Dive Masks Buying Guide
If you are scuba diving ,snorkelling , or just free diving underwater, one of the most important pieces of equipment you are going to need is a dive mask . After all, if you can't see the beauty of the underwater world, what's the point in even going on this adventure? You will need to have a dive mask that fits properly, but with facial features changing from one person to the next, this can be tricky. A mask that fits poorly can leave you with fogging, leaks, and an unpleasant underwater experience. Luckily, dive masks are now better than ever.
Your Level of Skill
- If you rarely go snorkelling or diving and are just looking to invest in your own mask for a holiday to the Caribbean, then it is not necessary to buy an expensive mask with elaborate features. You may want to consider a mask and snorkel combination set , where you will get the equipment necessary at a lower cost. If you are going on a single trip and don't plan to do any underwater exploring after that, then you may want to consider renting equipment. You will have more room in your luggage !
- Say you have gone snorkelling a few times or are ready for your next diving expedition. This obviously shows some interest in the sport, and you cannot just settle for mediocre equipment. You don't have to break the bank looking for equipment, but you might want to invest in a mid-level dive mask . It should be well-constructed and able to last you for years to come.
- This category is for the folks who just can't get enough of the underwater experience. You should be prepared to spend a nice amount of money on a professional mask that is well-constructed and durable. You may opt for a multi-window mask for increased visibility, or even one with built-in corrective lenses . There are a wide variety of features out there to explore.
What to Look For
No matter what your experience level, there are a few key components to look for in a diving mask .
- SEAL: Without the proper seal or suction, you will be fighting back excess water in your mask. This function comes into play right where the skirt of the mask along the outside edges meet your face. To test for a good seal, relax your face and press the mask onto it without the strap . If it stays put for a few seconds without you holding it or sucking it in, then it is a good fit. You may want to do the same thing again, but with the snorkel or regulator in your mouth, as these pieces of equipment will also change the shape of your face.
- FIT: Now, fit and seal are not the same: you can have a good seal but with a terrible fit. Not only should the mask filter out the water, but it should fit comfortably and be functional at the same time. If the mask is too tight, undue headaches can occur; if it's too flimsy, you are looking at a flooded mask. The mask skirt should be soft, yet firm.
- VOLUME: This is how much air space is trapped in the mask. It is always a function of how close the lenses are to the eyes and ultimately effects your range of vision. Low volume masks tend to be best.