Having your scuba diving mask is in our opinion essential if you dive regularly. 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 trip.
It makes a lot of sense to get your 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 ten scuba diving masks for 2018. 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 are some factors you should consider before buying a scuba mask. These factors include:
Let’s go over the essential features you should consider first. Then you can have a look at each of the masks we suggest to get and finally, we’ll answer a few questions you might have. If you want to jump to any of the different sections, then please use the Table of Contents above to get to the part you’re interested in quickly!
There are 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…
There are some factors to consider and several components that make up a scuba diving mask that you should be aware of. The first question you might wonder about is why you even need a dive mask. Couldn’t you open your eyes underwater?
The simple answer is that the human eye is incapable to focus underwater. Therefore, a mask keeps the water away from the eye and allows you to see clearly and focus while in water.
To keep water out and the air inside, the skirt of the mask has to sit tight against the skin on your face. This seal will prevent water from flowing into the mask and as such allowing you to see while you’re underwater.
Most high-quality masks have specifically designed skirts that tightly seal to your face. The materials used are made from hypoallergenic silicone. If you have an allergy to latex, then know that you are safe with such masks.
While you dive into the depth of the water, you will need to equalize. The most common technique to do that is to blow into your nose while you hold it. A scuba diving mask, therefore, has a nose pocket that allows you to access your nose while you descent or ascent.
The nose pocket covers your nose and prevents water from getting into it while you dive. It also allows you to equalize the air trapped inside the mask.
This does tremendously improve the comfort of wearing the mask but is also a safety issue. Not being able to equalize the air inside the mask while you descent can prevent the mask from suctioning itself tightly and painfully to your face.
Another reason is that you can blow into the mask through your nose. Any water that found a way inside the mask can that way be purged.
Swim goggles leave your nose exposed and therefore are not a good choice for scuba diving. They are designed for lap swimming and not for diving or snorkeling.
Another issue with goggles as well as with cheap dive masks is that the lens is not made from tempered glass. They are using plastic lenses which will most likely fog when you dive. In the worst case, they might even break with the pressure around you.
The last thing you want is a lens made from regular glass or plastic that breaks in the middle of a dive. The sharp fragments could produce some severe damage to your eyes!
Tempered glass is safe and won’t easily break. Even if it would break, it usually won’t fall apart so there wouldn’t be any sharp fragments to cut yourself with.
Another advantage of it is that it’s scratch resistant. This prolongs the lifetime of the mask as it otherwise could easily scratch while you transport it with other diving or snorkeling gear.
You also might be wondering whether it’s a good idea to buy a dive mask online. The truth is that most masks will fit most divers. The skirts are soft and flexible and adjust to the shape and contours of the diver’s face.
That might not be true for cheap masks though. There you might end up with low-quality material components that will not easily mold to your face!
When you start looking around, you’ll find masks for diving, spearfishing, freediving, and snorkeling, to name a few. To some degree, these masks are similar or even the same.
There are some subtle differences though. For example, a typical snorkel mask might use lesser-quality materials. You won’t dive down, and the pressure won’t build up around the mask, so there’s no need to go for more expensive top-notch components.
You most likely won’t have an issue using a scuba mask for snorkeling though. Or for most activities underwater. A good scuba mask will have a low volume to trap only the minimal amount of air. The reason for that is that a lot of air caught in the mask will impact your buoyancy and make it harder to dive down.
Historically dive masks had either one or two lenses. Two lenses result 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 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 most important feature of a mask is that it lets you see underwater. A good mask will not only allow you to see straight out of the mask but give you some area up and down and left and right where you can look at your environment.
This is the field of view. It’s quite essential that you have a good look downwards. Why might you ask? Well, that’s where all your gear is.
All your gear and gauges are towards the bottom of your body. Having a clear view to all of those devices can make it a lot more comfortable to dive as it’s easier to access all those parts.
This is pretty easy. When you dive, it’s dark. There’s no sunlight when you go down and as such, there’s no good reason to have reflective lenses to reduce glare.
The primary concern of reflective lenses is safety related. When you have an issue during your descent or ascent and others need to help you, then they can’t see your eyes if you have reflective lenses.
Your eyes are one of the first things your buddy or a rescuer will look for to see whether you’re in trouble, unconscious, etc. Reflective lenses prevent anyone from being able to see your eyes which makes it a huge safety concern. In short, stick with clear lenses and you end up safer!
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.
The downside of a frame can in some cases be that it is too bulky and gets in the way or your field of view. Some manufacturers try to overcome that by using clear silicone for the frame which allows you to be somewhat able to look through it.
There are a few masks out there that have frames that allow you to disassemble the mask. This provides you a great way to clean all components separately. It’s also an advantage when a single part breaks and you can replace it instead of having to buy a new mask.
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. They are also usually much lighter compared to masks with a frame.
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 essential to be able to adjust the mask, so it fits your face and head. If every head were 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 adjusting 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.
There are undoubtedly different buckle and strap systems. Some are easy to pull and adjust and others not so much. Typically, buckles that are integrated into the skirt are overall more straightforward to handle.
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. It usually creates a more reliable and also more comfortable connection to your skin.
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.
Every manufacturer varies the silicone they use. Some use softer and others stiffer versions. Depending on the brand and quality the thickness of the silicone is also different.
Skirts come in different colors. Traditionally, the skirts were and often still are black. For some people, this can be a problem if they are claustrophobic. Black or otherwise dark skirts have an advantage as they block glare and reflecting lights.
Clear skirts let more light into the mask. This makes it feel airier for people that are claustrophobic. That additional light makes them a great choice in not-so-clear waters. On the other hand, they do let a lot of reflected light into the mask if you dive in clear waters and bright light which can quickly strain your eyes and merely be annoying.
The volume referred to is the amount of air being trapped within the mask. The less air, the better for diving.
A low volume mask has many advantages. First, they require less breath to clear if water gets into the mask.
The second advantage is that they produce less drag when diving. Also, as there’s less air they also have less of a buoyancy impact than a mask with a lot of air could have.
The lenses in a low volume mask sit closer to your eyes. This usually creates a larger field of view that allows you to take more images in.
Special freediving masks are designed to have extremely low volume. This reduces the amount of air even more and makes it easier to dive down. However, the closeness of the lenses and the skirt can make it a real problem for people that are claustrophobic.
Finding a mask that matches your head and face is crucial. 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. That is hands down the best method to figure out whether a mask fits or not.
Very few divers have continuous issues finding a mask that fits perfectly. However, most divers at some point will have a mask that leaks. Having a mask with a purge valve can be a good alternative for them.
It can also be a good idea to get such a mask if you cannot stand the thought of any water accidentally building up inside. The valve is usually located at the bottom of the nose pocket.
The valve is designed to drain any water building up inside the mask. Most masks with such a purge valve will allow getting rid of water with just a gentle blow through your nose.
You might think that this could be the solution to the problem of all ill-fitting masks. It’s unfortunately not. The disadvantage is that you have another component on your mask that can malfunction.
Any valve can quickly turn into an opening if a tiny piece of dirt gets lodged in it. If that happens, you end up with a leaky mask and if you can’t clear the debris from the valve you might have to purchase a new one.
You can clear a mask without a purge valve quite easily also. Hold the top of the mask against your forehead, tilt your head back a little and then strongly blow through your nose until the water is out of your mask.
Getting a new mask is exciting. Before the first use, you should prepare it to get the optimum performance from it.
Scrub it out with toothpaste, soft scrub, or whatever method the manufacturer recommends. This cleans off any residue from the manufacturing process which can fog up otherwise.
Use defogger on the lens(es) before each dive. This prevents or at least dramatically reduces any fog build-up while you’re underwater.
After each dive, you have to rinse your mask with fresh water. This will remove any residue building up from your last dive.
You also want to keep the mask out of the sun. The UV rays of the sun can break down the silicone and shorten the lifespan.
When storing the mask be careful to keep it in a well-ventilated space. Only save it when completely dry.
You also want to make sure that you keep it away from bugs. Some do eat silicone which, as you can imagine, is not a good thing!
When you get a new mask, specifically an expensive one, you might want to consider to keep a few accessories around. It’s always a good idea to get a case that is made for your mask. It will make it easier to travel and store.
Strap covers can also be a great idea. They are usually made from neoprene and will slide over the silicone straps. The advantages are that you can move them around easier even if you wear gloves. They also will no longer tangle and yank your hair making it much easier to put the mask on or off.
When you’re going on a trip with your mask, then you should consider bringing a set of extra straps with you. In case that one of your straps breaks you have a replacement with you instead of cutting your dive short.
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 fewer 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 traveling.
