Full Face snorkel masks have made a real impression on the snorkel mask market in the last few years. They also opened the activity up for many new people as they allow to breath more natural with your face under water.
We evaluated the best available full-face snorkel masks and reviewed them for you. Have a look at the masks below if you are looking to buy one.
Cell 1 / 5
Best Budget Mask
UooCool Snorkel Mask
H2O Ninja Snorkel Mask
The Super Snorkel Mask
Ocean Reef Aria
The Seaview 180° snorkel mask by Wildhorn Outfitters is a staple for full face masks since it came out several years ago. Until this day it is one of the best, if not the best, 180° full face snorkel mask available. It provides a full 180-degree view which lets you enjoy the underwater wildlife and scenic beauty.
You can breathe through your mouth or nose with this mask while having a surround view through the wide-angle lens. The mask comes in two sizes and roughly fits kids 7 years or older if they wear the smaller size.
The Dry Snorkel Technology prevents water from coming through the snorkel into your mouth. No more swallowing salt water and gagging on it. The overall design of the mask is also a lot more comfortable than traditional snorkels as you do not have to bite down on the mouth piece!
The mask skirt is made from silicone which provides a comfortable and snug fit to your face. The wide straps allow easy adjustment and won’t get tangled in your hair.
The mask does not provide the ability to wear glasses as the tight fit would be disturbed by the arms of the glasses. There is also no option to replace the lens with prescription lenses! Also, if you have a beard you might not be able to get a snug fit with this mask or any other snorkel or dive mask for that matter. You shouldn’t have a problem with a mustache though.
The separate breathing chamber is an innovative design. It forces the airflow away from the lens. This in turn pretty much eliminates any fogging on the lens. You can enjoy the view a lot better than with many other masks.
Due to the design of this being a full-face mask, there is a lot of air between the lens and your face. This will provide quite a lot of buoyancy which means that you will have a harder time diving with this mask. As the Seaview 180-degree mask is meant for snorkeling and not for diving, this is not really an issue at all.
The Seaview 180° full face snorkel mask also has the added feature of a GoPro camera mount. It’s your perfect companion if you want to make a video of your snorkeling experience as you don’t need to hold the camera in your hands.
The mask comes in a range of colors. You can get it in Navy Blue/Gray, Plum/Gray, White/Blue, White/Pink and White/Teal. It comes in two different sizes to fit children and adults perfectly.
The Tribord Easybreath is the original full face snorkel mask. And today it’s still every bit as good as it was the first day it came out. It provides and exceptionally big field of view that lets you enjoy all the sights and sea life while you snorkel.
The full-face mask allows you to breath with your mouth or nose. The days of having to force the snorkel into your mouth and biting down on it are gone. This makes for a much more comfortable snorkel experience that is less tiring.
Tribord patented the breathing system in the mask and it is a really cleaver design. The mask has a relief valve at the bottom that allows to easily clear out any trapped water in the mask. It’s a quite ingenious mechanism and quite helpful when snorkeling.
The snorkel itself has a one-way valve which closes the snorkel when it gets immersed in water. This prevents water from coming down the snorkel that end up in your mouth and more often than not gets you to gag. A nice feature is also that the top of the snorkel is kept in bright orange which makes it easy to see by others while you snorkel. This is a great safety feature which does help to prevent collisions while you snorkel!
The window is large and clear. It’s made of a shatter proof polycarbonate which makes the mask a very durable piece of gear. Compared to many cheaper masks you will save money by not having to replace the mask that often due to broken windows, etc.
The Easybreath is not your mask if you require to wear glasses while snorkeling. None of the full-face masks will be good for that as you cannot get prescription lenses for the window. Your fit might also not be perfect if you have a full beard. Otherwise, you can trust to get a tight fit through the silicone skirt of the mask against your face as well as the straps to adjust the mask.
The Tribord Easybreath is a rather large mask. The trapped air inside will make it nearly impossible to use it for free diving or any other sort of diving as it causes to much buoyancy. That should not be a problem considering that it is a snorkel mask and not a dive mask.
The mask comes in various sizes and colors. The sizing should allow to find a perfect fitting mask for any shape of head, even for children. There are four sizes available which is truly outstanding!
You can get the mask in three different colors: Atoll, Blue and Pink. The top of the snorkel is always kept a bright orange to make it easy to see in the water.
The Tribord Easybreath is overall a great mask and would win this comparison if it had a GoPro camera mount like the Seaview 180° full face snorkel mask. Besides that feature both masks are pretty much equally as good.
The Tribord has a slight advantage as it’s basically impossible to fog the mask up. The Seaview mask can fog up a little when breathing heavy but it easily clears when going back to a shallower breathing.
On the safety side the Easybreath also has a tiny advantage through the bright orange end piece of the snorkel. It simply is easier to see in the water and at least in theory can help to prevent collisions.
Besides those small differences both masks are on par. They even look very similar when you hold them next to each other. In our opinion you can’t go wrong with either but if you want to use a GoPro camera then opt for the Seaview model!
The Octobermoon full face mask is definitely the ‘best of the rest’. It’s a similar design as the Triboard Easybreath yet it is somewhat cheaper in price.
One could also call it a cheaper knock-off of the Tribord mask. While there is some truth to it, it’s also not fair to simply categorize the mask that way. It’s a quality snorkel mask that is actually really high quality.
The snorkel is a model that will automatically close when it submerges. The mechanics of this are quite sophisticated as the valve closes the snorkel instantly when you dive down. It also is not one of those cheap mechanisms that sometimes doesn’t work but a really well designed piece of gear.
The snorkel is not in a highly visible color like on the Easybreath. This is not a problem but a highly visible color can help others to see you and to avoid collisions.
The skirt of the mask is made from high grade silicone and it shows when you put the mask on. It fits tight while still being comfortable. It’s so well designed that you even have a chance to get a tight seal if you have a beard!
Even with this great skirt you won’t be able to wear glasses while using this mask. You won’t be able to get a tight fit around the arms of your glasses. There’s also no possibility to change the lens with a prescription lens.
The volume of the mask will make it really hard to dive down. The trapped air produces too much buoyancy and that will force your head to stay afloat. A full-face mask will not be a good choice if you need a mask for both snorkeling and diving.
The Octobermoon snorkel mask comes in two different sizes. The smaller version is intended for children and people with smaller sized heads. The larger size works for medium to large heads.
You also have the choice between two color combinations. You can either get it in black or in blue.
If you’re looking for a great budget priced mask, then you don’t have to look any further. You get a great mask for a lower price than the Seaview or Easybreath masks.
The UooCool mask is one of the latest new masks in the full-face snorkel mask market. And they have designed a solid and high quality full face snorkel mask.
The snorkel is designed to stay dry under water and the design actually works quite well. It stays completely dry under water. Additionally, the mask has a water purge valve at the bottom of the mask to be able to get any water in the mask out easily.
The mask seals well even when you’re not freshly shaved. It provides a comfortable fit with a good skirt. The straps allow to adjust the fit perfectly.
The mask has no attachment for a GoPro camera which seems surprising for a rather new model on the market. The overall design is solid and the field of view is large.
The snorkel top is colored to match the mask. It’s not a bright signal color so it might not be easily visible like for example the Easybreath mask.
The mask comes in two different sizes to fit nearly any size and shape of face. The mask comes in several colors which include black, blue, green and two different pink masks.
It is overall a well-designed mask for a good price.
The Ninja mask is a seriously good and high quality mask. It comes in two editions. The standard version and the GoPro version.
We could write a lot about this mask as it seriously is a good mask. However, the price in our opinion is simply not justified. The Ninja is in no way better than the Seaview or the Easybreath yet it costs nearly double the price.
There’s no reason to spend that much money in our opinion so for a mask that is not in any way better than others we already looked at above. However, if you have too much money to spend then you can be sure to get a great mask for the money you spend.
For this money that you spend you’ll get a mask with a dry snorkel, a great fit, and last but not least one that is fog free. You can count on getting a mask with all the features you’d expect and that we already reviewed for our two top-rated masks. Yet, you’ll spend way more money than you have to…
The name is a mouthful but thankfully the snorkel is not. Being a full face mask means that there’s no snorkel piece to bite onto. You can breathe through your mouth or nose as if you are on land.
This mask is a relatively new contender on the market and their claim to fame is that they have the longest snorkel of all full-face masks. We have not measured it against all of the available snorkels but yes, it is a pretty long snorkel. This gives you a little more leeway when moving around before accidentally submerging the snorkel.
The mask has a soft skirt that provides a tight and leak free fit to your face. You might have trouble staying completely dry if you have a beard. If you end up with some water in your mask, then there is a valve at the bottom of the mask to drain any water that accumulated. You will have to stand upright to enable the automatic draining of water from the mask.
The snorkel is designed to stay dry even if submerged. That will save you a lot of salty or dirty water in your mouth which otherwise will lead to gagging and a less than perfect experience snorkeling.
The mask is designed to give you a full 180 degree field of view. The window is built with impact resistant polycarbonate. It is fog free.
Another great feature of this mask is that it has a mount for your GoPro camera. It’s designed to allow you to get an easy view out of the mask onto the viewfinder or the screen of the camera so you can see what you’re filming while you snorkel.
This is a great mask with good features at a good price. We don’t think it’s any better than the Seaview but it’s also not necessarily worse. It only comes in black and the snorkel does not have a color piece that would make it easily visible when you snorkel.
The Aria mask is a clear knock off of the Tribord mask. And it’s actually a really good knock-off. It’s high quality, fits great and works as advertised. Yet, there’s a real issue. It’s more expensive than the original product and so it doesn’t seem to make any sense to get the Ocean Reef Aria vs. the Easybreath.
There’s nothing not to like about this mask. It comes in a few color combinations that might make you scratch your head though. Ever thought of orange and pink? In one mask? You might want or need this mask if you want color combos like that. It might even be worth to pay more than you’d pay for the original.
