Full Face Mask Vs Standard Goggles For Scuba

You have options for scuba masks .

Scuba divers have a couple of options when considering types of masks to wear for their dives. While all masks for scuba diving will need to cover the diver’s nose to assist in equalization of pressure, some masks cover only the diver’s eyes and nose while others offer full face coverage. The most common used are masks that cover only the diver’s face and nose, but the full face mask is used in some situations.

Standard Scuba Mask Description

A standard scuba mask covers the diver’s eyes and nose. This mask allows for visibility and allows the diver to clear their sinuses when operating underwater. A separate regulator is placed in the divers mouth for breathing and it is not attached to the mask. Mask styles, size, color and features such as a nose valve or purge valve to clear water are common options, but the basic function will remain the same. This is the most commonly used setup for scuba divers.

Full Face Mask Description

Full face mask scuba equipment differs from traditional masks in that it covers a diver’s full face. These masks typically will have a regulator built into them and not require the diver to hold it in their mouth as with a traditional mask and regulator setup. Full face masks will seal around the diver’s face edges and have a strap behind the diver’s head to hold it in place. A larger clear viewing window is on the front of these masks.

Mask Protection

Standard scuba masks only protect the diver’s eye and nose area from surrounding water. Full face mask scuba equipment offers a diver greater protection from the water. These masks are commonly used when diving in contaminated water. Some divers prefer to use these masks for better face coverage in cold water to keep less of their face exposed.

Air Usage

Standard scuba masks do not affect air usage since divers use a separate regulator which the hold in their mouth while diving. Full face mask scuba equipment constantly feeds air to the diver’s mask creating a positive pressure air flow into the mask. This not only feeds air to the diver, but also keeps the pressure in the mask strong enough to force any leaking at mask seals from entering into the mask. This eliminates the need to purge the mask in most cases. The negative is that the diver’s air usage will typically be at a higher rate than traditional on demand regulator equipment, thus decreasing the time a diver can breathe off of equivalent air tank sizes.

Training Requirements

Most divers train with standard scuba masks, which are relatively simple to use. Changing to using a full-face mask is something that a diver will typically encounter only if they seek diving operations in unique environments. With most scuba certification agencies, specialized training when using full face mask scuba equipment is not required, but it is certainly recommended. Full face mask scuba equipment is less easily removed and replaced with backup equipment than traditional regulators and masks when under water. Divers should train with this equipment before using it in difficult operational conditions.