Best Scuba Masks
On your seemingly endless quest to gather all the necessary scuba gear you need, your journey has brought you to one of the most important pieces of gear of the ensemble. No one will question how important a scuba regulator and a dive computer are but owning a high-quality scuba mask is right up there in importance.
Among all the information that will be thrown at you in this guide, though, scuba masks live and die with their fitting and comfort. Much like a running shoe, this is 100 percent mandatory and an improper fit or an uncomfortable experience can be your biggest downfalls. But, as you will see down below, there is much more that goes into it.
- Cressi Wide-view
- Classic lens design
- Great field of view
- ScubaPro Synergy
- Ultra-clear lenses
- Thicker silicone
- Mares Sunrise
- Tri-comfort technology
- Silicone rubber skirt
10 Best Scuba Masks
Due to the classic teardrop lens design of this mask, you are provided with a greater field of view and an improved peripheral vision. In addition, there is a second set of lenses that can be used to see even more detail.
While the frame is designed of a super soft silicone skirt, this same skirt may be an issue for some people. It is not as if it is uncomfortable but it may sit too low on some diver’s upper lip.
As opposed to some single strap designed scuba mask, this design manages to provide a perfect seal. One set of testers even went as far as to say it was one of the most leak-free masks out there.
Cressi decided to go with a larger and much bulkier buckle system. While one would assume this is a disadvantage, it makes adjusting the mask on the fly much easier as you do not struggle to get your hand on the clips.
The main design and the skirt are available in either clear or black. But, there are several different types of color patterns that go along with the clear and black masks that are available.
Two of the biggest issues of scuba masks is leaking and fogging and this manages to avoid them both, for the most part. Plus, the classic teardrop lens and larger buckle system add to the overall convenience of Cressi’s scuba mask.
- Features a classic teardrop lens design for a great field of view
- Fogging of the lenses is not much of an issue
- Adjusting the buckles is easy thanks to the larger buckle system
- The silicone skirt can sit too low for some people
Outside of the fact that there are two lenses that improve the clarity of your surroundings, the lenses themselves are made with a tempered glass and this alone increases your underwater vision.
To ensure the most comfort possible from a single scuba mask, the skirt has been engineered with the same high-quality silicone but with two altering thicknesses.
There are two important features that ensure a perfect seal is achieved on your face. Firstly, you have the wide split silicone rubber mask strap and secondly, there is the double feathered edge skirt.
Besides its low volume which makes clearing the mask an easy task, it is equipped with an adjustable swivel buckle system. Also, it has a one-hand pocket for ear equalization that is very easy-to-reach.
While you may not find all versions on Amazon, this mask is available in either a black or clear skirt with multiple different color options to adapt to a wide range of preferences.
If it were not for the few claims that questioned the longevity of this scuba mask, it could have easily secured the top spot. It simply is an elegant combination of fit, comfort and visibility.
- The ultra-clear lenses provide superior colors and vision
- It is constructed with a new-generation skirt
- The silicone is thicker to provide enhanced support
- A few users have reported the rubber separated from the tempered glass after a year or two
Mares implemented a teardrop tempered safety glass lens into their scuba mask and the result is a superior field of vision when you are beneath the earth’s surface.
The aforementioned tri-comfort technology is on full display here and is integrated between the frame and the skirt for unparalleled comfort. Additionally, there are two different types of silicone and the softer portion is 45 percent softer for enhanced comfort.
As a side note, the Sunrise Mask is actually tailored towards the Asian market and wider faces. No matter, though, both the X-shape silicone rubber strap and the double feathered edge rubber skirt improve the overall fit.
Even while you are wearing gloves, the nose pocket is easy to reach and is optimized for one-handed ear equalization.
While there is not an overflow of color options available, there are enough (such as blue, black and pink) to almost guarantee everyone should be able to find one that suits them.
It is quite clear that Mares designed their Sunshine Mask with comfortability in mind. But, it also does not hurt that the tempered safety glass lens provides a stellar field of vision.
