|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|
|tempered glass||tempered glass||polycarbonate|
|Respiration||mouth||mouth||nose and mouth|
|Quick release||no||no||lower straps only|
|Pressure equalization||flexible nose section||flexible nose section||nose pads|
|Defogging||same as half mask||same as half mask||automatic defogging|
|Purging||additional purge valve||separate exhaust+purge valve|
|2nd stage||fixed or optionally fixed/removable||screw cupling and adaptor||fixed|
|almost every 2nd stage as long as it mechanically fits||almost every 2nd stage as long as it mechanically fits||Ocean Reef 2nd stage|
|Redundancy||when 2nd stage is removable||additional backup 2nd stage, shutoff?||hose quick connector or additional backup 2nd stage (SAV port), shutoff?|
|1st stage||suitable for particular 2nd stage||suitable for particular 2nd stage||Ocean Reef or suitable for particular 2nd stage|
Full Face Masks, Part II
|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|
|Mask frame/ |
|Respiration||nose and mouth||nose and mouth||nose and mouth||nose and mouth||nose and mouth|
|Head harness/ |
|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|
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
mask change, hovering.
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).
- what is different when diving a full face mask?
- go for safety-aware drills when diving full face masks:
- my safety-aware drill concept,
- gory details about drill rounds and exercises,
- not only for the fun: my drill videos ... so that's how it's looking when I'm gonna making a fool of myself. ;)
- yes, suitable hoods for diving with a full face mask are worth a topic of its own.
- so this is how diving with a Dräger PND full face mask is like ... a real pleasure.
- go for better safety: my Dräger PND full face mask (and double reg) configuration.
- ...and finally some rants about unfunded cut&dried opinions.
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.