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 undoubtedly 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 not to have any color distortion which results in ultra-clear visibility under water.
|Ideal for||Scuba enthusiasts that regularly dive|
|Lens||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. Besides Mares employs the Tri-Comfort Technology which is a more elastic 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 significantly improve visibility. If you use the mask for snorkeling or merely 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.
|Ideal for||Divers that want/need to have a vast field of view|
|Lens||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 sea life and seascape underneath and besides you. An excellent 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 fasteners 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.
|Ideal for||The highest 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 the 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 soft silicone that molds to your face providing exceptional 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 fasteners 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 equalizing pressure.
|Ideal for||Great all-around mask for the recreational diver|
What Could Have Been Better
The Mares X-VU LiquidSkin is a solid mask for a reasonable price. The LiquidSkin in combination with the Tri-Comfort technology makes 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 the face. This practically guarantees a superb fit for any form of the 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 a superb field of view specifically when you look down. The teardrop design of the lenses allows for excellent 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.
|Ideal for||Recreational divers that regularly dive in a variety of conditions|
What Could Have Been Better
The Scubapro Spectra features Trufit which makes for a very comfortable fit. It’s an excellent 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 genuinely 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.
|Ideal for||Excellent and affordable mask for beginners|
What Could Have Been Better
The Cressi F1 is an easy to use mask that offers excellent 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 offers the 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 placing 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 underwater.
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.
|Ideal for||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 excellent 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 precisely 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 will enable the maximum amount of light to penetrate.
Concerning 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 sea life 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 with the soft silicone will not leave any marks on your face even after prolonged 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 a 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 intended 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.
|Ideal for||Underwater sightseeing|
What Could Have Been Better
The Cressi Big Eyes Evolution is an excellent mask for diving and snorkeling in clear water. The large lenses allow for a lot of light to penetrate and increase the field of view. All in all an excellent mask for underwater sightseeing!
The Octomask is a unique 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 configurations, either with a single lens or with dual lenses. Both variants offer a full 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, 4, 5 and 6 models as well as smaller Session cameras. There are 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.
An elementary 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.
|Ideal for||Any diver wanting to shoot video with a GoPro camera|
|Lens||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 most significant advantage is that you can mount your GoPro camera right onto it. If you want to shoot video, then there’s no alternative if you’re going 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 underwater!
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 made 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.
|Ideal for||Divers that want a large field of view when diving|
What Could Have Been Better
The Tusa M1001 Freedom HD mask has a huge lens. It’s also a rather large mask overall fitting pretty much any size of a head. The visibility out of this mask is just amazing.
There are many reasons why a mask might leak. One of the most common ones is that the straps on your mask are tightened too much. It might sound strange that you can prevent your mask from leaking by loosening the strap but when you think about it, it does make sense.
If your strap is too tight, it pulls the mask too hard against your face. This squeezes the skirt and prevents a tight seal.
The straps should only keep the mask from falling off your face. They are not there to make a seal. The seal is produced through the feathered edge of the skirt adhering to your skin.
If your mask leaks because the strap is too tight, then tightening it even more will result in even more leakage. When you end your dive and your mask and skirt leaves an indentation around your face, then you most likely had the strap too tight!
Many divers end up tightening the straps too much as a somewhat loose strap can move around when you enter the water. If that’s the case, then hold the strap on the back of your head when you go into the water to ensure it stays in place.
If your leakage is severe and not related to straps being too tight, then it might just not be the right fitting mask for you. In this case, you might have to invest in a new one that fits your face better.
Facial hair is often the cause for a lot of headaches when it comes to getting a seal against your face. The hair will get caught between the skirt and the skin. Water can and will get into the mask this way.
There are some things you can do though. First, you can shave a small area of your face where the seal hits the skin to prevent any hair from being in the way in those areas.
Another possibility is to use silicone paste that you put on your beard hair. It’ll allow the skirt to produce a tighter seal against your skin and beard, but it usually is not a correctly working solution.
Some masks are better or worse if you have a beard. We have collected more information in our post on the best masks for snorkeling and scuba diving when you have a mustache!
For the most part, that’s up to you and what you prefer. Both types work very well and have good and not so good features about them.
A transparent skirt can help if you have some level of claustrophobia. Being able to at least somewhat look through the skirt provides a more open feel and does increase your peripheral vision. This can be helpful in any case if you are in darker environments or murky water.
A colored, usually black, skirt, on the other hand, can help with reducing glare. If you dive a lot in shallow, sunny waters then the glare from the sunlight can get distracting and annoying. Most underwater photographers use a dark skirt to eliminate any glare while taking pictures.
Many, if not most masks come with silicone straps. If they are not wide enough then your hair may get tangled. They also can be problematic to adjust underwater if you’re wearing gloves.
Neoprene straps, on the other hand, are softer and more comfortable. They are easier to adjust underwater, and hair does not get tangled in them.
A low volume mask traps less air inside compared to one with a high volume. The air inside the mask will impact your buoyancy as it wants to drag you to the surface.
This might overall not have a significant impact on most recreational divers. It does become a real issue if you’re freediving.
That doesn’t mean that high volume masks are bad. They have one significant advantage. The larger volume variants provide a better peripheral vision and feel a little less cramping.
With a low-volume mask, you do have the lenses sitting very close to your eyes. That does allow to clear out any water much, but it also can be an issue if you are claustrophobic in any way!
Not surprisingly, a lot of divers wear eyeglasses. One thing they can’t do is wear their glasses with a scuba mask. You will not be able to get a seal between the mask and your skin over the frame.
Contrary to what you might expect, farsightedness is often less of a problem than nearsightedness. While nearsightedness prevents you from clearly seeing things in the distance which might often make your dive not very enjoyable, farsightedness prevents you from seeing things closeup in focus. This means that you might not be able to read your dive computer screen and other gauges.
If your prescription is not very strong, then you might be able to dive without any corrective measures. Otherwise, there are a few options you can look at.
Some divers use contacts instead of glasses. This does work for some folks while not for others. If that’s not working for you, then you can always have a look at dive masks with prescription lenses which can make a world of difference.
It is very rare that you would encounter a gear problem that leads to flooding of your mask. Smaller seal issues take usually care of themselves. The pressure of the air inside the mask pushes small amounts of water out if the seal is broken.
If your mask completely breaks and floods you would try to either use a replacement mask if you have one or to do a safe ascent. There’s usually no reason to panic.
If it’s just a temporary issue where water flooded your mask, then try to purge the mask first. You can only do that by looking up and then lift the bottom of the mask slightly and press the purge button of your regulator. That will usually allow air to get trapped inside your mask and push water out.
Alternatively, you can breathe out into your mask and purge the water that way. Neither of these methods is foolproof though. The worst that usually might happen is that you have to ascent to replace the mask.
Fogging is another nuisance during diving. No matter what mask you use you will most likely experience it during some of your dives. The principles are similar to what happens if you wear glasses outside in the cold and you enter a warm room. They instantly fog up. The same occurs underwater when you transition between different temperature layers.
There are some possibilities to prevent it though. First, prepare your new mask as we have mentioned above. Use toothpaste to clean out the mask and then rinse with warm water. After that use defogging spray every time you go diving. That should usually help you avoid that your mask gets foggy during a dive.
A lot of components of diving masks are made from silicone. Usually, it’s the skirt and the straps that are made from this material. Some masks you can buy are quite expensive, so it’s more than reasonable to question how long your mask will last.
Silicone will usually not degrade or lose its softness or shape over time. Some situations can shorten the life of silicone though. First and foremost, UV rays will start to degrade silicone. Make sure that you don’t leave your mask baking in the sun while you’re on the beach or a boat. Store it in a dark place when not in use.
Another issue can be that you encounter bugs that like to chew and nibble on silicone. It’s rare, but it can happen. Again, you want to store your mask in a dark and dry place that is secure from outside elements and where insects cannot get to.
Lastly, do not store your mask when its wet. Let it dry thoroughly to prevent mold from growing in a steamy environment. That’s not a problem of the silicone, but a mold infested mask might end up in the trash.
There’s nothing wrong if you rent a mask or loan it from a friend. That is if it is the right size and fits your face. You also want a mask that is reasonably high quality and has no damages to it.
If you dive a lot, then it makes sense to buy your mask. If you only occasionally dive, like a couple of times a year during vacation, then it might be more convenient to rent. However, do not expect these masks to fit as well as your mask would!
The skirt over time will begin to shape into the form of your face slightly. If you use somebody else’s mask, you might have a harder time to get a tight seal. So, if you can afford one and if you will use it often enough, then it does make a lot of sense to purchase your mask.
You might or might not agree with our 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.
We checked the list from 2017 and didn’t find much happening in the world of scuba masks since then. We kept the contenders the same as we think that they are still the best scuba diving masks you can get for 2018. If new and better masks hit the market during 2018 we will update our list accordingly. Until then, Happy Diving!