- Implements tri-comfort technology between the frame and the skirt
- Features a double feathered silicone rubber skirt
- The nose pocket is easy-to-reach even with gloves
- One user pointed out that the head strap looks weak
As the lenses of this mask are made from an ultra-clear glass, it results in no color distortion and maximum underwater vision due to the high light transmission achieved from the technology.
The high-quality silicone rubber skirt helps with the comfort and as one reviewer pointed out, this is a very well-built mask that also happens to be quite comfortable.
Not only does the silicone rubber skirt help with comfort, in combination with the wide-split rubber strap, it also helps to create a perfect seal. What is worth noting, also, is the Spectra 2 Mask is actually smaller than its predecessor and optimized for thinner faces.
With the swivel buckle system, you can adjust the fit on the fly with little to no hassle. Plus, the nose pocket is easy-to-reach when you need to access it.
Even though in the grand scheme of things it does not mean much, the metallic paint method that is used for this design is stunning and the plethora of color options give you many selections to choose from.
Thankfully, the lone issue of this scuba mask can be avoided by taking precautions beforehand. Even though it is not guaranteed that you will ever fully stop this from fogging up, you can help the situation. This is ideal as simply put, this design is top-notch.
- Sports a dual tempered glass lens design
- It is a smaller version than its predecessor
- Comes in several different color choices
- A few users have complained about fog build-up
As opposed to other scuba masks on this list, Tusa actually integrated a single lens design and this does provide you with a fantastic wide field of vision.
Because the skirt was designed with a round edge, it provides a softer fit. Not only this but it also manages to suppress the pressure of the mask and reduce the creases that get left on your face.
Tusa went all-out in practically guaranteeing their Freedom Mask would fit everyone. It not only is engineered with a proprietary low friction double feathered edge skirt but also features a 180-degree rotational buckle system to adapt to different face sizes.
Clearly, one of the best features of this mask is its buckle system. First off, it incorporates a new design that makes it easier to adjust. Secondly, in combination with the strap, it can be positioned in five different angles.
There are enough color options available that it should not be too difficult for all divers to find a style that adapts to their overall ensemble.
When you sit back and analyze the design of the Freedom Scuba Mask, it almost makes you believe that it is the best of the best. If you take away the slight leaking issues that a minority of users have experienced, that feeling is fairly accurate.
- Uses a planar fit instead of a linear fit for greater comfort
- The unique buckle system adapts to five different positions
- The 180-degree buckle system fits a wide range of faces
- A few consumers have experienced slight leaking issues
Atomic Aquatics Venom
Right away, one of the standout features of this mask is the exclusive UltraClear Lens from Atomic Aquatics. This has been imported from Germany and delivers up to 96 percent of available light to each of your eyes.
Another exclusive technology integrated into this design is Atomic Aquatics’ wicked styling. On top of this are two silicone materials with differing levels of softness that mold together for optimal comfort.
No matter the size of your face, the ultra-soft silicone is designed to seal expertly. Plus, the new and specifically optimized geometry of the face seal takes advantage of this silicone material.
While the buckle system is easy-to-adjust in its own right, it is actually mounted behind the lens and this provides a more hydrodynamic design. The flexibility provided is simply astounding.
Both of the color options that are available are quite riveting but if you do not like black or red, you may be a bit disappointed.
What makes the Venom Frameless Mask standout is its exclusive technology, such as its UltraClear lens and wicked styling. While you will shell out a few more dollars for this mask, it certainly is worth it.
- Designed with a buckle system that is easy-to-adjust
- The glass lens is imported from Germany and amazing in quality
- The low volume profile increases the field of vision
- Various consumers have had fogging issues
Cressi Teardrop Lens
As just alluded to, Cressi designed this scuba mask with an angled lens (also called a raked lens). Basically, with this type of a lens, the mask sits much closer to your eyes and accounts for an improved lower field of view.
