The Best Spearfishing Masks – A Complete Buyers Guide
Spearfishing is a demanding sport. You need to be highly skilled, well-trained, and completely alert to underwater surroundings. In addition, you can’t be bothered by faults in your gear.
This can only be achieved by using the best spearfishing masks available.
Many spearos have complained of masks that are too tight to the point that they give them migraines at the end of the day, or ones that leak water below 7 feet. The worst are the ones that are too large that use up precious air to equalize.
There are several parameters that need to be found in a mask to make it suitable for spearfishing. And in the following sections, we’ll explain in detail how to pick the right mask. Read on to the end, as we’ll conclude by declaring the best spearfishing mask of 2021.
The Top 7 Spearfishing Masks Reviewed
Here’s a carefully picked list of the best spearfishing masks on the market. We made sure to include various styles, sizes, and price points, to suit your individual requirements.
1. Aqua Lung MicroMask Double Lens Dive Mask – Best Spearfishing Mask
The design of the Aqua Lung MicroMask holds a patent as it comes after thorough research of diving conditions. It’s intended to overcome the various issues divers often have while using their masks. And at the same time, it aims to provide a perfect fit and comfort.
The best aspect of this mask is the double-pane placement, which allows for the widest possible field of view, including fair peripheral vision.
It’s quite compact and lightweight, and both these traits are always welcome for freedivers and spearos. The low profile also means that the mask wouldn’t invite any significant amounts of drag underwater, and equalizing with this tiny size is a breeze.
Another feature we appreciate in this mask is the highly flexible silicone skirt. It’s wieldy and molds itself readily to the contours of your face for minimal leak. The highly adjustable cardanic joint buckles further assist in stabilizing the mask without excessive tightness.
This mask comes in 9 different colors, ranging from the classic black to the trendy transparent. The models also include pink tainted masks for the ladies who want to dive in style.
As expected, the Aqua Lung mask is a little expensive, but it’s a prime-quality piece of gear that’s perfect for spearfishing. It’s slightly more suited to the pros than the beginners, but even if you’re just starting out, top-of-the-line equipment is a good investment.
- Wide field of view
- Low upward pull
- Compact size
- No-leak silicone skirt
- It tends to be a bit small, so might not be the best choice for the heavyset folks
2. Mares Viper Mask – Best Ergonomic Design
This is a mask that’s made specifically for spearos and freedivers. Its best feature is the ergonomic design of both the skirt and the strap. They have an almost universal fit for any face type, so these masks will fit well, wouldn’t leak, and they’ll stay comfortable even after long dives.
The double-pane lenses are strategically placed to give a fair field of view. It’s a bit limited around the periphery, but not too much. In addition, the inner surface of the skirt is non-reflective, so you wouldn’t get much internal scatter.
As for its performance underwater, it’s slightly bulky but not too large. So you might feel a bit of a drag in turbulent currents. Otherwise, it wouldn’t hold you back at all. More importantly, equalizing is quite easy with the minimal volume inside the mask.
The mares Viper mask comes in six basic colors, and most of them will blend nicely with the surroundings. It’s nicely priced, so whether you’re a pro or a novice, feel free to try this one on.
- Ergonomic skirt and strap
- Precise and comfortable fit
- Low internal volume
- Not suitable for folks with facial hair, tends to leak
- The nose cover pushes down a little for people with a prominent nose bridge
3. Atomic Aquatics Subframe Scuba Snorkeling Dive Mask – Highest Durability Spearfishing Mask
If you’re a spearo who dives frequently, then you’d need a sturdy mask. And if it provides sharp visibility thanks to its ultra-clear lenses, that’s even better.
The Atomic Aquatics skirt is made from silicone rubber, which is both flexible and sturdy. It’s bonded directly with the subframe to maximize the durability of the mask. There’s also an extra frame made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel to provide more protection for the nose bridge part. This makes the Atomic Aquatics mask a rock-solid piece of gear.
This mask doesn’t come too cheap, but that’s completely justifiable. It comes in a single style, which is black with color highlights around the lenses and on the buckles.
- Low volume mask
- Highly durable frame
- Stainless steel nose-bridge protection
- Clear lenses with no color distortion
- The straps tend to tangle long hair, which could be annoying
4. Dive Ace Classic Oval Dive Mask – Best Visibility Retro Spearfishing Mask
Even though the single pane full-face masks aren’t the first choice for spearos, this retro mask is so popular that it had to be on this list. The classical design of the Dive Ace is probably the secret of its charm.
Besides its looks, it has high visibility, it’s not too large, and it comes at a budget-friendly price. If you’re out on a shallow dive with a bunch of friends, this mask will perform nicely. On top of that, your friends will get to see all your expressions.
The Dive Ace lens is 6” across, and it has no distortion at all. This helps with the perception of depth and gives true-to-life visibility of all the underwater action. Several videographers favor this type of mask as it gives them a more accurate idea of what they’ll record. Spearfishing could be more fun too with the added clarity.
