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Welcome to Dive Gear Reviews, a comprehensive guide to scuba diving equipment. Scuba diving is an expensive pursuit, so looking up reviews for a particular article of equipment is a wise precaution before investing any hard-earned money in it. However, consumer reviews may or may not be written by an experienced diver, and magazine reviews could be suspect due to the advertising ties of the publication in question. Dive Gear Reviews provides cross-referenced reviews assembled by an expert, making it possible to see at a glance what multiple sources said about a particular piece of scuba equipment. If one magazine loved a scuba regulator or a dive computer, but the consumers hated it, that information will be found here.
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June

Best Dive Masks

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Best Dive Masks Posted in: Dive Gear Tips, Dive Masks, Scuba Product Guides
dive mask reviews

(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Updated July 1, 2013

Dive masks are at least as essential to diving as a regulator and an air tank, yet they might very well be the most overlooked piece of gear in the kit of many a scuba diver. Without the mask, you can’t see much of anything underwater. However, few divers invest much money in their mask, and the sole requirements for many a diver are “does it fit?” and “is it cheap?”

Thriftiness is a virtue, but since most people dive to see things, it only follows that a better mask translates into a better dive. Divers who neglect their mask usually think that the small pluses of a slightly more expensive mask fail to translate into improved range of vision. Sometimes it is true that the price tag of a dive mask is grossly disproportionate to the mask’s capabilities, but that doesn’t mean frills like three-window viewing are worthless. What is more, a mask can have those frills and not break the bank at the same time.

— To see all our dive mask reviews, click here.

Top 5 Dive Masks

  1. Sherwood Rona Dive Mask: A few years back, the Sherwood Rona was listed as a Scuba Diving Tester’s Choice, but at that time it was listed at a somewhat pricey $70. What a difference those few years make. The mask is now widely available for less than $50, putting it in the same price range as most middling masks. This frameless dive mask has a huge field of vision. We found a commenter on a forum who had worn both the Rona and the Atomic Aquatics Venom (see below), who said “the [Sherwood Rona] provides 3/4s the features of the Venom, but at 1/3 the price.” It’s a good mask and a real steal. *
  2. Mares I3 Dive Mask Review: If you are looking for a framed rather than a frameless mask, the Mares I3 is a good balance of capability and price. The 3-window lens provides solid all-around view, and the mask is both comfortable and well-made. Thus far, virtually everyone who has come into contact with the mask has given it the thumbs up. While the Mares I3 retails for around $90 most of the time, discounts are common, and sometimes the mask is priced as low as $35. *
  3. Atomic Aquatics Venom Dive Mask: This is hands down the best mask on the market today. It looks great, shows incomparable engineering in its manufacture, and offers a stupendous field of vision. Yet here is a downside to all that: the Venom is also the most expensive in-production mask out there. Most divers simply do not have the budget to spend $200 on a dive mask. *
  4. IST Pro Ear 2000 Dive Mask: The IST Pro Ear 2000 is a winner on the basis of innovation. What this mask does is enclose the ears in pockets, and then connect those pockets to the air cavity of the dive mask, thereby eliminating the need to equalize. There are some drawbacks to the design: you need short hair to use it properly (or at least short around the ears); it isn’t compatible with most hoods, unless you retrofit the hood; using the mask requires some tinkering and experience to get the fit just right. That said, if you have touchy ears and equalization problems, this mask just might make diving easy for you. *
  5. ScubaMax Spider Eye Dive Mask: The main feature of this mask is its price tag: $35. Most masks priced at that level should set off the crappy gear alarm, but not this one. The Spider Eye has a decent field of vision, and consumers report it durable and comfy to wear. The mask offers no frills, but it works and it’s cheap. *

* Held over from 2012’s list.