Even after extended uses, the technology integrated into this mask prevents marks from appearing on your skin. Also, thanks to the High Seal craftsmanship, the overall comfort is enhanced.
One user pointed out that even with their larger head, they had no issue with the fitting. However, a noteworthy point is that not all divers will appreciate the fit as it does sit very close to your face.
Cressi understands how to design scuba gear and that is apparent when you assess their buckle system of this mask. Instead of attaching it to the frame itself, to increase the freedom of movement, they instead designed it further back on the skirt.
As you can see on Amazon, there are several different color options but each of them either has a clear or black skirt.
The angled lens of this mask really does make or break this mask from a personal-preference standpoint. Because of this, the mask sits very close to your face and that just may not be feasible for some divers.
- No marks will be left on your face after extended use
- It is a low volume mask
- The lens is angled to achieve an improved lower field of view
- Multiple users experienced leaking problems near the nose
- Some may not like how close it fits to their face
Oceanic Shadow Dive
Due to the frameless design, the Shadow Dive Mask rests close to your face and provides a wide field of view. Also, the single safety tempered glass lens provides a crystal-clear view
Overall, the soft neoprene rubber design increases the comfort of this mask and the neoprene strap will not get tangled in your hair.
Thanks to the double feathered edge skirt of the Shadow, the seal that is achieved is as good as it gets.
As with most other scuba masks, the one-handed nose pocket is easy to reach even when you are wearing gloves. But, the swivel bucket system deserves the most recognition as it allows for a custom fit in the blink of an eye.
Even though the scuba mask is adjustable, it is still nice that it comes in two different sizes as an adjustable mask is not guaranteed to fit everyone.
The Shadow Mask can easily compete with most other frameless scuba masks on the market today. In fact, its fantastic swivel buckle system and soft neoprene rubber design are two design features that help prove that alone.
- It can easily be folded down due to its frameless design
- The nose pocket is large enough to reach with one hand
- It is available in two different sizes
- Once again, some users complain about fog build-up
- One user reported the stitching was falling apart
To deliver a panoramic field of vision, the single lens design has been made with a seamless side window. Enhancing this is the fact that the tempered glass lenses are encased in the aforementioned durable frame.
Despite the soft 100 percent high-quality silicone rubber skirt, there have been some users that have questioned the comfortability. Per one user, the portion of the mask above the nose caused irritation.
Phantom Aquatics implemented an even lower volume style for this scuba mask and the result is a mask that delivers a snugger and more sealed fit.
Not too many divers have commented about the adjustability of this mask but one, in particular, did claim they had a difficult time adjusting it because of the band.
While it is still a matter of personal preference, the clear standout is the sleek black and red color combination. If that is not your style, though, there are other types to choose from.
In the beginning, it was claimed how important the comfort of scuba masks are. It is worth noting that not all users expressed issues with the comfort of this mask and it could have been the manner in which it fit the users who expressed discomfort.
- The lower volume ensures a snugger fit
- Designed with a large purge valve for easier water clearing
- The lenses are encased in a durable polycarbonate frame
- Comfortability has been brought up as an issue
Your vision underwater will be impeccable with this mask attached to your face as its crystal-clear tempered glass single lens eliminates distortion and improves the color.
With an edge skirt that is made up of 100 percent pure silicone, it rests comfortably on your face even during longer adventures.
The same double feathered edge skirt also joins forces with the wide split strap to provide a perfect seal to your face.
Both the one-handed nose pocket that is easy-to-reach and the low-profile quick adjust buckles combine to make the adjustment process hassle-free.
The M1 Dive Mask is actually available in all-black and while other color options are lacking, it is tough to go wrong with an all-black design.
Truth be told, the M1 Mask combines all the features that divers look for in a well-designed scuba mask. A greater peace of mind may have been achieved without the issues some users have faced but that is the risk you take.
