ScubaLab Reviews 26 New Dive Masks
ScubaLab tested and reviewed We tested 26 dual-lens, single-lens and low-volume masks in our latest ScubaLab review. The test dives were conducted in 72-degree water with air temperatures in the upper 80s at Alexander Springs recreation area in Altoona, Florida.
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HOW WE TEST
ScubaLab test divers evaluated and scored masks for the following factors:
Ease and Security of Adjustments
How simple and effective were the buckles and strap adjustments? Were they easy to adjust? Did they stay in place once adjusted? Did the strap stay where it was placed?
Was the skirt comfortable and soft? Did the frame or other components rub on the face? Was the nose pocket comfortable when pinching your nose to clear?
Field of View
Both to the sides and up and down, to what degree did the mask frame or skirt block your view? What was your perception of the overall field of view compared to other masks?
How effectively did the seal and strap system keep out water?
How easy was it to completely clear the mask after intentionally flooding it? Did the nose pocket allow you to easily pinch your nose to equalize?
• Divers also rated each mask’s resistance to fogging, provided written comments about their experience using each mask, and selected their favorite masks in each category. Each mask’s construction details were also evaluated for ruggedness and design. The number of divers was limited for this test, which meant we couldn’t test masks on a broad range of faces. Dryness and comfort are subjective, so try on a mask at your local dive shop before any purchase.
HOW WE SCORE
The bar graphs with each review show the mask’s combined test-diver scores for overall comfort and for field of view.
The scoring is:
SINGLE LENS SCUBA MASKS
TUSA PARAGON S
PRICE $220 | CONTACT tusa.com
Scoring very good for comfort and dryness, this mask has a low-friction skirt that uses varied thicknesses of silicone to create a gentle but effective seal. “Soft, silky skirt is super comfortable against my face,” one tester observed. The single lens is coated with UV and anti-reflective treatments, which further enhances the mask’s great field of view. “Nice bright view,” one tester commented. The mask’s internal volume is larger than others in its category, and can take multiple attempts to fully clear. Skirt-mounted buckles use pinch-releases. They are sturdy and can be rotated with a five-position angled strap adjuster.
They scored very good for ease and security of adjustment. A favorite of test divers with outstanding performance, the Paragon S is our Testers Choice for single-lens masks.
PRICE $129 | CONTACT aqualung.com
Testers scored this mask very good for adjustment thanks to the buckles’ large push-button release, which made it easy to adjust the mask quickly, even if it was already on. The strap features an ergonomic headpiece that cradles the head for a secure, comfortable fit. “Very comfortable on my face, and soft skirt seals well,” one tester commented. Test divers reported some leak issues at the nose and temples. Brightly colored skirts on our test samples were prominent in divers’ peripherals, but the mask still scored good for field of view.
PRICE $84.95 | CONTACT cressi.com
Earning a very good score for field of view, this mask’s wide lens uses a yellow tint to increase contrast underwater. It also features an anti-fog treatment, which earned a perfect score for fog resistance. The supple silicone skirt easily molds to a variety of face shapes for dive-all-day comfort, and scored very good for dryness. “Super soft and comfortable” and “bone dry” were typical of tester comments. Counterposed release buttons are responsive and make for easy, quick adjustments of the narrow mask strap. The A1 was a favorite among test divers.
CRESSI F - DUAL
Lightweight and comfortable, this frameless mask was a favorite among test divers. The mask has a large, tall lens that sits close to the eyes and earned an excellent score for field of view. “Liked the big, clear view,” one tester observed. The mask skirt was comfortable and scored very good for dryness. Earning an excellent score for volume, the mask “takes a minute to fill and a second to clear,” as one test diver described it. Providing solid all-around performance and comfort at an attractive price, the F-Dual is our Best Buy for single-lens masks.