Technology has brought significant advances to diving equipment—even the simple mask has been transformed. Full-face snorkel masks have been developed that allow you to breathe naturally through your nose and mouth. They have a 180° view area, and you don’t have to bite down on a mouthpiece as with the older two-element snorkel.
The SeeReef Full Face Snorkel Mask is one of the highest-rated in its price range. In this article, we’ll go over the concept and features, and compare it to the competition.
Many would-be snorkelers have trouble breathing through their mouth, which is required by the original two-piece unit. Some suffer jaw pain after clenching a mouthpiece.
The SeeReef Full Face Snorkel improves upon a design first introduced by Tribord in 2014 (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/20/tribord-easybreath-snorkel-mask_n_5355412.html). The innovative combined-function mask allows you to breathe naturally through your nose and mouth while underwater–without a mouthpiece. The SeeReef mask also reduces fogging and provides a wide area of view.
It is important to remember these one-piece snorkels are specialized gear: they are not intended for free diving or intense exertion while swimming. Though sold as a secure system for beginners and kids, problems can arise for the uninitiated—these masks should only be used under supervision or with a buddy.
The sleek, modern-looking SeeReef Full Face Snorkel combines the goggles and air tube in one unit. The upper viewing lens and lower breathing area are divided, and an extra long air tube connects through four intake valves in a floating-valve “dry snorkel” system. The shatter-proof flat lens allows clear and fog-free 180° viewing.
The SeeReef mask promises natural breathing and a better view underwater. Exhaled air flows up through the snorkel instead of the lens chamber to minimize fogging. The innovative design reduces the chance for choking and swallowing water.
The SeeReef Full Face mask is priced more competitively than Tribord’s EasyBreath. The SeeReef offers most of the performance of the original market leader with the addition of a flat lens for panoramic viewing. The SeeReef’s second-generation design also adds a 4-intake valve system for easier breathing, and an extra long air tube and a dry-snorkel assembly to keep water out.
The SeeReef model comes with spare seals, two sets of earplugs, and a hard carrying case to keep your gear intact and the high-grade lens from becoming scratched.
The SeeReef Snorkel is a one-piece mask with a built-in breathing system. It uses two chambers to divide the viewing lens area from your nose and mouth, a feature which reduces fogging from breath moisture.
The separate compartments allow for broader, unobstructed panoramic viewing. The single lens is engineered with a flat design to decrease distortion and increase visibility beyond the capacity of older “bubble” masks.
SeeReef updates the original Full Face mask design with four intake valves for maximizing air flow. Three intakes are positioned in the breathing area, and one valve is fitted at the top of the air tube. This arrangement allows you to breathe more naturally than most other masks, providing effortless and unencumbered air flow.
When fitting the mask, you want the breathing area to fit snugly. You can test the fit by standing out of the water and breathing into the mask: the upper viewing section should remain clear, with fogging only in the bottom compartment.
Adding to the comfort of the SeeReef design is a dry-top mechanism that uses a ball float to prevent water from entering the air tube when submerged. If you dip your head below the water, the ball rises to block intake.
Any water that gets in will drain when you raise your head above the surface. You don’t have to blow out air through the tube as with most older snorkels. Many traditional units include the dry system too.
The SeeReef’s has updated their model with an extra long breathing tube to ensure natural air flow. The system expells air through side chambers and out the top. The angle of the breathing tube is optimized for surface viewing.
The mask is held securely by bright sea blue straps behind the mask’s oval frame. They come in Jet Black or Pacific Blue. The blue option is a white frame with blue straps. The strips aren’t friendly to long hair, and mats it easily—but they are visible and attractive.
A good seal is necessary for the unit to function correctly, so the wide straps are placed to distribute pressure around the frame. The setup is not complicated to learn, but it is not made for quick release. Even if you’re an experienced diver, the straps may be different than you are used to, so practice out of the water first so you can release quickly.
The apparent key to getting the proper seal is how well the mask’s frame fits your face, and one size can’t fit all. The SeeReef takes a step in the right direction by offering two sizes, small/med, and large/XL.
The mask should fit snugly but not tight. Pay close attention to the fit of the area around the breathing chamber. To find your size, measure between your eyes and chin. Get a small/medium if the distance is less than 4.7 in (10cm), and the larger size if more.
The smaller size is suitable for many children.
Full masks have been in the news from a rash of snorkeling deaths in Hawaii (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hawaii-full-face-snorkel-mask-related-deaths/). The issue seems to involve cheap, mass-produced knockoffs that duplicate the look of the mask without the engineering know-how behind it. This is an essential piece of gear, so you want to avoid a cheap copy.
The concern highlights some issues:
To reiterate, the SeeReef and other well-made Full Face Snorkels safe for recreational use while comfortably floating on the surface—they are not to be used for diving or intense exertion while swimming.
Don’t do this, at least not for longer periods of time:
SeeReef includes a hard carrying case to protect the lens. Even its scratch-resistant lens won’t keep away marks if you mix them in with your other gear. There is also a soft cleaning cloth included.
Two sets of earplugs are also included: a standard set and a pair of in-ear super-molds. You get some spare seals just in case.
SeeReef stands behind their product with a full money-back guarantee, with no special conditions or waivers. Specific manufacturer information can be challenging to find, so check with your retailer for the details of their policy.
Looking across the internet at online discussions about Full Face masks, you’ll see some people are happy with their quality Full Face masks while others warn against cheaper models.
TravelAdvisor has users with a lot of real experience, and the SeeReef has earned good marks.
The Tribord Easybreath was updated in 2017. They added the name Subea and introduced an improved airflow setup that reduces fogging. As the company was the first to introduce the recreational Full Face design, their Easybreath mask is still a top competitor in the market.
If we’re to be picky, the unit doesn’t quite have the sleek SeeReef’s visual area. The SeeReef also has a longer air tube, but since both have dry valve protection, it doesn’t make a huge difference. The Easybreath is a little more expensive than the SeeReef for possibly better performance, as they have more experience to give their product.
The Seaview 180 is another competitor in this range. Its high-quality lens with super-wide viewing area is this popular unit’s standout feature. Its integrated GoPro mount was the first on the market, and the well-regarded assembly still fits all existing models.
The Wildhorn mask it is a little pricier than SeeReef’s for much the same performance. It’s close to a choice between styles you prefer.
Ocean Reef’s Full Face mask is much like the Tribord Easybreath it imitates, but it comes in twice as many sizes and many different color combinations. You can’t fault the design, but there are complaints about durability, especially after significant time spent in storage.
The Aria fogs up more than the SeaReef, and the price is higher than the SeeReef. These brands are similar enough in overall performance that it comes down to which appeals to you most.
The great thing about the SeeReef Full Face Snorkel and other top models is that they allow you to breathe naturally underwater. You don’t have to bother with a mouthpiece, and you get more great high-quality viewing than ever before.
Full Face masks are very limited in use, suitable only for quiet floating at the surface. By delivering a smooth and comfortable experience within these parameters, SeeReef’s performance opens up simple snorkeling to more people. With the SeeReef mask, you can breathe naturally and not worry about choking on intake water or gagging on the mouthpiece.
Do you use the SeeReef snorkeling goggles? Or any other full face mask? Leave us a comment below and share your thoughts and experiences. We’d love to hear from you!
Most holiday goers enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling, as we all do. However, there are a few issues that had for quite a while prevented such people from having the best experience. Full face Snorkel masks have played a significant role in doing away with most of the problems.
Thanks to them, vacation goers can breathe with their nose now and not get the foggy view due to my breath condensing on the mask’s face. This also rules out any spitting in your mask during snorkeling.
The Ocean Reef Aria Snorkel Mask addresses all those issues. It is the perfect example of a full face snorkel mask that has come a long way in providing the best experience when snorkeling.
The full face snorkel masks may have been around since 2014, but quite some snorkelers are not familiar with them. They have enriched the snorkeling experience by doing away with jaw fatigue caused by biting the mouthpiece that comes with the more traditional masks and is very comfortable hence we can now take longer dives.
There is a growing market for them, and a lot of brands are entering with a wide range of quality and price. You should, however, not buy a full face snorkel mask if you intend to use it in taking swimming laps or if you like to dive down a lot. It will be a disappointment since they are not designed for that.
There are some critical factors you should probably consider before buying such goggles:
The primary purpose is to keep water from reaching your face. Without trying the mask, it is essential to check the sizing of the manufacturer to make sure that it won’t leak.
The best other alternative is to check out other buyer reviews and how the manufacturer responds to queries on its functionality. A snorkel mask with double seals stands a better chance at keeping water out.
Where and how you intend to use the snorkeling mask are essential factors to consider. There are more expensive snorkel masks that will keep water out in deep waters if you want to use it in deep sea diving. The purpose of the mask will quickly narrow down to the type of mask you want.
