The ocean is full of wonders just waiting to be discovered. For thousands of years, the ocean and all of the mysteries it holds have fascinated humans. Scuba diving allows us to live out our desires to explore the ocean and makes for an unforgettable unique experience.
When it comes to scuba diving, the first piece of equipment you’ll want to buy is the scuba mask. Scuba masks allow you to view the wonders of the sea while protecting your eyes and nose from the water.
There are many different scuba masks on the market, and the number of options can be overwhelming for a beginner. That’s why we worked hard to create this comprehensive scuba mask buying guide, along with a list of our top twelve best scuba masks for 2018.
- Best Scuba Mask Buying Guide
- Our Top 12 Picks for the Best Scuba Masks of 2018
- Deep Blue Gear Maui Diving Mask
- Cressi Big Eyes Evolution Mask
- Oceanic Shadow Frameless Dive Mask
- Atomic Venom Frameless Mask
- Octomask GoPro Hero5 and Session Dive Mask
- Tusa M1001 Freedom HD Scuba Mask
- Phantom Aquatics Panoramic Scuba Mask Snorkel Set
- ScubaMax Abaco Single Lens Oversized Dive Mask
- SeaDive Oceanways Superview HD Diving Mask
- ScubaPro Synergy TruFit Twin Mirrored Mask
- Mares I3 Sunrise Panoramic Scuba Mask
- Promate Optical Corrective Scuba Dive Snorkeling Mask
- Finding the Best Scuba Mask for You
Best Scuba Mask Buying Guide
There are a few things you will want to keep in mind when looking for the best scuba mask. Below we’ve broken down the different features of a scuba mask, and what to look for when making a purchase decision.
The mask frame is what holds the lens and helps keep water from leaking into the mask. The frame keeps everything held together, serving as the main body of the mask. Masks can either be framed or frameless, depending on the diver’s preference.
Framed masks have a rigid outer frame that is used to hold all of the parts of mask together while offering protection for the lenses.
Most divers agree that framed masks offer better stability than frameless masks, and typically have a more secure fit. They offer more room for the eyes, making them more comfortable for those who have to wear glasses during diving sessions.
A frameless mask has no rigid outer frame. Instead, frameless masks are made into one piece, with everything attaching directly to the skirt.
Frameless masks tend to be lighter and more flexible and sit closer to your eyes. They typically offer a wider range of view and can be easily folded up and stored.
The disadvantages of a frameless mask are that it isn’t suitable for divers with glasses, and they can be more difficult to clean than a framed model.
The best scuba masks have high quality lenses that give you a clear view of a wide area. A good lens should let in plenty of light and give the diver a large viewing area. It’s important to look for lenses that are resistant to fogging, as it can be difficult to clear your lenses while already underwater.
There are three types of scuba mask lenses: single, dual, and multiple/side.
A mask with a single lens gives you a wide viewing area and eliminates the need for a nose bridge. People with smaller faces, or those who find the bar between the eyes distracting are typically better off with a single lens mask.
Dual lenses are split into two individual lenses and tend to be lighter than single lens masks. They are also great for divers who need corrective lenses, as they can easily be fitted with custom prescriptions.
Multiple or side lenses have small panes on each side of the mask to give the diver peripheral vision and a wider view.
Mask Strap and Buckles
The mask strap and buckles can be adjusted to create the perfect fit for your scuba mask.
Most scuba masks have straps that are made from either silicone or neoprene. Silicone straps offer a more secure hold but tend to be uncomfortable as it can stick to hair. Neoprene straps are easier to adjust and more comfortable, though they often cost more than a silicone strap.
The best scuba masks have a buckle system that is easy to adjust and won’t loosen during long underwater explorations. Many of today’s best scuba masks have buckles that are attached directly to the skirt, rather than on the frame. This allows for a better fit and easier storage.
The mask skirt may very well be the most important part of the scuba mask, as it is what creates the seal around the diver’s face to keep out water. It is a soft material that goes around the entire mask and is usually made from either plastic or silicone.
Most of the best scuba mask designs choose to use silicone for their skirts, as they are more durable, flexible, and create a better seal. In contrast, plastic skirts are typically heavy, flimsy, and don’t seal well.
Our Top 12 Picks for the Best Scuba Masks of 2018
Deep Blue Gear Maui Diving Mask
The Deep Blue Gear Maui Diving Mask is an inexpensive scuba mask that offers a great performance under the water. It has dual lenses made from a scratch and shatter-resistant tempered glass, which can be replaced with corrective optical lenses.
It has a double-feathered silicone skirt that helps keep water out, and a swivel bucket that can be used to adjust the strap.
It was designed to fit both adults and children over the age of 10, so every member of the family can use it.
Cressi Big Eyes Evolution Mask
Named for its wide viewing area, the Cressi Big Eyes Evolution Mask is a mask that will give you a clear look of the ocean floor. It is made of a high seal silicone that is the perfect balance between comfort and a watertight seal.
It has raked dual lenses that are inclined as close to the eyes as possible, while greatly improves downward visibility.
The lenses can be easily replaced with prescription optical lenses, making them a great option for those who need glasses.
Oceanic Shadow Frameless Dive Mask
This frameless mask is made from 100% liquid silicone that maximizes the field of view while minimizing weight.
The Oceanic Shadow Frameless Dive Mask has a single lens that is attached directly to the skirt, creating a low-volume design that can fit in most pockets.
