How to Choose the Right Mask for Scuba Diving

Robert Arak in Scubatude Blog
on Jul 17, 2018 |

Choosing the right scuba mask is more about fit and function, than color and style.
The three most important features of a good scuba diving mask are fit, fit and fit.
 

There are so many scuba diving masks out there, it's sometimes hard to choose the right one. The very best mask, made from the finest silicone on the planet, and the clearest, high definition lens isn't worth a penny, and can ruin a great dive if it is uncomfortable or constantly fills with water. Finding a good fitting mask isn't hard to do, if you follow these simple steps:

  1. Hold the mask, without the strap, against your face. Make sure all your hair is pulled back away from the mask seal.

  2. Gently inhale through your nose. A good fitting mask will stay on your face without you holding it. A great fitting mask will present a challenge to remove while continually gently breathing in through your nose.

  3.  Make sure you can pinch your nose closed with your fingers while wearing the mask.

  4. Look around through the mask to make sure you have a good field of view.

  5. IMPORTANT Repeat the above steps with a snorkel or regulator in your mouth. This should not change the fit, but if it does try a different mask.

Mask Features

There are a lot of different features associated with diving masks. Some are necessary, while some are more marketing than useful. Any mask you choose should have the following standard features:

  1. Tempered glass, or high quality composite made for scuba diving.

  2. Low profile design. This makes clearing water out easier.

  3. Finger pockets around nose that allow you to squeeze your nose with your fingers.

There are also some optional or enhanced features that you may want to consider:

  1. Soft and durable silicone mask skirt.

  2. The ability to insert prescription or "reader" lenses if needed.

  3. UV and glare protection and reflective coatings.

Maintaining your scuba mask.

Before using your new mask for the first time, you need to prepare it. During mask manufacturing, mold release agents, silicone, and other chemicals adhere to the mask lens. These chemicals prevent most defog solutions from working properly. To remove these chemicals, follow these steps:

  1. Apply about a nickel sized dab of mask scrub to the inside of each lens.

  2. Using your finger or thumb, rub the mask scrub with some pressure in a circular motion all over the inside of the lens. You are trying to scrub off the chemical coating so really put some effort into it. It should take minutes to scrub the mask lens clean.

  3. Rinse all the mask scrub out of the mask, then dry it thoroughly.

  4. Repeat steps 1-3 several times.

Before each dive you will want to use defog to keep the lens clear and fog free. Use a small drop of defog on the inside of each lens. use your finger to spread the defog to cover the entire surface of the lens. Let the defog sit on the lens until you are ready to enter the water. A quick rinse with water to remove the excess defog just before entering the water (or even after entering the water) is all it takes.

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