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Think of your snorkeling mask as your underwater glasses. Just like prescription lenses, you need the right mask to help you see clearly. The best snorkeling mask is comfortable, leak-free and crystal clear. Whether you’re snorkeling or scuba diving, you’ll want a mask that conforms to your face and provides unrestricted views of underwater life. You can even get prescription lenses or up-close magnifying lenses added to some types of snorkeling masks so you'll be able to see underwater as well as you do on land.
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Head strap – The head strap goes around the back of the mask and holds it in place. This piece can be made of rubber, silicone or neoprene. Silicone is an excellent choice for its softness and flexibility. There are usually buckles at the sides to adjust the tightness of the strap. A comfortable head strap is vital if you don't want to end up with pulled hair and pinching.
Skirt – The skirt is the part at the top, right above forehead, that forms a snug seal against the face. Silicone is a popular choice for its softness and flexibility. A feathered skirt provides comfort and a watertight seal.
Lens – The lens of a snorkeling mask can be either single or double. Lenses are usually made out of durable and scratch-resistant tempered glass. An anti-reflective coating provides clear vision underwater. The term "volume" means how much air is inside of the mask. Low-volume means that the lens sits closer to your face. In other words, there’s less space, or air, between your eyes and the glass. High-volume means that the glass sits further away from your eyes.
Nose pocket - The nose pocket sits in the middle to cover your nose. It's what you pinch for ear equalization.
Just like with scuba gear, you have a lot of choices when finding your snorkeling mask. It's a good idea to try different types, as preferences vary. Some snorkelers swear by single lens masks while others won't use anything but a double lens mask.
A single lens snorkeling mask offers broad and unrestricted views (like looking out of a window). There are no frames around the eyes, and it's easy to pinch the nose for equalizing.
The IST M300 Syklops Single Lens Aluminum Mask has a comfortable hypoallergenic liquid silicone skirt. Tempered glass provides excellent clarity while the single lens gives a wide field of view. Adjustable buckles are mounted to the skirt to make it easy to fold for traveling and storage.
Dual lens snorkeling masks have two lenses with a frame/border between them (like a pair of glasses). This is a great lens for those who want to use prescription lenses. An inverted tear drop shape gives a wide field of view.
The Cressi Big Eyes Evolution Dive Mask is a low volume tempered glass mask with a flexible silicone skirt. Internal ribs provide extra reinforcement in the skirt for a watertight seal. Teardrop-shaped raked lenses give great range of vision. Adjustable buckles allow for a customized fit.
A full face snorkeling mask, also known as a dry mask, is ideal for swimmers who don't like getting their face wet or biting onto a mouthpiece. It covers the entire face and fastens in the back with comfortable straps. You'll enjoy unparalleled 180-degree vision and fog-free lenses. The unique full-face design allows you to breathe normally. There's no separate snorkel tube. A dry-top built-in snorkel has a "float" that prevents water from getting into the tube.
The Ocean Reef Aria Jr. Full Face Snorkeling Mask has a soft silicone skirt and fabric straps for young swimmers. It includes a carrying bag and has been tested for carbon dioxide safety. We offer a variety of full face masks for snorkelers of all ages.
Divers Direct carries a wide selection of scuba gear and snorkeling masks for all of your underwater adventures. Check us out online or visit one of our Florida dive shops today.