If you prefer to dive a lot during your snorkeling excursions, then a traditional mask might be a better choice for you. They provide less uplift as they don’t trap that much air inside the mask and make it possible to dive down.
An excellent snorkeling mask is adjustable to different shapes and sizes. This is to conform to individuals’ faces without leaking.
The straps have to be easily adjustable preferably with one hand. Part of this also has to be that you can quickly take the mask off if you need to.
There is quite a variety of lenses that are fitted in snorkel masks with each differing in price. If you do real deep dives, then you might want to consider using glass lens masks that do not fog at all. The glass lenses also do not get as easily scrubbed as the plastic lenses.
An excellent and efficient way to control fog that forms on the face of the mask is to have a good flow of air in the mask. Many masks have the breathing chamber separate from the lens so the breath won’t fog up the lens.
Having a lot of airflow and circulation also allows breathing more naturally which makes snorkeling more enjoyable. Air circulation is not only limited to the air inside the mask and how much air you can breathe. When breathing out, it’s vital that the CO2 enriched air is quickly transported out of the breathing chamber.
When you’re planning to purchase an expensive mask, a solid product warranty is a necessary consideration. In most cases, it will allow you to know that the brand you’re considering stands behind their products.
Depending on your needs it can be of importance that specific accessories are available. These can range from action camera mounts to special lenses if you need prescription glasses.
Ocean Reef has made full face snorkel masks for a long time and has gained much traction in the industry. These goggles are a good testimony of their quality.
When you put on the mask, the first thing you will notice is its soft and comfortable feel on the face with smooth edges and a well-designed structure. The product also promises to offer a great view of the underwater world. This is through its flat lens, which does not distort the picture as the spherical lens would.
Among the many more features this premium product offers its customers, the most important is the panoramic view provided by the wide lens. The mask covers your whole face so that you have a 180-degree view in each direction. Since the large lens could be prone to breaking, the Ocean Reef Aria snorkel mask has its lens made out of shatterproof polycarbonate.
The Ocean Reef Aria snorkeling mask is especially useful if you have a problem with your vision and would like to enjoy the same view as everyone else. This is achieved by supporting the Optical Lens Support accessory compatible with Aria sizes L/XL and S/M.
This product is, however, not recommended for duck diving and swim laps. The Ocean Reef Aria snorkeling mask is designed for leisurely snorkeling at the surface of calm water. Though you can dive up to three meters below the water surface with a full face snorkel mask, they are not meant for free diving either.
One of the most useful features of a full face snorkeling mask is the broad and more unobstructed view of the underwater world that they offer. The Ocean Reef Aria is an excellent example in this as it has a lens that stretches across your entire face.
This provides you with a 180-degree view of every direction, which is exhilarating especially for first-time snorkelers. Thanks to a flat lens design at the front, the view in the Ocean Reef Aria is not distorted as it is in spherical lenses.
A significant addition to the viewing experience is that the Ocean Reef Aria does not fog up thanks to a sophisticated airflow system. You will also not have to spit into the mask to clear up the fog before snorkeling.
Here’s a YouTube video that will show you some spectacular underwater experiences with the Aria mask:
It is easy to snap the Ocean Reef Aria snorkel on and off making it easy to bring along on trips. A flutter system ensures that no water enters the snorkel and into the mask while snorkeling.
It will also restrict your breathing the moment it closes off the snorkel to avoid entry of water. In rare cases where water gets into the mask, it’s easy to get rid of it. Just breathe out, and the water will run out of the mask through a valve at its bottom.
You can view an exciting video of how the Ocean Reef Aria snorkeling mask is used and the how the snorkel is turned into a selfie-stick.
Since Ocean Reef has experience in making full face scuba masks, they rarely go wrong, especially in design and comfort. This mask will fit perfectly on quite a variety of customer facial dimensions.
Whatever the face size, the mask feels very comfortable on the face with soft edges and high-quality material. The great fit is one of the outstanding features of this mask and is praised in many reviews you can find.
The most crucial aspect in a full face snorkeling mask is probably the efficiency of its airflow system. A mask that allows you to breathe naturally through the nose and mouth gives you a more relaxed time snorkeling especially if you are a first timer.
Traditional masks and snorkels would have you put a snorkel in your mouth. If you rent the set, then you have no idea who used it before and now have to stick the mouthpiece into your mouth. On longer snorkeling trips it also tires the jaws and reduces the thrill of the memorable experience.
Thanks to modern full-face snorkeling masks like the Ocean Reef Aria, your jaws do not have to experience any fatigue. The result is that you can snorkel for extended periods of time and have a richer experience of the underground world.
The Ocean Reef Aria has a camera support mount that will allow you to mount a GoPro or any other similar sports camera at the top of the snorkel mask. You can also remove it and use the mount for better aiming during your filming.
While the mount is not part of the mask, it is reasonably priced if you want to purchase this accessory. It also makes sense to get a float on your camera.
This video shows how a camera is installed onto the camera support mount and also how it can be turned into a selfie-stick:
It also teaches you how to connect other accessories like marker wings.
Marker wings come in a wide range of colors and are useful in recognizing an individual’s snorkeler when his head is under the surface of the water.
Although standard optical lenses are not included in the product package, the Ocean Reef Aria has a frame that allows the lenses to be mounted for snorkeling. Though lightweight, the optical lens support is also durable and easy to add and remove making the mask suitable for anyone.
The optical lens support accessory is available for the S/M and L/XL sizes of the Aria. However, this is support only; you will have to buy a generic lens to fit or visit your optometrist to get lenses installed in your eyes.
This full face mask is similar to the Ocean Reef Aria in most features including the 180-degree view, the camera mount, waterproof dry top, etc. It’s the original mask of this kind.
It does not offer as many optional accessories but in turn is also priced lower. The design is also a little different from Aria’s with the water drainage valve located in a higher position along with other minor design tweaks. The material and most of the other features are comparable.
The Seaview 180 Full Face Snorkel Mask is just as Aria in visibility enabling the user to access 180 degrees of visibility. Most of the features are also similar with both having camera mounts and using shatter-proof poly-carbonate for the lens. The Seaview goggles have an action camera mount standard so you won’t have to purchase it as an optional accessory.
They are also both available in multiple colors. The Seaview does not provide an option to mount prescription lenses. Otherwise, it’s probably a better choice as it’s typically lower in price.
The X-Lounger snorkel mask is designed for adults and kids the age of seven years and above. It offers similar if not more features at a typically lower price compared to the Ocean Reef Aria.
The snorkel on the mask can be folded for easy traveling and you also have a removable action camera mount included. A lot of the other features are similar. The quality of both masks is impeccable and you’ll enjoy snorkeling with either one of them.
The Ocean Reef Aria Full Face snorkeling mask is one of the best of its kind. It stands out in how simple it makes snorkeling while improving the quality of the experience.
If you are looking for a full face mask that doesn’t fog easy and supports a horde of accessories, then you found your perfect set of goggles. If you require prescription glasses, then it is the best mask you can get with the optional accessory to mount corrective lenses inside.
More and more people buy the snorkel masks that cover the whole face. They are convenient and allow to breathe through the nose which makes it a lot more comfortable for many people.
The available masks are overall pretty similar and at first glance are typically different by color, snorkel length and materials. However, there’s one other difference that is not that obvious. It’s the shape of the lens on those goggles.
There are two different types of masks. The first type of mask has this rounded front where it’s curved all the way around on the front. And the second type has a flat front. It looks a little bit more like a traditional scuba mask with a lot of transparent glass or plastic added around it to cover your face.
A lot of people have been asking, what’s better? What’s the difference between the two? Some companies even sell both the curved front and the flat front snorkel masks. Make sure you know which one you’re getting before you decide to buy.
The main difference you can experience between those two types of goggles comes down to visibility. You’ll encounter some distortion with each type of goggle. One has it more pronounced around the edges while the other type has the distortion across the visible area.
When it comes to the curved front mask, there’s typically just a little distortion of the actual image due to the curving of the lens. When you’re underwater and you’re swimming around, then you most likely won’t see the world any differently than you do if you wear swimming goggles or have your eyes open. There’s usually some distortion when you’re looking out at the edges of the lens.
The distortion you experience is evenly spread across the whole visible area. It’ll end up stronger at the edges where the lens meets the frame as the lens is having a stronger curve in those areas.
With the flat fronted snorkel mask, the problem is that there is a little bit of distortion around the edges where the flat part of the lens transitions into the curved portion. That point where there’s a crease in the mask. So, if you were to look at such a mask at where the flat part of the lens goes into the curve, then you do see a little flat line. There’s a little bit of distortion there. And so, it makes it look just a little bit different when you’re swimming.
However, when you’re looking straight out, there’s no distortion at all as the lens is not curved at all. Typically, when in the water you will generally look straight out of the mask. At that moment the flat mask has a slight advantage as all the stuff that’s on the side is not what’s in your primary focus.
