Best Scuba Masks for the Money

Best Scuba Masks for the Money
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Whether you’ve been on one hundred dives or this is going to be first, you might feel overwhelmed by the wide selection of scuba masks currently out on the market. For this reason, it can seem like an impossible feat to find the best scuba mask for your next adventure.

It’s true that there are hundreds of options out there, and that’s because scuba diving is so popular! Manufacturers have found dozens of different variations of masks for scuba divers to enjoy. Remember that having many options to choose from is actually a good thing—you just have to find the best way to sort through your options!

Then again, we know that not everyone has the time to analyze each scuba mask endlessly, so we did the hard work for you. Professionals everywhere have given their opinions about how each mask performed, and we have gathered up every piece of info about masks that we could find so that you don’t have to.

Comparison Chart

Atomic Aquatics Venom Frameless Mask Black
Atomic Frameless 2 Scuba Mask (Clear,Medium Fit)
Hollis M1 Frameless Scuba Diving Freediving/Spearfishing Dive Mask
Scubapro Synergy Trufit Twin Mirrored Mask, Black/Silver
Mares X-Vision Ultra Liquid Skin Dive Mask, Black/Red
Atomic Aquatics Venom Frameless Mask Black
Atomic Frameless 2 Scuba Mask (Clear,Medium Fit)
Hollis M1 Frameless Scuba Diving Freediving/Spearfishing Dive Mask
Scubapro Synergy Trufit Twin Mirrored Mask, Black/Silver
Mares X-Vision Ultra Liquid Skin Dive Mask, Black/Red
Atomic Aquatics Venom Frameless Mask Black
Atomic Aquatics Venom Frameless Mask Black
Atomic Frameless 2 Scuba Mask (Clear,Medium Fit)
Atomic Frameless 2 Scuba Mask (Clear,Medium Fit)
Hollis M1 Frameless Scuba Diving Freediving/Spearfishing Dive Mask
Hollis M1 Frameless Scuba Diving Freediving/Spearfishing Dive Mask
Scubapro Synergy Trufit Twin Mirrored Mask, Black/Silver
Scubapro Synergy Trufit Twin Mirrored Mask, Black/Silver
Mares X-Vision Ultra Liquid Skin Dive Mask, Black/Red
Mares X-Vision Ultra Liquid Skin Dive Mask, Black/Red

Best Scuba Masks: Our Top Five Picks

Below, you will find five scuba masks. These units are some of the best of the best scuba masks around. While every mask has its own set of pros and cons, we’re confident that, with a little bit of our help, you’ll be able to find a mask you love.

So, let’s get to it, then! Here are our reviews of some of the best scuba masks available today:

1. Atomic Aquatics Venom Frameless Mask

Atomic Aquatics Venom Frameless Mask Black

First up, we’re going to discuss the Atomic Aquatics Venom Frameless Mask. This mask is a high-end scuba mask by popular scuba diving equipment company, Atomic. The Venom mask from Atomic is available in two different colors. You can choose between grey/black and red/black. Both colors are only available in a one-size-fits-all adjustable design.

  • Quality Lens

The Aquatics Venom Frameless Mask is an ultra-wide scuba mask that offers a wider view than a standard scuba mask. In addition to being wide, the lens itself is a huge part of why this is a high-end mask. The lens is known as the Schott Superwite UltraClear lens, and it is one of the best on the market.

  • Swivel Buckles

The buckles on this mask are swivel buckles that turn in various directions depending on where you pull the strap. As you adjust the strap, the swivel will help to move and fit the mask to your face in the exact position that you want.

  • Silicone Seal

Atomic created a unique seal for this mask, which is known as the Gummi Bear UltraSoft silicone. This silicone material is a blend of two different silicones that work together to create a soft and comfortable seal. This blend of materials ensures a complete and strong seal.

  • Frameless Design

Underneath of the seal, this Atomic mask has a thicker layer of silicone around the lens instead of a frame. This molded silicone holds the shape of the mask as pressure is put on the mask. The lack of a frame helps this mask sit closer to your face.