- Retro-look familiarity and aesthetics
- Better visibility underwater
- Nice price
- Not the best option for deep diving
- A bit bulky
5. Cressi Nano Low Volume Adult Mask – Best for Deep Diving
Cressi is a big name, and it has an amazing history behind it. The two brothers Egidio and Nanni Cressi started selling their handmade masks and spearguns in 1938. And in 1946 they founded Cressi, which is one of the market leaders today.
This Nano low-volume mask has exceptional hydrodynamic performance. That’s not surprising from a design that has 3 patents behind it. It has the lowest internal volume, so it’s a gem for freedivers.
In addition, it has a dual frame structure, the straps are broad and flexible, and the buckles are rock solid. You wouldn’t need to worry about the fit or how comfortable this mask is.
This mask comes in six different colors and color combinations. I picked the one with the dark skirt and mirrored lenses, as I often find that underwater life is in much better contrast that way. Also, my mask seems a little less intrusive with the mirrors.
The Cressi Nano mask comes at a moderate price, considering the brand and various features. It’s an amazing choice for pros and beginners alike. However, its special features would be more appreciated by seasoned divers leveling up their underwater adventures.
- Made in Italy by a reputable brand
- Low internal volume
- Comfortable and fits well
- Impressive downward visibility
- Peripheral viewing is a bit limited
- The lenses need thorough priming to avoid fogging
6. OCTOMASK Frameless Dive Mask – Best Spearfishing Mask with Camera Mount
The Octomask is ready with a GoPro camera mount, and it’s well suited for translating your spearfishing adventures into valuable good-quality footage.
The mask skirt is made from ultrasoft silicone, designed to mold easily on most face types. It’s a low-volume design, so it wouldn’t be too hard to equalize with the Octomask on.
The lens is made from safety tempered glass, which can take water pressure, handling scratches, and the general wear and tear well. It’s a single pane cut in the middle above the nose to minimize the internal volume. And another nice thing about it is the wide field of view, even on the periphery.
This is a highly popular mask, and if you’re good with cameras, you should definitely check it out. It comes in a single blue/transparent style, but it’s worth admitting that it’s an eye-catching model.
- Provides a steady mount for any GoPro camera
- Soft silicone skirt gives good fit and comfort
- Comes with an aluminum screw and travel bag
- Too bulky for deep diving, more suitable for shallow or medium dives.
7. SeaDive Oceanways Superview Spearfishing Mask – Best Reducing Glare
Spearos know that red color stops being visible at a depth of 10 feet, and yellow is gone at around 20 feet. Having a mask that can pick up these wavelengths at any depth is almost miraculous, but it’s possible through the TrueColor lenses which are specially designed to achieve that.
Color rendering creates a true-to-life scene underwater, which helps in identifying the different kinds of fish. In addition, the Optical MultiCoating (OMC) technology helps in minimizing UV light and reducing glare. This further improves underwater visibility.
The SeaDive Oceanways mask has a single high-definition tinted lens. It’s molded in a way that balances a wide field of view with the lowest possible internal volume. The frame is made from plastic, while the skirt is a soft black silicone that should fit easily on various face types.
This mask is moderately priced, so it’s a good option for all levels of spearos. But it would be particularly useful to those who prefer seeing real colors underwater
- Exceptional color rendering
- Minimizes UV and glare
- Reduces white light intensity
- Realistic depth perception
- Wide field of view
- The glass is a bit scratchy
- Slightly large for deep diving
How to Choose the Right Spearfishing Mask
Spearos often go through a handful of spearfishing masks before they find the one they like best. That’s because there are a number of factors that need to come together for the mask to feel right.
For example, it needs to be leak-tight, comfortable, and provide a wide field of view. On top of that, it has to be compact and as low-volume as possible to minimize underwater drag. Some masks are too tight that they give a migraine, others fog all the time, and a bunch are a hassle to equalize.
The points below are the most important considerations for choosing a functional mask. One that you wouldn’t need to change after a couple of dives.
- It molds better to the face, so there’s less leakage.
- It’s highly flexible, so it doesn’t create excessive pressure around the head to fit well.
Back in the day, PVC was the more prevalent material. But silicone is now the norm, and the difference in price doesn’t favor PVC that much. That’s why we recommend always going with a silicone mask.
There are also plastic and rubber varieties, and these usually come at budget-friendly prices. However, they’re notorious for leaking, and that’s not a nice experience underwater. They’re not too durable either, and typically start cracking after a few dives.
When it comes to spearfishing, smaller is always better. A compact mask needs less effort for equalization, it’s lighter, and it wouldn’t cause extra drag. The deeper you go, the more you’d benefit from following this rule.
If you’re closer to the surface, a wider or bigger mask should work just fine. Primarily because of the decreased need for equalization.
Full-face masks do help a lot when it comes to recognizing your partners, if you’re diving with a large group. But as you go deeper, the hassles they cause with the uneven pressure on the eardrums and excessive pull of the undercurrents are just too high.
Fit and Comfort
It’s of crucial importance to get a spearfishing mask that fits to the nines, and doesn’t cause you any discomfort at all.
