If you want to spear like a pro, you need the right mask. The last thing you want is some cheap snorkeling mask this constantly fogging over or leaking. You want something that will let you see everything with ease. But, with so many options, and so many junk masks on the market, which one should you choose? We’ve got you covered. We’re going to explain exactly what you want to look for in a mask for spearfishing. We’ll also go over the six best spearfishing masks on the market to help narrow down your options.
What to look for in a spearfishing mask?
Masks are not complicated pieces of equipment. They consist of a frame, lens, and strap. So, you would think that they would be pretty easy to shop for. But, that isn’t the case. There is actually quite a bit you need to be on the lookout for.
The main thing to remember is that you have to get it right the first time because you won’t know you made the wrong choice until it is too late. When your 5m (16ft) underwater trying to hunt, there is very little you will be able to do about a bad mask. So, you need to understand exactly what to look out for and, more importantly, what you should avoid.
This refers to how much space exists in the mask. The reason this is important is that this is an air pocket that will be created when you put your mask on. As you probably already know, air pressure increases the deeper you dive. The more space that exists in the mask after you wear it, the greater the chance that you will experience a mask squeeze.
Mask squeeze happens when the air inside the mask becomes out of sync with the outside air pressure. This causes the mask to suction to your face. The worse the squeeze, the greater the chance of injury. Sometimes, that can even be an extreme injury such as injury to your eyes and changes in vision. Though, this is both extreme and rare.
Usually, mask squeeze will lead to bruising around the eye region and embarrassing red marks under your eyes. This is one of the most amateur diving injuries that you can experience and is easily preventable. You simply have to equalize the air pressure inside the mask by blowing air through your nose.
The trick is that you want a low profile mask. Low profile masks are built to minimize the space between your face and the mask. The reason that a low profile mask is good is that you can reduce the air needed to equalize the pressure.
Remember, you will most likely be breath-hold diving. You don’t want to waste a lot of air equalizing your mask. The lower the volume the less air it will take to equalize the pressure and the longer you can hunt on a single breath.
One of the biggest differences between different mask types is the frame style. You can find masks that have a single pane frame, double pane frame, and clear masks with side panes.
The pane is how the lens is set up. Single pane masks have one lens that isn’t separated by anything. One of the best examples of this is the old-style masks you can see in pictures of early scuba divers.
Usually, these were oval masks with one giant lens. More modern versions of single pane frames look like traditional masks, but the nose piece does not run the full way up. Instead, both sides are connected so that the lens is one solid piece.
Double pane frames have two separate lenses for each eye. The two lenses are separated by the nose piece. These are some of the most common types of frames that you will find. Many people, though, prefer the single frame style mask still because there is a wider field of vision.
At the end of the day, it will come down to personal preference which frame style you choose. The main thing to take into consideration is that you want to see as much as possible when you look through your frames. Single pane frames are often the best for getting a full view as there is nothing in the middle obstructing part of your view. Also, make sure to check how much peripheral vision you have. It’s always good to be able to easily see peripherally from your mask.
This one is obvious. You want to check to make sure a mask fits you properly before you purchase it. This means more than just trying every one of them on also. There is a special way to check to make sure that a mask fits you properly.
You should first place the mask over your face without putting the strap around your head. Next, breath in through your nose until you can feel the mask suction into your face. Once you can’t breathe in any further, remove your hands from the mask so that it is attached only by the suction. If the mask remains without coming loose or falling off, it fits properly.
The mask should be comfortable and should fit snuggly. If there is a nose bridge in the middle, it shouldn’t be too tight. Remember, as you begin to swim down to your hunting depth, the water pressure is going to push the mask against your face. If there is any piece that feels uncomfortable above the water, it will feel doubly uncomfortable below the water.
Lastly, you want to make sure there are no red marks left over by the skirt after you release the suction. This means that there is a part that is too tight. If you see any red marks below the eyes or on the side of your face, keep looking for different masks or larger sizes.
You want to purchase a mask that is made using silicone for the skirt and tempered glass for the lens. You do not want a plastic skirt. This type of skirt material is prone to leaking as it doesn’t seal to your face as well. This is also going to make it more uncomfortable when diving.
Tempered glass is also important as it is more resistant to pressure than standard glass. This is also a matter of safety. If for whatever reason, your mask breaks, standard glass is going to shatter and most likely get into your eyes. Tempered glass, on the other hand, is going to crack and break evenly.
What are the best spearfishing masks?
- The Metis is a 2-window low volume mask suitable for freediving, spearfishing and also for scuba...
- Skirt made in high quality Silicone, a more comfortable and long lasting material than the...
- The mask is designed to have the lens close to the eyes, enhancing the field of view. The inverted...
- Push button buckles to easily adjust strap length, even with gloves
- Soft Nose Pocket - easy to access to be use with only two fingers for proper equalization, also...
We’ve talked about them before with other products but we are big fans of Cressi. They are one of the oldest manufacturers of diving equipment on the planet. One of the things we really like about them is they started originally as a manufacturer of spearfishing equipment in the 1940s. With over 70 years of history producing spearfishing gear, it’s safe to say they’ve perfected the process over the years. The Cressi Metis is one of their entry-level low volume masks made specifically for spearfishers. It’s a well-constructed mask that won’t break the bank and will last you for years to come.
