Courage, a sense of adventure, appreciation of the beautiful world below the sea, and your diving equipment… these are the four most important things in scuba diving. There are all kinds of equipment in diving, but the mask is among the most important ones. So how do you choose a mask? Here are some guidelines.
Must-Have and Optional Features
There are always some standard and desirable features you should look for before buying the best scuba masks. Standard features include the adjustable strap, tempered-glass lens, finger pockets, and enclosed nose. The strap can be made of neoprene or silicon.
Both of them are OK, but most divers prefer neoprene. However the silicon strap could be the better option if you have lots of facial hair or if the strap slips for some reason. Check the tempered-glass lens as well to make sure that it is of good quality.
Desirable features include high-tech heads-up display and translucent rubber. The display will allow you to check the anti-reflective lens coatings, critical data, and your purge valve. It is always good to have these features. Every little addition will make your time below the water more enjoyable. Of course, scuba masks with these features will cost more money too. So you may need to make a choice here.
Check the mask volume or how much air space there is within your mask before buying. You will naturally have more open space in a high volume mask. You will have extended vision too. In fact, it is absolutely essential that you have unobstructed vision when you are wearing the mask. So if you can wear it before buying. If you are buying online, then only buy a model you know that works well. Read reviews or ask your diving instructor to decide. Low volume masks stay close to the face.
Naturally the size is always going to be an important consideration. All of us have different head and face sizes and shapes. So what will fit your friend perfectly may not fit you at all. This is one more reason why you should try it on and see whether you feel comfortable or not. When buying online, make sure that the store will accept returns.
The lens is the most important thing in your mask. It should always be made of tempered glass, because standard glass will shatter under pressure and can damage your eyes. Tempered glass is stronger as it is chemically or heat treated. In scuba masks, there can be a single lens, twin or multiple lens configurations.
Single lens feels more open as there is no frame but prescription corrections cannot be done. Twin lens scuba masks allow replacement prescription lenses. In masks with multiple lenses, there is a window pane on each side, and so it feels brighter and more open. The field of view is also larger. However there can be a green tinge on the side.
Whatever you choose, make sure that the glass is high grade. Better still, choose a scuba mask with an extra coating on the lens.
Finally, consider the lens shape. Choose a scuba mask where the lens is pointed at the top and curved at the bottom. The frame will be close to invisible here.