Underwater activities give us an insight into a world that is very much different from ours. You can swim and dive underwater, catch a fish with your spear, explore, enjoy… But you need to be prepared for that world, don’t you? Today we’ll talk about underwater masks for freediving and spearfishing.
Below, you will find a list of ten top-tier masks and their reviews. We wrote reviews in an informative and concise way, emphasizing only the most critical features of each item. You’ll also find a buyer’s guide that serves an educational purpose; its goal is to explain everything you need to know about underwater masks.
The Aqua Lung micro is the best and the most expensive item on our list. It is light and compact (hence the name Micro,) but it still fits all faces. Why? Well, it’s all about the design.
This mask has a silicone-made facial skirt. The skirt is very flexible and elastic and adheres naturally to your face. Thanks to this elasticity, the mask can quickly adapt to your facial contours and give you an underwater experience free of leaks.
Its lenses are installed in what is called an ocular orbit. What this means is that you’ll enjoy much greater and natural FOV when you look through the mask. Its compactness also reduces underwater drag, allowing you to dive and move smoothly and rapidly.
The mask locks via Cardanic Joint Buckles that rotate in all directions and provide you enough control and adjustability. This mask is available in ten colors, all of which have slight design and price variations, but nothing too significant.
Though it isn’t as good as the Aqua Lung Micro, the Omer Alien does cost less and can be purchased with mirrored lenses. It boasts excellent FOV and features a design that fits scuba divers, freedivers, and spearfishers.
The skirt is hypoallergenic and incredibly soft. It adheres nicely to your skin and contours, providing a decent seal. The frame slight and low-profile, so it won’t slow you down or burden you underwater.
The Omer Alien mask does have some troubles with fogging. The lenses are excellent and provide you with plenty of visibility, but they tend to fog. You could let just a bit of water in and rinse to reduce fogging (you can do this with other masks that struggle with fogging.)
The buckles are sturdy and adjust with ease. In fact, they are built-in to the facial skirt to reduce bulkiness and allow more comfortable diving experience.
All in all, Omer Alien Mask is an excellent choice for free divers and spearfishers, especially for beginners. You can also use this mask for scuba diving, and you can obtain it in several colors (we suggest Black Silicone + Mirror lenses.)
The Cressi NANO mask is for advanced users only, preferably adults. Its buckle system is very flexible and robust, and low profile design allows excellent speed and fast diving. The Cressi NANO mask was designed to pierce through the water, helping divers and spearfishers navigate through narrow spaces.
This mask doesn’t require any manual equalizing thanks to its minimal internal volume. Its compact and hydrodynamic design increases not only speed but also the FOV.
The mask features lenses with the so-called inverted teardrop system. Fundamentally, this system enhances the visibility and helps reduce fogging. We should also mention Dual Frame Technology, one that combines two outstanding frames that not only ensure the durability of the item but also minimize internal volume.
The mask fits nicely to most faces, but some people have noted that it isn’t fit for larger heads and wide faces. We recommend it to all people, but mainly to professionals and experienced divers, due to its low-profile design and sturdy construction.
Kraken Aquatics mask is exceptionally inexpensive, comfortable and leak-free. Though you can buy it in three different colors, each of these masks delivers an excellent diving experience for a meager price.
KA mask features a one-piece lens made of tempered glass. The glass is durable and resistant to scratching or impacts. The buckle is adjustable and straightforward. All you have to do is pull the strap to the desired level and let the buckle hold everything in place.
KA is a solid mask, one that is good for serious and less serious water activities. While it can be used for spearfishing or scuba diving, we don’t recommend it. Why? Well, the mask is sturdy but it is questionable whether it can withstand a substantial amount of pressure when you are scuba diving.
We recommend it mostly to those who want to try freediving. We’ll also admit with the quality of this item. To be honest, we expected junk! But, KA mask didn’t leak, didn’t fog and is very comfortable. And don’t forget that this is one of the least expensive items on our list.
Omer Sporasub Mystic promises the comfort of Omer Alien and 20% less low volume. Does it deliver? Surprisingly yes, at a lower price. The silicone face skirt molds to faces of all sizes, and there is 20% less low volume than with Omer Alien.
Mask and skirt feature matte finish regardless of which color you choose. The matt finish helps absorb the light and makes the whole mask non-reflective.
