The BEST Scuba Mask [2021] – Pro Adventure Guide

Short on time? We consider the TUSA M-1001 Freedom HD the best scuba mask

Having the best scuba mask is essential when it comes to having a great dive trip. The absolute last thing you want is to be 50ft deep and suffer from water leakage in your mask. 

There is so much beauty to be seen under the water. In order to take it all in you not only want to see it as crystal clear as possible, but you also want a scuba mask that’s comfortable and durable.

Having a quality scuba mask that you know you can trust and rely upon really does make all the difference when deep underwater. So with that in mind, here’s our list of the best scuba diving masks.

The Best Scuba Diving Mask [2021]

  1. TUSA M-1001 Freedom HD Scuba Diving Mask
  2. Scubapro Solo Scuba Snorkeling Dive Mask
  3. Cressi F1, Scuba Diving Snorkeling Frameless Mask
  4. Cressi Big Eyes Evolution Scuba Mask
  5. Atomic Aquatics Venom Frameless Mask

The Best Scuba Diving Masks Reviewed

TUSA M-1001 Freedom HD – Best Overall

Pros

  • Excellent field of view
  • Low profile/Minimal internal volume
  • Easily adjustment & comfortable for long periods of use
  • Available in a large assortment of colors

Cons

  • Not the best mask for small faces

scubapro solo scuba diving mask

Pros

  • Excellent Panoramic/unobstructed view
  • Soft double silicone skirt provides comfort and excellent seal
  • low profile/low volume design

Cons

  • A little pricier than other masks

Cressi F1 Frameless Mask

Pros

  • Frameless design means it can be folded flat and stored easily
  • Very competitive pricing
  • Comes in a large array of colours

Cons

  • Prone to fogging if the lens coating isn’t removed properly


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Cressi big eyes evolution scuba mask

Pros

  • Patented technology to reduce internal volume
  • Also comes in a mirrored lens version
  • Corrective lenses available

Cons

  • Field of vision not quite as good as the others


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atomic aquatics venom scuba mask

Pros

  • Very wide panoramic view
  • Comfortable to wear for long durations
  • Excellent clarity

Cons

  • The most expensive of the list


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How To Choose The Best Scuba Mask For You – Buying Guide

Fit/Comfort

This is hands down the most important aspect of your scuba mask.

Never mind a fancy looking mask with all the bells and whistles – If it doesn’t fit properly it will be prone to leakage.

And if it isn’t comfortable, you’ll be focussed more on the frustration of an ill-fitting and (quite likely painful) mask than the beautiful underwater wildlife around you.

Material

Extremely important still are the materials your scuba mask is constructed from.

It’s imperative that it is built from strong durable materials so that it is truly built to last, but those materials must also be soft and comfortable to allow you to wear your mask for hours of diving on end.

Lens

The lens should be constructed of tough and durable tempered glass.

Tempered glass is best under high pressure (like when diving deep underwater), and is hard to break.

The configuration of the lens on the other hand is a much more personal choice (single, twin or multiple), which I’ll discuss in greater detail further below.

Skirt

The masks skirt, which is what creates an airtight seal around your face, should be made of silicone.

Silicone is soft and comfortable, but also a durable material which frames the face very well. 

A cheaper less well constructed mask might have a skirt made of rubber – Which is harder than silicone, much more prone to warping and degradation over time, and provides nowhere near the comfort level that silicone provides.

Skirt Color

The skirt color will be highly up to personal preference – But the color and transparency of the skirt you choose isn’t just for making an underwater fashion statement. 

A transparent skirt will allow more light to enter the mask. Some divers prefer this type of mask in already low light conditions as they prefer the feeling of openness this provides.

Having more light entering the mask, and a slightly better peripheral vision helps combat any claustrophobia that you might feel. 

A solid, dark colour skirt will block out more light. This may be preferable in sunny/light  conditions where you may be diving in shallow water and the glare from the sun might bother you.

A solid color skirt will help you to focus a lot more on what is in front of you – A bright color can also make you easier to spot under water.

Volume

The masks volume refers to how much air space there is within the mask.

A low volume mask will sit closer to the face – as a result the mask has less space inside it which makes this type of mask quicker and easier to clear than a high volume mask.

Depending on your face shape a low volume mask can be uncomfortable for some people – A prominent nose/forehead tend to be the features that don’t suit this type of mask well.

A high volume mask in contrast has more airspace within it, and can therefore take a little extra to clear any water that collects in them.

Some users also prefer to not have the lens too close to the face as it can add to the feeling of claustrophobia.

Most divers probably tend to prefer a low volume mask, but as previously mentioned, the most important thing is that the mask fits you well, and that you feel comfortable wearing it.

Different Features Found In Scuba Masks

Window Type

tusa single window snorkel mask
twin lens scuba mask
cressi 4 window snorkel mask

Single Lens Dive Mask

A single lens scuba mask has just one pane of glass.