- This mask meets all of our qualifications on what to look for. The skirt is made for high-quality silicone with tempered glass lenses. It is low profile so that there is very little air that will stay in the mask. This ensures less of your breath will go towards equalizing the mask pressure and more to helping you stay down to hunt.
- You can choose from a variety of colors and patterns which is always nice. There is solid black as well as various camouflage patterns and colors to pick from. There is no conclusive science on whether camouflage helps when spearfishing. This is a hotly debated topic in the spearfishing community. But, this does make it easier to match your mask to your suit if this is important to you.
- The nose pocket is designed specifically so fingers of all sizes can fit in them. One major flaw that some diving masks have is the nose pockets are too tight against the frame. This makes it incredibly difficult to get your fingers in between them to equalize the pressure in your nose. The Metis has plenty of room so whether you have larger or smaller fingers they will fit.
- This mask isn’t the best option if you have a large face. There are not multiple sizes so if it doesn’t fit you well you will have to find an alternative mask. The Metis is best for people with smaller to medium-sized faces.
- Polycarbonate lined frame with special anti-abrasion camouflage wet technology
- Symmetrical tempered glass lenses, integrated buckles into the frame
- Provides extraordinary capacity to adapt to various Faces
- Liquid silicone with opaque anti reflection finish
- Durable, flexible preformed corrugated PVC snorkel tube with an excellent shape memory
SEAC is another Italian diving gear manufacturer. They’ve been around since the early 1970s. In that time, they have developed a reputation as a high-end manufacturer of scuba, freediving, and spearfishing equipment. Like Cressi, they got their start as a maker of spearfishing equipment. The One Camouflage is one of their high-end spearfishing mask models. It comes in two different camouflage patterns and meets all of our requirements for a good spear diving mask.
- This is a complete set. It comes with both the mask and the snorkel. Both pieces of equipment are high quality which is nice as many combo sets often have a quality mask with a cheap snorkel that leaks. The snorkel is the same camouflage pattern as the mask.
- The SEAC One is a low profile mask so you don’t have to waste air equalizing the pressure. Remember that your hunting time is going to be dictated by how long you can go on a single breath. The more air you use equalizing the mask the less you are going to have for hunting.
- The skirt for this mask is made from liquid silicone with tempered glass lenses. The silicone is soft and form-fitting to help the mask more easily mold to different sized and shaped faces. Also, the frame has been coated with an anti-reflective coating which is nice for making you less conspicuous when hunting.
- The main downside with this actually isn’t with the mask itself but the snorkel. This snorkel does not come with a purge valve at the bottom. This means if water gets in you will have to blow it out the top or take it off and empty it. This is a minor inconvenience and an oversight in the design.
- Low internal Volume mask with excellent field of view. Designed specifically for freediving and...
- Super soft hypoallergenic silicone skirt provides excellent comfort and a fits a wide variety of...
- Low profile lightweight frame
- Easy to adjust buckles attached directly to the skirt minimizing unnecessary bulk
- Also available in all Black, brown 3D Camo, black moon Camo, seagrass green Camo, or Black with...
Omer is another company that got its start as a spearfishing manufacturer. Like Cressi and SEAC, they were founded in Italy by spearfishing enthusiasts. They are less known than Cressi but this by no means they are less reliable. Omer is known for its high-end equipment in terms of both quality and price. They are a smaller company and focus specifically on spearfishing and freediving equipment. This is in contrast to Cressi and SEAC which branched off into scuba diving gear.
- This is also a low volume mask. You won’t have to waste valuable air equalizing the internal mask pressure. This will allow you to stay down longer which will extend the time you can hunt.
- The Alien is manufactured using a sturdy yet soft hypoallergenic silicone. It is form-fitting so as to more easily fit faces of all shapes and sizes. This also makes it lightweight and less likely to leave red marks.
- You can choose from a variety of colors including solid black and different camouflage patterns and colors. As we noted above, there is no conclusive evidence that camouflage helps when spearfishing. But, this does make it easier to match to your wetsuit if you opt to wear camouflage when hunting.
- The one downside to this mask is the way the strap connects to the mask. Omer opted to use a clip as opposed to a ratchet system to attach the strap. You will have to be careful as this clip is thin plastic and may be easy to break when adjusting the strap size.
Tip: Replace the included silicone strap with a neoprene mask strap. This will be more comfortable as it will not pull your hair.
- Innovative mask for scuba diving and advanced freediving, designed to offer an extremely...
- It is the mask on the market with the lowest internal volume (12.86 in2 | 83 cm2), an ideal...
- The Patented Integrated Dual Frame Technology consists of the joining of two rigid frames producing...
- Mask features inclined and inverted tear-drop lenses for improve downward visibility, a Cressi's...
- The Nano mask is designed and made in Italy by Cressi, a brand pioneer in Scuba Diving, Snorkeling,...
