Selecting a Dive Mask
The first time you enter a dive shop and see a wall display of dive masks, it can be initimidating!
What are some of the features you should consider?
Black Skirt or Clear Skirt. Most experienced divers tend to prefer black skirted masks. The reason for this is less external light interference with the field of vision. New divers tend to prefer the clear skirt as the view does not appear as closed in (less claustrophobic). It really comes down to preference and experience, but one asthetic to keep in mind is that clear skirts do tend to discolour/yellow over time, which is not a problem with black skirts.
Frameless Masks. Frameless masks tend to sit closer to your eyes and overall lower volume. Without a rigid thick frame they tend also to fold flat and make great backup masks that will fit easily in your pocket. They are also much lighter than a "framed" mask.
Single or Double Lenses. Often the single lens mask design will fit an adult large face, while the double lense design tend to fit better with youth/narrow faces. There are however some single lens masks designed for a narrower fit. There may be the feeling of better field of vision with the single lens design however this likely is marginal. Design otherwise is a preference.
Corrective Lenses. Several masks come with options from the manufacturer to install corrective lens for distance or close-up work. Many divers over time develop the need for a reading prescription, and will benefit from the addition of readers on existing masks or installed from the factory on new masks. Corrective lens for distance is less available from manufacturers, and are not able to take into account factors such as astigmatism. In cases where the standard manfuacturer options won't meet the need, optometrist installed prescription lenses are an option.