Full Face Masks Overview

Enjoying diving with a full face mask. (In Murner See, BY/D)

This is my incomplete list of full face masks of interest to SCUBA divers. Please understand that information given here is without any guarantee for accurateness and without any warranty; you know, errors are human. Nevertheless, this list may give you a first and (at least slightly) organized overview on the field of diving full face masks. It is in no way complete and comprehensive.


For my list I've selected some criteria that I regard as relevant when it comes to full face masks. I tried to fill in the correct information to the best of my knowledge according to information I could get. These criteria should help you in reaching your own decision in case you're interested in getting a full face mask. In any case, make sure to verify any information for its accurateness.

Due to layout limitations of this blog I had to split the table into two. Sharp tongues may argue that the masks are organized according to the amount of interest a particular full face mask manufacturer pays to SCUBA divers. But that's simply not true. Alas, let's now take us a look at these full face masks...

Full Face Masks, Part I

Manufacturer Cressi Scubapro Ocean Reef
flat, with protective frame flat, with protective frame molded visor, flat front
completely transparent
tempered glass tempered glass polycarbonate
Mask frame/
soft body
opaqueopaquecompletely transparent
Respirationmouthmouthnose and mouth
Head harness/
Quick releasenonolower straps only
Pressure equalizationflexible nose sectionflexible nose sectionnose pads
Defoggingsame as half masksame as half maskautomatic defogging
Purgingadditional purge valveseparate exhaust+purge valve
Surface valvenoyesoptional
2nd stagefixed or optionally fixed/removablescrew cupling and adaptorfixed
almost every 2nd stage as long as it mechanically fitsalmost every 2nd stage as long as it mechanically fitsOcean Reef 2nd stage
Redundancywhen 2nd stage is removableadditional backup 2nd stage, shutoff?hose quick connector or additional backup 2nd stage (SAV port), shutoff?
1st stagesuitable for particular 2nd stagesuitable for particular 2nd stageOcean Reef or suitable for particular 2nd stage

Full Face Masks, Part II

Manufacturer Dräger
Nova Dive
Interspiro Divator MK II Poseidon Atmosphere Kirby Morgan EXO-BR
molded, flat visor molded, flat visor molded, flat visor molded, flat visor flat, with protective frame
opaque nose and side sections opaque nose and side sections
polycarbonate polycarbonate polycarbonate polycarbonate tempered glass
Mask frame/
soft body
opaque opaque opaque opaque opaque
Respiration nose and mouth nose and mouth nose and mouth nose and mouth nose and mouth
Head harness/
5 5 5 5 5
Quick removal big, easy to grab handles no no no no
Pressure equalization nose clips, operated from the outside nose block nose block nose block nose block
Defogging same as half mask automatic defogging automatic defogging automatic defogging same as half mask
Purging separate purge valve
Surface valve replaced by quick connect system yes no no no
2nd stage quick release can be operated at any time, even under water limited quick release: can only be operated when mask is removed fixed fixed fixed
Apeks TX100 or Dräger Shark OTS 2nd stage Interspiro 2nd stage Poseidon Jetstream P Kirby Morgan 2nd stage
Redundancy yes, regulator switch possible at any time due to quick release connector system no no no no
1st stage Apeks XTX100, TX100, DS4 or Dräger 1st stage Aqualung Legend or Apeks XTX100, TX100, XTX50, DS4 for instance, Apeks XTX100, TX100 Poseidon Xstream (almost) arbitrary
Communication optional optional optional optional optional

Important Note

You may want to consider the different options available for the redundancy of gas supply when diving full face masks. Please note that gas redundancy is a great bonus to your safety. However, achieving gas redundancy with full face masks isn't as simple as you have come to know from diving with a half mask, you can't just add a second regulator to your mask without taking appropriate means.

    What's Next: Safety-Aware Drill

    Sauerkraut drill:
    mask change, hovering.
    Full face masks are no toy and they are sufficently different from ordinary half masks: besides providing clear view under water, a full face mask is also in charge of your gas supply. You need to learn the safe handling of the mask in order to avoid potentially mishaps in case of full face mask problems or failures. Of course you also need to learn how to deal with gas supply problems when wearing a full face mask.

    There is special training available that gives you a controlled and professional training to safe diving with a full face mask. Make sure that you get trained by a really experienced instructor and not those instructors who a dive full face mask once in a decade, or so. Of course, this blog also offers a view on a safety-aware drill (without warranty).

    Related Posts

    You will find even more blog posts on this topic following this tag: full face mask. Likewise, I've put some impressions from diving with full face masks online.


    PS: Again many thanks to Jörg Lucinsky for his shoots taken in Lake Murner (BY/D). Albeit the «scarp slope» is only two meters in height, it still looks really beautiful if put into proper frame.