Tribord Easybreath vs. Ocean Reef Aria
Looking at both of these full-face dive masks next to each other, then you certainly can see the resemblance. Some might even think these are twins. Yet, they are not and we’ll have a closer look at their background and differences.
Comparing the Ocean Reef Aria and Tribord Easybreath Full-Face Snorkel Masks
Let’s have a look at where the full face snorkeling masks come from and how those two contenders compare.
Before this mask made the full-face design popular, you had to have a standard scuba diving mask and snorkel. For many people, this was rather uncomfortable as they couldn’t breathe through their nose but had to use their mouths. And in more than one instance the snorkel would fill up with water and people instead of air sucked water.
It’s also for many people not that much fun to constantly having to bite onto the mouthpiece of the snorkel. Your teeth keep it in place and without the bite, the snorkel might just not do its job.
A wrong sitting mouthpiece can actually cause quite some discomfort and you might get the inside of your mouth irritated. Or, if you bite too hard your jaws might start to hurt.
This turned off a lot of people from even trying to snorkel. The thought of an uncomfortable mask in combination with water gushing into your mouth was just not doing it.
The combination of all these downsides has led many people to not even try to snorkel or to simply give it up after one or a couple of trips.
Features of a full-face snorkel mask
Tribord/Subea developed the full-face mask and it actually addressed a lot of these issues. First, the mask covers your whole face and you can breathe through your mouth or nose.
The larger mask also allows a larger field of view lifting the underwater experience to a completely new level. You can see pretty much as much to the right, left, up and down as you can without wearing a mask. This is quite a difference compared to a standard scuba mask.
Lastly, this all got combined with a dry snorkel that is permanently attached to the top of the mask. The dry snorkel will not allow water in and the placement allows for a very comfortable snorkeling experience.
They also added a purge valve allowing you to quickly get rid of all water that somehow might have found its way into the mask. Press it and blow and the water is reliably forced out of the mask. Very easy to perform and you don’t have to take the mask off or adjust it in any way.
Ocean Reef vs. Tribord/Subea Easybreath
You might ask yourself why we haven’t yet brought up much about the Ocean Reef Aria. It’s newer in design compared to the original Easybreath. One would expect that it should be better. Or is that not the case looking at the updates made to the Subea Easybreath over the years?
Unfortunately, it’s not. It just simply is yet another full-face mask for snorkeling and doesn’t really add anything that would suggest that you should use the Aria over the Easybreath.
Except for one thing! You can get specific lens holders for the Ocean Reef googles that allow you to wear prescription lenses while snorkeling. If you require Rx glasses then having that possibility might improve your experience tremendously if you can see the underwater world clearly.
You might certainly prefer the grey and orange color scheme of the Aria vs. the different colors you can get the Easybreath in. However, besides those cosmetics, there’s nothing that would technically lift the Aria above the original mask.
Having said that, the Ocean Reef is a high-quality mask and there’s nothing wrong with it. It just feels like yet another one that tries to imitate the Tribord design without adding anything at all. Well, except for the additional dollars that are required to get it!
In our opinion, we suggest that you get the original mask for the simple reasons that the purge mechanism in our opinion is slightly better. But that’s not all, the Easybreath is usually also cheaper than the Aria and why would you want to spend more for a knock-off that doesn’t feel as capable as the original?
If you are on a vacation and want to try out snorkeling but can only get your hands on the Ocean Reef Aria, then, by all means, get it. It’s a good mask and you won’t regret having it!