Buying a scuba diving mask can be complicated, there are so many on the market it’s hard to actually know which one is best for you. It’s worth taking the time when buying a new scuba mask to make sure it fits correctly and is comfortable.
- Type of Lens – 1 or 2 Lenses, this is usually dependent on your preference as some people feel they see better with the one lens (i.e; no panel in the middle).
- Colour of Seal – Clear or Black, again this is down to personal preference however, it is widely accepted that a black seal can help define the vision through the lenses. Whereas the clear seal can let more light in through the sides diluting the vision slightly.
- Nose Compartment - the nose areas must be part of the eye section in order for you adjust the pressure changes. This is why you cannot use swimming goggles for scuba diving or free diving.
The silicone skirt on the dive mask must conform to the shape of your face in order to provide a comfortable fit. Makesure the silicone skirt is a high grade, flexible silicone. This can extend the life of your mask if you pay attention to these small details in the beginning.
The silicone should be anti-allergic and the shape of the nose pocket should fit and be too small for your nose as this could effect the ability to purge as and when needed. You will also need to be able to pinch the silicone to connect with your nose to equalise.
The bridge of the scuba mask should also not touch your forehead when fitted as this can become uncomfortable during any dive or snorkelling trip.
How do you know whether a scuba diving mask fits your face correctly? The simple answer is to try it on however, you may think the mask fits when in actual fact it doesn’t. Whether you are going out for a snorkel or scuba dive you certainly don’t want to be dealing with a badly fitted mask.
Here’s how to tell if a mask is right for you. Without putting the strap around the back of your head, place the mask over your face and lightly breathe in through your nose, then hold your breath and let go of the mask.
A correctly fitted mask whether it’s specifically for snorkelling or scuba diving should stick to your face firmly and not fall off without the head strap on at all.
Tempered glass is the keyword here. If you are looking at diving masks which are not made from Tempered glass then please beware.
Otherwise known as hardened glass, Tempered is a safety glass that’s been specifically designed not to shatter like normal glass if broken rather to crumble into large pieces – these pieces are less likely to cause injury.
It is 5 times stronger than normal glass making it ideal for diving and dealing with pressure changes, transporting on and off the boat during diving etc. Not only is tempered glass a lot more durable than normal glass but it is scratch resistant.
Some dive masks can be fitted with prescription lenses, which is convenient if you wear glasses or use contacts.
Top tip: When taking your new mask home. Be sure to get some toothpaste and lightly rub this on the inside and outside of your mask lens. This will help remove the thin protective layer the manufacturers leave on for added protection during transportation.