Picking the right mask.

To purchase the correct mask for you can be a huge task or very simple, it depends on the correct information.  Scuba/snorkel masks have many options to chose from.  The right glass (tempered glass), the skirt,(soft silicone rubber), and the strap are just a few of the options that you will look for.


A mask is one of the most important, and personal, pieces of scuba diving equipment you own because it lets you explore with your eyes. You want a good quality mask that fits you well and gives you the best viewing area possible because you don’t want to miss anything underwater. Buying a mask online is a shot in the dark.  To get the proper mask and fit, you need to try the mask on and feel how nice it fits and looks.  Looks are very important!  Can you get that from an online purchase? NO!  Support your local dive shops and they will support you.

Standard Features

  • Tempered-glass lens for safety, or lenses made from really strong, high-quality composite materials.
  • Comfortable, feathered, double-skirt made of soft silicone rubber.
  • Enclosed nose so that you can adjust for pressure changes by exhaling.
  • Finger pockets around your nose so that you can equalize your ears.
  • Low profile for easier clearing of water and a wider vision field.
  • Adjustable strap that can be locked in place.

Optional Features

  • A purge valve is a one-way valve used to clear water from a mask.
  • If you wear glasses, some masks are specifically designed to fit prescription lenses. Consult with a dive professional at your PADI Dive Center or Resort.
  • Black versus clear or translucent silicone rubber.
  • Mask strap made from wetsuit material that connects and adjusts using Velcro®.
  • Colored lenses or special anti-reflective lens coatings.
  • High-tech, heads-up display that allows you to check critical dive data.

How to Choose

With the wide variety of masks available today, it will be more difficult to decide which one you like best rather than finding one that fits and is comfortable.

  • Hold the mask gently against your face with the strap looped in front, out of the way.
  • Gently inhale through your nose. If the mask stays there – no air leaking in and you don’t have to continuously suck in through your nose – then it should create a seal for you.
  • Check to see that the mask skirt rests evenly against your face along the entire edge. Mustaches and beards make finding a good seal a little more difficult, but still possible.
  • Adjust the strap, put the mask on and evaluate how the mask feels on your face – it should be comfortable.
  • If you can, attach a snorkel to the mask and put the mouthpiece in, or put a scuba regulator in your mouth. This should not significantly change how the mask fits.


5 Mask Tips:

  • Scrub the interior lense of your mask after purchase with toothpaste or a non-abrasive cleaner to prevent unwanted fogging.
  • Over-tightening a mask will cause mask leakage.
  • Bugs eat silicone, make sure to store your mask in a plastic mask box.
  • Consider prescription lenses or optical inserts if you normally wear prescription glasses.
  • Rinse your mask thoroughly with fresh water after each use. Keep out of direct sunlight as much as possible.

Now that you have compared these different options, you’re ready to buy a mask that best suits your needs.

Visit your PADI Dive Center or Resort to look at masks.

Adventure Scuba Center

4084 Kietzke Lane

Reno, Nv 89502

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