  • Large Nose Pocket

Additionally, this model has a large nose pocket. The size of this pocket is a bit larger in comparison to other models, and this is one of the most notable features of this frameless design.

What We Love About This Mask

The top feature of this mask is the intense amount of comfort that it provides when fitted to the face. Due to the specialized silicone skirt that this frameless mask features, there is a very soft and comfortable fit around your whole face. In fact, you might even find other masks uncomfortable to use after using this mask!

For those who have facial hair, the blended silicone skirt helps to prevent leaks even when you have a beard. Mustaches, scars, and other skin abnormalities will also not affect the seal between your face and the mask. The fit also adds to this comfort. Because of the simply designed strap and adjusters, you can squeeze to adjust the fit in seconds without the need to fiddle around with the mask for long periods.

The lens and wide range of vision provided by this mask is another highlight. This particular lens is said to transmit up to 96% of light. Other masks tend to fall in the 80% range only, so this makes a huge difference in what you see and how clearly you see it. This extra clarity is afforded by the lens manufacturing process. Schott removes the iron, giving better clarity.

Additionally, the field-of-view is very wide, so you can get a better diving experience when compared to other lenses. If you previously favored masks with transparent skirts to be able to see more, you will like the width of this view even though it has an opaque skirt.

What We Don’t Love About This Mask

One of the most common problems that divers have with this particular mask is the amount of fog that they have to deal with. As with all scuba masks, it is recommended that you use toothpaste (Atomic recommends Crest toothpaste) to remove the leftover chemicals from the manufacturing process.

After that, you will need to regularly treat this mask by de-fogging every single time that you use it. Some found that even with de-fog treatment, this mask still does not do a great job of preventing fog. With regular treatment and proper use, however, you should be able to prevent the fog issue.

One additional drawback that you might encounter with this mask is that the lens is not available with an anti-reflective coating because of its frameless style. Though this is unfortunate for those who rely on having an ARC for their mask, the lens is so clear and crisp that it is not a be-all-end-all problem.



2. Atomic Frameless 2 Scuba Mask

Atomic Frameless 2 Scuba Mask (Clear,Medium Fit)

Now, we’ll talk about another popular product from Atomic. When the Venom Frameless was first released, many confused it with one of Atomic’s older masks, which is known as the Atomic Frameless.

The mask we are going to talk about is the Atomic Frameless 2 Scuba Mask, which is the second version of their classic frameless model. Keep in mind as you read on that this mask is different from the Venom Frameless model.

  • Frameless Design

Like the Venom, this model does not have a traditional frame on it. Instead, there are bi-layers of silicone that differ in thickness depending on the part of the mask that they are on. Around the top and edges of the lens, the silicone is thicker, providing a solid structure to the mask. Near your face, the silicone skirt is thinner and softer to mold to your face.

  • Reliable Seal

This unique blend of silicones is the same type of silicone that was used in the Venom, known as the Gummi Bear UltraSoft skirt. This skirt is one of the features that Atomic is most known for in the scuba diving world.

  • Wide Field of View

Frameless masks like the Frameless 2 model give you a mask with a thinner profile but a wider field-of-view. Your ability to see things both in front of you and in your peripheral vision while diving is significantly increased by this mask.

What We Love About This Mask

One of the standout features of this mask is that you can get a really personalized fit due to the fact that there are different sizes available and the unique, soft silicone skirt. The mask itself is available in three different sizes: medium, standard, and large. Medium is good for women or those with smaller heads. Most men will use the standard size, and larger men might prefer the large.

In addition to being able to choose your size to help with the fit, the fact that the silicone is soft and moldable in a unique way makes it easy to get the right mask sealed onto your face. Plus, the Gummi Bear silicone skirt is soft, supple, and comfortable, so the fit will feel better than anything you’ve tried before.

Another thing that you might like about the Frameless 2, especially in comparison to the Venom, is that it has a very simple design. Overall, this mask is a lighter and less bulky design. It is also a lower volume design than Atomic’s other masks, so it can be easier to clear. This makes it a smart choice for those who want something that simply works!