This low-volume mask uses a velvety silicone skirt that scored very good for comfort. The skirt is cut close to the nose, and not every test diver could get an effective seal, but those who could found it to be comfortable and bone-dry. It scored very good for dryness. Water tends to collect at the bottom of the mask when clearing, which means it can take multiple attempts to fully purge water. The lightweight, frameless design lets the big lens sit close to the eyes for a “terrific field of view,” as described by one test diver.
EDGE STEALTH 2 FRAMELESS
PRICE $49.95 | CONTACT edge-gear.com
Made of high-grade silicone, this mask’s double feathered-edge skirt scored very good for comfort. “Skirt feels good against skin” and “nice seal” were typical of test diver comments. Buckles are molded directly to the skirt for a more flexible fit. With large, responsive counterposed buttons, the buckles are easy to use while wearing the mask, even with gloves. Secure and precise, they scored very good for ease and security of adjustment. Easy to clear, this frameless, low-volume mask folds flat for carrying in a pocket, making it useful as a backup mask.
PRICE $69 | CONTACT genesisscuba.com
Scoring very good for field of view, the Rama uses a wide center lens and two smaller side lenses to give divers excellent peripheral vision. “Wraparound view is impressive” and “side window is handy” were typical of tester comments. Skirt-mounted buckles feature a handy quick-disconnect and scored good for security, but the small release lever can be difficult to grab hold of. Test divers noted that the mask can feel a bit boxy topside, but scored it good for comfort underwater. Despite its large internal volume, the mask scored good for ease of clearing and equalization.
Scoring very good for comfort and dryness, this mask’s soft, supple skirt requires very little strap pressure to create an effective seal. “Skirt is soft as butter and just melts to my face,” was how one tester described it. Pinch-to-release strap buckles are durable and secure. The prominent frame encroaches a bit on the mask’s field of view, for which it scored just good. Divers were fans of the treated lens, which provides natural-looking color and enhanced optics, and was scored excellent by test divers for fog resistance. The Vader was a favorite among test divers.
PRICE $39.95 | CONTACT edge-gear.com
In addition to giving this frameless mask a unique appearance, the indented sides of the lens create a wide viewing window while minimizing the mask’s internal volume. The result is that the large lens is super close to the diver’s face, offering an incredible field of view. “I can hardly see the sides of the masks,” one tester commented. There is such a thing as too close though, and some test divers felt this mask toed the line. But for those divers who could wear the mask comfortably, it offered solid all-around performance at a great price.
HOG FRAMELESS PRO
PRICE $99.95 | CONTACT edge-gear.com
This boxy mask offers divers a wide, expansive view in all directions. “Overall great field of view. So good that I could hardly see the top of the mask,” one test diver commented. The skirt scored very good for comfort, but was prone to leaking on some testers. Scoring very good for volume, the mask is easy to clear. “Very smooth,” is how one tester described the ease of clearing the mask. Low-profile buckles scored very good for ease and security of adjustment. The mask’s frameless design lets it fold flat for storage in a BC pocket.
PRICE $79 | CONTACT seacsub.com
This frameless mask is built with lightweight materials and a supple skirt. “Like I’m not wearing a mask,” is how one tester described it. The fit is further enhanced by the injection molded strap, which offers plenty of adjustment and has a softer, smoother material on the inside of the strap for improved security and comfort. A small internal volume puts the lens right up to the face, offering a very good view in all directions. “Feels natural,” one tester noted. Despite its size, testers found the mask was harder to clear than others in its category, scoring it just good for volume.
SEAC ITALICA 50
PRICE $89, $108 (mirrored lens) | CONTACT seacsub.com
This mask uses a comfortable silicone skirt that is soft and pliable. The result was an overall comfortable fit that feels good on the face. It scored just good for dryness, as multiple testers reported some leaking. Mask buckles are stiff but secure, and offer a wide range of adjustment. They are able to rotate and pivot, further improving the fit. Testers scored them very good. The strap uses a soft, textured material for a more comfortable grip. The mask scored very good for field of view, with the large lens providing a suitably expansive viewing pane.