One thing to consider is also that technically this mask comes in a large variety of sizes. Four to be precise. Including a XS sized mask for children. However, it seems that specific color combinations will only be found for certain sizes.
This is an overall good full-face mask. It’s a high-quality product that will last you a long time. The price in our opinion is too high. And on top of that you have to pay money if you want to add the GoPro camera mount. You’re better and cheaper off to look at the Seaview 180 Degree.
The market for full face snorkel masks will only get more crowded. So far none of the new contenders was able to knock the Tribord or the Seaview off of the throne. Here’s a list of other masks that are available today. Please be advised that many of these masks are not made of the same high-quality materials and/or are not as well designed. You can expect these masks to not last as long and to potentially leak at times.
Thenice Snorkel Mask
LUOOV 180 Degree View
Some of these masks might save you a few dollars compared to the ones we reviewed above. Otherwise, we don’t think there’s any need to go for a knock-off when you can get the top contenders in the market for around the same price.
When you’re in the market for a new full-face snorkel mask and you only look at the pictures then you quickly will realize that they do look all pretty much the same. If you compare that for example to looking at the different best dive masks then you at least can see a difference between those.
Full-face snorkel masks all are derived from one original design. And that was the Tribord Easybreath. The major updates and innovations you can get are improvements and changes on the breathing chamber and mounts for action cameras. You can find these on the Seaview 180 Degree mask.
Important factors to keep in mind also are to have a snorkel that stays dry and a valve to get rid of water inside the mask. Regarding safety you need to make sure that the window is of high-grade, impact resistant polycarbonate. Another good feature to have is a snorkel end piece that is in a strong signal color. This allows others to see you easily and avoid collisions.
Snorkeling is a very family-friendly activity. It’s relaxing and there’s so much to see under water. You also do not need any skills whatsoever once you know how to swim. It is important to use the right equipment to make it a pleasant recreational activity for you and your family.
Until a few years ago the masks you could get for snorkeling where the same as the ones you used for diving. Technically, nothing wrong with that. You added a snorkel and you were good to go. And that’s where the problem started for most.
The snorkels had a mouth piece that you needed to bite down to keep it in place. Even if it’s your own snorkel, that’s a rather unhygienic piece of equipment. The more important issue though is or was that you had to breathe through your mouth. The old masks and snorkel combinations did not allow for any nose breathing. Many people didn’t like to snorkel because of that as their natural instinct was to breathe through their nose.
Another problem with the old snorkels was that they didn’t keep water out when they got submerged. There’s a lot of drinks that taste better than a nice swallow of salt water. A lot of people tried to snorkel and immediately stopped this activity once they drank a mouthful of salt water and gagged under water. Not only does it taste gross, it also can lead to panic attacks for some people as they immediately fear they’d be drowning. Newer generations of snorkels are dry which means that they don’t allow water to get into the snorkel and your mouth when submerged.
The full-face masks completely took away with those snorkel and breathing problems. As they cover the whole face, they do allow to breathe through your mouth or your nose. Just as if you’d take a stroll in a park. They also are designed to be dry snorkels and will keep the water out of the snorkel and the mask if they get submerged.
Another advantage of a full-face mask is that it is overall more comfortable to wear. As it covers your whole face, the skirt is pressing all around your face. Traditional masks at time can have pressure points in the middle of your face which might make that more uncomfortable to wear. This is true especially when you snorkel for a longer time and also if you use a cheaper dive mask.
Many people, for whatever reason, think that the cheapest dive mask is good enough for snorkeling as they won’t really dive. Technically, that might be true but these cheap dive masks also don’t use the best components and materials and thus are often leaky and/or uncomfortable to wear. A full-face mask, if it’s not one of the cheap Asian knock-offs, will usually use high-quality components and materials which make it very comfortable to wear for long times.
Another advantage of the full-face snorkel mask over the traditional dive mask/snorkel combo is that you can’t forget the snorkel at home. You won’t believe how many people go snorkeling only to find out that they brought their dive mask but forgot their snorkel at home. They had to clean it and took it out and forgot to put it back. Just one of those things that we all tend to do at times. A full-face mask has the snorkel built-in. If you remember to grab your mask for snorkeling, you also will have your snorkel with you. This might not be an obvious advantage but experience shows that it’s one to think about!
Last but not least these kinds of masks are usually also more fog proof than traditional dive masks. As the air continuously exchanges inside the whole mask through you breathing in and out, the humidity level also stays more regulated. This reduces the chance of your mask fogging. In a traditional mask, you have the air sealed around your eyes and nose and it’s not exchanged at all during your snorkel adventure. This increases the chances of the window fogging up and you having issues seeing the beauty of the sea underneath you.
Some full-face snorkel masks also have a mount for an action camera included. Most allow to add a GoPro camera on top of the mask so you can tape the same scenery as you see it while you snorkel. This is a great feature as it allows you to continue to use your hands while filming. If you have to hold the camera in your hand then one of your hands is constantly in use holding the camera.
Full-face masks do not only have advantages though. There’s one disadvantage and that comes from the large volume of these masks. If you snorkel and see something really interesting a few feet below you, it’s much harder to dive down with a full-face mask compared to a traditional scuba mask. Why you ask? The air trapped inside the mask creates a lift under water. This makes it much harder to dive down as the air wants to keep you afloat. Modern traditional scuba masks are designed to minimize the amount of trapped air to make it easier to dive down. The full-face mask traps a lot of air which helps you stay afloat and makes it easier to snorkel but it also makes it nearly impossible to dive with them.
To be honest, the Seaview 180 or the Tribord Easybreath are the overall best masks you can find today. They offer the best performance and quality for the price and will last you for many years to come.
If you are on a budget then try the Octobermoon and you’ll end up happy. The other masks listed in our guide are all good masks but in our opinion do not reach the level of quality ad design that you get from our top contenders.
Having your own scuba diving mask is in our opinion essential. While you certainly can rent one, you will more often than not have to find out that they don’t fit or leak. This can put a big damper on your dive excursion.
It makes a lot of sense to get your own mask. It will fit comfortably and you know it won’t leak because you take care of it yourself. In case you need prescription lenses in your mask you won’t have a choice anyway but to buy your own.
Below you’ll find the best 10 scuba diving masks for 2017. There’s not a single best mask that outshines all others. Each has its strengths and weaknesses and we try to highlight this for you.
There’s a number of factors you should consider before buying a scuba mask. These factors include:
Scubapro Synergy2 Trufit
Dual or Single
Mares i3 Liquidskin
Atomic Aquatics Venom
Mares X-VU LiquidSkin
ScubaPro Spectra Trufit
Aqua Lung Impression
Cressi Big Eyes Evolution
Dual or Single
Tusa M1001 Freedom HD
Let's jump right into the detailed reviews for each mask. At the end of this article you can also find our Scuba Dive Mask Buyers Guide for further information about what you should consider when looking for a diving mask.
Scubapro is one of the most recognized brands in diving. Their gear is outstanding and reasonably priced.
The Synergy2 Trufit is no exception. It offers two high-quality silicone skirts. The inner skirt is soft and provides an exceptional fit and seal against the skin. The outer, more rigid skirt is thicker and provides the support and the rigidity needed around the mask frame.
The Synergy Trufit is a low-volume mask that offers an outstanding field of view. The buckles attach to flexible tabs on the skirt allowing for better adjustments and less pressure points. The buckles and strap system received praise from many divers. The buckles and attachment points are designed to fold flat so you need less space in your luggage when travelling.
The mask comes as a dual lens or single lens design. You can get it with clear or mirrored glasses. While the mirrored glass look is certainly cooler and can help with reflections, do not forget that it might be harder to see your eyes in the case of an emergency.
The tempered glass is designed to provide exceptional clarity and features high light transmission. It is specifically designed to not have any color distortion which results in ultra-clear visibility under water.
Scuba enthusiasts that regularly dive.
Single and Dual Lens models are available
What Could Have Been Better
The Scubapro Synergy2 Trufit is an outstanding mask. It's one of the most comfortable masks available. Pricing is average, yet the quality justifies the price point. A great mask overall for a diver that regularly has a chance to dive.
The Mares i3 Liquidskin is a panoramic mask. It features three different lenses where you have a single front lens and then one lens each on the left and right. This dramatically improves peripheral vision compared to other masks.
The skirt consists of two different types of silicone. The area around the frame is firmer to add stability. The skirt that touches your face is made of softer silicone which provides a perfect fit and prevents leakage. In addition Mares employs the Tri-Comfort Technology which is a softer silicone around the area of the forehead and nose for even more comfort.
The buckles attach to the skirt and not the frame. This allows for a more comfortable fit due to the reduced pressure of the frame against the face.
The tempered glass is clear and the side glasses greatly improve visibility. If you use the mask for snorkeling or simply want the larger view then make sure to pick a color with clear material instead of the black one. This will additionally enhance the visibility up and down.
Divers that want/need to have a huge field of view
Three lenses overall
What Could Have Been Better
The Mares i3 is a mask with a superbly large field of view. The two windows on the sides allow for a panoramic view of the sealife and seascape underneath and besides you. A great mask for diving and snorkeling in clear visibility.
The Atomic Aquatics Venom Mask is one of the most expensive and possibly one of the best scuba masks you can lay your eyes on. It’s a unique mix of a mask that has a sub-frame and one that is frameless. There is an internal frame that acts very much like a sub-frame. It is molded directly beneath the surface of the skirt. This provides to provide rigidity yet features a reasonably low profile of a frameless mask.
The silicone used for the skirt is nicknamed ‘Gummi Bear’ silicone. It’s super flexible and adjusts to the contours of your skin. Many men that have mustaches or beards swear on this mask as it is leakage free even in those cases. Similar to the Scubapro Trufit the skirt consists of two different silicones. A rigid variant around the frame and a super-soft one where it touches your skin.