Lastly, the skirt is transparent. This means that the already wide view will seem even wider!

What We Don’t Like About This Mask

While the overall fit of this mask is pretty great, many people have found an issue with the width of the nose area. Due to this, the seal at the bottom of the nose is not as strong as it could be. This is the area where most people saw leaks, and even changing sizes doesn’t seem to correct it. If you have a wide nose area, you may want to look elsewhere.

Like the Atomic Venom Frameless mask, the biggest issue with this mask is fogging. It seems to be a known issue with Atomic to have fogging problems, so it’s a bit frustrating that they have yet to remedy this.

Still, it is not impossible to overcome the fogging. First, you will want to use toothpaste to remove the chemical coatings from the mask when you first get it. Do this a minimum of three times. Then, be sure to treat your mask with some type of defogging agent before diving.

In time, the mask will not fog as badly, but it can be frustrating to get it past that point. Remember that fogging is an issue in nearly every mask, so you should be prepared to face this problem no matter what.



3. Hollis M1 Frameless Scuba Diving Mask

Hollis M1 Frameless Scuba Diving Freediving/Spearfishing Dive Mask

While they make many of the best scuba mask options, Atomic isn’t the only company out there making noteworthy scuba masks. Another popular scuba mask that is worth noticing is the Hollis M1 Frameless Scuba Diving Mask. The Hollis M1 is a mid-range mask in terms of both cost and quality, but it stays at the top of the pack for the experience it provides.

  • Frameless Design

As you can see, frameless masks are very popular these days. This is because they are generally more comfortable than framed masks, and they also tend to offer a wider field of vision since there is less material obstructing the view.

This is a mid-profile mask that is relatively easy to clear. The silicone skirt and rigid silicone melding around the lens make it possible for this mask to be frameless, eliminating the need for a big, bulky scuba mask.

  • Wide Field of Vision

Like the Venom, the M1 prioritizes view as one of the most important parts of the dive. As such, you’ll find that this lens has a very wide field of vision. The lens itself is a Saint-Gobain Diamant Crystal Clear Lens. This lens is said to be one that provides the clearest and crisp views around.

  • Black Silicone Skirt

The 100% silicone black skirt also helps to improve your view. Because the opaque skirt blocks out some of the light from the sides, the view that you have through the wide lens is crisper than it would be if your eyes were distracted by light on the sides of the lens.

  • Included Accessories

This mask comes with both a bag and a case. Those two items can be used to protect your mask from getting scratches, which can be a big deterrent to having a good dive. With the provided accessories, you can dive comfortably with your mask for even longer.

Sizewise, this mask is relatively large, and that should be considered if you often pack your mask to go on vacations or travel to scuba dive.

What We Love About This Mask

A standout feature of this mask is the nice, balanced volume of the mask chamber. While freediving masks have very small profiles and standard scuba masks have quite large profiles, this one falls somewhere in the middle. The volume makes it easier to do things like clearing and equalizing, and it also makes your gear a bit less bulky throughout the day.

This is a very wide mask. While that might not be a benefit to everyone, it is a great feature for those with wider faces or those who have large noses. The skirt itself is quite wide, so you will be able to get it to sit comfortably over all of your facial features before tightening up the straps for a perfect fit.

Finally, the strap on this mask is a flat, rubberized material that is less likely to catch on your hair or other belongings. If you have long or coarse hair, you may find this to make a huge difference in how much you like the mask!

What We Don’t Like About This Mask

One issue that you may come across with is one that can thankfully be solved by slightly altering how you use and wear the mask. Occasionally, this mask will seal itself to your nose in the nose pocket area. Naturally, this will cause a squeeze and be a bit scary or uncomfortable if you aren’t sure what to do.

In this situation, you can fix it by moving the mask away from your face briefly and resetting it. Should this become a regular problem for you, it is best solved by being sure to equalize the pressure regularly as you are diving.