This inexpensive mask comes with the option of two skirt sizes: standard or mini. The mini skirt is designed to fit smaller faces and create a more streamlined profile.
Atomic Venom Frameless Mask
The Atomic Aquatics Frameless Dive Mask is a professional-grade scuba mask with a low profile and a wide viewing area.
It has a smaller skirt made from a mixture of two different silicone grades and can be easily fit to any sized head using the button style strap adjustment.
It has two UltraClear lenses that get rid of the green tint that can be seen through many scuba masks by removing all iron impurities found in lower quality glass.
Octomask GoPro Hero5 and Session Dive Mask
For those who want to record their underwater adventures using their GoPro, you’ll want to check out the Octomask GoPro Hero5 and Session Dive Mask.
Using the stand on top of the mask, you can attach any model of GoPro to capture footage of everything you see while under the water.
The Octomask GoPro Dive Mask is made with a silicone skirt and dual-tempered lenses.
For those who need prescription lenses, the Octomask GroPro Dive Mask can easily be installed by a dive shop professional. It can also come in a frameless design, which has only a single piece of tempered glass.
Tusa M1001 Freedom HD Scuba Mask
The Tusa M1001 Freedom HD Scuba mask is a single lens mask with a large field of vision. It has a rotating buckle system that gives you a 180-degree viewing area and a low profile. It is extremely comfortable and is easily adjusted to fit any head.
Despite being a framed mask, the Tusa M1001 Freedom HD Scuba Mask is made from a very flexible silicone material that can easily be folded up for storage.
This is a high-quality, inexpensive mask that is great for beginner and professional divers alike.
Phantom Aquatics Panoramic Scuba Mask Snorkel Set
The Phantom Aquatics Panoramic Scuba Mask Snorkel Set is an inexpensive model that performs surprisingly well. It has a three lens that allows you to get a panoramic view and offers superior peripheral sight.
The skirt is made of a double-sealed silicone for maximum comfort and has a low volume design that creates a snug fit on the face.
There is also a split strap that helps keep the mask tight and prevents leaks. The included snorkel makes this one of the best options for new divers.
ScubaMax Abaco Single Lens Oversized Dive Mask
For those who want the widest field of view for diving trips, you’ll want to check out the ScubaMax Abaco Single Lens Oversize Dive Mask.
This mask is made with a single oversized lens that gives it the widest view available, with nothing obscuring the view over the bridge of the nose.
The lens reaches further down the cheek, giving you an overall wider viewing area. The skirt is made from two layers of crystal silicone, which helps keep water from pooling in the mask and prevents fogging.
SeaDive Oceanways Superview HD Diving Mask
The SeaDive Oceanways Superview HD Diving Mask was designed to provide the diver with the clearest view possible. It comes with a single anti-fog lens that minimizes glare and protects the eyes from harmful UV rays.
The unique multi-coated lens also allows almost 100% light passage, which allows the diver to define objects under the water clearly and can enhance certain colors.
The teardrop design of the frame tilts the lens towards the eyes, giving it better visibility when looking downwards.
The SeaDive Oceanways Superview HD Diving Mask has a comfortable silicone skirt that can be adjusted to any size.
ScubaPro Synergy TruFit Twin Mirrored Mask
When it comes to scuba equipment, ScubaPro is known as one of the top brands on the market.
The ScubaPro Synergy TrueFit Twin Mirrored Mask is a professional frameless mask that offers divers extreme comfort and a wide field of view.
It has a two-layer skirt that is both rigid and flexible, making it comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time.
It also has an anti-reflective dual lens design that gives you perfect visibility during peak daylight hours.
Mares I3 Sunrise Panoramic Scuba Mask
Mares is another brand that is well known for their high-quality scuba equipment.
The Mares I3 Sunrise Scuba Mask has three lenses that five the diver a more complete view of their surroundings, along with great peripheral vision.
The most unique feature of this mask is the X-shaped strap, which helps keep the mask securely on the face and creates an even seal.
The Mares I3 Sunrise Panoramic Scuba Mask is a great option for divers with a wider face, though it can be easily fine-tuned to any head using the quick-adjusting buckles attached to the strap.
Promate Optical Corrective Scuba Dive Snorkeling Mask
Just because you have to wear prescription lenses shouldn’t mean that you don’t get to enjoy scuba diving.
The Promate Optical Correctice Scuba Dive Snorkeling Mask is one of the best options on the market for those who need corrective lenses.
They have options for divers that need nearsighted, farsighted, or bifocal tempered lenses. There is also a camera mount on the top of the mask, which allows you to attach an underwater camera to record everything you see while underwater.
Finding the Best Scuba Mask for You
There are many things to keep in mind when choosing the best scuba mask for your diving adventures. The most important part of a mask is the fit, so it’s best to get a mask that is easy to adjust and creates an even seal. We’ve tested the masks on this list to ensure that they can easily fit any face type comfortably.
You’ll also want to figure out what type of lens is best for your ideal diving trip. Those who want a lower profile design or who need prescription lenses should aim for a dual lens mask such as the Cressi Big Eyes or the ScubaPro Synergy, while those who want an un-obscured view will likely find value in single lens masks like the ScubaMax Abaco or the Oceanic Shadow.
At the end of the day, choosing the best scuba mask comes down to personal preference. We’re confident that there is at least one mask on this list that can hit all of your scuba mask needs.