The straps attach to buckles that need to be squeezed for attachment. This makes them easy to use. The buckles are mounted onto the skirt providing superior adjustment capabilities with increased comfort and fit. They are soft-mounted on the skirt allowing them to be folded flat when you pack them.
Other high end scuba masks use ultra-clear glass to avoid color distortion under water. The Venom goes one step further. It uses Superwhite glass from the German glass manufacturer Schott. This allows even more light to penetrate providing extraordinary vision under water. It’s probably the best glasses you can find in any dive mask to date.
Additionally, the glass features an anti-reflective coating (ARC). This allows even more light into the mask and reduces glare and reflection. This technology can only be found on Atomic Aquatics masks. The outcome is a dramatically increased transmission of light into the mask compared to many other masks on the market.
The most high-end mask there is...
What Could Have Been Better
There's no denying it. The Atomic Aquatics Venom is the most expensive mask in our best of list. However, it is also the best mask, period. The glass is clearer than clear and it's a pleasure to wear. If you dive often and for long times then this is the mask for you.
The X-VU is the first mask with two lenses by Mares featuring the LiquidSkin technology. LiquidSkin practically describes a skirt consisting of two different silicones. A stiffer and more rigid silicone around the frame to provide for the stability required of a mask. The second part is a soft silicone that molds to your face providing great comfort and a tight seal.
The Tri-Comfort Technology featured by Mares masks provides an additional softer silicone layer around the forehead and nose. This makes the mask overall more comfortable to wear and relieves pressure from these specific areas on your face.
The buckles and straps are easy to use and allow for a wide range of adjustments. The buckles mount to the skirt which provides a tighter fit with less pressure on your face. This mounting also allows for a lower profile and volume of the mask.
The overall mask design provides a large field of vision. If you choose a mask with clear silicone instead of black you increase the visibility even more. The mask provides an easy to squeeze nose well that allows to equalize pressure.
Great all-around mask for the recreational diver.
What Could Have Been Better
The Mares X-VU LiquidSkin is a solid mask for a good price. The LiquidSkin in combination with the Tri-Comfort technology make this one of the most comfortable to wear masks.
The Scubapro Spectra uses the same Trufit technology as can also be found on many other models. The skirt consists of two different variants of silicone. A stiffer one around the frame to add support and stability and a softer silicone to provide a tight seal on your face. This provides a tighter fit with less chance of leakage.
The skirt is designed with contoured textured ribs which adjust to nearly any size and shape of face. This practically guarantees a superb fit for any shape of head.
The easy to adjust swivel buckle system is mounted on the skirt for a tighter fit and more comfortable wear. This results in a low-profile and low-volume mask that is easy to travel with. The strap adjustment swivels are even large enough to allow you to
It is a mask with two lenses made from ultra-clear glass. The design offers superb field of view specifically when you look down. The teardrop design of the lenses allows for great visibility to reefs and other sights underneath you.
This is overall one of the best diving masks you can buy. Not as expensive as some other models yet reliable with highest quality materials and build.
Recreational divers that dive regularly in a variety of conditions
What Could Have Been Better
The Scubapro Spectra features Trufit which makes for a very comfortable fit. It's a great mask for divers that regularly and want a high-quality item. It might be a little too small if you have a large head. The fit can become uncomfortable and you might be better off with other masks.
The Cressi F1 Frameless Mask is truly one of the best masks available. It’s very affordable yet offers good quality as you would expect from a mask built by Cressi. It’s a single lens design and the glass provides exceptional clarity under water.
The F1 has a high-grade silicone skirt which has a double feathered edge for a tight fit to your face. The skirt is directly bonded to the single tempered glass lens. Being a frameless mask the Cressi F1 is a low internal volume mask that’s easy to handle. It also folds flat for easy storage and travel.
The skirt is made of flexible silicone and the mask provides a tight fit with your face. The nose pocket can easily be accessed even with gloves on your hands. It’s designed to allow for ear equalization with one hand.
The quick-adjust strap buckles are directly molded into the skirt. This allows for a more comfortable fit and less pressure on your face. The straps also fit tighter around your head which improves the tightness of the fit and reduces the possibility of leaks.
Great and affordable mask for beginners
What Could Have Been Better
The Cressi F1 is an easy to use mask that offers great quality and features for the price. It's one of the most-sold scuba masks available and is perfect for beginners and recreational divers. You might look at some other masks if you dive a lot and have grown out of the beginning stages of diving.
The Aqua Lung Impression is another highly rated mask. It is offers latest technology in its design and manufacturing. Where other masks are molded and snapped together in different stages, the Impression’s Lens, Frame and Skirt are molded together in one single step. This ensures a leak-free seal between all the parts.
This method also allowed to design the mask with the lowest volume possible. This allows to place the lenses closer to the face which helps to maximize the field of vision. It also reduces the buoyancy and it is easier to clear.
The mask sports two lenses which optimize visibility under water. The combination of the tempered glass with the closeness of them to the eye dramatically improves your ability to see clearly under water.
The skirt is made out of silicone and designed with double feathered edges. Together with the wide split strap it results in an extremely tight fit with the best level of leak avoidance. The straps connect at the skirt which allows for a more comfortable and tighter fit with less pressure.
Aqua Lung uses their Advanced Fit Technology (AFT) which uses different silicones and textures around the skirt edge. This allows the skirt to reach farther to the back and create a larger area where it fits onto the skin. The increased contact surface results in a more comfortable fit with less pressure.
The nose pocket is designed to be accessible with one hand. This allows for ear equalization even with thick gloves.
Solid mask for any dive situation
What Could Have Been Better
The Aqua Lung Impression is a great overall mask. It's priced reasonably and offers a great value. The fit of the mask is great but it might be a little small for large heads. Otherwise, you can't go wrong with this mask.
The Cressi Big Eyes Evolution is exactly what the name says. It’s a mask with quite large lenses allowing great visibility under water. The inverted teardrop shape of the lenses allows for a large field of view. In combination with the crystal clear glass it allows the maximum amount of light to penetrate.
In relation to your face the lens of the mask is inclined. The result is that the lens is closer to your face and eyes. This in turn increases the field of view at the bottom which lets you see more sealife underneath you.
The mask is made from a specific hypoallergenic soft silicone. This material is providing a superb fit and is very comfortable. Cressi calls this material ‘High Seal’. The skirt is specifically designed to fit your face and in combination of the soft silicone will not leave any marks on your face even after long use.
The buckles are mounted not directly onto the skirt but onto an elastic element on the vertical plane. This it can be bent sideways up to 180 degrees. This way it reduces the pressure on the face and frame and allows for a much tighter fit. The buckle has full range of motion and allows for easy adjustment. For travel and to store you can fold the mask flat as it has a frameless design.
The skirt is designed with a double feathered edge that fits tight to the skin and prevents leakage. The nose pocket is designed to be handled with one hand. Even with gloves you can get ear equalization easily with the use of one hand.
Cressi designed the mask so that the lenses can be replaced with vision correction lenses. These can be ordered separately. It is easy to replace the existing lenses yourself.
What Could Have Been Better
The Cressi Big Eyes Evolution is a great mask for diving and snorkeling in clear water. The large lenses allow for a lot of light to penetrate and increate the field of view. All in all a great mask for underwater sightseeing!
The Octomask is a special mask as it comes with a mount for a GoPro camera. You can shoot incredible videos while you dive without the need to hold a camera in your hands.
The mask itself is a solidly built diving mask. One would be somewhat skeptical assuming that the only thing good about this mask is the built-in mount but that’s far from the truth.
The mask has tempered glass lenses and a low volume design. It comes in two designs, either with a single lens or with dual lenses. Both variants offer a wide field of view.
The skirt is made out of soft silicone and provides a tight fit. It also is quite comfortable to wear and offers a good seal.
The low volume design results in a close and snug fit. It also allows for easy clearing and reduces buoyancy.
The skirt fits tight and the straps and buckles attach to the skirt. The straps are easily adjusted and you will get a tight fit between the mask and your face.
The mount for the GoPro fits all different models including the Hero 3 and 4 models as well as smaller Session cameras. There’s a few things to consider when you’re diving with a GoPro mounted to your mask.
First, you want to stay as horizontal as possible. Otherwise, the bubbles will go in front of the camera and screw up your video.
A very simple mistake is also to think that you have the camera running but it is not on. Check it yourself before putting the mask on and then have somebody else double-check it before you go in the water! Nothing worse than expecting a great video from your dive and the camera isn’t switched on…
The Octomask is a great mask if you intend to shoot video. Otherwise, there are better masks for diving but there’s no mask better when you want to shoot a video while having your hands free.
You can also check out the model with the single lens by clicking here.
Any diver wanting to shoot video with a GoPro camera
Single or Dual Lenses models are available
What Could Have Been Better
The Octomask might not be the best scuba mask on the planet. It's a good mask overall and the biggest advantage is that you can mount your GoPro camera right onto it. If you want to shoot video then there's basically no alternative if you want to keep your hands free.
The Tusa M1001 Freedom HD mask shines with a large single lens. It’s quite a bit larger than most other masks. The result, as you can imagine, is a large field of view. The glass itself is super clear and you’ll be surprised how much more you can see under water!
The skirt consists of soft silicone. It provides a tight fit to your face. The mask is frameless and the glass sits close to your eyes. Despite the large lens this mask is low-volume and easy to clear.
The buckles can rotate 180 degrees and have proven to be very sturdy. They are easy to use and adjustment of the straps is done without complications.
The nose pocket is designed to be managed with one hand. You can get ear equalization with ease even if you wear thick gloves.
Divers that want a large field of view when diving
What Could Have Been Better
The Tusa M1001 Freedom HD mask has a really large lens. It's also a rather large mask overall fitting pretty much any size of head. The visibility out of this mask is simply amazing.
