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Basic mask question

Discussion in 'Fins, Masks & Snorkels' started by Rukkian, Jun 6, 2021.

  1. Rukkian

    Rukkian Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: West Des Moines, Iowa
    For all of my dives, both pre-cert (3 discovers) and post cert,I have only used the masks we had from snorkel sets from Costco. We had four sets for the whole family. They seem to fit well, don't leak if I get them on right, seem comfortable. I lost one (stupid rookie mistake), and busted a strap on one (could be easily replaced, but otherwise they work fine. These are usdiver branded. My question is, is there a reason to not just get a new set (for $30) and basically toss the snorkel and fins, or is there something I am missing with some of the much more expensive masks out there?

    Since I have only used these, I am not sure what I am missing. Most threads about mask, just say to get the one that fits.
  2. Centrals

    Centrals Contributor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    If the mask fit then keep it and look after it properly. A spare strap could be useful. Brand and cost have no meaning if it does not fit.
    The snorkel should be fine as well.
    Fins is the item that you might need to replace.
    Ana likes this.
  3. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    The mask has to have tempered glass. Some of the cheapo sets might not have that so you will need to check.
  4. Jayfarmlaw

    Jayfarmlaw Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tuttle, Ok
    I'm not familiar with the costco masks, but if they are similar to the walmart sets, would you want to risk calling a vacation dive or worse because of a cheap mask failing? They may all be made by the same 5 year old kid in China, but if you have already broken a strap in a few dives, that should tell you something. I have hundreds of dives on my mask and it is showing no signs of wear.

    @MAKO Spearguns have excellent masks for around $40, easily comparable to much more expensive masks and have the best guarantee in the industry.

    Leisure pro has 50 or so masks for under $50 and I believe they have a fit guarantee.

    You could also look at Dive Right In Scuba, Dive Gear Express, and Pirahna Dive Gear as well.

    Keep in mind than many dive accidents all begin with a seeming benign incident, then snowball to injury or fatality. A broken mask strap or broken mask could be that starting point, especially for a new diver at depth. Broken mask or lost mask and a panic ascent from depth could be very very bad.

    Your Costco mask may be just as good as any other, and $100 masks can fail as well. But
    My guess is it was not intended for Scuba.

    Good luck, safe diving.

  5. Ulfhedinn

    Ulfhedinn Contributor

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Southern California
    Scuba Client likes this.
  6. Rukkian

    Rukkian Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: West Des Moines, Iowa
    They are tempered glass, I checked that before using it.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  7. Rukkian

    Rukkian Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: West Des Moines, Iowa

    Thanks. Just trying to see what the differences are. As for the strap, that was after using it hundreds of times at the least (I go in a fish tank twice a week for an hour), and was actually when I was messing with going over a hood in my basement with it dry, and it caught, but I understand the sentiment.

    When I go to my local shop, most masks start at $50, and seem like much cheaper made than the usdivers ones I currently have. The skirt is not comfortable until I go to the $100+ masks. I can go to those websites, but how do I know what is a good mask that will be better made? I know if I spend $200, it will probably be better, but sometimes you simply pay for a brand name. I am okay paying more if there is something I am missing, but not interested in spending hundreds just for a name brand.
  8. Rukkian

    Rukkian Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: West Des Moines, Iowa

    I don't know much about those, are they decent masks? My local shops are part time at best, so it is tough to really get much info from them. I bought all of my gear online because they were really no help and only really know what the brochures tell them, but masks are a bit different.
  9. Rukkian

    Rukkian Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: West Des Moines, Iowa
    Thanks. I don't use the fins, have scubapro jet fins, as well as some others. If I take a snorkel, I do use them.
  10. Ana

    Ana Contributor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Pompano Beach, FL

    If they are tempered glass and fit you well. I would just buy a few more of that exact mask, even if I discard whatever other items come in the kit. A dozen of them if you have a non-standard face shape, just to have a stash in case they discontinue making them.

    Yes, there are inexpensive "scuba" masks in the market with impressive sounding brands, but the one and only difference between a good mask and a useless one, is how they fit in your face.

    All masks eventually fail, some faster than others. What good is one that will last 50 years/10000 dives if it doesn't fit right.
    Zef and chillyinCanada like this.

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