You scuba dive to see the delights of the deep, so missing out because your mask fogs, fills or is uncomfortable, is not on. To help you avoid mask problems, we’ve put together a list of the 10 best scuba diving masks for diver comfort and vision.
There’s no doubt that having the right kit is essential in order to enjoy scuba diving. But let me start by saying, by far the best scuba diving mask is one that fits you properly.
As everyones face is different, we have chosen the below dive masks based on their innovations and design features that will enhance your dive. But nothing beats a dive mask that fits you perfectly.
For example, dive with a mask that is too small and you may not be able to equalise properly. As a friend of mine found out, this can lead to two whopping black eyes. Not a good look – unless you hang out with pandas…..
Best scuba diving masks
To ensure you don’t miss a thing on your dive, check out this guide to the 10 best scuba diving masks for diver comfort and vision.
Please note, this top 10 is not designed to be brand specific or definitive. It’s more of a look at the features and innovations offered by some of the different masks on the market. Be sure to try a mask on before making a purchase.
Tusa Freedom Range
Whilst I remain a little bemused by the product branding of some scuba gear, particularly those that sound like feminine hygiene products, you can’t argue with the excellent reviews from the Tusa Freedom Range.
The Tusa ‘freedom’ technology and design uses varying silicone thickness around the skirt to reduce friction. Patterns and ridges in the silicone enhances the fit, effectiveness of the seal and overall comfort meaning all in the range are top performers.
The original Freedom One is still a firm favourite. But the latest models such as Freedom Elite and Freedom Tri Quest improve on the design, adding new features to improve field of view, adjustability and fit. You won’t go wrong if you choose Freedom.
Find out more at: www.tusa.com
Atomic Aquatics Venom Frameless
The original Atomic Frameless mask won awards for its innovative design with the widest field of vision on the market. They followed this with the Venom which again won awards, this time for taking lens clarity to a new level with Schott Superwite™.
Combining the Venom mask with the Frameless makes perfect sense. But in doing so Atomic Aquatics have got all innovative again and early reviews indicate it could be a game changer.
This time they have revolutionised the face seal. By using two types of silicone, in what they call “Gummi Bear UltraSoft”, they have created a very soft and comfortable skirt that not only moulds to any face but provides the perfect seal.
Find out more at: www.atomicaquatics.com
Scubamax Spider Eye
This is a relatively low price mask with high quality features, representing great value.
Large dual windows offer a wide field of vision supported by a soft skirt that is available in black, good for clear water as it blocks reflection, or clear silicone, which adds to the feeling of openness and is good for darker water.
Also check out Spider Eye Colour which enhance underwater colours and offer 100% UV protection. Choose a rose pink colour lens which improves red colors and is good for ocean diving, or a yellow lens which offers sharper images and better contrast and is good for lake diving.
Find out more at: www.scubamax.us
Mares X Vision Ultra Liquidskin Mask
Courting the latest technology in silicone, this mask gets consistently good feedback on comfort. We love the small ribs around the nose help relieve pressure points.
Living up to its name, the liquid silicone in this product means the skirt of the masks is super soft and stays that way. This, alongside the cleverly positioned buckles, is what makes it such a delight to wear and keeps you safe from leaks.
The lovely wide field of vision – now 20% wider than earlier models – via its two windows structure tops it off. But this does mean you may want to consider a block colour skirt as the translucent/ pale colours may let in a touch too much light.
Check out the mirrored lens options. Gold improves visibility in murky waters and silver helps in shallow conditions particularly with a sandy bottom – the sea not you!
Find out more at: www.mares.com
Frameless masks offer many advantages. They are light and flexible making them easy to pack. They are easier to clear and equalize with and offer a wide field of vision.
You’re likely to see the Scubapro Frameless in the dive locker of many dive centres. The Scubapro Frameless has been around a while, and it’s ever popular because it delivers good results and is rightly considered a classic.
It has a more rectangular shape than many modern masks, but still provides excellent vision. Its skirt is durable yet still soft and comfortable. The wide strap and no nonsense buckle further explain why this mask has been around for nearly 20 years and remains universally loved.