There’s a few things you need to consider when you’re out buying a scuba mask. The most important is that you get a dive mask in the color you like best. Just kidding…
Here’s what you should consider when you’re going to get a new mask.
Historically dive masks had either one or two lenses. Two lenses results in a separator along the nose. A single lens doesn’t have that separator so you overall have a better view.
If you need your lenses setup with prescription glasses then you can’t have a single lens! Take that into consideration when shopping for a mask and wearing glasses!
Masks with multiple lenses usually have a single lens in the front and then two lenses on the side. This gives you a better side view. Overall, this might feel more natural for some people.
Sometimes you can see old-fashioned dive masks that pretty much run parallel to the face. Modern masks often (usually) have an angle where they slope towards the cheekbones at the bottom. This reduces the internal volume of the mask and more importantly makes it easier to look down.
The majority of dive masks have a frame. Pretty much all components of the mask attach to the frame. These are the lens/lenses, skirt, and the straps and buckles. The frame holds it all together and allows to take it apart for cleaning and maintenance.
Frameless masks have the skirt molded around the other parts of the mask. They are not assembled but become one piece. The result is that they typically are smaller and slimmer. Some of them are small enough to fit into a pocket. The downside is that you can’t take them apart for cleaning or repair. You also cannot install prescription lenses in a frameless scuba dive mask.
It is important to be able to adjust the mask so it fits your face and head. If every head was the same shape then it would be simple to build a mask that fits perfect for everybody. As this is not the case, the masks need straps and buckles that allow to adjust the fit. Most newer masks have the attachment area for the buckles as part of the skirt. This reduces the pull on the frame and allows the skirt to create a tighter seal.
The function of the mask skirt is to provide a tight seal between the mask and your face. This is necessary to ensure that the water stays out of the mask while the air stays inside. If the seal between the skirt and the skin is not tight then the mask will leak.
Some of the best dive masks come with dual skirts to provide a better and tighter seal. Other alternatives are specifically formed skirts that create a tight fit. Modern mask skirts are made from high quality silicone as it is very flexible and durable.
Finding a mask that matches your head and face is very important. The mask has to fit comfortably and has to have the right size for your face. Most dive masks come in different sizes and if your mask is too big then it won’t be able to create a tight fit.
A good fitting mask will stay on your face if you put it on without the straps and then inhale through your nose to create a vacuum. If the mask is the right size for you then it will stay on. If it’s too large then it will fall off as there’s no tight seal.
You might or might not agree with out best of list of scuba diving masks above. Everybody has different experiences and most important, everybody is individual. Your face might or might not fit a certain mask better or worse. And as such, you might prefer a mask that we haven't listed or you might not like one that we have listed.
We try to use objective evaluations to come up with our ranking and we try to find masks that match specific target groups. It is completely understandable that a diver that has the chance to dive 5 times a week will not need a super-expensive mask like the Atomic Aquatics Venom. But, if you dive a lot and can afford it, then go for it.
We hope you get value from our list above and we'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment or contact us. We're looking forward to hearing from you!
If you are just starting with scuba diving then you want to have a look at our guide to find the best dive computer for beginners.
You might have wondered what scuba diving gear you really need and what the different pieces of equipment are used for. If you are new to diving then you most certainly will struggle to know what you should have and what the different devices are used for.
This guide will provide you with a list and explanation of the most commonly used scuba dive gear. Find out the important pieces of equipment you need to have to dive safely and comfortably.
Scuba diving is a very gear-intensive activity. You can’t just jump into the water, hold your breath and hope for the best. It won’t be an enjoyable activity!
To make it easier for you we separated the different pieces of equipment into categories. Everything you see in the Basic/Essential Gear section is what you should consider owning or renting. The second area is called Exposure Items. Following this is a list of Accessories and then lastly the Repair Corner.
Let’s dive right into it… We picked the best rated gear in each category to speed up your search.
These devices allow to control your buoyancy under water. When you’re on the surface they keep you afloat.
Our pick is the Scubapro Litehawk which combines excellent quality at a reasonable price.
The diving mask is the most recognized piece of scuba equipment there is. And it’s probably the most essential item too as it allows you to see underwater.
Our top pick is the Cressi F1 - Scuba Diving Snorkeling Frameless Mask. Offers everything you need at a great price.
Fins are the best way to get you moving through water. As we don’t naturally grow them, we need to attach them to our feet…
Our pick for scuba fins is the Cressi PLUMA. A full foot lightweight set of fins for diving and snorkeling.
Allows to breathe air or Nitrox from the scuba tank.
Our pick for a regulator is the Scubapro MK21/S560 Regulator. High quality at a reasonable price.
The octo(pus) regulator allows to share air with your dive buddy if necessary.
To go with the regulator we thought it would be best to stick to the same brand. Our best choice is the ScubaPro S360 Balanced Octo Regulator.
The depth and pressure gauge lets you know how deep you are and how much air is still in the tank. Many modern dive computers have the option to integrate the air into the computer and will give you the same (or better) information. Depending on the quality of your dive computer (see below) you can possibly forego this piece of equipment if it is integrated into the scuba computer.
Our pick for the depth & pressure gauge is the ScubaPro Depth And Pressure Gauge.
Dive computers come in all different shapes and functionalities. You can pick a simple entry-level model or go high-end with air integration, etc. If you choose high end then you can save yourself a few other pieces of equipment and the higher initial cost is completely offset by not having to spend money on other gear.
Our pick for a dive computer is the Suunto Vyper Novo with Air Integration Wrist Scuba Computer. It's a high end model with air integration.
You typically will rent a tank instead of dragging it with you on your travels. However, if you live close to where you dive then you might very well own a tank.
Our pick is the Cyl-Tec 80cf Scuba Diving Tank. It's an aluminum tank with 80 cf capacity at a great price.
Gloves keep your hands warm under water. They also protect them. If you’re diving in colder regions and/or in deeper waters then gloves are essential to have.
Our top pick for scuba diving gloves are the NeoSport Neoprene Velcro Gloves.
Similar to the gloves, the boots are there to keep your feet warm and to protect them.
Our pick for scuba boots are the NeoSport Wetsuits Premium Neoprene 3mm Hi Top Zipper Boot.
Wetsuits come in many different shapes and forms. Mostly the difference will be the thickness of the material. They are also used to keep you warm and to protect you somewhat. Be aware that they are not the best choice if you dive in really cold water. Also remember that a thicker wetsuit will be stiffer.
Our best pick for a wetsuit is the Seavenger Men and Women 3mm Full Wetsuit.
A drysuit keeps you even warmer than a wetsuit. And, as the name states, you also stay dry. If you dive in cold climates then use a drysuit instead of a wetsuit. A thicker drysuit keeps you warmer but is also stiffer. Drysuits will also cost you a lot more than a wetsuit!
A recreational diver will typically never be in a diving situation where a drysuit would be needed. In case you disagree though, check out the DUI CF200X Select Men's Scuba Drysuit.
In addition there are many other clothing items that protect you from the environment. We have not listed all of them in detail but you can get hoods, hooded vests, and undergarment for drysuits, etc.
You need the ability to produce light if you dive during night or if you need to look into cracks and crevices. A dive light should always be part of your dive gear.
Our suggestion for your dive torch is the OxyLED DF10 1050 lumen Diving Flashlight.
Another piece of equipment you should always bring with you. No, you won’t use it to fend off sharks but in case you get entangled in kelp or a net, you can cut your way out of the entrapment.
Our top pick for a dive knife is the Promate Scuba Dive Snorkel Titanium Knife which provides durability at a great price.
A compass is essential to help you navigate under water. Higher end dive computers often also feature a built-in compass. In that case you can save yourself the money to buy another compass.
Our top pick for a wrist mounted compass is the Oceanic Wrist Mount Compass.
It’s a great idea to have a snorkel to breathe in case you swim with your head underwater.
Our pick for a snorkel is the Cressi Alpha Ultra Dry Snorkel for Diving and Snorkeling.
A dive bag lets you carry all your dive gear. There’s a ton of choices ranging from high-end rollers that look like suitcases to mesh backpacks. Mesh is a good idea as it will let air get onto your wet gear to dry it out.
Our top pick for a dive bag is the Mares Cruise Mesh Backpack Deluxe.
Mark your position for boats and other divers. Reel and whistle are included.
We picked the DiveSmart 4ft Scuba Diving Open Bottom Surface Marker Buoy (SMB) Kit. It includes the reel and whistle and you don't have to try to find the different pieces one by one.
The nightmare of every diver is to run out of air. And it happens when you have to put in a safety stop in order to avoid decompression sickness. The Spare Air device is the right item to have with you. It gives you the extra minutes of air you need to safely come up again without risking your health.
The best pick for spare air is the Spare Air 3000 3.0 Kit.
A marine rescue GPS device can be a lifesaver if you get into an emergency. It can send a distress signal and allow to be found through the signal and GPS location.
You can't go wrong if you pick the Nautilus LifeLine Marine Rescue GPS Submersible Dive Alert Scuba.
Nothing is worse than going out to dive and then finding out that some part of the gear is broken or just needs to be screwed in. This tool kit is designed to allow you to make quick repairs when necessary!
The best choice is the Deluxe Diver Tool & Repair Kit. All the tools you need in a handy package.
Have the most important replacement parts with you. Otherwise, you might end up not diving because of a little broken part that you easily can replace yourself.
For a quick repair you can find the most common items you might need in the XS Scuba Save A Dive Kit.
Like any other item you wear, a wetsuit or drysuit need to be kept clean. Use special shampoos to get rid of algae, bacteria, etc. that get picked up in the water.
Best is to use a specialized shampoo like the McNett WetSuit Shampoo. Be sure you have enough at hand as you need more than a small tiny bottle!
The mat allows you to change on it instead of concrete or sand. It helps to prolong the life of your suit (wet or dry).
Check out the COR Surf Wetsuit Changing Mat / Bag.
