Alongside a dive computer, many scuba divers look at getting a scuba mask as their first piece of personal scuba gear. This is a really smart decision in my opinion. The reasons you would want your own personal dive mask are numerous, the main one being comfort. Many divers I have met have been stuck with a ill fitting rental mask from their local dive shop and they tend to be uncomfortable, foggy and usually in pretty bad condition. So how do you go about finding the best scuba mask for your needs? Lets dive into it (pun intended).
The best scuba mask for you is the one that fits comfortably, with a high quality skirt that will seal properly around your face. If you put the scuba mask on your face without the head strap, and inhale through your nose slightly, it should stay in place and air should not enter the mask. This is a great test to see if you are on the right track. There is also your personal preference if you are looking for a wide view mask, panoramic or single lens. Each style has their own benefits and drawbacks, but personally I really like a large lens style mask that sits close to the face. There is a really good list of some great scuba mask options that I found over at Diver World that is pretty current and has knowledgeable info from legit scuba divers. Myself, I have been using a ScubaPro Solo mask for several years and love it.
Now, to avoid having a very foggy dive mask when you first purchase a new one, there is a great little trick you can do. Most scuba masks ship with a protective layer of chemical coating that is designed to keep them looking shiny and new. This is great for display models, but not so much in real dive situations. It will cause your mask to fog up like crazy and you will be forced to constantly clear it during your dive, which is extremely annoying. That is why most experienced divers know the “lighter trick”. This is when you take an ordinary bic lighter, and quickly run the flame back and forth over the exterior glass while holding the mask upside down. as long as you keep the flame constantly moving there is no chance it will damage your mask. The heat will burn off the interior chemical layer and your mask will be 100% less foggy!
So I hope this little article has helped you find the best scuba mask for your needs, it really does not have to be too complicated at all! Just be sure to read some online reviews and find out what other scuba divers are saying about the top rated dive masks. A high quality scuba mask should last a diver a long time if taken care of properly. Just remember, always rinse your dive mask with fresh water after each outing! Happy diving everyone 🙂