A dive mask is a valuable gear that should not be overlooked when diving. That said, it’s highly important that you make sure it fits properly, defogged, and of course, equalized.
Most of the time, dive masks are designed from tempered glass and silicon. These materials make it possible for masks to stay underwater for long. Good masks do not break, scratch, or fog easily.
What to Look For in a Dive Mask
When looking for the best mask in the market, these are the vital things to consider:
This is a no-brainer, but your dive mask should allow you to see clearly. Also, it is crucial that it keeps water away from your nose and allows you to view and focus on your surroundings. Breathing properly and seeing hand signals are also required. This abilities should be allowed by your next dive mask.
You want to ensure your mask has the perfect fit by doing the following:
- Put on the mask, minus the strap.
- Using your nose, do a light inhalation.
- Let of the mask. If it stays on, you’ve found a good fit. Otherwise, it’s best to get another one and try the steps again.
A good mask should entirely cover your nose.
Having this feature is crucial because this prevents water from entering your nose, while providing added comfort at the same time. The nose enclosure also equalizes air pressure as you descend underwater. By equalizing pressure, you are preventing all sorts of painful suction as well as unwanted mask squeeze.
Your preference on physical features in a dive mask actually depends on personal taste. In terms of choices, there are optical lenses, side windows, as well as purge valves. These are basically the most common features to choose from, among others.
Like other aspects, size really matters. Before diving, you must ensure that a dive mask is of the right size. Not all masks come at same size. Your face and head shape also vary from others. Therefore, having a right-sized mask is valuable to prevent uncomfortable pressure and leakage.
Prevention from Fogging
At some point, fogging on dive masks is inevitable. However, there are a variety of ways to prevent this from happening.
- Removing the surface layer of new masks
- Brushing the lens with toothbrush and regular toothpaste
- Using commercial anti-fog liquid
- Using spit on the lenses
- Applying baby soap or shampoo
Determining Various Types of Dive Masks
Considering the features you wish to have, here are the types of dive masks you’d like to choose from:
One-window dive masks – These have single glass pane, along with an indentation at the nose area. This feature comes in handy in case you’d like to make your ears pop.
Two-window dive masks – As the name implies, these masks have a window pane for each eye. It makes easy blowing off of water inside; however, it allows only less air penetration.
Full-face masks – This type conceals the entire face. Most of the time, these masks are utilized by professional divers.
Wide-view scuba dive masks – Another type worth investing on is the wide-view dive mask. It got its name from the design, which is conceptualized to deliver wider view. If you want a mask that allows for perfect viewing of large reefs and other underwater creatures, this type is the best way to go.
Prescription lenses – If you have vision impairment or wearing contact lenses, you could opt for prescription lenses. The great thing about this is that they can be customized based on the needs of your vision.
Summary of Features
You know you’ve found a good dive mask if it possesses the following standard features:
- Tempered glass lenses or lenses made from solid composite materials
- Nose enclosure
- Feathered, comfortable, silicone rubber with double skirt
- Low profile for wider field of vision and easier water clearing
- Finger pockets around the nose area
- Adjustable and lockable strap
- Purge valve – for clearing water from mask
- Black/clear silicone rubber
- Mask strap
- Colored or anti-reflective coatings on lenses
- Advanced, heads up display showing critical dive information
Your dive mask has great impact on your vision and overall diving experience. This alone explains perfectly why getting the best dive mask you can find is essential. Using the tips and desirable features above, you should be on your way to finding one. And as soon as you are able to lay your hands on a good piece, make sure to take care of it so it will last you many diving sessions. Don’t forget to rinse it with fresh water after every dive. Keep the mask away from direct sunlight exposure. And keep it only in dry, cool storage. Also, make sure your silicone doesn’t come in contact with anything made from neoprene, as the latter discolors the former.