SEADIVE SEA ROVER RAY BLOCKER- HD
PRICE $99.95 | CONTACT seadivemasks.com
The lens on this mask is outfitted with a Rayblocker-HD coating, which is designed to reduce glare and block harmful UV rays while maximizing light transmission and image clarity. “Nice and bright,” is how one tester described it. Although testers liked the mask’s high-definition lens, they scored the mask just good for field of view. “A little restricted side-to-side,” one test diver observed. The mask scored very good for comfort, and provided what one tester called a “nice, soft fit and seal.” The mask has a small internal volume that made it very easy to clear and equalize.
SHERWOOD SCOPE SLIM
PRICE $115 | CONTACT sherwoodscuba.com
Sized for divers in need of a narrower-fitting mask, this smaller version of the Scope offers the same level of comfort and convenience as the original. Quick to don and doff, the elastic strap holds the mask snugly and securely on the head without unnecessary pressure. “Strap is nice and comfortable,” one test diver observed. It scored very good for comfort, with test diver comments such as “comfortable throughout the dive” and “skirt good on contact points.” The small mask also scored good for field of view and very good for volume.
PRICE $115 | CONTACT aqualung.com
A two-piece shock-resistant frame and stainless hardware make this mask seriously durable. Equally tough and sturdy are the frame-mounted buckles, which are easy to operate, and can rotate and swivel freely to hold the mask comfortably in place. They earned the top score for adjustment. A high-grade silicone skirt conforms well to the face for a seal test divers described as “super comfortable” and “bone dry.” Large lenses provide an impressive view in all directions. Testers described ease of clearing as “effortless.” The Teknika was a favorite among test divers.
PRICE $109.95 | CONTACT cressi.com
This mask has a system of inner membranes around the nose and lenses, and heat exchange ribs along the skirt to eliminate fogging by keeping warm air off the lenses. It was highly effective, with testers reporting a “super crystal-clear” view, even after flooding and clearing the mask repeatedly. Though it earned top score for fog resistance, some divers felt the mask’s inner seals sat a bit too close to their eyes, impacting overall comfort. But, they also act as dampeners, reducing skirt pressure on the face. The mask scored very good for volume and adjustment.
EDGE MAX VISION ULTRA
PRICE $44.94, $59.95 (with HD lens) | CONTACT edge-gear.com
With two tear-drop-shaped lenses, this mask offers a good field of view in all directions. It is also available with a high-definition lens treatment to improve color, sharpness and contrast underwater. Strap buckles utilize large pinch-button releases for quick and easy operation even while wearing gloves. Smooth and precise, the buckles scored very good for adjustment. “Nice gradual adjustment,” one test diver commented. Test divers found the mask skirt a little too stiff for their liking, but effective at maintaining a watertight seal, scoring it very good for dryness.
PRICE $58 | CONTACT genesisscuba.com
With a low-volume design that puts the lenses closer to the diver’s eyes, the Icon offers an excellent field of view that was further enhanced by the clear skirt of our test sample. It took the top score for fi eld of view. “Nice bright view” and “feels very open” were how some testers described it. The mask’s textured, feather-edged skirt scored very good for both comfort and dryness. “Soft, smooth skirt feels nice on face,” one tester said. Picked as a favorite by several test divers and offering solid performance at a below-average price, the Icon is our Best Buy for dual-lens masks.
GULL MANTIS LV
This mask scored very good for volume, tying the top score in its category. “Effortless,” is how one tester described the ease of clearing and equalizing the mask. Skirt-mounted buckles are heavy-duty and streamlined. They scored very good for security and ease-of-use. The skirt was a bit too wide for our testers, which impacted its scores for dryness and comfort. Testers felt the mask offered a very good, wide field of view. They also appreciated the UV420 lenses, which add clarity and contrast while preserving natural-looking color above and below the water.
