Each year, countless freedivers spend their hard-earned money on the wrong type of freediving masks.
Usually these masks are said to be ‘freediving masks’ – when in reality they are just smaller scuba masks with a sleeker design.
Investing in the wrong mask from day one (eg: one with high air volume), will end up killing your total bottom time and eating away at your ability to dive deeply.
To stop more freedivers wasting money on the wrong mask, I’ve made this post to help you choose the correct mask from the get-go.
The best freediving mask in 2023 is the Aqua Lung Sphera X Mask. It’s a very low-volume freediving mask, making it an absolute breeze to equalize at depth. I really love the soft silicone material because it compresses VERY comfortably at depth. Also, it comes in a cool, sleek-looking black 😉 Click here to check the price on Amazon.
Incredibly Low Volume: The Aqua Lung Sphera Mask comes with incredibly low air volume between the lenses and your face. This is one of – if not THE MOST – important thing to have in a freediving mask.
Low volume means there’s less air to equalize in your mask as you descend. Using less air for your mask helps save more oxygen in your lungs, letting you dive to deeper depths than ever before.
High Quality, Soft Silicone: Compresses comfortably against you face the deeper you dive. It also makes a nice water-tight seal, so you don’t have water leaking into your mask.
Black Skirt: Helps protect your eyes from harsh sunlight. I will say however, that a setback from this is that it reduces your peripheral vision. If you want better peripheral vision, I suggest getting the clear-skirt Aqua Lung Mask (but keep in mind the sun will be harsher in your eyes).
Wrap-Around-Panoramic Lenses: This is what sets the Aqua Lung Sphera apart from other freediving masks. Most normal freediving masks have narrow lenses with HORRIBLE peripheral vision (you can only see straight ahead).
The Aqua Lung Sphera Mask, however, has panoramic lenses which wrap around the curvature of your eyes, which increases your peripheral vision greatly (so you can enjoy 180 degree view while diving).
Looks fantastic: This may be a minor point (and probably a bit biased too!) but the Aqua Lung (in black) looks sleek, smooth and sexy. It’s a very professional looking mask which is why it’s probably still the mask of choice for professional freedivers.
Clamshell Packaging: Comes with a nice, sturdy casing to carry & protect your new mask in. Very helpful to stop scratches and super useful for travelling.
DISADVANTAGES: One thing I don’t like about the Aqua Lung (or any low-volume freediving mask in general) is that, because they are low-volume the lenses sit quite close to your face & eyes.
This is great for equalizing at depth…but if you have LONG eye-lashes like me, it can actually get annoying, because your eye lashes scrape against the lenses every time you blink. If you have long eye-lashes, I recommend trimming them before buying the mask.
SECOND DISADVANTAGE: Aqua Lung Sphera Mask lenses are made of plastic, so they scratch easily if you don’t look after them. Don’t simply throw them into your freediving bag. Make sure you put them back in the mask container that they come in, to protect the lenses from scratches!
Although the Aqua Lung Sphera is probably the best freediving mask for beginner/intermediate freedivers…
There are some other notable freediving masks that could be worth your investment:
Mares Viper Freediving Mask: Biggest benefit of the Mares Viper Mask is that it is built to fit many different facial shapes. By this I mean that if you have a large head or particularly exaggerated facial features/structures (eg: a wide nose etc) than you probably have a better chance of the Viper Mask fitting your head/face shape more so than any other freediving mask.
The Viper Mask, is of course, also a low-volume mask, making it perfect for freediving.
Salvimar Noah Freediving Mask: Also an incredibly popular freediving mask. The Salvimar Noah Mask is best known for being incredibly comfortable.
The silicone is nice and soft, so when you dive very deep, you’re less likely to experience uncomfortable mask squeeze! And yes, it’s low volume (of course 😉 ) making it perfect for easy mask equalization.
Read our full review of the Salvimar Noah.
Whatever you do, don’t listen to the myth you need some super expensive snorkel with a purge-valve & splash guard device.
Buying these super expensive snorkels does more harm than good to your freediving.
Because expensive snorkels are typically heavy and clunky which slows you down in the water.
Also – most expensive snorkels are made of very hard plastic, which adds extra drag and resistance in the water (so you swim more slowly).
Instead, what you want, is a simple, short, soft-silicone J-shaped snorkel. The soft silicone bends as you ascend/descend in the water, so the snorkel doesn’t wobble and hit you in the head.
Also, a flexible snorkel bends around the shape of your head when you thrust with speed underwater, turning into a more hydrodynamic shape (so you swim faster).
A very popular snorkel among freedivers is the Kraken Aquatics Freediving Snorkel. It’s VERY affordable (the cost of 1 or 2 beers/wines). As a bonus, it’s so flexible it can even be rolled up and put into a snorkel holder for easy storage! click here to see it on Amazon.
Whenever you buy a freediving mask, they come with protective silicone coatings on the lenses (you won’t be able to see them!). This protective coating exists to stop physical scratches and the outside elements of the world damaging the lenses.
Before you go diving, you must get rid of this protective film.
If you don’t, your natural body heat, combined with cold ocean water will fog up the lenses of your mask. Not only is this super annoying, but it can also be a little dangerous as it lowers your visibility.
So how do you remove this protective film?
Well, first off: do not use toothpaste to defog the Aqua Lung Sphera.
Because the lenses are made of plastic, so rubbing them with toothpaste will likely scratch the lenses.
To make matters even harder, you can’t even burn the protective layer off, like you can do with glass mask lenses, because you will burn the plastic.
So…how then do you remove the protective lining on your Aqua Lung mask?
Well it’s quite simple really: you rinse it with water and try freediving to a shallow depth in it.
If you still experience fogging throughout your dive, try spraying the inside lenses with something like Quick Spit Antifog.
Let it sit for 30 minutes then wash with warm water, then put the mask on and you shouldn’t have any issues with fogging.
Gerrie is a passionate Freediver, Spearfisher, Digital Marketer, and author for the Apnealogy website. Gerrie is an SSI Level 1 certified Freediver who loves geeking out about freediving and spearfishing gear and lives for his family and adventure.