But you notice it. It is there, but you do get used to it. Interesting enough all the major brands that provide such full face goggles like the Subea Easybreath or the Wildhorn Outfitters 180 Degree have flat lenses.
Initially, you will probably enjoy the round front mask more than the flat fronted mask, just because the slight distortion of the curve is less evident than the somewhat more obvious one around the edges of the flat mask. The vision feels initially a little more natural.
However, if you are snorkeling a lot, then you do get quickly used to the flat front which has zero distortion when you look straight out. You also do get a better feel of how your video camera will record imagery when you look through the flat lens.
In the end, though, it’s more important that you get a mask that is of high quality. The type of lens is to some degree secondary. In the end, you will get used to either one and you won’t even realize that there are distortions after a while. One thing you will recognize instantly is if the mask is of low quality.
Water dripping in or cheap plastics being used are a much bigger problem than the flat vs. curved lens on the full face snorkel mask. And if you are used to traditional snorkel masks or swimming goggles, then the improvement is so massive that you probably won’t even realize that there are distortions in your visibility.
In the end it’s your choice. Pick a mask that offers high quality for a fair price and you can’t go wrong. Try to avoid the super-cheap masks if you want to use them regularly and for a long time. Let us know your experiences in the comments below.
Remember the old days when you went snorkeling, and everybody was using an oval mask? The most distinguishing factor was whether yours was black or some other color. And the field of view was pretty much restricted to ‘straight ahead.’
Looking at the full face snorkel goggles you get today makes you realize what a long way this recreational activity and its gear have come. These new masks are comfortable to wear, have a tight seal and most importantly allow you to see everything within a 180-degree field of view.
One of those fantastic masks is the Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180°. It’s one of the most sought-after goggles you can get today. The question you might have is whether there are good reasons why this is one of the most popular full face masks you can get today.
The Seaview 180 is one of the overall best masks for snorkeling you can get. It’s pretty much on par with the best goggles there are, the Tribord Subea Easybreath. There’s no question that the quality of material and of the build itself is top of the line.
Excellent materials and build are not all that’s important when you’re looking at any snorkel mask at all. There are some factors you have to consider when looking to find the best full face snorkeling mask for yourself.
The name already states that you have a 180-degree view with this mask. The lens is made from high-quality and transparent polycarbonate. This also makes the lens shatterproof. While you indeed can destroy the lens, it will usually not end up falling apart but instead end up having cracks. As you can imagine, that’s much healthier for your face and eyes… 😉
Similar to all full face snorkeling masks, you also don’t have a mouthpiece with this mask. Nothing to clamp down and as such you can breathe freely through your mouth or your nose.
This makes for a much more relaxed experience when snorkeling as you won’t end up with jaw fatigue from continually biting down on a mouthpiece as you have to do with a traditional mask and snorkel. Many people can snorkel for hours with goggles like the Seaview 180 degree while that’s not possible when you use a snorkel with a mouthpiece.
The most important of those factors is that the mask does its job. And that job is that it sits tight and comfortable and keep the water out. The Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180° does an excellent job when it comes to this specific task.
But, keeping the water out is not just based on the quality of materials and the overall design but depends on how good of a match you find between the size of the mask and the size of your head. WildHorn has introduced a new XS size that targets specific people with small heads and children in addition to their other two sizes.
This new XS size brings the overall number of sizes you can get up to three. It’s a significant advantage to have a large number of different sizes to provide the best possible fit. Other masks, like the Tribord Easybreath, offer only two different sizes. That typically is enough, but if you want to take your kids’ snorkeling, it can be that you won’t find a great match.
The sizing of the Seaview 180 Degree is overall very simple. You measure the distance between the top (bridge) of your nose and the bottom of your chin while you have your mouth closed.
If that distance is between 3.35 and 3.94 inches, then you need to get the XS size. This typically will fit a child.
You need to go with the size S/M if the measurement is between 3.94 inches and 4.7 inches. This will most likely be the case for a woman or young adults/teenagers.
Finally, if the measurement is above 4.7 inches then go for the L/XL size. Typically, that’s the size that fits most men.
The one thing you want to make sure when you put the mask on is that there’s no gap between the goggles and your chin. This is where a wrong sitting mask typically will have a gap and water can get into it. If you have such a hole, then the goggles are too large, and you need one size smaller.
One great thing of a full-face mask is that they are usually designed to direct the air around the lens, so there’s no fogging. The WildHorn Outfitters Seaview 180 is doing exactly that, and it does that outstandingly good.
The overall mask design funnels the air you breath out in a way that the lens won’t get foggy. You keep a clear view in pretty much all conditions.
Compared to the Easybreath it might be a smidge worse when it comes to its capability to keep the lens from getting foggy in all situations. However, for snorkeling in warm waters, you typically won’t run into any problems.
Whether you need a GoPro mount or not mostly depends on whether you have a camera and want to use it when you go snorkeling. The Seaview 180° comes with an integrated mount on the top of the mask.
The positioning is excellent as you will film what you see while the camera is entirely outside of your field of view. Camera mounts that clip on like on the Subea/Tribord Easybreath do a good job, but they do minimally obstruct your view. A fixed mounting point like on the Seaview mask can be put in an overall better location on the goggles.
It’s pretty apparent that the mask has to stay dry on the inside to allow you to have a great snorkeling experience. A mask consists of a hard (plastic) shell that has a soft rubber/silicone skirt attached which adheres to your face and produces a watertight seal.
The skirt consists of some layers and in more complex masks, like high-end masks for scuba diving, the mix of silicone used can vary in the different sections of the skirt. A snorkel mask does not need that elaborate of a design as it’s used for snorkeling and won’t have to withstand the increasing pressure of the water around you when you dive down into the depth of the ocean or lake.
The Seaview 180 Degree uses the top-of-the-line material for the skirt and produces a tight fit that keeps the water out. That only works if the mask has the right sizing for your head/face and is adjusted to sit tight and correctly.
A skirt on any mask can only create a tight seal if there are no obstructions like hair or a beard. Even a strand of hair, which you would expect not to be a big issue, can prevent a watertight seal. Now, don’t think that a strand of hair will allow the water to gush into your mask but it will let some water drip in.
The same is true if you have a beard. A mustache poses no problem with the Seaview mask, but a full beard can be a problem. You most likely will experience some water from entering the goggles.
However, the skirt is not the only place where water can enter the mask. The other area is the snorkel. In the old days, a snorkel consisted of a plastic tube with a rounded end and a rubber mouthpiece. You put the mouthpiece into your mouth and bit down on it to keep it in place.
The plastic tube stayed above the water, and you were breathing through it. It worked great – in theory. The reality was that there are things like waves that splash water into the tube which then ends up in your mouth. When you’re not expecting it, and you’re trying to breathe in you end up with a load of water in your throat. The next thing is that you stick your head out and cough the water out. Overall, an enjoyable experience – NOT!
This problem got solved with the introduction of dry snorkels. These have a floating device (often a ball) in the tip of the snorkel. When the snorkel gets under water, the float closes the snorkel, and it stays dry. This works great up to a point. As you can imagine, the float can only close the snorkel if you move the snorkel down into the water at the angle it’s designed for.
So, if you dive straight down and the angle of the snorkel prevents the float from closing it, you still end up with water in your mouth/mask. That is true for all dry snorkels whether they are traditional snorkels or integrated into a full-face mask.
The Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180° uses this technology to have an integrated dry snorkel. As long as you use the mask for snorkeling and for an occasional underwater dive where your head stays in a similar position as when you snorkel, you’ll keep dry in the goggles.
If you use the mask to dive straight down, you’ll find out how quickly your mask can fill up with water… 😉
In any case, if you should have some water inside the mask, then the Seaview has you covered. You lift your head above the water and tilt it back. This will open the drainage valve at the bottom of the mask, and the water will escape that way. Super easy and useful to keep your snorkeling trip enjoyable!
There’s honestly not much you have to worry about. Rinsing the mask with clean water after each snorkel excursion is usually enough. Make sure that you do a good rinse and that you wash out all areas of the goggles.
Masks like these are not designed to be washed in your laundry machine or your dishwasher. Doing so will damage the mask! Store the goggles in a breathable (mesh) bag. As it is made from plastics, you want to store it out of direct sunlight. The UV rays of sunlight can and will over time have a negative impact on any plastic and silicone and damage the mask.
If you’re taking the mask with you to the beach, then make sure that you rest it with the visor facing up. This way the rough surface will not scratch the lens!
It can also happen that sand or dirt enter the tip of the snorkel. Over time this can stop the float valve/mechanism from working correctly. Make sure that you always rinse the snorkel together with the rest of the mask with fresh water to wash out any debris.
Since the latest update of the mask by its manufacturer WildHorn Outfitters, you can choose from a large variety of colors. At last count, there were up to 10 different colors to pick from.
