The mask is one of the most important pieces of dive gear. Basically, the mask is the only way you’ll be able to see clearly underwater. A proper fitting mask that is comfortable is priceless. Most masks today are adequate for diving, but finding the one that fits you the best and is comfortable is most important. A mask that fits well will prevent leakage and will stay in place on your face.

To test a mask’s fit, place it on your face and stop breathing. If the mask stays on your face, it probably fits pretty well. Don’t just buy the first one that seems to fit, try them all, even the cheaper masks, because you want to make sure you get the best fitting mask possible.


Most masks come with the standard rubber band style strap. These straps will work, but may get tangled in your hair or not feel as comfortable as you’d like. Try one of the neoprene “Slap Straps” instead. They won’t interfere with your hair and are much more comfortable. Most active divers are using these today.

If you wear glasses or contacts, you may want to consider prescription lenses for your mask. Make sure the mask you purchase will accept such lenses. If you wear bifocals for reading, you can also purchase inserts for your prescription that will make it easier to read your pressure gauge, depth gauge, computer, watch, etc.

Cost: $25 to $250

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