mandate a breathing apparatus. This would mean, obviously, that scuba diving does. But, there are further differences that you may want to be aware of if you are on the fence about freediving or scuba diving. For one, freediving does not restrict you in any form. Except, that is, the depths you travel which would undoubtedly be the biggest advantage to scuba diving. As you are limited to the one breath you take, you can only dive so far down.
Yet, when you are scuba diving you need to be aware of so many different variables and also have to deal with a cumbersome regulator. Generally speaking, freediving is probably easier and is less of a commitment; given that you need very expensive equipment for scuba diving (such as dive computers and regulators).
Q: Why Does Water Leak Into Your Mask?
While you are freediving, you may, from time to time, experience some issues with the leaking of your mask. Some water is probably going to get through as it is inevitable but if it gets to the point where it is completely negating your experience, you may need to call it quits. However, why is water leaking through the mask, to begin with? The clear and obvious answer is because your mask is not sealing properly as it does not fit right.
But, it also could be a case of your facial hair getting in the way. A trick you can try is to use Vaseline to help seal the mask up. In any other situation, though, the mask is not fitting you correctly.
Freediving is a beautiful, beautiful thing and it is no surprise to why you would want to become a part of the adventure. The first and most important piece of gear you need to invest in, though, is your mask and the hope is that you leave here today feeling wiser and more confident to make a worthwhile choice.