How to Choose a Snorkeling Mask

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How to Choose a Snorkeling Mask

Choosing the proper snorkeling or diving gear requires extensive research There are three essential components of a snorkeling mask to consider before making on a purchase. The skirt, the lens and the strap are all of crucial importance and should be closely scrutinised before settling on any particular model. When all of these aspects are performing well, a diver can enjoy their sport without worrying about the mask filling up with water, the lens cracking under pressure or their field of vision being impaired by a mask that moves around on the face.


Select a Mask With an Elastic Skirt

A mask with a rubber skirt presents danger of leakage due to the short shelf life of the material. Over time the rubber will dry out and crack, allowing water into the mask while swimming. This is known as dry rot, and once the elasticity of the rubber is gone the mask is essentially useless. Choosing a mask with a skirt made of clear silicone will retain elasticity, allowing for a long-lasting fit. Silicone skirts can be clear for divers who want more light to come into their mask while divers who want less light coming in can choose a mask with a dark silicone finish. When trying on masks, it is of utmost importance that the skirt fit snug to the face without the aid of the strap. Place the mask onto the face with the nose placed snugly into the nose compartment with absolutely no hair between the face and the skirt. Lightly press the mask skirt to the skin and look downward toward the floor. The right mask will stay affixed to the face without having to be held it in place with hands or the strap. Divers with a mustache may find it difficult getting a snug-fitting mask due to the facial hair becoming an obstruction between the skin and the skirt. A mask with a wider skirt can overcome this as can a clean, close shave. A snug-fitting mask can help swimmers avoid a situation where they are constantly having to empty out the mask while treading water and missing out on why they are there in the first place: to observe the underwater natural world with vivid clarity.


Why Tempered Glass Lenses are Best

In the event of an accident, tempered glass will break apart in small chunks that are designed to not cut skin as opposed to sharp glass shards that will occur when regular glass breaks. Tempered glass is also more resistant to scuffing and has an overall greater resistance to breaking than regular glass. The reason for this is that small amounts of iron are used when manufacturing tempered lenses, giving the view from inside the mask a slightly greenish hue. Snorkelers with vision problems can be assured that it is OK to use a mask in conjunction with contact lenses. People who do not like contacts can opt to have a mask made with prescription lenses that are chemically bonded to the inside of the lenses. No fog lenses are available through some mask manufacturers, and mask defog solution is available in any dive shop. Addressing the mask fogging issue before getting into the water is the best way to assure that time in the water is spent enjoying the activity rather than struggling to defog the mask.


Strap in For a Snug Fit

Just as the silicone construction of the skirt is important for a tight fit, so too is the silicone make up of the strap for a longer lasting mask. A rubber strap will develop dry rot over time, causing the strap to crack and eventually snap. The function of the strap is to keep the mask from moving around as the head oscillates from side to side while swimming. Once again, the fit of the mask should come from how well the skirt matches the shape of the face while the strap is simply there to keep mask position in place. Purchasing an additional strap to keep handy is a good idea, as getting a strap that gets snagged and breaks can put a premature ending to a day in the water. Neoprene straps are ideal for swimmers with long hair, as the texture of the material reduces the chance of hair becoming entangled in the strap.



Having an enjoyable day of snorkeling depends on how well the masks fits the face and vision preferences of the wearer. Paying close attention to the skirt's match to the shape of the face, the quality of the lenses and the functionality of the strap assures a fulfilling day in the water.

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