A mask that doesn’t sit too well on your face could press on your nose bridge or feel too tight around your head. In both cases, you would find it hard to focus on the hunt or enjoy fishing.
Masks usually don’t cause too much discomfort if you try them on for a minute. But after hours of diving, the slight tightness tends to become a migraine! It’s best then to balance fit with comfort.
Furthermore, a leaky mask is an absolute no-no, whether you’re spearfishing or freediving. Water getting inside a mask isn’t just annoying, it could actually cause a high-risk situation. To avoid both issues, you can go through several masks, and only pick the one that feels right in every way.
An adjustable strap and easily accessible clips are essentials for keeping the mask in place without applying too much pressure. Some spearos like to add a neoprene cover on the strap to avoid hair tangling, but that wouldn’t be necessary if you dive deep and wear a wetsuit.
A pro tip for folks with facial hair: applying a little vaseline on your mustache would make the skirt of the mask fit better.
Single or Double Pane
A single pane provides an uninterrupted field of view, but it’s rigid and often bulky. It’s also rather restrictive in lateral views, and you’d often have to turn your head sideways to see what’s happening around you.
On the other hand, the double-pane allows for a bit more flexibility, so it molds itself nicely around the face. And if the panes are close to the eye, then you wouldn’t lose much in terms of seeing your surroundings.
Another important thing is to make sure that the pane is made from tempered glass. Most of us aren’t too fussy with our spearfishing gear, and that normally subjects the mask to plenty of scratching. Normal glass would soon show marks every which way, while tempered glass would survive the rough treatment and stay clear.
Clear, Tinted, or Mirrored Lenses
The lenses are usually offered in several varieties including prescription glass. Each one of these options has its merits, and you can choose what feels best for you.
Clear lenses are the traditional types most divers use. Tinted lenses are believed to give better clarity of the shapes underwater, and that definitely comes in handy when you’re stalking fish.
Mirrored lenses are a lot like tinted ones in their optical performance, and besides decreasing scatter, they’re also useful in camouflaging. Spearfishing depends to a large degree on merging with the surroundings to avoid startling the fish, and mirrors are good at that.
Some spearos find that documenting the action is part of the fun, or they do this to gather material for their vlogs. A camera mount makes this much easier and it frees your hands for handling the rest of the gear.
It’s best to get a mask with a removable rather than a static mount. Also, to make sure that the bubbles that come out wouldn’t block its viewfinder.
Here are some of the most common questions that we get about spearfishing masks and our best answers to them.
Q1: How can I tell the mask is a good fit?
First, you’d need to see how the mask sits on your face, and whether or not it would interfere with your snorkeling or breathing gear.
Second, without putting the strap on, take a deep breath. The mask should stick to your face through simple suction of air. If it’s well suited to your face and the skirt has good flexibility, then it would stay in place for a while.
Third, try to move your head, talk, or laugh while wearing the mask. And finally, put the snorkel bit in your mouth, and check the stability of the mask.
If it falls right away, put it back on the shelf, and try another one.
Q2: Should I buy a spearfishing mask from a store or online?
It’s best to try several masks to find the one that fits best, and that is clearly only possible in a physical store.
However, it’s far more convenient to shop from your home by clicking a few buttons. Furthermore, there are often online deals that shouldn’t be passed up. There are a few things you can do to make sure that you’ll get a suitable mask:
- Try to buy a model that you’ve used before and liked
- Choose a familiar brand with a good reputation
- Look for a product with an easy return policy
Q3: Would a snorkeling mask work for spearfishing?
Snorkeling masks are designed for shallow water diving, so they’re not often subjected to the pressures of the deep waters. Also, equalization isn’t as crucial at these depths as it is deeper.
Thus, they’re usually made from less sturdy materials, they’re bulky, and they come in larger sizes.
That’s why we wouldn’t recommend snorkeling masks for spearfishing at all.
Q4: Can I use my Scuba mask for spearfishing?
Scuba masks are often made from good-quality and highly durable materials, so they could be used for spearfishing. But only on the condition that they’re also compact in size. You wouldn’t want to waste too much air on equalizing pressure while wearing a bulky mask.
Generally speaking, a free-diving low-volume mask is your best option for spearfishing.
Q5: Do I need to prep my mask before diving?
Yes. you need to remove the residual silicone layer on the lenses. The easiest way is to wash it with toothpaste. You might need to repeat the process up to ten times before using it for the first time. Otherwise, the lenses would fog heavily.
Whether you’re a pro who has been spearfishing for years, or an enthusiast just starting out, a good mask is an absolute necessity.
Usage might differ from one spearo to the next, and that’s why we put together a varied list of spearfishing masks. However, the top spot easily goes to Aqua Lung MicroMask Double Lens Dive Mask. it’s a premium quality low-volume mask, with a generous field of view, and comfortable fit.
Another good option is the Mares Viper Mask. Its ergonomic design and compact size will let you dive deep, all day, without feeling the usual pressure around your head. It’s also moderately priced and comes in various styles.