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How To Choose A Diving Mask?

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A diving mask is a highly essential piece of equipment in every diving kit. While purchasing a snorkeling or diving kit, one of the essential pieces of equipment is a diving mask. The right diving mask will offer a high visibility level and allow you to read hand signals and gauges while scuba diving easily. But what type of mask should one select? Will you be snorkeling, free diving, or scuba diving? Should you purchase a two-window or a single-window mask? In this article, we have mentioned various types of masks available in the market, so it can be easy for you to pick the perfect diving mask and a size test to select a perfect fit.

What Masks for What Type of Diving?

While purchasing a diving mask, one must remember that scuba diving and snorkeling masks are NOT SAME. Snorkel masks are made using inexpensive materials, like rubber, and have plastic lenses ideal for shallow waters. There are both single and double-lens snorkel diving masks available in the market, along with various full and half-face snorkel masks to choose from.

Recently, full-face snorkel marks have gained high popularity because of their rare curved lens that provides a 180° view. These masks help snorkelers breathe through their mouth or nose easily, which is very helpful for beginners or nervous individuals. However, an ideal mask for snorkeling is a diving mask with a large visual field to enjoy their underwater experience to the fullest.

Dive masks are usually made using high-quality materials, such as shatterproof glass and silicone, and these masks are specifically designed for scuba divers. However, silicone diving masks are much more pliable and have a better face seal than rubber masks. All types of diving masks undergo a testing procedure to ensure their functioning under great pressure. An ideal mask for scuba divers is the single or double window mask that doesn’t cover divers’ noses for facilitating deep decompression.

What Makes Up a Diving Mask?

Before entering any dive shop, make sure about the type of diving you are interested in and list all the important features you desire in your diving masks, such as minimal glare, a wide field of vision, or a diving mask that can be easily recognized others.

There are numerous varieties of diving masks available in the market, such as technical masks and masks for traveling light. Knowing what you desire makes it easier for you to make the right choice.

  • Cost:

    numerous diving masks are available at different budgets. Usually, the price for diving masks starts from $50 and reaches up to $1000 for full-face masks. Do not purchase a cheap snorkel mask from any supermarket for diving activities. If you have a limited budget, consider purchasing a second-hand diving mask from any local dive shop or club.

    But make sure to test it before any diving event. Types of equipment or products used or recommended by other divers can be very helpful in choosing an ideal mask at a low price.

  • Fit:

    Even if the price of a diving mask is not the most important factor, then what is? It is the mask fit. One of the key factors to always keep in mind while purchasing a diving mask is its fit. A well-fitted diving mask can prevent water from entering your mask and ensure a comfortable experience without the repetitive need to clear the mask.

    Make sure you choose a mask keeping account of your nose shape, head size, and face shape. However, a nose pocket or enclosure is a majorly important factor.

  • Skirt Colour:

    that silicone band around the diving lenses is called a mask skirt. They are usually found in white, black, clear colours and have their advantages. A clear skirt color mask lets in more light, whereas a black skirt color mask removes any form of distraction and reduces glare from light patterns and surrounding movements.

    A white skirt mask color, which is less common, is easily captured in underwater photography. A black skirt mask has a small advantage of not showing visible dirt and has better visibility than white and clear skirt masks.

  • Several lenses:

    Diving masks are available in either single, double, or multiple lenses. Single-lens masks have a wide uninterrupted vision and also provide a binocular view for depth perception. They are highly suitable for divers who are looking for a broad field of vision and equalizing. Single-lens masks are available in both frameless and frame versions.

    Two lens masks provide low volume and are designed with tear shape lenses. These tear-shaped lenses provide a wide view length and also a downward view for great gear visibility.

    Multiple lens masks are made with small lenses around their sides along with the main lens. These types of masks provide the broadest view and also offer great light. A multiple lens mask is highly suitable for divers who have claustrophobia.

  • Volume:

    A low-volume dive mask has a lens closer to your eyes, and less air is required for cleaning the mask underwater. Low volume mask offers a great field of vision and flat fold for packing purposes.

Selecting the Right Diving Mask

  1. Visibility –

    while underwater, it is impossible for us humans to see clearly. A diving mask is a protective barrier between the water and our eyes, filling the space between air for better optimal visibility.

  2. Security:

    An ideal diving mask is always watertight, which reduces the excess of water entering inside, as it highly affects the lens visibility.

  3. Anti-fog:

    For maintaining a 100% vision field, it is important to maintain your diving mask. As lack of care can cause mask fogging, which can reduce your lens vision.

  4. Size:

    Make sure you purchase a perfect fit diving mask. A mask too small or tight can be very uncomfortable to wear. If your mask is too big, the water will certainly leak in. However, selecting a perfect size and fit becomes highly essential for every diver.

Choosing The Correct Size

While purchasing your first ever diving mask, it is recommended to try on several sizes and models available in-store. However, many diving classes offer a wet test for new diving pieces of equipment. Fortunately, with a few simple testing procedures, you can get a perfect idea of whether your mask will work underwater or not. However, a great fitting mask is usually comfortable and leak-free underwater.

The listing below is simple testing procedure that will ensure your mask fit:

  • Place your mask over your face without fastening the mask straps. Gently move your head back and forth around 45 degrees and check whether the mask skirt is flat wh. During the head movement, your mask should sit comfortably around your face without any gaps. Ensure the skirt is not wide around your forehead and it is comfortable under your nose and above the top lip. Ensure the nose enclosure or pocket is of perfect size, which is not too small and not too large.
  • Try and breathe in through your nose. Make sure the mask sits comfortably around your face. If you feel the air rushing in through any small gaps or your mask falls off during the process, it isn’t your ideal fit and will most likely leak.
  • If the above two steps work perfectly for you, then try and fasten the mask straps. Ensure that the straps aren’t too tight, as the underwater pressure helps the diving mask in sealing, and tight straps can cause more leaks.
  • Start by applying step one again but this time, keep focusing comfort on your nose and brow bone.

Almost done! Now, all you need to do is select that highly comfortable model and offers high visibility level underwater.

Conclusion

While purchasing a snorkeling or diving kit, one essential piece of equipment is a diving mask. The right diving mask will offer a high visibility level and allow you to read hand signals and gauges while scuba diving easily. With so many available options in the market and different features that each model offers, what should you prioritize in a diving mask? How will you select the right one for you?

All of these questions have been answered in our article, and we have even explained the lingo around various parts that make up an ideal diving mask, features one must consider while choosing a diving mask, and a size test for a perfect fit.

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