As noted above, Cressi began as a manufacturer of spearfishing equipment. Over the 70 plus years they have been in business, they have managed to improve spearfishing equipment as a whole. The Cressi Nano is one of the best spearfishing masks on the market and is representative of its innovative approach to designing dive gear. This is a camouflage mask and comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns.
- The Cressi Nano is the lowest volume mask currently on the market. This is one of the most important things when purchasing a spearfishing mask as you won’t have to worry about wasting breath equalizing the mask pressure. If you are trying to optimize your gear set up, this is a great addition.
- The shape of the Cressi Nano has been improved over the years to be as hydrodynamic as possible. This will help to prevent drag and improve your swimming ability. If you plan on hunting in deeper waters and know you are going to be swimming down a bit, this is a great option. The less drag you have the more efficiently you are going to swim and the longer your breath is going to last.
- This mask was made to take a beating. Everything is designed with high-quality materials and durability in mind. The skirt is made from soft liquid silicone and the lenses tempered glass. The strap connects to the frames via a strong buckle system that is designed to be impact and shatter-resistant. The strap connection is usually where masks break so the improved designed gives this mask a major advantage over others on this list.
- The main issue we had with this mask is that it seems to be made for people with smaller faces. If you have a larger face and have problems with diving masks fitting you too tight, this may be an issue.
- High Definition Single Lense
- Super Soft Silicone Skirt
- Vision Brightening Lense
- Wide Field of Vision
- Tear Drop Rigid Frame
SeaDive is a smaller and lesser-known manufacturer of diving and snorkeling masks, fins, and snorkels. Just because they aren’t as well known as other companies on this list, doesn’t mean they are inferior. They have perfected lens technology and are known for their HD coating which makes masks easy to see out of even in low visibility waters.
- The Superview-HD has a full-frame lens. This means it is a single lens as opposed to two lenses separated by a nose piece. This means you have a wider field of view which makes hunting easier.
- The skirt is made from soft liquid silicone. This makes it more form-fitting and more comfortable on a wide variety of facial shapes and sizes. The lenses are made of a strong tempered glass that is impact-resistant.
- The lenses utilize a teardrop design making them easier to see out of. This is a common design that allows you to more easily see what is below you as well as what is around you. This is incredibly important when spearfishing as you don’t want to miss prime spearing opportunities because you didn’t have a good field of vision.
- This is made for smaller faces. As noted above, the skirt is made to be form-fitting for a variety of faces. But, the frame is not made for larger faces. If you notice diving masks normally fitting tight this may not be the best option for you.
- Incredible Panoramic Vision through Beveled and Bonded 3-Window Lens
- Includes Two Mask Straps; Traditional Silicone Strap and the Patented Qwik Strap
- Solid Stainless Steel Camera Mount with Built-in Threading, No Nut to Lose. Secure Attachment of All...
- Angled Forward Camera Mount to Reduce Interference with Exhaled Bubbles
- High Quality Everclear Optical Tempered Glass ANSI Z86. 11-1985
This last option is a great choice if you are looking to do some filming while spearfishing. What makes this mask special is the built-in mount for action cameras. You can add a mount for an action camera to any of the above masks using a stick-on mount. But, these are not always reliable. This is manufactured by XS Foto which specializes in producing equipment for the Go Pro action camera. But, that doesn’t mean you have to use a GoPro with this mask as it will fit other action camera brands as well.
- This mask has the best field of vision of all of the spearfishing masks on this list. It utilizes a single lens that is large and wide. You have plenty of room between the top of the mask and the bridge of the nose where the lens runs across your face. This is great for spearfishing as a better field of vision means more opportunities to spear fish.
- The built-in camera mount is a huge benefit if you plan on recording your spearfishing trip. Stick on camera mounts that many people use run the risk of falling off. If this happens, depending on how deep the water you are hunting in is, you may lose your camera. With the built-in mount you don’t have to worry about your camera or the mount falling off.
- The materials used to make this are all high quality and made with comfort and durability in mind. The lens is made from a durable tempered glass that is impact resistant. As with other masks on this list, the skirt is made from liquid silicone which is soft and form-fitting. For the camera mount, stainless steel was used which is resistant to corrosion so you don’t have to worry about it rusting over.
- This is the most expensive mask on this list. It is a high-quality mask but it hasn’t been designed specifically for spearfishing. For hardcore spearfishers who need the absolute best performance, we recommend the Cressi Nano instead.
Buying a spearfishing mask doesn’t have to be a pain to shop for. As long as you follow the guidelines we’ve laid out you should be fine. These six masks we’ve recommended above are great places to start and represent what we feel are the best masks currently on the market. But, they are by no means the only options you can choose from. Make sure you try on a variety of masks and find the one that is most comfortable for you. Remember, before you make a purchase is the time to make sure a mask is comfortable. After you are underwater there is very little you can do.
Do you have any recommendations for masks we didn’t include? Or, do you have any experience with the masks we talked about above? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. We are always on the lookout for tips from our fellow divers. Your information might help someone when making a decision.
This page was last updated on 2022-07-02. Affiliate links and Product Images are from Amazon PAAPI