We liked the buckle system. The buckle itself is made with acetylic resin, which ensures maximum smoothness and flexibility. This allows you to adjust the buckle and feel safe underwater because the buckle will hold the mask firmly in the desired position.
Note that this mask is recommended for freediving and spearfishing, but not for scuba diving. If you take a look at its lower volume, you’ll see that this mask cannot withstand scuba-diving activities.
While the mask is durable and resistant to scratching and damage from impacts, we thought this mask should have better lenses. There’s no fogging or leaking; it’s just that the lenses don’t allow binocular vision due to low FOV.
The Omer Zero is very proud of its wide FOV, which is virtually non-impaired. This mask is a bit expensive, but it is made of quality material (plastics and silicone), and it is suitable for all kinds of underwater activities.
Due to its extremely low volume, the mask allows you to dive up to 60 feet deep. If you pair this feature with the fact that the mask adjusts fully to your face, you got yourself an excellent mask for spearfishing.
The face skirt features milled silicon, especially on the nose area. This provides an excellent non-slip surface, allowing you to clear the mask without taking off your gloves. The skirt was also finished with carbon fibers for a glare-free experience.
This mask is recommended for a vast array of activities, including free diving, snorkeling, spearfishing and scuba diving. Also, the mask is used by advanced and recreational divers, rarely by professionals.
This mask is a bit expensive, but we think it is worth the price. It is one of the best masks on our lists regarding the FOV and depth-leveling ratio.
The Mares Viper mask is made almost entirely of silicone, which is both good and bad. It is highly elastic and watertight, which means that nearly everyone can use this mask.
The buckles are extremely ergonomic and comfortable. They feature double buttons for simpler locking and unlocking, as well as to allow accurate strap adjusting.
This mask is made for freedivers and spearfishers especially. You can also buy it in eight colors, but bear in mind that some are more expensive than others (due to color variation and small design adjustments.)
The mask is smooth and slim, which is why you’ll need to be extra careful with it. Avoid exposure to sunlight and beware with how you lay this item on the ground. You might also experience some trouble with fogging. However, this will occur only if the mask doesn’t fit you, not because it is flawed.
All in all, we recommend this mask to freedivers and spearfishers. It has a low volume and doesn’t leak. Fogging might occur, so make sure that it fits your face adequately before you dive in depths.
Zionor mask is the most inexpensive item on our list. You can choose between M1 and M2 options; the M1 represents a one-piece lens (better quality and FOV), while the M2 represents a two-piece lens of more inferior quality.
The one-piece lens (M1) provides you with excellent visibility and wide FOV. Each mask is made of a sturdy plastic frame and tempered glass to increase safety and durability.
We were a bit disappointed with a facial skirt. It felt a bit flimsy and didn’t adhere to adequately. This, in turn, caused leaking and fogging. The strap appeared fine and felt comfortable, and the buckle system seemed decent too.
Zionor’s biggest strength is its fantastic visibility. The mask is also quite sturdy (at least the frame is.) The strap felt good too; the buckle rotates and adjusts to the desired position. There’s also the anti-slip dot that allows tight and safe wearing.
Zionor mask is low-volume, sturdy and comfortable, but it may leak and fog. Of course, it has much to do with your face and its dimensions, so make sure that you try it out before you go spearfishing!
The Oceanways Superview-HD is one of the best masks on our list. It features a single-piece HD lens that delivers fantastic visibility. The skirt is made of high-quality silicone and is hypoallergenic; it adheres to your skin but doesn’t irritate or cause allergic reactions.
The lens is multicoated (features OMC or optical-multicoating technology.) The OMC lowers the glare and UV effect, providing you with both care and clear vision. The lens also reduces the impact of bright white light, thus providing better contrast underwater.
Interestingly, the lenses are designed to pick up red and yellow colors, providing you with better perception and in-depth observation. We would also like to point out that the frame is sturdy and made of quality plastics.
The strap is made of the same material to reduce friction and allow smoother adjusting. The mask comes in a sturdy case and helps you extend mask’s durability and usability.
While this mask works perfectly in high-visibility conditions, it isn’t as good in environments with low visibility. Also, while it does have a low volume, it isn’t the best mask for freediving.
Last but not least is the Aqua Sphere mask. This mask is cost-effective, anti-fogged and leak-free. It doesn’t provide visibility as good as some other high-end items on our list, but it is safe and sturdy.
