The BEST Full Face Scuba Masks [2021] – Reviews + Buying Guide

Short on time? We like the Ocean Reef Neptune as the best full face scuba mask

Full face scuba masks are becoming increasing popular, especially with recreational divers.

What were once mainly used by commercial divers, scientists and for those working in harsh cold temperatures are now being adopted by recreational divers.

(We’ll get into their many benefits of this type of mask in this guide).

A full face dive mask is a big investment and I’m sure you’re keen to ensure you have all of the facts before purchase.

So, without further delay let’s get into our recommendations for the best full face scuba diving masks.

Best full face scuba mask

The BEST Full Face Scuba Mask [2021]

The BEST full face scuba masks - reviewed

4.8/5
4.5/5
4.7/5

The Neptune G Diver full face mask is a very popular option amongst recreational divers.

The mask’s seal is made from high quality silicone which is double skirted helping it to provide a comfortable but air tight seal with the face. 

The airflow through the mask can also be adjusted by the user and the one way circulation of air through the mask also ensures that the mask doesn’t fog!

The field of view in this mask is excellent, giving you a wider more panoramic view than you would get with a regular scuba mask, and those who need corrected vision can purchase the OCEAN REEF Optical lens.

The Neptune can be upgraded with several items – a comms system so that you can communicate with anyone else using the same frequency. A surface air valve (SAV) allowing you to breathe at the surface of the water without wasting precious gas, and a quick disconnect hose allowing quick connection and disconnection at the second stage

The only real drawback to this mask is that the SAV and the Quick Disconnect must be purchased separately.

Pros
cons
4.3/5
4.8/5
4.5/5

OTS are a well known and popular brand, and also one of the first companies to start producing full face dive masks.

The OTS Guardian is a sturdy, well built dive mask which features a comfortable double silicone skirt, and a low profile visor which offers very good wide angle peripheral viewing.

When on the surface of the water, the ambient breathing valve (ABV) allowa the user to breathe ambient air so you can conserve your tank. This feature comes as standard with the OTS Guardian but has to be purchased as an additional accessory with the Neptune.

The OTS Guardian is a one size fits all mask that is great for both men and women. In fact it’s known as being a popular choice with women or people with narrower faces who have struggled to get other masks to fit.

The ‘Buddy Phone’ communication device can also be purchased separately for this mask, allowing you to communicate with others.

Pros
cons
5/5
4.5/5
4.5/5

The OTS Spectrum is a good full face mask option for those on more of a budget, 

The Spectrum provides most of the benefits that a full face mask offers but without the associated high price tag.

With the OTS Spectrum, divers use their own regulator which is connected by removing the bite down mouthpiece of the regulator and then tying it into the mask.

Unlike the Guardian and the Neptune whose frames are polycarbonate, the OTS is primarily constructed from silicone meaning that it is less bulky, more lightweight, and is more compact for travel.

The OTS doesn’t come with an ambient breathing valve as standard but the ABV can be purchased separately.

Pros
cons

How To Choose The Best Full Face Dive Mask - Buyers Guide

Full Face Scuba Mask vs scuba mask

A full face scuba mask seals around the entire face and the regulator is integrated into the mask. 

Having the mask seal around the entire face with the integration of the regulator directly into the mask offers the benefit of being able to breathe through the nose and mouth, and it gives the user the option of being able to talk.

This style of mask opens up a great deal of many benefits (more than just the added communication), and we’ll go into the advantages much deeper below.

A regular scuba mask only seals around the eyes and nose and the regulator is held separately in the mouth. This setup only gives the user the option of breathing through the mouth.

As you can imagine, full face scuba masks are bigger and heavier than a traditional scuba mask setup. They also require additional training in learning how to use them correctly. 

Full face masks are more expensive than a traditional scuba mask and separate regulator, although with the many added benefits that they provide this additional cost is warranted.

