The mask is an absolutely essential component of any gear used for underwater explorations. After all, you are there to see the wonderful, colorful and abundant world of the sea – if the piece of equipment that you wear to make that visual experience possible is not right, your trip can easily turn into a nightmare, so here are a few aspects you should pay attention to when choosing the mask.
Choosing the Right Design – A Wide Skirt Is Essential
Snorkeling and diving masks come in all shapes, colors and designs. Most of them have lenses that are made from high-quality tempered glass or special composite material, a rim called skirt that attaches to your skin and prevents the water from penetrating under the mask, an enclosed nose, and an adjustable strap to fasten the mask. While it is very important to get a mask that comes with all the above components made of the best and most lightweight materials, there is one component that you should pay special attention to and that is the skirt. If it does not fit snuggly enough on your face or if, on the contrary, it is too tight and causes discomfort or pain, it means that the mask is not right. Check the skirt’s edge: the wider it is, the greater the chances it will make a good seal. It is also very important to choose a mask equipped with a silicone skirt – rubber skirts deteriorate and harden over time, but silicone skirts are extremely durable.
The Importance of Increased Peripheral Visibility – Choosing a Mask that Allows You to See Everything around You
You will probably want to see as much as possible while underwater, so make sure you choose a mask that offers you maximum peripheral visibility. Some masks feature a single lens, others come with twin lenses and there are masks that are fitted with multiple lenses, with small, window-like panes on the sides as well. Test the field of vision offered by the mask – put on the mask, then roll your eyes around and check whether the side of the mask blocks your vision. If it does, keep on looking for the right piece.
Vision Enhancing Coatings
The underwater world is full of bright and beautiful colors. Just like a pair of good quality sunglasses are able to enhance your viewing experience by blocking some light wavelengths and intensifying others, there are snorkeling and diving masks that are equipped with vision enhancing coatings. The masks that come with lenses tinted blue are popular among divers because they are not only more comfortable for the eye, but they also sharpen your eyesight while underwater, allowing you to see brighter colors and to distinguish edges more accurately.
The Benefits of Low Volume Masks
When you look at the technical specifications that come with masks, you will see the spec called “volume”. This parameter refers to the volume of air trapped inside the mask while submerged. High-volume masks offer a more extended lateral vision, but they are more difficult to clear if water gets inside. Low-volume masks are easier to clear because the lenses are closer to your face and they also offer better vision, because there is less air between your eyes and the world outside your mask.