Its lenses are resistant to impacts, scratching and wear. They provide decent visibility, but the FOV felt somewhat underwhelming. The sealing was correctly done, and the mask neither leaked nor fogged during use.
The design and construction focuses on sturdiness, stability, and safety. This mask is resistant to minor tremors and provides you with stable visibility free of distortion.
While we can’t complain about design and price, the materials felt a bit underwhelming. The frame appeared stable, but not elastic, which led us to believe that this item might crack if you don’t use it adequately.
All in all, the Aqua Sphere is a decent mask for a fair price. It is light and comfortable. It is also sturdy, but beware with how you handle it.
Here, we’ll talk more about the product category, rather than about individual products. Specifically, we will explain what these masks are, what they are for, and which one you should obtain (if you decide to obtain it.)
What Makes A Mask Suitable For Free Diving And Spearfishing?
Well, there are numerous things we need to consider when we are looking for a mask for the above-mentioned activities. But before we even start discussing low volume, FOV, and other factors, the first thing you need to ensure is that the mask fits you.
Unlike goggles, masks cover your nose, eyes, and face (partially.) Facemask also has a buckle+strap system with which you install it on your head and adjust accordingly.
So, whenever you are looking for a facemask, make sure that it fits your face shape/size/dimensions, and that it offers a decent amount of adjustability. Once you are satisfied with compatibility, you can proceed with other features. These include:
1. Low Volume
The lower the internal volume is (the one that is sealed with the help of a mask,) the better the mask is for freediving and spearfishing. Why? Well, lower volume means less pressure, less pressure equals more depth without leveling.
Naturally, this doesn’t mean that a mask is good merely because it has low internal volume. No, this means that you should try to combine low volume with compatibility and other factors on this list.
You need a well-sealed mask, especially if you are a serious freediver or spearfisher. A well-sealed mask is resistant to both water leaks and fogging. Moreover, it probably has a comfortable and watertight face skirt, which plays a vital part in sealing.
So, look for a mask that is well sealed and anti-fog, especially if you are freediving. Even those who enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling should try to obtain well-sealed masks (but then you also need a snorkel, which is why we won’t go into it right now.)
FOV means field of vision (or field of view.) So, the higher the FOV, the better your peripheral vision is. Greater FOV allows you to see more, which can be vital when you are underwater. I mean, there are sharks underwater!
Sharks aside, it is very much liberating to have a one-piece mask, for they often deliver better visibility than the two-piece ones. Then again, a one-piece lens is usually much more expensive than the two-piece ones.
FOV isn’t the only factor that affects visibility. For starters, there’s the lens quality. If possible, look for glare-free lenses made of glass. Also, keep in mind that the mask’s material could also produce glare and lower the visibility.
If you are looking for the best mask regarding visibility, then go for the Oceanvways Superview HD. This mask introduced multicoated lenses which not only improve the underwater contrast but also collect more orange and yellow light. However, keep in mind that they aren’t the best for low-light conditions.
5. Other Important Factors
Budget is the first thing that popped into our mind. Well, you have to play it smart and invest in a mask that isn’t necessarily the most expensive one, but the one that meets all the requirements we mentioned (yours too!)
Aside from budget, make sure that you obtain a comfortable mask, one that enhances your underwater activities for the better, not for the worse. And if your budget allows it, always go for the two-pieced masks.
Mind the purpose! Each item we described serves a unique purpose; one mask can be useful for exploring, while another delivers extra safe and leak free experience. Also, if you are a beginner, go for a simple mask and then move towards sophisticated items (as you gather experience.)
This doesn’t mean that a beginner can’t use an advanced mask, not at all! However, an advanced diver will take full advantage of such mask and utilize its full potential. So, if you are new to the world of diving and spearfishing, keep it simple.
While free diving and spearfishing are marvelous activities, they shouldn’t be taken foolishly. Always remember that you are in the non-human territory and that you have to show respect to the beings that dwell underwater.
You also need proper equipment, and buying a quality mask for freediving, spearfishing, scuba diving or snorkeling is an excellent place to start. Pay attention to the things we said in our buyer’s guide. Of course, not everything should be perfect, but you should cover compatibility (at least.)
But if you cover everything, we guarantee you that you’ll truly enjoy your next visit to the underwater world!