Find out more at: www.scubapro.com
Cressi Big Eyes Evolution Crystal
Although it sounds like a character from a futuristic sci-fi this is one of the best scuba diving masks for diver comfort and vision. The main feature to talk about is the wide range of vision.
This is made possible by the teardrop shaped dual windows and a low profile, meaning it sits lower on your face than some other masks. The amazing downward visibility is aided by antifog lenses and supported by instantly adjustable buckles.
In newer models the skirt contacts the face at a very open angle. This means the mask rests on the face with unprecedented comfort. I have not tried it, but they claim it does not leave any marks on the face even after extended use.
Find out more at: www.cressi.com
A popular mask, the Allure appeals to divers who like a low volume mask. Although it is another example of interesting branding – perfume anyone?
Despite sounding like a celebrity’s latest smell, it is a great mask for those who like to keep it simple. It is specifically designed to provide a large volume of ambient light thanks to the clarity of the silicone.
A key feature of this mask is the raised contact points along the frame. These promoting easy clearing, which is makes it one of the best scuba diving masks for diver comfort and vision.
Find out more at: www.sherwoodscuba.com
We know that fit is the most important factor when choosing a mask. The Riffe Mantis comes in five different sizes to fit three different face shapes, meaning you can get the right fit for you – although the Mantis fits medium to wide faces.
It’s all about the rubber with Riffe. This mask is designed to give full support to the face by varying the thickness of silicone. The plastic and silicone mould is excellent quality, which is apparent when handling the mask.
Riffe have also patented the process of heat-treating the silicone rubber to reduce fogging. There is also a choice of two lenses available, clear standard lens, or amber for increased light, higher contrast and better separation, especially in low visibility.
Find out more at: www.riffe.com.au
XS Scuba Fusion 3
Despite sounding like a razor, this is one of the 10 best scuba diving masks for diver comfort and vision. Mainly down to it’s patented Panoramic View Mask but also a fit that is suitable for most faces.
Although the Panoramic View Mask is no longer new, it is still and excellent choice. It dramatically increases your peripheral field of vision, particularly to each side providing glorious underwater vistas.
You can also buy a self-purge add on. For some, this may make equalisation a little more challenging, but for others is a small price to pay for never needing to clear the mask by other means making it one of the best scuba diving masks.
Find out more at: www.xsscuba.com
Tilos Hawk Eyes
The large dual-window design was developed to increase downward vision, all the better for spotting sharks I hear you say. In addition to a great field of vision, this mask is comfortable and easy to clear and the shape caters for divers that need bi-focal lenses.
One of the most attractive features is the optional E-Band strap. This patented device sets the adjustment features of the strap squarely in the back of the head, where it rests on a comfortable, hard-plastic band.
Available for a nominal additional cost, the band makes the mask super easy to adjust. The benefits of which is not to be underestimated. Wouldn’t want to miss those sharks you’ve just spotted because you’re fiddling around with a loose mask would you?
Find out more at: www.tilos.com
Maintaining the best diver comfort and vision
So you’ve bought one of the best scuba diving masks – but the story does not end here. You need to look after it properly or you will be forking out for another mask way before you should.
Before you use it the first time you need to clear the chemical residue on the lens, either use a mask pre-cleaner or toothpaste – avoid whitening or abrasive pastes. You should do this the first few times you use them, but always read the info that comes with a new mask before you smear toothpaste all over it!
Continued care of your mask will enhance its life and mean it performs better. So, clean your mask of sunscreen, sweat and salt residue after each dive – preferably with something other than bacteria laden saliva.
It is always best to immerse your mask in fresh water for a while between dives to rinse it thoroughly. Never put a wet mask away and do not leave a mask to dry in direct sunlight.
We hope you found this guide to 10 of the best best scuba diving masks for diver comfort and vision useful. If we have missed your favourite let us know in the comments. For inspiration check out our scuba diving travel articles and to save money head to our dive discounts.