So, no matter what color your bathing suit, you can find a matching mask! The only exception is the XS size which seems to only come in the Navy color at this time. Otherwise, go for your favorite color and enjoy the underwater world!
These types of masks are designed for recreational snorkeling. That statement alone should make it clear that there are some limitations on what to use such a full-face snorkel mask for.
First, it’s not a good fit if you want to use it for freediving or any other sort of activity where you’re more underwater than on the water. The volume of the mask traps a lot of air and makes it harder and eventually quite uncomfortable to dive down to more than 10 feet or so.
These masks are also not designed to be used in rough waters. The snorkel is dry to some extent, but rough seas and waves will create tilts and gushes that will let water enter through the snorkel.
The Wildhorn Seaview 180° is without doubt of the quality to stand up against any one of the other high-quality full face masks. It combines highest quality materials with great overall design and construction. The links below will lead you to a few in-depth comparisons between this mask and some of its competitors:
Without a doubt, the Seaview 180° is a great mask for anyone in your family. It will open a whole new world underwater when you start to snorkel with it.
While it might look somewhat challenging to put on, it’s quite easy to do. You merely place the mask on your face from the front and then get the straps over your head. The straps are designed so they won’t get caught in your hair. Once you have it on your face, it’s very comfortable to wear for hours at a time.
Being able to breath comfortably makes it an excellent fit for anyone in your family. Enjoy snorkeling with your kids while they can explore the wonders underwater! Just make sure you get the correct size for everyone, and you’re good to go!
Going snorkeling with a full face snorkel mask makes you realize how old regular masks and snorkels are. The market leader is the original full-face snorkel mask, the Tribord Subea Easybreath.
Formerly the mask was referred to as Tribord Easybreath. Since the 2017 model was introduced that had some improvements, the name also got changed to include the Subea name. It looks like the marketing is going to switch away from the Tribord name towards the Subea name. You can probably expect soon to have this mask only be sold as the Subea Easybreath mask.
Since the first introduction of the then Tribord Easybreath mask, there have been some improvements made. The most significant was to use a hypoallergenic silicone skirt. A skirt is the soft silicone strip that seals the mask against your face.
Other improvements include better air circulation inside the mask through improved air valves. This enables you to breathe more comfortably and also helps with preventing fogging of the goggles when you’re using them.
Lastly, the snorkel itself has been improved. The latest model as an improved locking mechanism for the snorkel so it won’t be able to detach from the mask accidentally. Subea markets this as the Secure Lock Snorkel with a Dry Freak O-Ring. The lifecycle of the O-ring is rated to be about six years, and the mask comes with a replacement ring.
When you look online or in a store, you might still find older versions of the mask for sale. There’s nothing wrong with those models at all and if you only occasionally go snorkeling and you get a better price on the older models then go for it!
For most people, it’s the different color choices. Just kidding! But, as we are talking about colors at this time let’s cover this topic first. The mask does come in three different colors:
During the introduction of the upgraded model, you could also get a few different limited edition prints. These can often still be found even though they are officially not available anymore!
These limited editions are
They have patterns printed around the mask to make them stand out. If you can find them, you will have to expect to pay more than for the standard model. Once they get harder to find you also will have to assume that prices will increase even more.
All kidding about color aside, most important, you can breathe naturally. What stops many people from making snorkeling their hobby is that they can’t breathe naturally through their nose. Even worse, if you rent a traditional mask and snorkel, you end up putting the snorkel mouthpiece into your mouth where you don’t even know how used it before. While it is (or should be) cleaned and disinfected, it’s still not a pleasant thought for many.
Not having a mouthpiece results in a lot less stress for your jaws. You don’t have, and your jaws won’t experience any fatigue.
This way you can snorkel for much more extended periods of time without getting tired from the continuous clamping down on the mouthpiece.
One of the great features of the Tribord/Subea Easybreath is how the air is flowing inside the mask. The design is so intelligent that it continuously has air flowing along the lens which in turn results in a fog-free snorkeling experience. Many traditional goggles at one point or another will start to fog. If that happens, you have to get your head out of the water, take the mask off and clean it. You won’t have to perform that exercise with the Easybreath as it is pretty much impossible to get it to fog up. The airflow along the lens prevents any condensation, and you’ll have a clear view.
The airflow design is such that any fogging that could occur from exhaling is kept in the bottom part of the mask. There’s no visibility through that area so any fogging that happens will not impact your visibility at all!
But that’s not the only thing. The other remarkable improvement of a full-face mask is that you get panoramic views. A regular snorkel mask restricts your visual area to pretty much straight ahead and a few degrees up and down as well as left and right. A mask that covers your whole face provides you with a 180-degree view in all directions. You can enjoy the sights underwater a lot more. A lot more people enjoy snorkeling that way as they don’t feel as restricted as with a regular mask.
And for all that think that such a large mask must be prone to breaking: it’s not. The lens is made from shatterproof polycarbonate that is tough, and you’d have a tough time to find a way to break it.
The snorkel is a dry snorkel. That means that even if you get the tip of the snorkel under water, there’s no water coming through the snorkel into the mask or your mouth. Dry snorkels are not exclusive to full-face goggles as you can get a traditional snorkel that is a dry snorkel.
When you want to go snorkeling, then you want a dry snorkel. But that’s not all; you want a high-quality one. These are designed with excellent materials that will keep your snorkel dry for years to come.
A dry snorkel uses a floating device in the tip of the snorkel. When the tip goes under water, the floating piece rises and closes off the tip of the snorkel. That prevents water from getting in while the tip is submerged. When the float seals the snorkel, you can’t breathe as long as you’re underwater. Once the tip gets above the water again, the float or ball sinks and opens the snorkel so you can breathe. You can breathe in and out regularly again, and you won’t have to blow any water out of the snorkel.
The Subea Easybreath not only has a dry snorkel, but it also has a purge valve that is located in the chin area. If you ever have water get into the mask, then you can force the water out through the purge valve. There’s no need to take the mask off to drain it! You lift your head above the water, and the valve opens and lets the water in the mask drain.
Looking at the mask, you can see that it is a little on the bulky side. Another great feature specific to the Tribord Easybreath is that you can detach the snorkel from the face mask. That reduces the overall size for traveling significantly! You merely put both parts into the mesh bag that comes with the mask, and you’re ready to go!
With the 2017 upgrade there finally also came a way to mount a GoPro camera. And compared to other full-face masks, the engineers at Subea came up with a pretty smart solution.
First of all, not everyone uses a GoPro or a similar video camera. There’s also no universal mount for such action cameras so having the mount be part of the mask could result in you not using the mount at all.
The Easybreath designers came up with an easy to attach mount for the camera that clicks into the snorkel. It sits securely attached so you won’t lose your camera but can also easily be removed if you don’t use one. An overall pretty smart way to make the mask be usable with a GoPro camera. The mount is optional and is quite inexpensive if you wanted to get it.
The video camera adapter positions the camera on top of the mask. That way your camera view is somewhat similar to what you see when you snorkel. That usually provides the best video capture while it also keeps your hands free from having to hold the camera. The problem with the adapter though is that the camera does end up obstructing your view on the top of the mask if you look up. Other masks with a built-in camera mount, like the Seaview 180 don’t have that problem.
Another downside of the camera attachment is though that it can scratch the top part of the lens of your mask. It’s not very likely, yet it can happen. If you know that you will regularly use a video camera like a GoPro to film your snorkeling excursions, then you might overall be better off to use a mask with a built-in mount like the Wildhorn Outfitters SeaView 180.
One of the huge advantages of the Tribord Easybreath over most of its competitors was that there were four different sizes available. This allowed finding a pretty perfect fit for nearly all face sizes and shapes.
With the switch to the 2017 model and using the Subea name, the mask only comes in two different sizes. These two sizes cover around 90% of different facial sizes. Even kids above the age of approximately ten years should have no problem to have a great fit with the smaller size!
Reducing the number of different sizes in the case of the Subea Easybreath does not have an adverse side effect. It makes sizing easier, and the introduction of the new mask skirt provides a tight fit for most faces even though there are fewer sizes available. You shouldn’t have an issue to find a perfect size match for your face.
Another advantage of going to only two sizes is that the cost to produce the mask went down. And that resulted in the latest model being cheaper than the models before when you purchase one.
The two sizes make it pretty easy to pick the right size. With the four available sizes, it was a little harder, and some people ordered a mask a size too large. In any case, it’s easy to measure for the right fit.
While you keep your mouth closed you measure between the bottom of your chin to the bridge (top) of your nose. If the distance is less than 4.7 inches, then you need to get the smaller version of the goggles. Otherwise, you’ll go for the large size to fit your face.
In any case, you want to make sure that there’s no gap between your chin and the bottom of the mask. The skirt of the mask should fit tight against your skin all around the mask.