- Features an easy-to-reach nose pocket
- The lens is distortion free
- It can easily be used as a backup thanks to its ability to be folded down
- Both fogging and leaking have been expressed as potential issues by various users
The Criteria Used For Our Evaluation
The Design of the Lenses
While this may not be the most critical aspect of a scuba mask, it is certainly one that deserves special recognition and your undivided attention. When it comes to assessing the design of the lenses, there are many different areas that you can point out. Of course, it all starts with their physical makeup and it is no surprise that so many of the best versions sport a tempered glass design. This type of material not only has performance benefits but it also resists scratching and does not break very easily. But, you also need to pay attention to the field of view.
Both horizontally and vertically, the field of view could be the most important part of the lenses and this is also where a low volume design comes into play. With this type of a design, the field of view is generally wider because the front lenses sit much closer to your eyes. But, you also want a good downward view so you can easily locate all your accessories and attachments such as your dive computer and buckles.
How Comfortable They Are
It is kind of unfortunate that one of the most critical pieces of assessment can also be one of the hardest to get right. The reason for this, obviously alluding to the comfort of a scuba mask, is because a mask may be comfortable to you but uncomfortable to someone else. At the end of the day, you are the only person who can determine if something is comfortable for you. Yet, despite this, there are still some key design features that you can look out for. For instance, even though mask skirts are generally made out of silicone, some skirts will have different thicknesses of silicone to mold to your face with more efficiency and enhanced comfort.
Also, you will see some designers integrate exclusive and patented technology to increase the overall comfort of their scuba mask. Basically, you do not want to be diving with a mask that is digging into your skin with its rough edges and one that causes irritation when you wear it.
How Well it Fits Your Face
To be honest, the comfort and fit of a scuba mask really do go hand-in-hand. Much like with any specific type of clothing you wear, it is tough to have one without the other. Yet, at the same time, it is not wise to merely join the two criteria together as they are both distinct in their own way. For starters, you really should always go with a silicone skirt with a feathered edge as it is going to provide a better seal and fit better than a skirt made up of cheaper materials. But, you may even want to go with a mask that integrates a separate inner skirt as this can further enhance the seal to prevent water from seeping through.
However, it is important to note that not all masks are going to properly fit you due to the dynamics involved. After all, even though they are designed with buckle systems (which will be discussed in a moment) they can only stretch or be tightened so far.
The Adjustment System
Much like with the comfort and the fitting, the adjustment system goes hand-in-hand with the previous section. It is only logical that scuba masks are designed with some sort of an adjustment system as everyone in the world has different shaped and sized craniums. However, just simply having one integrated is far from enough and becomes one of the most critical points of assessment for you as the buyer. Here is the bottom line, while you are underwater or even preparing to go out for your dive, you do not want to be left tampering with an annoying buckle system that will not adjust for you.
Once again, this leads to the obvious question of what you need to look for. Thankfully, the majority of modern scuba masks design their buckle system on the skirt and not on the frame itself. This holds key advantages in your range of motion when adjusting and also if you need to fold your mask for storage. However, you can also look for push-button adjustment systems as this makes the adjusting process much simpler.
What Types of Colors Are Available
When you are underwater, does it really matter how you look? This thought might have popped into your head just know but you may be surprised to find out that the color of your mask is much more important than having good style. It really comes down to the color of the skirt which primarily comes in either clear or black. Besides its visual appeal, a clear skirt actually has performance differences over a black skirt.
To further explain, a clear skirt can actually maximize the amount of available light that comes into the mask. This can come in handy when you are traversing in waters that are surrounded by shadows. Yet, over bright waters, this can actually be a nuisance as the reflective light can be overbearing. So, this is where a black skirt comes into play as this manages to block the reflective light that a clear skirt can’t. Why else do you think underwater photographers prefer black skirts over clear ones?
Q: Can You Wear Masks with Poor Vision?
