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Diving Mask Types and How to Choose the Best One for You

An essential piece of your dive gear is the diving mask. It doesn’t only allow you to see the magic of the marine life clearly, but also to see hand signals and read gauges underwater. Unfortunately, some masks may not fit well, and some may require constant cleaning. Before you choose a properly-fitting mask, first you need to know the different diving mask types.

  1. Single lens mask

If you’re looking for a broad view, you’ll like this type. The single lens on the front of this diving mask creates enough space for a wide field of vision. It also allows divers to pinch their noses for equalizing.

The main downside of this type is its proneness to flooding because of the high-volume design. It’s also slightly heavier than the double lens.

  1. Double lens mask

Like the single lens mask, the lens of this diving mask is in the front but with a physical separation (i.e., the nose pocket). These two lenses provide a wide view across the main lens section. If you go for the teardrop-shaped lens, you’ll have a good downward view and gear visibility.

Generally, the double lens mask is a popular choice among recreational divers as it doesn’t require frequent equalization and is lower in volume than the single lens. It is also easier to clear if flooded with water.

  1. Multiple lens mask

In addition to the main lens which can be single or double, this diving mask has small lenses around the side. Obviously, you won’t really see through the side lenses, but they’re a good addition to increase peripheral vision, help you pick up movement, and take in every cm of vision on your dives. This mask is good for claustrophobic divers as it provides an airy, open feel.

However, the intersection of the front and side lenses may create blind spots and distortion at depth.

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  1. Full-face mask

Unlike the diving mask types mentioned above, the full-face mask is only used by professional divers. This mask covers the whole face and allows the diver to breathe through a mouthpiece.

Now comes the dilemma. To purge or not to purge?

Most diving mask types have no purge, which means they only have a plain rubber nose with no opening. A mask with a purge valve on the bottom of the nose, on the other hand, allows you to clear water from inside the mask. To be honest, it’s a matter of preference. Many are happy with the purge mechanism, while some reported leakage.

Another dilemma is frame vs. frameless.

Both the frame and frameless versions of the single-lens mask are available. The frameless is known to be lower in volume and lighter in weight, but it won’t accommodate your prescription lenses and is a bit more expensive than the frame.

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