A scuba mask is your window to the underwater world and it’s one of the most important pieces of scuba gear you can buy. While a mask’s function is basic, it’s important to ensure comfort and fit when selecting a mask for scuba diving. The mask creates an air space in front of your eyes that allows them to focus underwater, and a nose pocket allows you to equalize the air pressure in your mask as you go deeper.
You should consider the following features when purchasing a scuba mask or evaluating the quality of your own mask:
- Field of view: are you able to see clearly in all directions without interruption from the mask?
- Volume: How easy is it to clear the mask, and how much drag is your dive mask creating in the water?
- Buckles/strap systems: Is your mask easy to adjust?
- Skirt: Does your scuba mask’s skirt create a comfortable, water-tight seal?
ScubaLab’s team of test divers evaluates the latest scuba masks for the aforementioned features, creating a review of the best scuba masks on the market. You’ll also find helpful advice on how to clear your mask and essential maintenance tips to extend the life of your dive mask.
Types of Scuba Masks
The two main types of scuba masks are single-lens and dual-lens masks. Dual-lens masks have two lenses that are separated by the nose pocket in the center, while single-lens masks have one lens that stretches across the length of the mask.
The main difference between these types of scuba masks is personal preference — many divers feel that dual lens masks are easier to clear, while single-lens proponents believe this type of mask offers a wider field of view. Dual-lens masks can often accommodate prescription dive lenses, while single-lens masks may not be able to.
There are also full-face scuba diving masks, which fully cover a diver’s face and are connected to the second stage of the regulator. A full-face scuba mask requires special training, and is usually used by videographers, search-and-rescue divers or commercials divers, because it can be outfitted with a communication system within the mask.
Scuba masks can also have various accessories, such as an elastic or classic silicone strap, or snorkel keepers that help attach your snorkel to the strap. Other options to consider include whether you wish to have a frameless mask or if you’ll ever need a freediving mask.
Popular Scuba Mask Brands
Looking for gear reviews on Scubapro masks, Cressi masks, Aqua Lung masks, TUSA masks and other popular scuba mask brands? Check out ScubaLab’s latest mask review for a complete list of some of the best scuba masks you can buy.