This type of mask tends to give a more uninterrupted view than a twin or a multiple lens mask as there is no frame going down the middle of the mask to potentially restrict your view.

This type of mask whilst excellent for most would not be suitable for those wanting corrective lenses in their mask.

Twin Lens Dive Mask

A twin lens scuba mask has two separate windows – The view from this mask may not be quite as impressive as a single lens mask, however the volume inside the mask is potentially smaller than a single lens mask.

They are the perfect choice for people who need corrected vision as it is very easy to attach corrected lenses inside them, or purchase a ready made prescription scuba mask.

Multiple Lens Dive Mask

Multiple lens scuba masks have small windows each at the side to help increase your peripheral vision.

The side windows can sometimes distort vision underwater though, and you may typically find that multiple window masks tend to have a higher internal volume.

Framed vs Frameless Scuba Mask

cressi f1 frameless snorkel mask
twin lens scuba mask

A frameless mask is constructed so that the lens is moulded directly to the silicon skirt which frames the face. A framed mask, as you can probably guess, has a rigid frame which attaches to the skirt.

The subtraction of a frame means that a frameless mask tends to be more lightweight and compact – Some will easily able to fit into your BCD pocket.

Purge Valve

A feature that can be found in some masks, the purge valve, may be of interest to some. 

The purge valve is a one way valve that is located in the nose pocket. Its purpose is to purge/expel any water which has collected in the mask back into the sea. 

When you exhale through the nose – the purge valve opens and expels the water in the mask back into the sea.

Finding The Right Fit

Hold the mask to your face, and gently press the mask to your face – As you’re doing this consider how and where the mask sits on your face. (It would also help massively if you looked into a mirror whilst doing this).

Is the mask pressing into the bridge of your nose? Is the masks skirt in contact with your face properly, or is it too wide for your face? These are important things to look and feel for when fitting a new scuba mask.

Very gently breathe in through your nose whilst the mask is pressed to your face.

A mask that’s a good fit should seal easily against your face, and show no signs of moving around, and there should be no air entering the mask.

If you notice any air being able to get into the mask then this means that water will also be able to enter it.

One final tip – Make sure you keep a straight face when trying your mask on! If you are smiling or frowning then this will affect the way the mask sits on your face.

How To Prevent Mask Fogging

A new scuba mask will need to be treated before you first use it. 

That’s because new scuba masks have a layer of film over the lens which is left over from the manufacturer, and this needs to be removed. 

If you do not remove this film then the moisture that collects in your scuba mask will stick to the film coating on the lens thereby creating a ‘fog’, blocking your vision and potentially ruining your dive!

There are two ways to remove the film left over from the manufacturing process. The first one is by taking a non-gel toothpaste and applying it to the lens, give it a rub and leave it for a minute before rinsing it with clean water.

The second method requires a bit more skill – Take a lighter and apply it to the mask lens (be careful not to burn the silicone!). Applying a flame from a lighter will burn the manufacturing film from the lens.

Scuba Mask vs Snorkel Mask

Whilst they may look the same to most people, snorkel masks don’t have to be made to the high specifications that a scuba diving mask has to.

When snorkeling you a never too far from the water’s surface so if something goes wrong with your snorkel mask – a leak for example, it can be annoying for sure but it isn’t going to cause you too much of an issue since you can simply lift your head out of the water and readjust your mask before continuing. 

For this reason you could purchase a very cheaply constructed snorkel mask (although I wouldn’t advise it since there are many budget snorkel masks that are still well constructed).

But the point is there are many cheaply made snorkel masks on the market with plastic lenses and rubber skirts, which although not perfect, will still be fit for purpose.

Scuba masks however, due to the nature of their use must be of a much higher build quality than a snorkel mask as it is far riskier if something goes wrong with your mask when you are far away from the water’s surface.

A scuba mask lens must be made from tempered glass in order to withstand the pressure of the water.

Low volume/low profile masks are more favored by divers as the reduced amount of air volume within the mask means that they are easier to clear of water than a high volume mask, and they are less buoyant.

The skirt of a scuba mask must also be made from high grade silicone – which will give you the most comfort and the best type of seal against your face.

In short, a scuba mask really isn’t the piece of equipment that you would want to skimp on and I would advise ensuring you purchase a high quality, well constructed dive mask that fits you perfectly.

Our Verdict

A trusted and very reputable brand, TUSA have been making great quality scuba gear for years – and it is the TUSA M-1001 Freedom HD that tops our list of the best scuba masks for a multitude of reasons.

The dimpled silicone skirt of the TUSA Freedom HD masks provides a greater seal around the face than that of a flat skirt, and most users of this mask find that the mask shape and 180 degree buckle system fits most users face shapes.

The TUSA is exactly what you want in a scuba mask – It provides an excellent field of uninterrupted vision, is very comfortable (even for periods of long extended use), and is built from durable, good quality materials.

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