The best value for money diving masks
by Jorge Mezcua on Aug 07, 2023
The diving mask is one of the most personal pieces of equipment and greatly affects your comfort during the dive. It can ruin your experience if it constantly fogs up, floods, or hinders your visibility. As we've discussed in other articles about diving masks, there are several key features to look for in a good mask that won't give you problems and will provide comfort throughout the dive. At the end of this article, you'll find some tips for trying on a mask to help you make the right choice for your next purchase.
The following diving masks have been tested in various dives and all performed well, taking into account factors like overall comfort, quality of adjustments, sealing, drainage, durability, design, and field of vision.
Single Lens Diving Masks
Aqualung Reveal X1
One of the highlights of the Aqualung Reveal X1 is its soft and comfortable silicone skirt that adapts to different face sizes. It offers a good field of vision, although some divers might find it slightly bothersome to see the frame, especially being a single-lens mask. The mask's buckles are easy to adjust with a large release button that can be found easily during the dive. It also stands out for its aggressive and eye-catching design, available in black, yellow, or orange. You can find it online or at specialized stores for around €50.
Beuchat Maxlux S
The Beuchat Maxlux S provides one of the highest levels of comfort among the masks analyzed. Its extra-flexible silicone skirt prevents water from entering during the dive, and the mask is easy to drain. The only downsides might be the slightly narrow horizontal field of vision and the complicated strap adjustments when diving with gloves. Nonetheless, it's an excellent mask with a very reasonable price, around €35.
The Mares Juno is a high-quality mask if it fits your face well. It's comfortable, lightweight, with large and easy-to-use buckle adjustments underwater, soft skirts, and a broad vertical field of vision. However, if you have a narrow face, it might not fit perfectly and might let in some water. As always, try it on in person or order online with a good return policy to check if it suits your face. It's another mask with a super competitive price, around €30.
OMS, perhaps not well-known among recreational divers, produces top-notch products, and the OMS Tattoo is an exceptional mask. It offers an excellent field of vision, perfect sealing, and surprisingly easy equalization due to its minimal internal volume for a single-lens mask. The strap and buckles are straightforward to use underwater, and it comes in two sizes, small and large, to fit different face types. Being better than its competitors also means a higher price, around €60.
Double Lens Diving Masks
Aqualung Reveal X2
These Aqualung double lens masks are also excellent for diving trips due to their lightweight, comfort, low internal volume, and large field of vision. The accordion-shaped skirt ensures a perfect fit and seal. The buckle adjustments are comfortable, quick, and easy, even during the dive. It's an excellent diving mask at a very good price, around €50.
Masks with a Single Glass Lens
Aqualung Reveal X1
One notable feature of the Aqualung Reveal X1 is its soft and comfortable silicone skirt, capable of adapting to various face sizes. It offers an excellent field of vision, although some divers may find it slightly bothersome that the frame is visible, especially considering it is a single-glass mask. One of its strengths is the mask's buckles, which are easy to adjust with a large release button that can be easily found during the dive. This mask also stands out for its aggressive and eye-catching design, available in black, yellow, and orange. It can be found online and in specialized stores for around €50.
Beuchat Maxlux S
The Beuchat Maxlux S is one of the most comfortable masks among those analyzed. Its extra-flexible silicone skirt allowed minimal water ingress during the tests and made purging simple and fast. However, it may have a slightly narrow horizontal field of vision, and the strap adjustments might be challenging to use when diving with gloves. Nevertheless, it is a fantastic mask at a very reasonable price, around €35.
If the Mares Juno fits your face well, you have an excellent quality mask. It is comfortable, lightweight, with large and easy-to-use buckle adjustments underwater, soft skirts, and a wide vertical field of vision, both upwards and downwards. However, it is a large mask, so if you have a narrow face, it might not fit perfectly and might allow some water to seep in. As always, you can order it online and try it on or visit a store that carries it to check if it fits your face. It is competitively priced at around €30.
OMS is perhaps not a well-known brand among recreational divers, especially in the field of diving masks, but they produce top-notch products. The OMS Tatoo is an exceptional mask with an excellent field of vision, perfect sealing, and surprisingly easy equalization. It has minimal internal volume for a single-glass mask, further improving the field of vision and purging. Both the strap and buckles are easy to use underwater, and it has the particular feature of being available in two sizes, small and large, to accommodate different face types. Being superior to its competitors also means it comes at a higher price, above €60.
Scubapro Steel Pro
The Scubapro Steel Pro is a small and fantastic diving and snorkeling mask. With its small size, it is ideal for travel and smaller faces. It has very little internal volume, ensuring an excellent field of vision and quick purging in case water enters. The buckle adjustments allow for easy tightening and quick release, thanks to some unique swivel buckles. It is a great mask with one caveat: its silicone skirt may not be as comfortable and thin as other competitors. However, its price is excellent, ranging from €35 to €40.
TUSA M1003 Freedom Elite
The TUSA M1003 Freedom Elite is an outstanding mask in various aspects but leaving something to be desired in others. On one hand, it fits the face like a glove thanks to its silicone skirt with varying thickness. It's super flexible, and TUSA has added a series of grooves and dots that make it cling to the areas of the face most prone to flooding. Despite fitting well on narrower faces, it's a large mask with a high internal volume, and the field of vision is slightly reduced. This fact makes it a bit more challenging to clear water if it enters. It's an excellent mask if it fits you properly and you have a larger face, but it can be quite uncomfortable if it doesn't fit well.