Scuba diving is a gear intensive activity. You will not get away with just buying the cheapest gear and then hoping for the best. Buy less equipment at first but get good gear. Rent what you can’t afford to buy and save money that way. You are better off with a few pieces of equipment that you own and that are high quality.
Don’t forget that your safety depends on a lot of this gear. If you initially spend a little more to get higher quality gear and you take care of that gear then you will enjoy it for a long time.
The goal to find the best dive watches is impossible to reach without taking into consideration what you’re specifically looking for. To make it easier, we broke it down into several categories and show you the best dive watch in each of them.
You can simply click on the following navigation areas to find your category or scroll through all of them. Leave your comments below if you have a specific dive watch that you would consider worth being displayed.
A commonly asked question is what differentiates a dive watch from any other regular wrist watch. The difference are basically a few features that a dive watch has to offer to be called that.
Firstly, it’s a watch that is designed for underwater use. That means that the watch has to be water resistant to at least 330 feet (100 meters). Most dive watches you can find will be water resistant down to 990 feet (300 meters).
There is an international standard ISO 6425 defined for a true dive watch. That standard requires the watch to be water resistant to at least 330 feet, provide adequate readability at 10 inches in darkness, be resistant to magnetism, shock and chemicals. There are additional requirements from this standard like for example a bezel that shows elapsed time in 5 minute increments. A dive watch that fulfils all the requirements in the standard is usually marked with the word DIVER’S to indicate that the watch is ISO 6425 conformant.
You should be aware that most of the watches you can find are not truly designed for scuba diving. Even if a watch is water resistant for example down to 300 meters, then that does not mean that it can be used for scuba diving. They are not necessarily designed to sustain the pressure under water for a long time so you might want to be careful about wearing any dive watch when scuba diving.
Most of the well-known watch brands do offer dive watches. Here’s a list of the best known brands that have dive watches in their product portfolio:
This is certainly not a comprehensive or complete list but it give you an idea that there are dive watches available for everyone. Whether you look for an affordable dive watch or want to dive with luxury on your wrist, there are diving watches for everyone.
We had many discussions what an ‘affordable’ dive watch might be. The word affordable seems to be different for everyone. Some think that affordable is definitely under $100 while others even think that affordable would be under $1,000. To avoid a ton of controversy we simply didn’t try to find the best affordable diving watch but instead ask you to define for yourself what affordable means and then pick the best dive watch in that category below.
This first section covers the best diving watches for men. We split the rankings up in several categories to make it easy to find the best scuba watch for every need.
You can find a reasonable selection of dive watches that cost less than $100. Some of these come from brand manufacturers and feature a solid design.
Our best choice in this category is the Invicta watch. It features a classic dive watch design at a great price. Customer feedback is overwhelmingly positive and you end up with a nice looking dive watch that is reliable and solid.
Looking at dive watches under $200 brings up a much better selection, including some brands that are known for good quality.
Our top pick in this category is the Luminox Navy Seal Dive Watch. It’s sturdy and realiable and won’t let you down.
If you’re looking for a more stylish model then the Seiko is your pick. It has a classic dive watch look and definitely looks great on a man’s wrist. Customer feedback on all of these is very positive and you can’t go wrong choosing either of these dive watches.
This category features yet another set of brand name dive watches at a price point below $300. The three watches featured here come with their distinct differences.
The Invicta looks stylish and very much like a traditional dive watch. The Luminox is yet another model out of the Navy Seals series and looks much more like a tactical watch. Lastly, the Citizen features more sports oriented looks.
Our pick in this category is the Citizen Scuba Fin diver watch. It’s designed to be used for scuba diving while looking stylish. If you’re looking for a more classic look with recreational scuba diving potential, then the Invicta is a good choice for you.
This category features diving watches up to $500. The brands picked in this category feature Tissot, Seiko and Luminox.
The three models feature different design approaches. The Luminox model looks like a tactical watch. The Seiko is rather bright with its orange dial. The Tissot clearly looks the most elegant while still looking sporty. The dark blue dial gives it a modern look while not screaming in your face.
Our top pick in this category is the Tissot. It’s a brand name watch that looks great on a man’s wrist. Modern and sophisticated.
This category starts to feature watches with titanium cases instead of stainless steel. For most there’s not much difference between the two materials and they are both strong and resistant enough to be used for a dive watch.
The Reactor Poseidon is in our opinion the most masculine looking watch these three. The Seiko Prospex is a beautiful classic dive watch. The same is true for the Invicta Pro Diver watch.
Our top pick is the Seiko in this price range. It combines features and functionality with a classic look. The Reactor model is probably best worn by men with a large wrist. Otherwise, the watch might be a little overpowering.
This category features again a number of very distinctly different watches. The Victorinox looks the most like a tactical watch while the bright orange Traser screams action and sport.
The TAG is in a category of itself here. It’s modern yet classic and simply a gorgeous looking timepiece. The TAG is also our top pick for this category. It’s the most sophisticated looking and honestly, who wouldn’t want a TAG on their wrist?
The Luxury category features the luxury brands everyone knows. These are all fantastic diving watches that anybody can be happy to own.
The main differences are certainly the brand you prefer and the size. The Breitling, as to be expected, is the largest one. It might be best suited for a larger wrist.
The IWC is just a hint on the large side but still fits pretty much any wrist. It’s a modern interpretation of a classic dive watch look.
The Rolex has the smallest case of the top three. It features an elegant and sophisticated design as you might expect from a Rolex.
In our opinion the best pick is the IWC. It looks the most modern. If you’re going for brand recognition then the Rolex is your best choice. If you look for a rather large timepiece then go for the Breitling.
This section coves the best dive watches for women. Similar to the men’s section we broke our picks down into categories. Most of the brands are similar to what has already been showcased in the men’s section.
The category under $100 features a few well-known brands. The three watches picked feature distinctively different designs.
The Casio watch is probably the youngest looking one of the trio. It features a nice contrast of the black and pink on the bezel and the pink background on the dial.
The Nautica has more masculine features which is not that surprising as it is a unisex dive watch. It is a rather large watch and will probably be best suited for a larger wrist.
The Invicta features a classic dive watch design. It’s a great looking stainless steel diving watch that you can wear for any occasion.
Our top pick is the Invicta. It combines classic elegance with modern elements and is suited for recreational scuba diving.
This category features women’s diving watches under $200. Our three picks in this category come from two different manufacturers.
The Momentum M1 St. Moritz watch is sporty looking and is the largest of the three. You might consider this watch if you have a large wrist as it otherwise might simply be too large.
The Momentum M1 with the orange dial is smaller in size than the St. Moritz model. The orange dial is giving it a very modern and sporty appeal while the watch overall features a classic dive watch design.
The Invicta is our top pick in this category. It’s a solid watch that looks elegant and sophisticated. The brown dial and bezel give it a touch of color without being overwhelming.
The category under $300 features two Victorinox models and one Reactor watch. All three watches have their distinct design differences even though the Victorinox watches do look very similar at first glance.
The main differences between the two Victorinox diving watches are not only the colors. The cases are different sizes where the white dial watch has a larger case, making it more suitable for a larger wrist.
The Victorinox model with the green dial is smaller and in line with a more typical women’s watch.
Our pick for this category is the Reactor dive watch. It features a more classic design and can be worn for any occasion.
The category for women’s dive watches under $500 features three well known brands. The designs of these watches are very different and it comes down to personal taste regarding what style you prefer.
The Victorinox model has a black casing that is combined with a lilac dial and a lilac strap. It looks modern yet has some design elements of a tactical watch.
The Seiko combines the classic dive watch look with some modern elements. It does look somewhat masculine yet elegant.
The Reactor watch is a classically designed diving watch with a pink dial. It looks modern and feminine and is our top pick in this category.
The category under $1,000 features three different brands. The Oris dive watch features a very minimalist yet elegant design. It can be worn for pretty much any occasion.
Contrasting to this, the Abingdon watch is a rather colorful example of a dive watch. The purple dial and bezel give it a touch of color without being overwhelming.
The last watch in this trio is the Tag Heuer Aquaracer with a Mother of Pearl Dial. It’s a sophisticated and elegant looking watch and a classic timeless timepiece. It’s also our top pick for this category!
The three watches that are featured in this category do all sport the classic dive watch look. All three are beautiful timepieces and will last you for a long time.
The Rotary Legacy dive watch features the sportiest look of the three. It comes with a black dial and bezel and is also the largest of the three watches.
The TAG features a blue mother of pearl dial with diamonds. It’s the smallest of the three watches and the most elegant looking one.
The Breitling Cold is sized just in between the two other models. It features a black dial. As expected from a Breitling watch it is somewhat masculine looking.
Our pick for this category is the Tag as it combines timeless elegance with the features you would expect from a dive watch in this price category.
The women’s best luxury dive watches is a hard category to define. Luxury means that the price has no limit. We picked three luxury diving watches from three luxury brands for you.
Yet again, there’s a Tag in this category. It’s yet another version of the Aquaracer line with diamonds all around the bezel. While beautiful looking, it probably is not really a watch you’d ever want to wear when diving. However, you certainly can if you chose to.
The Omega Seamaster is a sportier looking interpretation of a luxury dive watch. It has a blue dial and a blue bezel. While looking sporty and modern, it also does look elegant and sophisticated.
The top pick and the top of the line in our comparison is the Rolex Yacht Master. It’s pretty much the quintessential luxury dive watch for women. It combines a luxurious, elegant and sophisticated design into a masterpiece on your wrist.
Which is the best dive watch? This question can’t be answered. There’s too many variables and different needs that any person has where it simply is impossible to find an overall one. We would suggest to stick with one of the known brands like Tag Heuer or Omega and not to for the cheapest model you can find.
In many cases you might be able to find a certified pre-owned model from a luxury or high-end brand for a good price. You might want to consider getting such a watch instead of going for a lesser priced new model from a less-known brand.