This tight fit is hard to achieve if you have a beard. The hair of your beard will often prevent a tight fit of the mask against your face, and the result is that some water can get into the mask. This is not a specific problem of the Tribord/Subea mask but is valid for all types of snorkel and scuba masks. A full face mask has an advantage over regular masks when it comes to you having a mustache as it still provides a tight fit in that case. A traditional mask will leak if you have a mustache.
However, beard hair is not your only hair issue with a snorkel mask. If you have long hair or bangs and you don’t get them out of the way when you put the mask on then the effect is the same as if you have a beard. The hair will provide tiny openings between your skin and the mask, and that will allow water to get into the inside of the goggles.
Putting on a large mask like the Easybreath seems complicated at first. It’s pretty easy. You have to make sure that your hair is out of the way. The straps allow adjusting the fit of the mask until it sits perfectly tight yet comfortable on your face.
It’s easiest to keep the straps out of the way when you put on the mask. Place it straight onto your face until it fits tight. Make sure there’s no hair between your skin and the goggles. Then push the straps into their place and pull them tight. Putting the mask on straight from the front will usually reduce a chance that a hair gets caught between your skin and the skirt of the mask. If you slide the goggles from the top of your head, then you most likely will catch strands of hair that will prevent a watertight seal.
It’s pretty easy to take care of the mask if you follow a few simple common sense guidelines. First of all, keep the mask away from sand and rocks. The lens of the mask is polycarbonate, and as such, it can scratch. Placing the lens into sand or onto sharp rock is a recipe for ending up with a scratched visor! If you’re on the beach, then place the mask with the lens pointing up into the sand, so it sits on the skirt.
Use clean water (fresh water!) to rinse the mask after each time you snorkel. While water often looks clear, things are floating around, and any of that can lodge itself into crevices in the goggles or the snorkel. It can even get as bad as preventing the floating device in the snorkel from closing up the snorkel. So, rinse with fresh water after each use. If you want to be extra thorough, then clean again before you place the snorkel into the mask before you go snorkeling.
Always rinse by hand and never place the mask into your washing machine or dishwasher. This most likely will damage your mask and render it unusable.
Use the mesh bag that comes with the mask for storage and travel. The mesh of the bag provides ventilation and lets water drain out and away from the goggles.
Keep the bag and mask out of extended periods in the sunlight. Sunlight can interact with the plastic of the mask and over time damage it.
All full face masks trap a lot of air between your face and the lens. This large volume of air makes it hard to dive down underwater if you see something you want to explore further.
This is not a specific issue of the Tribord/Subea Easybreath but is true for all large masks. Traditional snorkel and scuba masks are designed to trap the least amount of air possible inside the mask. This way you don’t have to fight the natural buoyancy of that air when you want to dive down.
It’s also not like it’s impossible to dive down a few feet to explore the underwater world a little while you snorkel. It is pretty much useless though if you wanted to use the mask for freediving instead of snorkeling. The depths you try to reach with freediving will undoubtedly be too much for a mask with such a high amount of air trapped inside.
The dry snorkel is also only dry if you keep the mask mostly horizontal. If you try to deep dive, then the floating device in the snorkel is in the wrong position and won’t effectively close up the snorkel. The result, in that case, is that water will enter into the mask through the snorkel. Again, the mask is designed for snorkeling and not for deep diving!
Since Tribord introduced the Easybreath as the original full-face snorkel mask, a lot of competitors and knock-off's have entered the market. Follow the links below to check out some head-to-head comparisons between the Easybreath and other masks:
We’ve listed the good and bad in our review above. At this time it’s pretty clear that there’s not many if any negatives with the Tribord Easybreath at all. If you’re looking for a full face snorkel mask, then it honestly doesn’t get better than this!
Our only caveat is if you regularly want to use your GoPro (compatible) camera. If that’s the case, then have a closer look at the Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180 Degree mask. It has a built-in, perfectly positioned GoPro mount. The Seaview is comparable in quality and features yet has the mount for the camera in an overall better position.
If the GoPro mount is not your primary concern, then the Easybreath is the best mask for you. It combines outstanding design features with highest quality materials to provide you with a long-lasting snorkel mask for years to come.
If you are interested in other full-face snorkel masks then check out our post comparing the best of them!
Full face diving masks have, until recently, been something that only commercial divers would use. They are becoming increasingly popular in the recreational diving space, however. Today, even casual divers can enjoy the comfort and convenience of diving with a full-face mask. Here is a quick look at some of the most popular consumer-grade full-face diving masks on the market today.
If you're in a rush then here's our list of top contenders when it comes to full-face scuba diving masks:
If you’ve never dived using a full face diving mask before then you may be wondering why you would want to do so. What are the differences between a full face and a standard mask? This video does a good job of explaining some of the differences:
Full face masks are more comfortable to wear, and they have a lot of benefits. Rather than having a dive mask that covers your eyes and your nose, and then also wearing a regulator in the mouth, a full face dive mask will combine those two elements. The regulator is integrated into the mask which means that the wearer doesn’t have to “hold it” in his mouth. This means that the diver can talk over a dive radio easily communicating with people on the surface. Equalizing pressure is easy, and the mask is generally more comfortable to wear.
There is less risk of losing the regulator while diving, and for people with dental issues, not having to hold the regulator in the mouth can be a huge relief. In addition, the mask can have a larger viewport offering near 180-degree vision, which means that the diver feels less confined when under-water. The same is true for full-face masks that are getting more and more popular for snorkelers.
There are some downsides. Full face masks are far less likely to flood, but when they do flood they are much harder to clear, and there is the risk that the flooding may reach the part of the mask where the regulator is, meaning that the diver cannot breathe. It is also harder to put the mask on correctly, and if it is ever dropped or lost then it is a critical issue. Losing a standard mask is not so much of a problem because the regulator is separate and most likely still in your mouth. In theory, you should still be tethered to a full-face mask, so it would be easy to find it underwater, but you will have to move quickly.
Many full-face scuba diving masks have additional features, such as diving lights and comms built in. Others can have them added relatively easily. If you are looking to add a diving light to your mask, then there are a few things that you should consider including the life expectancy of the lamps, the beam angle, the brightness output, and the color temperature. You may be inclined to think that "a light is a light" but the temperature of the light offered does make a difference to how clearly you can see, and can also affect how quickly your eyes get tired. When you are diving, your body is under enough stress already, without adding harsh light to the experience.
Ideally, you want a hands-free light for your visor, and then you may want to carry a secondary light if you are going to be working underwater. Visor lights for full face masks are not always designed to be a primary light. They are more of a safety feature that will help other divers to see you, and help you to orient yourself. Primary dive lights are useful for daytime and night-time dives in very deep water, and have incredibly powerful central beams. Visor lights tend to be less bright and less focused but this is by design. Very bright lights can cause a white-out. Think of how it looks when you have your lights on high in the fog. Primary dive lights have a focused central beam to prevent this.
When you’re choosing a dive mask, your first priority should be making sure that it fits well and is comfortable, and that it will work with the rest of your diving equipment. Everything else things like communications units and lights can come later.
It helps if you can try the face masks on before you buy them, but if you’re buying online, then read the descriptions carefully. Think about how each feature or specification item might affect you. Some full face masks, for example, are very heavy. You probably won’t notice the weight too much when you’re in the water, but lugging it around on land could be an issue. Pay attention to things such as the hose position, for example. A lot of divers like a second stage hose set up with the hose coming out of the right-hand side, but not all masks offer that. It would be frustrating to spend a lot of money on a dive mask only to find that the hose and regulator set up gets in the way in normal use.
The Ocean Reef Predator T Divers FFM is designed for use by technical divers, and is intended for those who dive in extreme conditions. The max is nitrox compatible up to 40%, which is classed as the recreational limit. This diving mask is suitable for use with glue-in corrective lenses for those who have vision issues. It is sold as one-size fits most (for medium to large faces, with a weight recommendation of 110lbs+) and comes with a surface air valve, but no quick connect/disconnect attachment.
This dive mask is well made, and the straps are easy to adjust. The 3-D equalization system promises to make it easier to clear the mask compared to other full-face designs. The directional exhaust valve is a nice touch, too, encouraging bubbles to flow away from the comms unit, and to keep your view un-obstructed. Purging the mask is done via an easy to access button, and the visor has a large visual field, with a visible light transfer of 92%, allowing you to see clearly even when deep under water. This particular model was designed by Ocean Reef in association with Team Blue Immersion Dahab,and combines the technical diving experience of Team Blue with the robust design and many years of equipment manufacturing experience of Ocean Reef, to produce a recreational dive mask suitable for diving in difficult conditions.