Zeagle Scope Mono
This is a single-glass segment mask with the best field of vision, and that's a huge advantage for a scuba mask. It's super easy to clear underwater, and its fit is extraordinary, also effortless to adjust underwater. Zeagle has included the option to incorporate an adjustable buckle through an elastic strap, providing a simple and precise fit. It's an optimal mask for slightly wider faces and has a groundbreaking design. An excellent mask that comes with a slightly higher price, around €90, but well worth the investment.
Double Glass Diving Masks
Aqualung Reveal X2
These Aqualung double glass masks are also exceptional for diving trips due to their lightweight, comfort, low internal volume, and excellent field of vision. Their accordion-shaped skirt near the face ensures a perfect fit and seal. The buckles are comfortable, quick, and easy to adjust even while diving. Not much more to add to an excellent diving mask at a very reasonable price, around €50.
The Cressi Calibro mask has a very special feature compared to other masks in this comparison: it has been designed with the intention of preventing fogging. By all means. So, if you've never been able to get rid of the annoying fog, even following our advice, this mask could be an option as it has a slight extension of the skirt under the eyes, preventing moist air from touching the mask's glass and thus avoiding fogging. This mask is particularly suitable for smaller faces, with a low internal air volume and standard Cressi adjustments, priced at around €40 online.
If you're looking for a really small diving mask and one of the best masks of the year, here it is. The Mares Sealhouette fits tightly, offering an excellent field of vision and maximum sealing. However, if you have a large face and nose, don't even try this mask; the frame may cause discomfort. The buckle buttons are small rubber ones but easy to access. A perfect mask for smaller faces that freedivers will find very appealing. It's available in many colors, priced between €40 and €45.
The Oceanic OceanVu mask features relatively large lenses but, interestingly, thanks to its excellent fit, it's super comfortable despite its large size. This mask provides a wide field of vision and has an extremely low internal volume, making it easy to clear. A notable feature is the mask's forehead skirt, which fits perfectly, being made of super-thin silicone, preventing water from entering while diving. It has a retail price of about €60.
Scubapro Zoom Evo
This mask has a significant advantage: you can request and change corrective lenses yourself very easily. Believe me, not many diving masks allow this level of customization. It's a comfortable mask, fits perfectly on the face, simple to clear, and has a great field of vision. If you're tired of diving with contact lenses, the Scubapro Zoom Evo mask can be an excellent option starting at €60.
TUSA M-211 Freedom One
The TUSA mask is a design marvel, aimed at making you forget about it completely due to its great comfort and watertightness. It's perhaps one of the masks in this comparison that has received the most attention, with a surprising design along the entire super-thin skirt. TUSA has placed small indentations both on the cheekbones and forehead to make it stick to the face like a seal.
It has a soft and pleasant touch against the face and can undoubtedly be one of those options that make you completely forget about your mask underwater. It's also one of the more expensive masks (at some point in the article, I had to mention it, right?) with a price of around €85.
What to Consider When Buying a Diving Mask?
There are several aspects to consider when trying out a diving mask to ensure it feels comfortable. Firstly, the mask should have an easy and quick clearing capability if it gets filled with water, and to prevent water from entering during the dive, a good seal is vital both on the forehead and cheekbones. In this regard, the thinner the silicone skirt of the mask, the better.
Other important aspects include ensuring that it doesn't cause discomfort on the bridge of the nose when pressed against the face, and that both the strap and buckles are strong and durable yet flexible and easy to put on and find during the dive. Some divers tend to forget to perform the Valsalva maneuver with the mask on while trying it in the store before buying it. If you can't pinch your nose correctly with your mask, you'll have many problems underwater.
Another aspect often overlooked when trying out a diving mask is the field of vision, especially the ease of seeing well downwards. Why? Because this way, you can see your pressure gauge, depth gauge, accessories, and even the dive computer.
What are the Benefits of Single-Glass Diving Masks?
Single-glass masks offer a larger field of vision as they are more extensive and have the frame further from the eyes, avoiding the porthole effect or tunnel vision that double-glass masks can give. They are also preferred by divers with wider faces as they feel more comfortable with less tightness, and indeed, many double-glass masks are super compact and not suitable for those with larger faces.
Another benefit of these masks is that there's no blind spot above the nose that double-glass masks have. On the contrary, they have slightly more volume than double-glass masks, making them a bit more cumbersome to clear for this reason.
In Which Aspects Are Double-Glass Masks Better Than Single-Glass Masks?
Double-glass masks are becoming more common and gaining popularity among divers mainly because they fit better on the face, especially on smaller faces, preventing water from entering. Those with smaller faces have found the solution to their flooding mask problems with double-glass masks.
Another benefit is that they are very comfortable for diving or snorkeling trips as they take up little space and can be carried without any problem, barely noticing them, as a backup mask in your jacket. Many divers also believe they provide a better field of vision than single-glass masks as they have less mask volume and the glass is closer to the eyes. Personally, I have been diving with the Aqualung Micromask for years, and I have never had a more comfortable mask with a larger field of vision in my entire life.
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