Additionally, this mask has a similar fogging issue that you’ll find in many frameless scuba masks. Even after cleaning it with toothpaste, many divers found that they still couldn’t escape the build-up of fog when diving.

The coating on this mask is most efficiently burned off with a lighter. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you may want to try a different mask.



4. Scubapro Synergy Trufit Scuba Diving Mask

Scubapro Synergy Trufit Twin Mirrored Mask, Black/Silver

Our next contender is the Scubapro Synergy Trufit Scuba Diving Mask. As the name suggests, Scubapro is an organization of scuba professionals that have created high-quality diving gear for you to put to use on your next outing.

  • Silicone Skirt, Tempered Glass

This is a mirror lens scuba mask that uses a soft silicone skirt to wrap around your face. The glass is a tempered product that has a mirror coating added to the outside to help with common viewing problems, such as glare, that may affect the diver and his dive.

  • Increased Visibility

The frames and lens of this mask are shaped like tear-drops. Those shapes add a bit of extra comfort to its overall setup, and they even add some visibility since the viewing area will drop down a bit at the bottom of the teardrop more than it would with a standard-styled lens.

  • Twin Lens Design

Scubapro’s Synergy Trufit Mask is a twin-lens mask. Rather than offer one large field of vision as the previous frameless models did, this model adds structure with a frame and two separate lenses to view the world.

Though it has a frame, this is still a mid-volume, mid-profile mask. This means that the lens sits closer to your face than with a standard scuba lens. This can be convenient for comfort, for being able to read your instruments, and even for being able to get closer to the viewfinder on your camera.

Overall, this is a mask that is meant for those who are semi- to very experienced in diving and specifically want to take on the problem of glare. Other than dealing with the issues that glare can cause, this mask isn’t an overly unique choice on the market at this time.

What We Love About This Mask

This mask has a coated mirror lens. This lens helps to cut down on reflections and glare that could otherwise take away from the quality of your dive. Even with these coatings, however, your field of vision is not obstructed. There is no sacrificing of clarity or depth perception to get the reflection blocking.

The strap on this particular mask makes it very comfortable to wear. In addition to the strap being well-designed and easy to adjust, there is also a thicker spider-style strap at the back of the head. This strap allows you to achieve a more sturdy and comfortable fit.

The skirt on this mask is also worth mentioning. While some mask manufacturers make their skirts more comfortable by altering the density of the silicone used in various parts of the mask, Scubapro affords comfort by altering the thickness. The mask is less thick where it needs to be flexible and thicker where sturdiness is okay.

What We Don’t Like About This Mask

While having a soft, comfortable seal on a mask may sound like it is always a good thing, it’s only a good thing if that soft silicone skirt is still able to create a good seal. One issue that many divers have with this mask is that the seal is difficult to get situated in just the right place so that it does not leak.

When you are wearing a hood or clearing your mask, it can take some extra time and practice to get the mask back in place. While it will create a solid seal once lined up, the extra time needed can be a hassle.

In particular, this mask can be very hard to use for beginners because of the super soft silicone. If you are experienced and looking for something that is soft, however, it will be a great choice. Keep in mind that something this soft probably won’t remain comfortable after more than three hours.

Finally, we have to mention that the mirrored look of the front lens will not appeal to everyone. While many will appreciate the bit of style and uniqueness that the mirror look offers, others will prefer to stick to a more classic design that reflects glare in a different way. To many, this mask looks and feels like a pair of sunglasses.



5. Mares X-Vision Ultra Liquidskin

Mares X-Vision Ultra Liquid Skin Dive Mask, Black/Red

Finally, we’ve made it to the final mask on our top list today. While Atomic, Hollis, and Scubapro are all great brands, Mares is also one of those brands that many people love for their unique and functional features that can revolutionize how you go on a dive.

  • Two-Lens Design

The Mares X-Vision Ultra Liquidskin is a two-lens mask that comes in a one-size-fits-all arrangement. While some might prefer masks that have multiple sizing options available, the flexible skirt and easy-to-adjust straps balance out any potential fit issues pretty well.

