What are Best Scuba Diving Masks?

Reviews

Mar 13
Best Scuba Diving Mask

A dive mask is crucial. It is one piece of kit you can't be without whether diving or snorkelling. And they come in many different shapes and sizes. Diving or snorkelling without a mask is pointless. You need to see the beauty of the underwater world. Otherwise frankly, what is the point? And whereas scuba diving masks do come in a variety of shapes with a range of functionality. This is the crucial bit. The size. You must a get a scuba diving mask that is a good fit. Assuming you do this, our review will look at the different options around to guide you in this decision to purchase the best scuba diving mask for you. 

The Best 3 Scuba Diving Masks

This is a bit of a tricky one to review. Because frankly, everyone has different requirements from their scuba diving mask. So what we have done, is make sure that there is something in our top three for everyone. You'll see they feature a prescription lensed mask, a regular mask and also an innovative new type of scuba diving mask with two lenses. But what each of our top three do have in common is they are great scuba diving masks in their own right, and do highlight some of the features to look out for. 

2nd

Cressi Big Eyes 2 Lens Diving Mask

Cressi Big Eyes 2 Lens Diving Mask

( 4.6 out of 5.0 )

  • The lenses are not parallel to the face but are raked and have an inverted drop shape
  • Vision is all around, especially when looking downwards and reaches amazing distances compared to when wearing a traditional mask
  • Much less internal volume, similar to a free diving mask
  • Quick and easy adjustment and very comfortable to use thanks to soft silicone skirt. 
  • This mask isn't for everyone. A larger face may not be the right shape for this mask

1st

Optimum Diving Mask

Optimum Diving Mask

( 4.9 out of 5.0 )

  • Safe and Tough. This well-built mask has a high quality, tough, shatter and scratch resistant one-piece tempered glass lens. The practical uni-lens lets you see it all, with clear, unobstructed visual scope.
  • Ergonomic design. Made from soft and supple silicone, it gives the perfect fit for men or women. 
  • Secure and comfortable - the easily adjustable buckle lets you pull the straps for a secure, comfortable and flawless fit. 
  • Practical and fun - perfect for underwater photographer as you won't miss a thing with the uni-lens design. 
  • The skirt is quite wide. We did feel for anyone diving past 30ft or so, they may struggle to equalize. 

3rd

Scuba Blue Dive Mask for Nearsighted Prescription RX Optimal Lenses

( 4.6 out of 5.0 )

  • Tempered glass fit lenses available in a range of corrected prescriptions
  • Crystal silicone facial skirt and mask strap
  • Unique buckle design which allows you to adjust the mask easily
  • Can be made with different prescriptions for each eye
  • Need to use soap or toothpaste to avoid fogging

Why Buy a Scuba Diving Mask?

Well, if you are going to go scuba diving you really are going to need a mask. Goggles won't cut it at all. A mask, whether low volume, full face, single or double lens or even prescription lenses, will all do the same thing. They will protect your eyes and allow you to see remarkably well underwater with comfort and ease. And to be clear, there is no such thing as a scuba goggle. Goggles are great. For swimming, skiing, paragliding....but not for scuba diving. Whereas goggles seal against the eye sockets only, a scuba diving mask includes the wearer's nose and seals further around the eyes. One of the reasons you shouldn't dive in goggles (apart from getting water up your nose) is that there would be too much pressure on your eyes. A larger area of the mask allows pressure to be spread over a larger part of your face. If you dive in goggles it could be really quite painful as pressure would be intensified across your eye area only. 

  • Relieving Pressure: Wearing goggles would lead to too much pressure on your eyes
  • Covering the Nose: This is vital. It helps with relieving pressure as you can add air into the cavity of the mask though your nose to relieve pressure. It helps enormously with equalising too. 
  • Getting the best view possible: You can get an almost panoramic view with a mask compared to goggles. Diving without a mask would have extremely low visibility and be quite dangerous

Really, whether you are scuba diving, snorkelling or free diving a mask is a must. There really is no choice here. Remember, you can also wear a mask for swimming, but never goggles for diving. 