There are a lot of you out there who currently have an eye subscription and, more specifically, wear prescription glasses. To start things off, no, you can’t wear them underneath your scuba mask so the question remains what you need to do. First off, it is worth noting that if your vision is not that impaired, you may still be okay to go diving without them on. However, if you are blinder than a bat and literally can’t see up-close text without your glasses on, this would not be safe.
Thankfully, designers have accounted for this issue and you can get a few types of diving masks. The first type would be a purge valve design as this would allow you to empty out your mask without worrying about losing your contact lenses. Secondly, you have optical lenses and you can have them custom designed for your prescription.
Q: What Do You Do When Your Mask Floods?
No matter how many times you go diving, you may always have the fear of what would happen if your equipment malfunctioned or even if your mask flooded. To give you peace of mind, due to the pressure inside of the mask it is very difficult for water to get inside of them. Basically, the air will push out the water faster than the water will enter in even if the seal is broken. However, it is not foolproof and the potential is there that you could actually flood your mask.
There is no need to panic in this situation and you just need to keep a few things in mind. Number one, you should look up and press the purge button on your regulator as this will drain out the water from the mask. Two, go back to your normal position and take a breath and then continue to repeat this process until the water has been removed.
Q: How Can You Prevent a Mask from Leaking?
One of the biggest caveats of a good scuba mask is if it has issues with leaking. If you are stuck with one that has leaking issues, it is possible you need to find one that fits you better and seals to your face more efficiently. But, is all hope lost and is there something you can do to help prevent your mask from leaking? Well, first off, this is not alluding to small leaks as this is quite common with most scuba masks. Instead, this is referring to larger amounts of water penetrating inside of your mask.
The good news is not all hope is lost but the bad news is there may not be a permanent fix other than investing in a scuba mask that better seals to your face. Besides purging the water from your mask with the use of your regulator, you can also breathe through your nose while you release the lower skirt as this will allow the pressure of the air to force the water out.
Q: What Are Some Tips to Prevent Fogging?
Speaking of major issues that oftentimes plague scuba masks, how about fogging of the lenses? Have you ever had a pair of glasses outside in the cold and then stepped into a warm and cozy home? The result is instantaneous fogging of your glasses that literally prevents you from seeing two centimeters in front of you. This same problem can persist with scuba masks and thankfully, you can help to prevent it.
To start, you should clean your mask as often as you can. To do so, clean the inside with toothpaste and scrub it and rinse it off with hot water. As a side note, use dish soap if your lenses are not glass. Next, every time you go diving apply an anti-fog spray to the lenses of the mask. Oh and lastly, after you do all these things, put it on your face as quickly as you can to prevent any moisture from entering in.
Q: Does Silicone Degrade or Lose its Shape?
As you now know, most scuba masks are designed with a silicone skirt. Without going into too much detail on the benefits of silicone, buyers may be interested to know if this material tends to degrade and lose its shape over time. It really does not matter how many times you use it, a silicone skirt is going to remain durable and will not warp or degrade over time. Now, have common sense and take good care of your scuba mask and treat it with respect. If you do so, you should never have this issue present itself to you.
Q: Is It Wise to Use Rented Masks or Borrow Someone Else’s?
This is really a great question and it is one that everyone can relate to. Whether you want to admit or not, it is possible that your friends have always had nicer things than you and have had more money. Perhaps you can’t afford the luxuries that they can. There is nothing wrong with this as some people simply have higher paying jobs and that is the world we live in. Yet, does this mean you should take the cheaper route and either rent or borrow someone else’s scuba mask? The answer is a resounding no and here is why.
When someone else is wearing a scuba mask, it begins to contour to their facial structure. If you then put it on and take it out for a dive, there is a high probability that it will not seal to your face efficiently and cause leaking. Trust us; this is one area you do not want to skimp on.
The hope is that you feel more knowledgeable about scuba masks as you leave here today. Even if you are still unsure about a couple of things that is okay as this is a very critical piece of equipment. Take your time in your decision and remember, the performance of a scuba mask far outweighs its visual appeal.