ScubaLab Tests the Best Dive Masks on the Market


Mask Test Protocol:

To evaluate the in-water performance of each mask, a team of ScubaLab test divers dived with them at Alexander Springs in central Florida. Using underwater slates and waterproof test sheets, divers scored each mask in five performance categories. Our team of divers also recorded comments about their experience with each mask and ranked in order their top three favorites in each of two mask categories — dual-lens and single- lens models.

Ergo Test Categories:

  1. Ease and security of adjustments, including buckles, swivels and quick releases
  2. Comfort of the strap, skirt, frame, nose pocket and all contact points
  3. Dryness overall, and effectiveness of seals and purge valves
  4. Field of view, both vertical and horizontal
  5. Mask volume and ease of clearing and equalizing

Because of the importance of proper fit, individual test divers did not proceed with in-water testing if a mask failed to fit him or her properly.


Shown on the graph accompanying each mask are that mask’s scores for comfort (including the strap, skirt, frame and contact points) and field of view (both horizontal and vertical, as perceived by the diver). The scoring is as follows: 5 = excellent; 4 = very good; 3 = good; 2 = fair; 1 = poor. Test divers also selected their top three favorite masks in each of the two test categories — dual lens and single lens.


The choice between mask types is partly a matter of personal preference and partly a function of special requirements a diver might have. Multi-lens masks, especially dual-lens models, generally have a smaller internal volume than single-lens models because their smaller size can allow them to be shaped closer to the diver’s face. A smaller volume is beneficial because it makes a mask easier to clear and equalize. They also can be equipped with corrective lenses, which many manufacturers offer for their most popular masks. Single-lens masks offer the widest uninterrupted field of view because they don’t have the obstruction of the nose bridge needed on a dual- or multi-lens mask. Single-lens masks can’t be fitted with corrective lenses and generally have somewhat larger volume, although many newer designs have significantly reduced volumes.

Q: What factors did test divers find most important?

A: Test divers’ favorite masks took top scores for comfort, with supple skirts, soft nose pockets and no hard parts contacting the face. That’s no surprise because an uncomfortable mask can quickly take the fun out of any dive.

Q: What are the pros and cons of frameless masks?

A: Molding the skirt directly to the lens gives the frameless mask a lower profile and eliminates any visual obstruction the frame might cause. Because the frameless masks’ lenses aren’t removable, they can’t be fitted with corrective lenses or replaced. — Roger Roy, ScubaLab Director

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Scuba Diving Magazine’s 11th Annual Photo Contest Winners

It’s been 11 years, yet somehow we never tire of the photo contest here at Scuba Diving magazine. But every now and then, there comes a time for change. Ansel Adams once said, “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.” In that spirit, we tweaked our submission categories to recognize photographers adept at conceptual and compact-camera photography. And although the structure might have changed, the heart of our contest has remained the same: viewing the underwater world “Through Your Lens.” We hope you enjoy the show.

To view all photo submissions, click right here.


Live-aboard trip to Pulau Weh, Indonesia, aboard the Thailand Aggressor and $1000 cash prize


1st Prize Macro: Live-aboard trip on the Turks & Caicos Aggressor
1st Prize Wide-Angle: Live-aboard trip on the Red Sea Aggressor
1st Prize Conceptual: Live-aboard trip on the Carib Dancer
1st Prize Compact Camera: SeaLife Micro HD+ Camera


2nd Prize Macro: Scubapro Chromis DC dive computer and Travel Bag
2nd Prize Wide-Angle: Scubapro MK 25 EVO / G260 and Synergy 2 mask
2nd Prize Conceptual: Mares Instinct 12S reg, X-Vu LiquidSkin mask and Ergo Dry snorkel
2nd Prize Compact Camera: SeaLife Sea Dragon 1200 Lumen Light


3rd Prize Macro: $250 Backscatter Certificate
3rd Prize Wide-Angle: $250 Backscatter Certificate
3rd Prize Conceptual: $250 Backscatter Certificate
3rd Prize Compact Camera: SeaLife Aquapod Mini and Sea Dragon Mini Lumen Light

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