IST SPORTS PROTEUS
PRICE $60 | CONTACT istdivingsystem.com
This mask has a special anti-fog film on the inside of the lens. It was very effective, with testers scoring the mask excellent for fog-resistance. “Modest pressure will quickly and easily clear the mask,” one tester observed of the low volume design, which scored very good for volume and good for field of view. Pinch buckles are simple, but secure and easy to adjust. Slightly stiffer than others in our test, the skirt was surprisingly comfortable and scored very good for dryness, earning tester praise such as “no leaks, even when smiling” and “bone-dry in all positions.”
SCUBAPRO D - MASK
PRICE $199 | CONTACT scubapro.com
Utilizing varying thicknesses of silicone, this mask’s skirt closely follows the contours of the face. The resulting seal scored excellent for dryness and very good for comfort. “Super dry in all positions” and “skirt very soft and comfortable against my cheek” were typical of tester comments. The mask offers a good field of view. The removable elastic strap holds the mask comfortably and securely with very little pressure. Lenses can be swapped out without tools, allowing for easy, quick installation of optical lenses. The D-Mask was a favorite among test divers.
PRICE $79, $99 (with mirrored lenses) | CONTACT seacsub.com
This low-volume mask is easy to clear and quick to equalize, earning a good score for volume. Some testers had issues with leaking under the nose, but otherwise the mask skirt provided a watertight seal, scoring very good for dryness. Field of view is narrow, but good considering the mask’s compact size. A long mask strap provides plenty of adjustment, and the inside of the strap uses a softer, smoother silicone for additional comfort and is textured for a secure grip. The Eagle is available with standard clear and corrective lenses or stylish mirrored lenses.
SEAC ITALIA 50
PRICE $89, 109 (with mirrored lenses) | CONTACT seacsub.com
This mask’s soft, hypoallergenic silicone skirt earned very good scores for comfort and dryness, with testers describing it as “very comfortable overall” and “very dry.” Testers felt the skirt was fairly prominent when looking through the mask, but otherwise scored it good for field of view. Scoring good for volume, the mask can take a few breaths to clear fully. Rotating buckles are mounted to the durable polycarbonate frame, and can fold flat for storage. “Like the precise adjustment on the buckles; lets me get the perfect tension on the strap,” one tester commented.
PRICE $75 | CONTACT sherwoodscuba.com
Soft silicone with a textured finish makes this mask very comfortable in and out of the water. “I can hardly feel it on my face,” is how one tester described its gentle fit and soft skirt. The seal is equally effective, earning a very good score for dryness. Testers scored the mask good for volume. A low-profile design puts the lenses close to the eyes, and the frosted skirt lets in plenty of ambient light for a good field of view. Mask buckles feature a quick-disconnect, allowing divers to quickly don and doff the mask without having to redo strap adjustments.
PRICE $110 | CONTACT tusa.com
With a soft, supple skirt, this mask molds to a variety of face shapes for a perfect fit with very little pressure. The resulting seal tied the top scores for dryness and comfort. “Perfect seal, like you’re not wearing a mask at all,” is how one tester described it. “Buttery-soft seal is smooth and effective,” another said. Field of view is a bit narrow, but scored good. Ergonomic, silent buckles make for effortless, precise adjustment of the 3D mask strap. A favorite of test divers, offering outstanding performance and comfort, the Intega is our Testers Choice for dual-lens masks.
XS SCUBA DIAMOND
PRICE $54.95 | CONTACT xsscuba.com
Outfitted with large drop-point lenses and a clear skirt, this mask provides very good visibility vertically and along the peripherals. “Nice bright view,” one test diver observed. Others agreed, scoring the mask very good for field of view. The simple, rotating buckles feature a convenient quick-release, but can be a bit stiff, scoring just good for ease of adjustment. The mask scored very good for comfort and good for dryness. “Skirt is quite soft and feels good on the skin,” one test diver commented. “Feels very light on my face,” another said.