Brand name dive watches will last you a long time, possibly even a lifetime. You’ll pay once and have your timepiece to enjoy for years.
When Mares introduced the Puck dive computer, it rocked the boat. It was an affordable and delivered all the necessary functionalities that are expected from an entry level model.
The outstanding feature of the Puck was its single button navigation. It made it very simple to use even when diving in cold surroundings and wearing thick gloves.
The Puck Pro was the logical successor which had to follow one of the best dive computers on the market. Mares was able to keep all the great things of the Puck and added some elements to make it indeed even a better computer! Check out our detailed review on the Mares Puck Pro!
However, are these improvements worth the additional price? Does it make sense to upgrade?
At first glance both devices look rather similar. They both are roughly the size of a hockey puck (hence the name). The button on the Mares Puck Pro has been moved out of the display area to the bottom of the case. This allows for more display area without compromising the ease of use coming from having a single button to navigate the different functions.
The diameter of the Puck Pro is slightly larger. On the other hand it is less high than the Puck. This makes it overall more comfortable to wear and less clunky. The larger diameter combined with the different positioning of the navigation button provides a significantly larger display area on the Pro compared to the original model.
The display on the Puck Pro is also somewhat better to read without backlight in semi-darkness. This can at times be helpful but it is not a huge factor when deciding which dive computer to buy.
There’s not a ton of functional differences between the Puck and the Puck Pro. The most talked about difference is that the Firmware of the Puck Pro can be upgraded.
This at first sounds like a great feature. Realistically it’s probably not that big of an issue. A firmware update will typically not include an upgrade to the decompression algorithm or any other necessary software in the computer. Having said that, the feature comes in handy if there was an programming issue with the firmware that would require updating.
The other big difference is that the Pro can handle two different gas mixes while the original Puck can only handle one gas mix. This is a great feature if you have different mixes you use during a dive to optimize bottom time.
The algorithm in the Puck Pro got a minor update and seems to be slightly more conservative. The changes do not seem to be significant though.
There are no significant differences in most of the other functions including the log book. The logbook is sufficiently large but seems rather small compared to other dive computers like the Suunto Zoop Novo.
The most visible improvement of the Puck Pro vs. the Puck is the larger display. The different placement of the navigation button increases the available display space significantly. The Pro also feels more comfortable as it is less thick.
Under the hood the most significant improvement is the ability to work with two different gas mixtures. This can become more important for more experienced divers which means that the Pro is a device that a diver can use for a longer period of time.
Do these two features mean that you should drop your Puck and run to get a Puck Pro? No, not at all. However, if you are looking for a new dive computer then spend the extra bucks and go for the Puck Pro instead of the Puck. Over time, the additional investment will be well worth it. Click here to find the lowest price on the Mares Puck Pro!
Early in 2016 Suunto introduced the Zoop Novo as the successor of the very successful Zoop. The Zoop itself had been on the market since 2010. Since then it became one of the best-selling dive computers in the entry-level segment. The Zoop Novo has big shoes to fill if it wants to become as successful as its predecessor.
You can read our review of the Suunto Zoop Novo to learn more about its overall features and capabilities.
Will the redesign to the Novo continue the success story? Is it worth upgrading?
The looks are overall very similar. The Zoop had three buttons while the Novo has four. This does help with cleaning up the overall navigation and actually making it easier to use the different functions.
Suunto Zoop Novo in black
Suunto Zoop in black
The Novo has a slightly larger diameter than the original model. On the other hand it also is a little slimmer. It actually nearly doubled in weight to 120 grams (4.23 oz). This overall indicates that the Novo is built more robust. Not that the Zoop had any problems in that area though.
Suunto did improve the display quite significantly. Not only does it offer two backlight options now but it also features a similar dot-matrix screen like the higher end models from Suunto do. This allows to display pretty much any sort of information without having to use abbreviations or other display mechanisms to get the data across.
The backlight options now include an active backlight that is activated by pressing the menu button down. The screen is also phosphor-luminescent which makes it glow in the dark when you shine a dive light at it. That’s a convenient method to be able to view the data while not having to burn through the battery using the built-in backlight!
The Zoop Novo also uses the cable port that is similar to the D-Series and allows an easier connection with the cable than the clamp style connector that the Zoop used.
Suunto changed quite a few software related features with the introduction of the Zoop Novo. The overall software is similar to the one used in the D-Series. It splits the menu up into 4 easy to use sections.
The logbook functionality has been significantly improved. The original Zoop was capable of keeping a 50 hour logbook. The Novo nearly tripled that memory to a staggering 140 hours. Another new feature is that the sampling rate can be adjusted to 10, 20, 30 and 60 seconds and in freediving mode to 1, 2 and 5 seconds. The Zoop sampled at a fixed sampling rate of 30 seconds.
Overall, the algorithm in the Novo has slightly changed as it can handle Deep Stops now. The original Zoop was not capable of doing that.
The Zoop Novo also has more dive modes as it can handle gauge and free dive in addition to air and nitrox diving.
The most important improvements are clearly the better display and the simpler menu structure when you compare the Zoop Novo to the original model. The backlight has also improved a lot which helps when you dive in darker environments.
Having more memory is nice but not necessarily a big sales point. You can always offload your dive history to your computer and keep as much data on there as you want. The overall capabilities of the log book with adjustable sampling rates add more flexibility to the overall functionality.
Lastly, if you’re not only into air or nitrox diving but do some free diving then the upgrade is a significant improvement for you.
If you own a Zoop and are happy with it then don’t run out to upgrade to the Novo. If you’re looking for an entry-level dive computer and try to pick either the Zoop or the Zoop Novo then it’s worth the slightly higher cost to get the newer model. You will get a state-of-the-art entry-level dive computer at a great price! Click here to find the lowest price!
The Mares Puck Pro provides the basic features that are expected from an entry-level dive computer. This in combination of its cheap price tag make it a great choice for beginners as well as experienced divers that want a backup to their more sophisticated device.
Mares had introduce the Puck dive computer in 2008. It turned the market upside down with its simplicity. The concept of a single button to navigate all functions was new and specifically new divers loved it. The Puck Pro is the successor of this original device and it has some great improvements.
Suited for the beginner or as a backup device for experienced divers.
Oversized watch style. Cannot be worn as a regular wrist watch.
Ease of Use
Super-simple navigation with single button.
One of the most affordable dive computers available.
We Don't Like
The Mares Puck Pro is the successor of the very widely used Puck. It builds on the simplicity and easy of use of the original device yet improves where things could be improved. The simplicity is the outstanding feature of this entry-level dive computer. That, and the great price you can get it for. It doesn't have any advanced functionalities but none of those should be expected at this price point! Overall it's a great device for the beginner diver or if you're looking for a backup dive computer.
The Mares Puck Pro is a quite large dive computer. Some compare it to the size of a hockey puck. This does have advantages under water as it's easy to read the information on the display. It does mean though that you can't use it as an everyday watch.
The Puck Pro is available in a variety of colors:
The Mares Puck Pro might look like a wrist watch but it is a quite large device. It's over 2 inches in diameter and close to an inch thick.
The large size allows for a large screen that displays all important data without having to search for it. There are three different dive modes available:
The large size of the Puck Pro allows to display all necessary information on the screen while still providing a great fit on your wrist. The single button navigation works great even if you're wearing thick gloves. However, it can be a little tedious to having to scroll through all options as you only have a single button to move through the different functions.
The display comes with a sufficiently strong backlight. The backlight duration can be set from 1 to 10 seconds to preserve battery.
The Puck Pro features audible and visual alarms:
The Mares Puck Pro is capable of handling oxygen mixtures between 21% and 99% for Nitrox diving. You can adjust the pO2 levels between 1.2 bar and 1.6 bar. The max. depth is up to 150 meters (492 feet). Altitude adjustments can be made up to 3,700 meters (12,100 feet).
The underlying algorithm is based on the Mares-Wienke RGBM model. The conservatism of the algorithm can be adjusted through different settings. This increases the safety settings if you prefer to stay on more conservative and safer settings.
The dive log has a capacity of up to 36 hours at a sampling rate of 5 seconds. This provides a reasonably sized log of your most recent dives. You have to wait until the data is overwritten as you can't delete from the dive log yourself. You need to transfer your dive log to a computer if you want to avoid data to be overwritten.
The USB connector is sold separately. It allows to transfer your dive data to a computer where you can analyze it further and use the data to plan future dives.
Any entry level dive computer like the Mares Puck Pro has features missing that are available in higher end devices. The Puck Pro is in line with pretty much all other basic devices and is missing capabilities like a built in compass and air integration.
Neither of these features will be missed by beginners and as this dive computer is designed for that group it's not an issue that the functionality is not there. Unfortunately, this also means that you can't expand the capabilities of this gadget and will then later on have to upgrade to a different device. You can always keep the Puck as your backup scuba watch though.
The Mares Puck Pro is an excellent dive computer for a beginner or to use as a backup device for an experienced diver. It is built solid and will reliably work. Mares has done a great job improving on the already excellent Puck.
You get all functionality you would expect from an entry level dive computer. It's missing the bells and whistles that can be found in more expensive devices like compass or air integration. This missing functionality is reflected in the rather low price of this scuba computer.
The dive log can't be purged which makes the Puck Pro not usable for dive shops that rent out dive computers. This is not really a negative factor assuming that many beginner divers will probably want to purchase their own device in order to build up their dive logs, etc.
Lowest prices as well as fastest delivery in combination with the best service are usually found at Amazon.com. Ordering the Mares Puck Pro at Amazon is not exception to this rule. You can find all available colors and accessories at the lowest prices.
You can find many comments online from other divers that bought the Mares Puck Pro. Overwhelmingly, the feedback is positive. The only issue we found in the reviews is that you need to replace the o-rings when you need to change the batteries. You should be aware of that so you can order them separately beforehand.