What to Look Out for When Buying a Scuba Diving Mask

Fit is the first and most important factor. We are all different, and no amount of silicone, rubber and strapping can make every scuba diving mask fit everyone perfectly. So, as we've mentioned before. It has to fit! But there are a few more points to consider: 

  • Internal Volume:  The profile of the mask is important to scuba divers and free divers. But less so for snorkellers. The volume is the airspace created when the mask is sealed to the face. As the diver descends in the water the pressure will increase in this airspace. A low internal volume is really crucial for free divers as the air to equalise comes from their own lungs, so wasting air in unnecessary equalisation just reduces the breath that the free diver is holding. They don't want this. Most people find that a lower volume mask is the most comfortable. 
  • Mask Angle: In a lot of modern masks, lenses and frames don't actually run at the same angle as the face and rather are raked in at the bottom. This will reduce the internal volume, but more importantly this design feature improves the vision for the diver, especially when looking down. For a snorkeller this is a benefit too. You won't need to tilt your head down for a better view, so less chance of getting a mouthful of water! 
  • Specification: Each and every component of the mask will have features to make it lighter, softer, improved field of view, clarity of vision etc. Be sure to take a good look at all the features offered in any scuba mask you go for. 
  • Lenses: This is probably you biggest decision. Do you go for single, twin or multiple lens configuration? There are also glass specification, lens shape and special coatings to consider. Single framed lenses have no frame construction across the nose and so you can see more. However, they're often not compatible with prescription design lenses. Twin lenses on the other hand are and can be easily removed and replaced. Multiple lens masks feature a window pane to both sides of the masks which feels more open and brighter but don't particularly increase the field of vision. 
  • Skirt: This is the silicone that seals the mask to your face. It needs to be high grade for the best levels of sealing and comfort. Silta and other plastics are not as flexible, and prone to warping and are not as comfortable. A good seal is vital, so don't overlook the importance of this factor. 
  • Frame: Masks can be framed or frame-less. In a frame-less mask, the skirt is molded around the other components to join them all together without the need for a traditional frame. However, framed masks are more easily dismantled, cleaned and repaired. And can be retro-fitted with prescription lenses. 
  • Straps and Buckles:  Again this is about materials. A silicone strap will provide stretch, flexibility and doesn't affect the integrity of the skirt seal. Buckles can be simple or more advanced in design. Recently buckles have started to appear on the frame to reduce stress on the side of the skirt and to create a better seal. 

[ Youtube video explaining what to look out for when buying product ]

A word on fitting. It is possible to check you have a good fitting mask by holding the mask to your face and breathing in through your nose. If the mask stays in place then you know you have a good fit. 

Detailed Reviews of the Best Scuba Diving Masks

So let's take a more detailed look at our top three. Something for everyone in this lot. 

Optimum Diving Mask

Optimum Diving Mask

[ Broad introduction to the product and what you liked and didn't like ]

Features

  • Single Lens
  • High Quality Silicone
  • Lens made from tough, durable, tempered glass that is shatter and scratch resistant

What's Good About It?

It is a really great mask. High quality silicone and lens. Brilliant vision and we loved the durability of the mask. Over time it really doesn't fog or discolor. 

What Could Be Improved?

The fringe is quite wide. For anyone going deeper than 35 feet, we think you may possible struggle to equalise the mask. 

Cressi Big Eyes 2 Lens Diving Mask

Cressi Big Eyes 2 Lens Diving Mask

Amazing vision with this mask. With the angles lens you can see so much more, particularly downwards. Great for snorkellers and divers alike. 

Features

  • Non-parallel lens, thin frame and anatomically shaped for extra vision
  • High quality silicone
  • Very low internal volume 

What's Good About It?

We love the view. It is the best we've tried. Add to that the quality of the silicone and low volume of air in the mask this is a great scuba (or snorkelling mask) for anyone looking for the next level up of mask. Not suitable for prescription lenses. 

What Could Be Improved?

A few of our triallists found this mask to have quite a wide skirt. So we suggest that perhaps this isn't for you if you have a smaller face.

Scuba Blue Dive Mask Nearsighted Prescription

Well we had to include a prescription lensed mask. A great mask for anyone needing corrective lenses. 

Features

  • Tempered glass in a wide range of prescriptions
  • Dual lens means it is possible to have different prescription lenses in each lens
  • Comfortable and high grade silicone skirt and strap

What's Good About It?

It works brilliantly for anyone needing a prescription lens or two in their scuba mask. It is comfortable and you can even change the lenses as your prescription changes. 

What Could Be Improved?

After a while we did find a tendency for these scuba diving masks to fog. Easily remedied with soap, but something to look out for. 

Final Verdict on Best Scuba Diving Mask

It is hard to pick a best of the top three, as they each meet different criteria. We've gone with the Optimum Diving Mask though as it really is a great mask that ticks many boxes for many people. Including value for money.