  • Bi-Silicone Skirt

The most talked about feature of this X-Vision Ultra Liquidskin is the bi-silicone skirt, which is known as Liquidskin. This skirt is made out of a blend of more than one silicone, and the exact composition of the skirt differs depending on which part of the mask you are looking at.

  • Several Color Options

This Ultra Liquidskin mask is available in six different colors, ranging from black to blue to pink. If you would like to get something that stands out a little bit from the other masks around you, that is a possibility with this mask model.

  • Large Viewing Area

The two lenses on this mask are very wide and tall. This means that you get a rather large viewing area even if it might not be as wide or as panoramic as some of the frameless design masks’ lenses that we have already discussed today.

  • Low-profile, Low-drag Construction

Finally, this is a low-profile, low-drag design. This mask will help to make you feel less bulky while also helping you to be more efficient while diving. Both of those things can help you to have a significantly better dive than you might have had otherwise.

What We Love About This Mask

The skirt on this mask is just as soft and comfortable as the makers claim it is. The pliable material easily fits around your face, and it’s not hard to get a good seal. While some soft silicone skirts require you to overtighten the mask to get a good seal, you can wear this one relatively loose.

Because of this loose possibility, you may not even end up with as many deep suction marks on your face when you are finished with your dives.

Another benefit of this mask is both the size and the positioning of the two lenses. Not only are the lenses 20% larger than the previous iteration of this design, but they are also angled in such a way that it is easier to check your instruments than it would be if they were in the plane with the sides of the mask.

Plus, the field of vision is not obstructed by the frame of the mask too, which is something that many divers these days are concerned about. You do not have to go completely frameless to get a decent field of vision!

What We Don’t Like About This Mask

Like all masks, there are goods and bads to this mask from Mares. The first thing that we found frustrating was a strange and unique problem for masks to have. The straps on this mask were simply infuriating! While the way that the adjuster on the straps works is quite simple, the straps don’t always work like they should.

The straps tend to loosen when force is applied to them. This happens with just a tiny bit of pressure, so it can be a problem in some cases when you don’t have the aptitude or ability to tighten up the straps immediately. Interestingly, however, the strap is easy to tighten and stays in place well. Then again, while it is easy to tighten the straps with one hand, they can come loose over time.

We mentioned that the field of vision on this two-lens mask was decent. And that is true. It is decent, but not every diver will be satisfied with just decent!

If you want the biggest, widest, and most open field of vision, this is not going to be the right scuba mask for you. The only way to get something that has the widest and tallest lens around is to go for a frameless model, such as the ones from Atomic that we have already reviewed.

Still, don’t knock this one out of the running just for having two lenses unless you have tried a model like this before. Many people discount two-lens masks because they think the viewing area will be restricted, but they haven’t even tried them yet! Divers often find that the view offered by a two-lens mask is much better than they expected it to be!


The Verdict

These are just five of the hundreds of scuba mask options on the market. Even though this is just a small sample of what you could browse through before making your final decision, we are confident that the best scuba mask for your next dive is one of these top five options.

Above all, the Atomic Aquatics Venom Frameless Mask stands out as the mask that will tick the most boxes for many divers. This mask is arguably the most comfortable scuba mask that you will ever put on your face. The combination of a super soft silicone skirt and great viewing lens makes this the number one choice when you want comfort to accompany stunning underwater views.

If you want something that is a bit more traditional, though, then the Scubapro Synergy Trufit Scuba Diving Mask is a great alternative. This option offers a twin lens, framed mask structure that will remind you of all the things that a traditional mask should be—with a twist! This mask has a mirrored lenses and a slightly different shaped lens that we normally use, but we’re finding it much more useful already.

If nothing else, we hope that our article today will help you to realize what it is that you are looking for in a scuba mask to make the rest of your hunt for the perfect mask easier than ever before. After all, the faster you find the best mask, the sooner you can get back in the water and live out your next big adventure!

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