OTS are a well-known brand, and this is a diving mask with a good viewing angle thanks to having a visor that is low profile, offering improved visibility. The mask includes an ABV valve, something several others lack which helps to preserve air when the diver is on the surface. This full face mask helps to keep your face warm when diving in cold water, and allows divers to breathe through their nose, which helps to prevent dry throats during long dives. This mask is popular with smaller divers, and in particular women, who often find that other consumer-grade full face masks are too big for them. The double seal configuration ensures that both small and large divers can wear it comfortably, and the adjustable head straps support secure fitting.
The mask bag is designed to protect the mask at all times, and features large drain holes and a vent screen, ensuring that the mask dries out properly between dives. While this is sold as a recreational mask, it is often used by search and recovery teams and commercial drivers. The second stage regulator is easy to remove for maintenance and storage, and the mask itself is robust and well made, so divers can be confident that it will serve them well for numerous outings.
The ScubaPro Full Face Dive Mask is a lightweight full face mask which is designed with comfort in mind. It is useful for technical diving, caving, and diving in cold water. It features separate compartments for the nose and mouth, and easy to use adjustment buckles to keep the diving mask secure and comfortable at all times. It is easy to add an underwater communications system, and the snug two-compartment design makes this mask a popular choice for those diving in contaminated environments.
The design of the mask means that users cannot breathe through their nose, unlike with some other full-face masks. The trade-off here is that the mask is easier to equalize than the average full-face mask. This diving mask offers a good compromise between the comfort of a full-face design, and the ease of use of a standard mask.
This is a small and lightweight mask with a clear lens and a double seal that will fit most people whether they have a small or a large face. The mask is easy to equalize simply by pinching your nose, and it offers warmth and comfort in cool water. The regulator is not supplied, but the design should fit most full-face regulators.
This is an affordable full-face mask designed for recreational divers, and it is a good choice for those who are looking to test out the full face design for the first time. It holds a seal well and it allows you to talk to your partner under-water with ease. One downside of the mask is that you will need to stay on the air while wearing the mask; there is no surface valve supplied. For people who remove their mask and regulator while on the surface this may not be an issue. Overall, the mask is cost-effective, no frills, and suitable for most recreational divers.
The Ocean Reef G Divers Full Face Mask is a robust diving mask with a second stage regulator, a low-pressure hose, and a diver adjustable flow control knob. This large mask offers a good viewing area, and is a comfortable fit for most people. The head strap ensures that the pressure from the weight of the mask is distributed evenly, and there are six straps in the harness, which will keep the mask securely in place and ensure minimum movement. The visor is made of a transparent polycarbonate, and is designed to sit close to the face, and to offer good peripheral vision. The polycarbonate has a visible light transfer of 92%. The mask can be fitted with communication devices and is suitable for recreational use and for some commercial diving, however the manufacturer offers other commercial-grade masks for extreme conditions.
This is a positive pressure diving mask that is resistant to fogging, and that is easy to use. It is quite bulky and does require careful cleaning and maintenance, however the improved visibility and comfort under water makes it worth the choice.
So, which mask do we love the most? The OTS Guardian Full Face Mask is our winner, because it offers a good compromise between cost and features. It is a robust and well-made mask that will fit most people, and that offers good visibility in the water. The ABV valve is a welcome addition that even some of the more expensive masks in the list above lack, and the ability to breathe through your nose is something that divers will quickly come to appreciate once they have tried it for the first time.
There are other masks with more features, but it can be hard to justify the expense as a recreational diver. We believe that the OTS Guardian offers everything that most divers need, and is well worth the money. This mask is good for technical divers and recreational divers. It may not suit those diving in extreme conditions, but OTS produces commercial masks for that purpose.
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.
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. In the past it kind of lost the comparison with the Seaview 180° full face snorkel mask for the fact that it didn't offer a GoPro camera mount. This has been remedied and you can purchase an optional mount for your GoPro camera when you own the Subea/Triboard Easybreath mask. Overall though, 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!
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.
The Tribord Easybreath was the first full-face snorkel mask. It undoubtedly even today is the best one you can get.
Yet, there was one little flaw with this mask. You couldn’t get a mount for your GoPro. Using a GoPro on your snorkeling excursions allows you to capture the amazing world under water to watch with friends, post on YouTube and so on.
When snorkeling it is most convenient to be able to mount the GoPro camera directly to the mask so you can keep your hands free. Many, if not most, full-face snorkel masks have at least an optional mount for your GoPro camera.
One of the few exceptions was the Tribord Easybreath. This has finally been resolved with the optional GoPro mount that you can get for this snorkel mask.
The mount conveniently clips onto the base of the snorkel and then positions the video camera on top of the mask. The engineers designed it cleverly so the camera always stays in water while your head is submerged. This guarantees that you capture the same view that you see out of the mask.
The mount simply clips onto the base of the snorkel. It sits secure and won’t simply fall off by accident. You can rest assured that your camera is safe and won’t get lost. That might not be true for third-party mounts or mounts you built yourself.
Another great feature of the mount is that you can adjust the angle so it can point farther up or down. This does allow to get a better view on what you see when you snorkel.
The mount does not only fit a GoPro camera, you can also attach a Decathlon G-Eye if you have one of those cameras instead. The designers made sure that the mount works for both types of cameras.
You might find people arguing that a removable mount is not as safe and good as a mount that is integrated into the mask. However, there’s one large advantage with a removable mount. That is that you can remove it when you don’t need it.
If you don’t own a camera and you’re not looking to get one for snorkeling then you won’t need the mount at all. You also don’t know what type of mount you might need for cameras coming out in the next few years. An integrated mount will always limit you to what currently is available. A removable mount might get updated to match new and different cameras.
If you want to capture your underwater adventures on video then the combination of the best full-face snorkel mask and your GoPro will be about the best combination you can find. The Tribord Easybreath was the best snorkel mask covering your whole face before and with the GoPro Mount it became even better!
There are some noteworthy differences though that you should be aware of. And they are not only functional.
The Ninja mask offers a variant that has a GoPro mount. The Easybreath since in the latest version has an optional GoPro mount which you have to purchase separately. It simply clips on and offers a similar experience as the Ninja H2O mask with the GoPro mount.
Both masks look very similar. They are both available in a number of different colors which makes it more fun to use and wear them.
The Tribord was the initial full-face snorkel mask. Many other masks imitated the basic design but not many are able to reach the quality and features of it.
The major accomplishments of the Easybreath design were the panoramic view, the ability to breathe through mouth or nose, the compact design with an integrated dry snorkel and the bright tip of the snorkel for safety.
Additionally, the designers packed a nifty system into the mask to prevent it from fogging up. And they have done a great job which many of the masks since then were not able to replicate.
The Ninja H2O is in many aspects as good as the Easybreath. Yet, the big difference is that it unfortunately costs quite a bit more. And we can’t really figure out why you’d pay so much more just for having a GoPro mount added. In that case you’re better off with the Seaview 180 Degree which offers the same for a more reasonable price.
Both are very comparable masks made from highest quality materials. They sit comfortably and are easy to adjust and use.
The Easybreath has the overall best system to prevent fogging. The Ninja H2O offers the GoPro mount on one variant where the Subea Easybreath requires the purchase of an accessory to mount a camera.
However, if you don’t have a GoPro then it’s a moot point to have the mount and at that time it comes down to the Tribord design being superior as you don't have to purchase the optional mount.
A huge difference in the past was that the Easybreath offered a lot of different sizes. With the switch to the latest model the number of sizes went down to two. That matches the number of different sizes for the H2O mask.
The Subea Easybreath claims fits around 90% of face sizes. You should have no problem to find a good fit if you are 10 years or older. The Ninja H2O is in no way different when it comes to sizing. You should be able to find a good fit with both masks.
Having a bright tip on the snorkel can be very important in crowded areas. It makes it easy to be seen from the many water enthusiasts that are on the water like for example surfers. The Ninja mask unfortunately does not offer a brightly colored tip and as such the Easybreath clearly is the winner when it comes to that safety feature.
The Ninja H2O is a well-made mask. It has a solid design and uses top quality material. Similar as what you get from the Easybreath.
The biggest advantage of the Ninja mask in the past was that you got the GoPro mount. Yet, the Tribord scored on many (if not all) other important aspects. With the availability of the optional camera accessory, the Easybreath is the overall better choice when comparing the two masks.
It has a better system to prevent fogging, offers a bright snorkel tip to make it safer for you in the water, and it is cheaper.
If you need the GoPro mount then you might want to have a look at the Seaview 180 Degree mask. It offers similar quality as the Easybreath yet has a GoPro mount. The cost of the Seaview is similar to the Tribord mask which makes them quite a bit cheaper than the H2O!
You will not be disappointed if you go for either of these masks. They both do their job and they do it well. The winner in many aspects is the Easybreath and it’s also our recommendation. You will enjoy your snorkeling trips as they are elevated to a new level.