The scuba diving mask is definitely the part of the diving gear you cannot do without. The mask not only protects your eyes, but it makes seeing under the surface of the water possible; therefore, getting a mask that fits you perfectly is an absolute must for any dive. However, the choice of masks is so overwhelming that you can surely do with some help – here are a few things you should know about different styles and features.
Scuba diving masks are available in many different designs. However, most of them share some basic features that characterize good masks:
the lens made from composite material or tampered glass developed for being used in low-light underwater circumstances;
the wide skirt that attaches comfortably and securely to your face and makes the mask water-tight;
the enclosed nose part that also fits snugly or the adjustable, elastic strap that you use to fasten the mask to your head.
Dive masks share the basic features above, but they present wide variations in terms of style – here are the most common types:
Single pane masks, double pane masks and masks with extended view – single pane masks feature one large lens that runs in front of the eyes and on the sides, while double pane masks have a separate lens in front of each eye. The masks that provide an extended view have smaller panes on the sides, too.
Masks with or without purge – the masks fitted with a purge valve make it easier for the diver to clear the mask, while masks without purge have only a nose part and are somewhat trickier to clear;
Framed or frameless masks – most masks come with the lenses inserted into a plastic frame, but frameless models are becoming more and more popular for their flexibility and lightweight construction.
Dive masks vary not only in terms of style and level of equipment, but also in terms of the visual experience they offer. Light behaves in a completely different way under the surface of the water than it does outside of it and the eye can do with a little bit of extra help to be able to adjust to these circumstances. Many scuba diving mask manufacturers offer products that come with coated lenses that will improve your vision by blocking out certain light wavelengths and making others more intense. You can also choose a scuba diving mask with lenses tinted blue to sharpen your focus and make the color experience a more intensive one.