Scuba masks come in all shapes, sizes, colors and styles. But one choice you may be faced with when choosing your next mask is should I go for two frames or one? While the comfort and fit of a mask is the most essential, finding an aesthetically pleasing scuba mask that also functions to your needs and wants may also be desired.
What scuba mask should you buy?
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of scuba mask windows.
In the beginning there was one…window. Scuba masks started with a single pane of glass, but the one-windowed versions of today are much more sophisticated. The obvious benefit here is more field of view. Without a piece in the center connecting two separate lenses, divers have less view obstruction. Lower volume is also a usual selling point. With less air inside the mask, it makes clearing and equalizing that area much easier.
If you have what is known as a Roman brow or a larger than average nose bridge, you may find one window will suit your face better as the is no central bar indentation.
A two window mask is just that, a mask with two separate windows, or lenses (pictured above). Typically divers using prescription masks opt for this type because the two window design if more practical (however, a single corrective lens is possible in a one window design). Two window masks tend to be more compact. Durability can also be higher since there is more frame to improved structure.
Finally, you may be thinking of a mask with side windows. Some scuba masks come with three and four windows. The benefit here is even more field of view (which can really help if a diver feels a bit claustrophobic) and more light.
However, the where the lenses meet can create a distortion in that field of view or can even create a blind spot.
In the end though, whether this calls for concern is up to the diver. The best solution is to ‘test dive’ any mask if possible or at least read the reviews before purchasing. Pop into Dive Timor Lorosae and talk to our friendly PADI Instructors about trying out our rental masks.
How do I make sure a scuba mask fits?
Everyone’s face is different so the rule is ‘if it sticks it fits’. When trying on a scuba mask do not put the strap on the back of your head. Simply brush back the hair from your face, put the mask oven your nose and eyes then breath in through your nose. Next shake your head from side to side and if it sticks, it fits.
Once you have found a mask that fits, then put it on with the strap to see how it feels. Mask straps should not be too tight as they as they will cause skin pinches in your cheeks and cause the mask to leak. Try on different masks and go with the one that feels the most comfortable. Black silicon skirts are softer but they do restrict the light but are not prone to discolouration.
Preparing your new mask for your dive
Don’t forget before you use a scuba mask for the first time, the manufacturer coat scuba masks in silicon to make it nice and shiny in the shop. This will cause your mask to fog on a dive.
The best way to remove this silicon is to rub white toothpaste into the lenses inside and out using small circular movements. Leave the toothpaste on for 10 minutes, rinse and repeat. Before diving always use an anti fog solution, baby shampoo or spit to clear your mask.
Here are some more handy hints to prevent mask fogging from PADI