Advantages Of Full Face Scuba Masks

  • Full face scuba masks have multiple straps meaning they are attached to you more securely than a regular scuba mask which only has one. 
  • You have a much better field of view (panoramic/180 degrees) with a full face mask than you do with a regular scuba mask.
  • Communication –  one of the primary benefits us using a full face mask is being able to talk. FFM’s can come equipped with communication systems allowing you to talk to your dive buddies, or the surface boat.
  • Comfort – full face masks are more comfortable as you’re not biting down on a regulator & can relax your jaw naturally.
  • Better for those with facial hair and are less likely to leak than a regular mask due to the tight seal made around the entire face, and having more straps to hold the most in place.
  • The air circulation within the mask makes them less prone to mask fogging then a regular scuba mask
  • You can breathe naturally with a full face mask, as you have the option to breathe through your nose as well as your mouth. Some divers really prefer this much more natural and comfortable way of breathing
  • A full face mask Isn’t going to be knocked off or dislodged accidentally like a regular scuba mask can
  • Full face masks provide Extra thermal protection and is therefore ideal when diving in cold water, as it will help to protect your face from the cold water.

Disadvantages of Full Face Scuba Masks

  • They are heavier and bulkier than a regular scuba mask
  • If/when you switch back to a regular mask setup then you may have forgotten basic dive skills, like hand signals & how to clear a regular mask.
  • Full face masks are more expensive, and additional training will be required before you begin using it.
  • The higher air volume within the mask creates extra buoyancy
  • As your regulator is integrated into the mask, dropping it can be very dangerous. The mask will be tethered to you so you can locate it again using this, but some divers may panic if this situation arises.

Are Full Face Scuba masks Safe

Full face SCUBA masks are not to be confused with full face SNORKEL masks. The latter of which has some controversy around.

Full face scuba masks are completely safe to use and as we have touched on above, provide a great many benefits to divers that a traditional scuba mask and regulator can’t.

With that being said, if you do purchase a full face scuba mask then you need to ensure that you know how to use this new piece of equipment correctly before you begin using it in open water.

Courses such as the PADI Full Face Mask Diver course will teach you how to prepare and check your mask correctly before use, how to make adjustments and clear water from the mask underwater, and how to respond to emergency situations. 

It is vitally important that you learn and know these skills – clearing a FFM underwater is different (and a bit more difficult) than clearing a regular mask, and it is also important to know what to do should you drop your mask.

Neither of these situations are what you want to encounter for the first time in open water with no experience of how to resolve them

With a qualified instructor, and within a controlled environment you can safely learn these skills before venturing out on your own.

Things To Consider Before Purchasing A Full Face Scuba Mask

fit

As with a traditional scuba mask, finding a mask that fits you correctly is immensely important. 

Try on, needs to seal properly around the face to ensure comfort and no leakage, masks come in various different sizes S for women, 

Gently shake and nod your head to check to check if the mask moves and shifts around. Also use your hand to push up against your chin – If you can feel a lot of movement whilst doing this it is indicating that the mask isn’t quite fitting correctly.

You may find it trickier your first couple of tries in putting on the mask and adjusting it correctly due to the many straps

budget

Full Face masks in general are not cheap but as they becoming more popular and more and more options are becoming available to recreational divers at more affordable price points.

A full face mask may or may not be for you which is why it is important for you to do the research before investing in one. They are a great investment and many people who buy a FFM swear they will never go back to a regular setup.

Full face masks generally range from about $400 to $1,600 and you will also need to factor in the cost of training on how to use your new full face mask as well.

With that being said we have tried to include the best full face scuba masks to fit every budget.

weight

Full face masks are obviously quite a bit heavier than a regular scuba mask, which may be a factor you need to consider if you have limited space in your gear bag, or prefer to travel light.

You may, however, feel that the added benefits provided by a full face mask far outweigh the size and weight disadvantages they have.

summary

Full face scuba masks are becoming increasingly popular in the market, and are not simply reserved for commercial divers anymore.

For the recreational diver we really like the Ocean Reef Neptune GDiver as it’s a very well made FFM that is also reasonably priced, and has the option of additional upgrades further down the line (like communications, lights etc).

Ocean reef neptune space gDiver FFM

The best full face scuba masks provide so many benefits over regular scuba masks, like; added protection, the ability to communicate, elimination of jaw fatigue and the option of breathing through your nose.

A simple Google search in fact will show you all the users who have switched to FFM’s and wondered why they never made the switch sooner!  

Have you made the switch over to a full face scuba mask? Tell us about your experience below!

best full face scuba mask

best full face scuba mask

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