One other review stated that the dust cap on the battery compartment was not correctly placed when they received the device. They didn't know that at the time and when they took the device under water the battery compartment flooded and rendered the gadget useless. They could return it but you might want to check that the battery compartment is correctly closed before using the Puck Pro!
The comparison chart below shows the differences between the Mares Puck Pro, its predecessor the Mares Puck and the Cressi Leonardo. Check out our detailed comparison between the Mares Puck Pro and the Mares Puck!
Mares Puck Pro
150 m / 492 ft
150 m / 492 ft
120 m / 394 ft
Free Dive Mode
(Oxygen 21 - 99%)
(Oxygen 21 - 50%)
~ 38 hrs
~ 36 hrs
~ 75 hrs
Battery Life (Avg)
1.5 years avg
1.5 years avg
2 years avg
To conclude this review on the Mares Puck Pro Dive Computer, it is a cheap yet reliable and efficient dive computer. While being an ideal choice for entry level divers, it could serve the purpose of a decent backup dive computer for professionals.
With such a low price, it would be a mistake to expect advanced features that are only present in high end dive computers. So before you make a buying decision, it would be a good idea to actually think about your requirements and then compare it with the pros and cons highlighted in this review. This will definitely help you in the decision-making process.
If you decide that the Mares Puck Pro is a suitable dive computer for your needs then you will definitely be satisfied with your purchase. It provides all necessary functions and works reliably.
If you gained more experience as a diver and require features like a compass or air integration then this is not the right computer for you. You will have to look at higher end devices like the Suunto D4i Novo to provide such features.
The Mares Puck Pro does its name justice. It's puck sized and as such not usable as a watch you wear every day. On the bright side, this does allow for a large screen to display all important information. If you are looking for an entry level dive computer you can use as a watch then have a look at the Mares Smart.
The most important aspect that you should be looking for in a dive computer is whether it is built for amateurs or professionals. As far as the Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer is concerned, it is built for entry level scuba divers.
As per the requirements of a beginner scuba diver, this computer comes with a big display screen so that the diver does not have to experience any difficulties in reading the information being displayed. Basically, the information can easily be read at a glance due to the size of the display.
Designed for the new and less experienced divers.
A oversized dive computer that can't be used as a daily watch.
Ease of Use
Easy to use navigation with separate buttons.
Good value for the price. Priced as an entry-level dive computer.
We Don't Like
The Suunto Zoop Novo is a great dive computer for beginners. However, that does not mean that an experienced diver couldn't use this computer. It is easy to use and has a whole list of functions that benefit the entry to mid level diver. Features that you would expect in a higher end scuba computer are not offered and there's also no possible expansion like air integration, etc. Needless to say though, for the price it is a great device.
You will notice that the display is quite clean as it is not stuffed or bombarded with strange abbreviations that beginners might have a hard time understanding. There are lots of dive computers with advanced information displays that are better suited for professionals.
The Zoop Novo is available in three different colors:
It is shaped like a regular watch but it is too large to be worn as a wrist watch. The large size makes it easier to read under water so it's a trade off that a beginner might not be too concerned with.
The Zoop Novo looks like a wrist watch but it is way too big to be used as one. The benefit of this large size is that the screen is capable of cleanly displaying all necessary data at a glance. It can work with five different dive modes:
The Zoop Novo is designed in the form of a wrist watch but is way too big to be worn everyday. The large size does allow for a very clean layout of the display though which makes it specifically for beginners very easy to read the information.
All important and necessary information is visible on the screen and the four buttons allow for easy navigation and adjustment. The battery level is clearly visible to prevent you from running out of battery while diving.
The navigation on this device is made as simple as possible for beginner divers. The buttons are ergonomically placed and allow to navigate through the different options even when using thick gloves. Compared to models with one button the navigation can be faster if using more buttons as you won't have to step through every screen option with a single button.
This device has audible and visual warnings for a number of conditions:
The Zoop Novo can handle oxygen levels between 21% and 50% in Nitrox mode. The pO2 limits for this device can be adjusted between 1.2 and 1.6 bars.
The maximum operations dive depth is 80 m (262 ft). It also features altitude adjustment settings up to 3,000 meters (9,843 ft).
As one would expect the algorithm is Suunto's own. It's an RGBM (Reduced Gradient Bubble Model) algorithm. It has been developed together with Dr. Bruce Wienke.
A really interesting feature of the Zoop Novo is its ability to allow the diver to adjust the conservatism of the algorithm. This allows to increase the safety levels for a dive if you want that extra level of safety. You can set the adjustment and this way set a more conservative dive profile.
Another cool feature is the off mode. This allows to prevent the dive computer from automatically switching into dive mode when it's taken into water. This can help to safe battery life if you wear the device without needing it.
The log in the device can hold data for up to 140 hours. For typical usage this should be enough for around 100 dives. The sampling time can be set at either 10, 20, 30, or 60 seconds. This provides a comprehensive logbook of your past dives.
With the separately sold USB connector and the software (for Mac and PC) you can easily analyze and alter the dive information. You can then upload the dive data to the Suunto Movescount portal. There all exercise data from all Suunto exercise and dive computers can be stored and retrieved. The portal allows to even add photos and videos to your dive data.
There certainly is functionality missing in an entry level dive computer like the Suunto Zoop Novo. The most obvious functionality missing is the lack of a compass. Typically, this can be found on higher end models.
There is also no air integration capability. Recreational divers will not really miss this feature but more experienced divers will miss it. It does unfortunately mean that the scuba computer will not fit your future requirements. Assuming that it will take the average diver a few years before needing a feature like that it's in reality not that big of a concern.
The Zoop Novo is a solid dive computer for the beginner to mid level diver. It features a sturdy build and has a great display. Suunto is the market leader so you know you get a great dive computer for the money. You won't find some higher-end features that you might miss when you are a more experienced diver. However, the Suunto Zoop Novo is a solid choice for a beginner or even for a medium experienced diver at a very reasonable price.
The functions offered by this computer are in line with what one would expect considering that it targets the entry level market. It covers the bases without adding features that higher end devices require, e.g. Compass, etc. Unfortunately, it also does not allow to later on be extended with air integration. At that time it simply can't grow with the diver's additional needs and would have to be replaced if air integration became a requirement. However, that is a big 'if' and as such we think that it's not that big of a deal that this capability can't be added later on.
You can find the best price and service when buying the Zoop Novo from Amazon. They have all the available colors and also have bundles with the USB connector if you're interested in that. You also can be certain that you do get the genuine product and not some knock-off from Asia!
Checking the customer reviews and star ratings of the Suunto Zoom Novo quickly shows that everybody who purchased it is very satisfied. There's not really any complaint to be found.
The comparison chart below shows the differences between the Suunto Zoop Novo, the Mares Puck Pro and the Suunto Zoop (predecessor of the Novo). Please also have a look at our detailed comparison of the Suunto Zoop Novo vs. Suunto Zoop!
Suunto Zoop Novo
Mares Puck Pro
80 m / 262 ft
80 m / 262 ft
150 m / 492 ft
Free Dive Mode
(Oxygen 21 - 50%)
(Oxygen 21 - 50%)
(Oxygen 21 - 50%)
~ 50 hrs
~ 140 hrs
~ 35 hrs
Battery Life (Avg)
1.5 years avg
1.5 years avg
1 year avg
This device is equipped with all the features and capacities that are essential for making the diving experience easy and safe. The necessary data is very easy to read and is readily available with this diving computer. With a bright and easy to read interface, it displays all the key information in a very simple manner. More importantly, unlike other beginner level diving computers, it has five operating modes which is a huge improvement if we compare this product with other similar product offerings in the market.
It does not pack all the features one would expect from a high end scuba computer. If you need the bells and whistles then you want to look at other, more expensive devices that suit your need.
A more experienced diver will need more features than the ones offered with this dive computer. It will make more sense in that case to look at dive computers like the Suunto D4i Novo. This dive computer is a mid-level devie that can grow with your requirements as you gain experience.
The Suunto Zoop Novo has all the features you want in an entry level dive computer. The only issue might be if you want a device that can be used as your day-to-day watch. In that case you might want to have a look at the Mares Smart.
Eager, first-time divers, want to know everything about their newfound hobby. Thankfully, we’ve got the scoop for you on everything you need to know about dive computers. A dive computer is your digital writer lifeline, allowing you access to real-time information for the perfect dive.
Before jumping into buying the best dive computer for beginners, you should be aware of the standard features to keep an eye out for. These standard features include:
Quick tips for purchasing a dive computer include:
Any qualified diver would never go down without having access to some sort of navigation equipment. The more pressure you find yourself in, the more disorienting it can be, and no matter how much you think you know, under the water is another story. Navigation is critical and owning a dive computer with an old-fashioned compass is pivotal in your safety. Without this, you may not know how to get to shore, or back to your boat for safety.
Without the life-saving component of a depth gauge, you may wander a little too far down to the point where you’re too disoriented to function and ask for help. A depth gauge works hand in hand with your decompression stops and calculates how much time you spent at a particular depth. If you’re left guessing, it will ultimately negatively affect your calculations for decompression stops.
When you’re at an extremely low depth, it can be hard or near impossible to make any sort of calculations yourself while functioning in the water world around you. Dive computers take out this stressful aspect for you and perform the calculations for you. These life-saving calculations work alongside decompression calculations, decompression stops, and for specific models – no-fly times for those who are diving on vacation.
It sounds morbid, but when you ascend in a plane after diving into a certain depth, the nitrogen in your body will expand because of the pressure. You may explode! (No, seriously, it’s a thing and a safety precaution). Some dive computers will let you know when you safely fly again.
Most modern dive computers will have an onboard memory feature for you to review all of the information stored away during your ascent into the aqua world. It’s a nifty little feature and can help you predict and plan for future trips down.
