|Scubapro full face mask, front view|
|Faceplate||flat, with protective frame|
|Mask frame/ soft body||opaque|
|Head harness/ spider||5 straps|
|Pressure equalization||flexible nose section|
|Defogging||same as half mask|
|Purging||additional purge valve|
|2nd stage||screw coupling and adaptor; almost every 2nd stage as long as it mechanically fits|
|Redundancy||additional backup 2nd stage; shutoff?|
|1st stage||suitable for particular 2nd stage|
The Scubapro full face mask is comparable inexpensive and its design again differs from many of the other full face masks. In comparison to the Cressi full face mask, the Scubapro is more complex: for instance, it features a screw coupling for mounting a reg to the full face mask. Yet, the Scubapro design still follows the pattern of a half mask encompassing the reg.
Visor and Mask Body
Due to it design partly following that of a half mask the Scubapro full face mask uses a flat visor (view) made of tempered glass. The mask body itself is opaque and thus avoids any potential problems with annoying reflections. However, this design builds rather wide in order to achieve acceptable sight. Unfortunately this at the same time increases the mask volume and thus buoyancy. For instance, when compared to the Dräger Panorama Nova Dive, the Scubapro is 5cm (2in) wider, and yet the Dräger offers the better view.
In contrast to many other full face masks Scubapro divides the mask volume into a region for eyes and nose and a separate volume for the mouth. Unfortunately, this design does not allow you to breathe through your nose. Otherwise, this construction minimizes the dead space for breathing.
Head Harness and Quick Removal
|Scubapro full face mask, back side|
My experience: personally, I found the head harness to be rather clunky and far from easy to use with thick gloves. The raster is very coarse when compared to other full face masks, such as, for instance, the Dräger PND or the OTS Guardian. When compared to the quick removal handles of the Dräger PND, Scubapro has nothing to offer in this direction: when wearing thick gloves I had to carefully search for the two lower buckles, in order to grab and open them so that the straps open. Not exactly what I want to do when time runs out.
Due to its flexible nose section, pressure equalization with the Scubapro full face mask works exactly the same as for any half mask.
My experience: the flexible nose section seems to be rather small, so I found it to be inconvenient and slightly painful. In addition, I also found it difficult to do pressure equalization with thick gloves because there isn't really much room for my fingers between the nose section and the visor frame.
Since the Scubapro separates the nose and eye spaces much the same way half masks do, defogging more or less works the same as with half masks: spitting or some simply defogging solution will do the job satisfactorily. Other than that, no special (constructive) measures are required.
In order to purge water from the Scubapro full face mask there is a simple separate purge valve at the bottom of the mask. Water in the eye or nose sections first has to be brought to the mouth area by slightly lifting the mask. Compared to full face mask designs with an inner mask this procedure is more involved: with an inner mask you don't need to lift these full face masks at all; water will automatically pour down to the mouth section (when in normal diving position).
The design of the Scubapro purge valve is very simple: just a flexible plastic disk with a thin bolt. There is no well-defined opening pressure threshold beside the material's flexibility. For instance, compare this with the Dräger design of the Panorama Nova Dive: here, we find a separate spring with well-defined spring characteristics. The reason is to ensure well-defined operation.
1st and 2nd Stages
Not all regulators will fit into the screw coupling adapter. For instance, my trusty Aqualung Legend won't fit as its bubble deflector is too big and blocks proper fixture. However, the Scubapro regs more or less all seem to fit, albeit there is no official information on which regs really fit. This is slightly odd.
Scubapro uses a screw coupling adapter for mounting regs to the full face mask (see also the picture above). However, this system does not seem to be suitable for switching regs in an emergency situation, as unscrewing and screwing is a difficult and time-consuming task. Instead, Scubapro offers a special kit for simultaneously mounting a second reg to the mask. In the base configuration, you'll need to remove (as usual) the full face mask whenever there is a gas supply problem.
With a simultaneously mounted second reg you need to make sure that your two regulators never short-cut and go into free flow simultaneously. One way to avoid such dangerous malfunctions is to use cut-off valves. If you are going to use such valves, don't forget to provide overpressure relief valves too, to avoid hose ruptures.
Note: if you cut-off a reg you should be aware of the fact that water then may enter the reg and the hose up to the cut-off valve. This can cause undetected corrosion. There seems to be a reason that Kirby Morgan explicitly warns its full face and band masks users to not de-pressurize any hoses and regs under water. A pressure-less reg can allow water to enter your gas system.
In order to conserve gas while above water surface the Scubapro full face mask already comes with an integrated surface air valve. It can be spotted on the right side and can be closed and opened by simply turning it either clockwise or anti-clockwise.
The Scubapro full face mask can optionally be equiped with a communication system. The left port, otherwise unused, is then used to receive a microphone.
Back to the full face mask overview.