Some people enjoy scuba diving for the freedom of weightlessness, others like it for the excitement and exploration, but everyone gets into scuba for the scenery. Exploring the undersea world would be impossible without a dive mask--and getting the right one is crucial for your enjoyment and comfort underwater. The perfect mask should provide a good field of vision, fit well without leaking and allow you to easily adjust pressure when descending and ascending.
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ScubaMax MK-219 Arc
Because scuba diving is all about the sights, a scuba mask is quite possibly the most important purchase a diver will make. It is essential to try several masks in order to find the right combination of vision and comfort for you. According to ScubaLab, "With its budget price the Arc works equally well as a primary mask, especially for free divers, or as a backup mask for scuba divers." As of 2014, the cost was less than $50. It is a traditional dual-window mask that offers exaggerated V-shaped lenses for enhanced downward viewing, squeeze-buttons for easier strap adjustment and a respectable field of vision compared to other masks in its class.
Mares X-VU Liquid Skin
The dual-window Mares X-Vision Liquid Skin mask was a ScubaLab Best Buy back in 2007 and continued to get rave reviews from customers at Scuba.com in 2010. The X-VU is the third incarnation of the Liquid Skin line. The odd-shaped windows on the X-VU provide outstanding horizontal and vertical views. Mares combines two liquid silicone compounds in the skirt to maximize sealing and comfort. As of 2014, the average price for the X-VU Liquid Skin was around $80.
Sherwood Scuba Oracle+
The Oracle+ takes the Sherwood Oracle line to the next level with the addition of a 1.75 positive diopter in the lower third of the lenses. This magnifying feature allows you to glance down and easily read your watch or gauge clusters. The "Quick Disconnect Buckle" allows you to press a button to remove the strap and the extra-large nose pocket makes equalizing on descents a breeze. In 2014 the Oracle+ can sell as low as $50 on sale.
Cressi Big Eyes Evolution Crystal
According to a review in Sport Diver, the Cressi Big Eyes Evolution Crystal is for the diver who needs "maximum comfort." Cressi's exclusive "Crystal" silicone prevents discoloration and makes the mask skirt nearly invisible, allowing for one of the best downward visibility experiences. In 2014, the Big Eyes Evolution Crystal sold for around $100.