Any dive computer bought will have to go through an activation process, much like a phone. Thankfully, you don’t have to activate your phone with water, though! Ultimately, there are two ways to enable a dive computer for beginners including manually or with water. The manual option requires the diver to press a button before going in the water.
If you’re new, you should be forewarned that many divers FORGET this aspect of preparation, causing companies to come up with a solution that allows instant water activation as soon as divers are in. Now that you’ve got the scoop on the different life-saving and data recording components, we’ll go over our top three picks (and our top recommendation!) for the perfect dive computers for beginners.
Not overly clunky and super fashionable, the Cressi Leonardo is one of the best on the market. Its design is sleek and not bulky/heavy, so you won’t be worrying about it in the water constantly, with features that include:
Not only does this dive computer give you a readout for the different depths during your dive, but you can also read these numbers beautifully at night. The backlit screen function allows for safe tracking during dangerously dark dives. This device also has a data reset feature, which is perfect for rental companies working with beginners. This may be the only con, as beginners may accidentally stumble into this section and delete their hard-earned data.
Another significant aspect of this computer dive watch is the audible and visual automatic safety stop countdown at 15ft or 3 minutes. A wrist-held safety buddy, there’s no real reason why you shouldn’t purchase this as a beginner! This dive computer has a 24-month limited warranty.
Visually different from our last, this device has simple readings but is with more of an old school style. We’ll mention off the bat that a lot of the numbers on this watch are rather small, which isn’t ideal for those with bad eyes. It’s not a deal breaker, as you may not be able to read larger numbers easily, yourself. This watch does have great features, though, including:
Beyond the standard functions that a dive computer for beginners comes with, it also comes with components that are pivotal in the safety of your dive. Many watches don’t come with weather reviewing options, which makes the Suunto Core a top contender in your search. No matter where you travel to or live, you can find real-time weather and storm information catered specifically for divers like yourself.
For products themselves, the warranty is two years, while accessories only have a one-year warranty. This warranty is limited, and starts the day of your purchase.
If you were impressed with the Cressi Leonardo watch before, this bulk option is ideal for you. With the download cable and watch stand equipped in this bulk purchase, you’re able to take your data and upload it directly to your computer or storage device. Having a watch stand will allow it to stay in pristine condition when you’re not diving. Features of this watch are like you’ve seen before:
As you’ve already learned, the download cable is convenient, with the battery life indicator easily readable underwater. With such a large backlit screen, the standard features can be seen with ease. If you already have a dive computer stand and cable, then you may want to opt for the standard package of this device.
We think the best dive computer for beginners is the Cressi Leonardo. While the version with the stand and USB connector are nice, it's not a necessity.
You might as well save yourself some money and go with the basic model without all the connectivity items.
You'd thought we were going to recommend the last one? While the added gifts are lovely, they aren’t essential to the current dive missions, and they can be purchased at a later time. For beginner divers, it’s important to feel out the piece of equipment instead of splurging on the biggest package possible. If you enjoy this watch and want those added features of a download cable and stand, those accessories are available online.
For beginners, this watch is fantastic. With large fonts, sounds, and all the readings you can hope for no matter the time of day, the Cressi Leonardo hits the nail on the head.
Dive computers are used by many or nearly all scuba divers today. They replaced the complicated dive tables through the years and gained capabilities with every new model coming out.
The Cressi Leonardo is no exception to this. It's a powerful dive computer in a watch casing that is targeted mostly at the beginner market. It is designed and produced by Cressi, an Italian dive gear company that's been around since the 1930's.
Targets the beginner level diver.
A stylish dive computer designed like a wrist watch but it's too large to be worn every day.
Ease of Use
Simple to use, one-button navigation.
On the lower end of the price spectrum as expected for a entry-level product.
We Don't Like
The Cressi Leonardo is a fantastic entry-level dive computer. It offers many features that are sufficient to beginner and medium experienced divers. It is missing, as to be expected, features that can be found in dive watches that are targeting the experienced divers.
The Leonardo is the first dive computer that is completely designed by Cressi. Evaluating the device shows that Cressi designed a great entry-level dive computer.
It comes in a variety of color combinations: black/grey, black/orange, black, black/blue, black/pink, blue, black/green, black/yellow, white/black, white/pink and white/lilac. It is however too large to be worn as a casual watch. You might be able to us it as a wrist watch if you have a large wrist.
The Leonardo comes in the style of an oversized wrist watch. Due to its size it can display a lot of data at one time on the screen. It is capable to work with three different dive modes:
The display on this scuba computer is oversized and this allows to see all necessary information like time, mode, etc. The only downside is that the backlight is unfortunately is not that great which makes it hard to read the information when it gets murky and dark.
It will supply any wanted information on depth, dive times, decompression status, ascent rate and surface interval times between dives. In addition it displays the battery status to ensure that you can switch out the battery before you run out of it.
The one-button menu navigation is simple — press to toggle or advance; hold to enter menus or select. Since it moves in only one direction, you sometimes have to do a fair bit of pressing, but even the newest diver won’t get lost in the menu.
There are audible and screen warnings for deep and safety stops (although no safety-stop timer) and for approaching deco. An ascent-rate indicator uses an ascending stack of arrows to get the point across, and there’s an oxygen-toxicity bar graph and alarm. The audible alarms are designed to be loud enough to ensure that you can hear them.
The nitrox levels for this dive computer can be set for oxygen levels between 21% and 50%. The PO2 limits can be set between 1.2 bars and 1.6 bars.
The operational maximum is 120 meters/393 feet. The Leonardo is capable to be adjusted to altitudes up to 3,700 m / 12,139 ft.
The algorithm is Cressi's own RGBM (Reduced Gradient Bubble Model) and is based on the Haldane model. Cressi modified the Haldne and Wienke algorithm as a basis of their own.
This algorithm allows for safe decompression calculations for multiple dives spread out over multiple days. Nitrogen absorption and release is continuously processed by its sophisticated software, taking into account the quantity of inert gases in the different mixtures which can be used. The Leonardo in addition allows to set safety factors to make the algorithm even more safe dive experience.
The Cressi Leonardo can be completely reset after each dive. This makes it a great choice for dive shops that rent it out and need to completely reset the data after the computer comes back.
The built-in dive log is capable of recording data for 60 dives (75 hours). The data during a dive is sampled every 20 seconds to provide a solid record of your historic dives.
The dive log can then be easily transferred to your computer with the help of a connection device. This device has to be purchased separately and allows to download all dive data to your computer. You can then alter that information to run dive simulations to plan for future dives.
As to be expected from an entry model like the Cressi Leonardo does not have all the functionalities like a higher end dive computer has it. One item that is missing is for example that there is no compass.
In addition the Leonardo does not have an ability for air integration. This will not be a big issue if you are a recreational diver or just beginning to dive. However, it will not allow to have the computer grow with your experience and increased functionality needs.
It also would be nice to have a safety stop timer. Even though it features a safety stop alarm, it doesn't come with a timer to guide you in how long the safety-stop should last. Overall, not the biggest of issues but a nice-to-have.
The last downside (not really a missing functionality) is that the back light of the display is not light enough. While diving in clear waters this is not really an issue but if it gets murky and dark you will need to have a strong backlight to see the data on the display.
The Leonardo is a good entry-level dive computer. To be honest, it's one of the best. It's well-built and it is reliable. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles you'll get when you buy a higher end model but if you are a beginner or you want a backup for your more expensive wrist computer then the Cressi Leonardo is a great choice.
There's not much bad to say about this scuba computer. The only thing that could be better in this price range is that it could have a better backlight. The other two listed missing features are in all honestly nothing you could expect from a dive computer that is aiming the entry-level diving market. You'll have to raise your sight to the higher end models which are several times over the price of this gear.
One of the best places to purchase the Leonardo is at Amazon.com. The most variety of colors can be found there. It's the leading online retailer in the world and you can trust that you get the real product at the best price.
It's also easy to return items to Amazon if they don't match or work for you. Smaller retailers and outlets often will also charge more than you'll pay at the largest online retailer.
Most customers that purchase the CRESSI Leonardo do not regret it at all. It's one of the highest rated and most sold dive computers available today.
There are rarely any complaints to be found. The few you can see are related to the backlight not being strong enough and that you have to get used to the single button navigation.
In low-light conditions the backlight is simply not what it could be. Typically, a diver that is new to the sport will not dive in dark and low-light conditions as you're probably better off doing that when you have gained some experience. However, it would be nice if this could be improved.
Using a single button to navigate through all the display settings might take some getting used to. When you get the hang of it, then it becomes super-easy to use. But initially you might have to take a few minutes to figure out how it all works in order to get satisfied with the usage patterns.
Suunto Zoop Novo
Mares Puck Pro
80 m / 262 ft
120 m / 394 ft
150 m / 492 ft
Free Dive Mode
(Oxygen 21 - 50%)
(Oxygen 21 - 50%)
(Oxygen 21 - 50%)
~ 140 hrs
~ 75 hrs
~ 35 hrs
Battery Life (Avg)
1.5 years avg
2 years avg
1 year avg
The Cressi Leonardo is a great choice for an entry-level dive computer. You might want to look at other models if you are an experienced diver as it covers the basics but doesn't come with all the bells and whistles.
Besides the missing functionalities it does what it's supposed to do. It helps you dive safer and within the limits. It is compact enough to be packed in your travel back but it's not small enough so it could be worn as a wrist watch.
The Leonardo might be too basic for some divers, and we wish it had a safety-stop timer and a stronger backlight. But it delivers what it promises at a modest price for new divers or those who want simplicity. The Cressi Leonardo is our best buy in this category.
As an experienced diver you might want and need more capabilities than the ones offered. You want to look at models like the Suunto D4i Novo instead which offer those features and are capable to grow with your needs.
Besides that there's not much to complain about with this scuba wrist computer. You'll be hard pressed to find a better entry level computer. If you prefer a watch sized device then you want to consider the Mares Puck Pro as an alternative.