Learning the components of the scuba mask and their use will help you make the best descision. The human eye cannot focus in water, the mask provides an air pocket so your eyes can focus and you can see clearly underwater. The Skirt of the mask must seal to your face to provide this air pocket. The mask encloses your nose to allow you to equilize your air spaces during all pressure changes. Because swim goggles do not enclose the nose and have no way for you to equalize they cannot be used for Snorkeling or Scuba Diving. Always look for tempered glass, plastic fogs up and standard glass is hazardous if accidentally broken. Fit and comfort are very important to check before you choose the your mask. The skirt of the mask should wrap around your eye area with no gaps and seal from leakage. See our video on How to Properly Fit a Mask.
For most people, the problem in choosing a mask is deciding which one they like best rather than finding the right mask with the perfect fit for your face.
Here is the BEST method to use:
Two window masks are characterized by two separate panes of glass held together by a frame which separates the windows. Depending upon the design, these masks can bring the the lenses very close to the divers face and help reduce the internal volume of the mask, which makes it easier to clear and to equalize. When selecting a two window mask, make sure that the mask frame does not press against the bridge of your nose
|Single window masks have one continuous pane of tempered glass. For many divers, it is easier to see out of this style of mask than out of a two window mask because there is no frame running between the diver's eyes. Depending upon the design and fit of a single window mask, it can leave plenty of space between the the lens and the bridge of a diver's nose, or it can run right up against it.|
|Side window or Pano-vision masks have two additional panes of glass arranged on the sides of the mask. The side windows allow additional light into the mask and increase the diver's field of vision. Hey that's why we're down there to see the wonders of the underwater world. These masks may have a slightly larger internal volume (hold more air) than other mask styles, which means they may require alittle more air to clear of water.|
Masks with a purge valve is a one-way valve built into the nose of a mask to facilitate clearing water from the mask. It eliminates the need for a diver to look up when clearing his mask. While some divers love this feature, many feel it is unnecessary. Purge valves can make it more difficult pinch the nose during equalization. They add an extra failure point to the mask, because if they break (which is uncommon) the whole mask will flood. A purge valve is an additional luxury or a unnecessary excess, depending upon your point of view. Many folks love them.
|Color Correcting Lenses are specially formulated to pick up red (lost at ten feet) and yellow (lost at twenty feet) and define objects and give better depth perception.|
|Corrective lenses many manufacturers offer masks which can accommodate a wide variety of corrective lenses. Divers who wear glasses or contact lenses should consider requesting a mask with this capability. Dive shops can sometimes order masks with a customized prescription directly from the manufacturer. Some masks are created so that the user can change the lenses with just a screwdriver.|