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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.
10
May

What To Look For In A Dive Mask

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on What To Look For In A Dive Mask Posted in: Dive Masks, Scuba Product Guides
dive mask

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The first and foremost tip on shopping for a dive mask is to try it out before you buy it, make a couple of tests and make sure it fits properly. But past a good fit, what else you should look for? Here are some ideas:

  1. Field Of Vision: Maximizing your field of vision is the next most important thing after finding a mask with a proper fit. In fact, since finding a good fit should be easy for most faces, this is the point that might require a little shopping around to satisfy. Beyond wanting the widest horizontal field of vision possible, so as to take in plenty of views on your dives, you will also want an ample vertical field of vision, especially downward. Ideally, you should be able to see all the widgets on your BCD harness with only a slight downward look.
  2. Buckles: After field of vision and fit, all other points are a distant second, and buckles illustrate why. Easy to work buckles make life simpler, but this is a just matter of degree. More modern buckles put the buckles on the skirt rather than the frame, which has the advantage of folding inside the frame to make the mask smaller when you pack it up, but once again this is a matter of degree. Unlike fit and field of vision, having better buckles won’t make or break your dive.
  3. Low Volume: Masks with low interior volume are easier to clear and create less drag, but as with buckles, this is only a matter of degree. Also, a mask with a wide field of view will also typically be low volume anyway, because the lens(es) are set so close to your face, minimizing obstruction from the mask itself.
  4. Skirt Color: A note about using skirt color to tailor your mask to where you do most of your diving. A clear skirt lets in more light, and that helps with vision in darker conditions and lower visibility. In crystal clear tropical waters, however, strong sunshine reflecting off of white sand bottoms can cause an effect similar to sunlight reflecting off snow. Black skirts help control the glare.
  5. Purge Valves: Remember that bit about how most people should have no trouble finding a mask with a good fit? Some folks have face shapes that make finding that fit very problematic. Virtually the only divers who should ever need a purge valve in their mask are those who have hard-to-fit faces, and therefore suffer insoluble, constant leaking.