Masks can be a very important part of our lives.
And that’s most certainly true when it comes to spearfishing and freediving.
You’re simply not going to be able to enjoy these exciting sports without one.
That’s why I’ve put together this comprehensive review of the best spearfishing masks on the market, with a buyer’s guide thrown in for good measure.
Without further ado – let’s dive in.
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Table of Contents
- The 9 Best Masks for Spearfishing in 2021
- How to Choose the Best Spearfishing Mask
- What is the best spearfishing mask?
- Are spearfishing and scuba diving masks the same?
- What is a low-volume mask?
- How do I make sure a spearfishing mask fits?
- How do I prevent my spearfishing mask from fogging?
- What do I need to start spearfishing?
- How do I clean my spearfishing mask?
- How do I wear a spearfishing mask with facial hair?
The 9 Best Masks for Spearfishing in 2021
How to Choose the Best Spearfishing Mask
There are a few things you need to consider before adding your chosen product to cart, so let’s examine what you should be looking out for in a good spearfishing mask.
Scuba Diving/Snorkeling/Spearfishing Masks – What’s the Difference?
To the uninitiated, the masks divers wear for these three different sub-aquatic sports might be interchangeable at first glance.
If you’ve already got a snorkeling or scuba mask – why not use it for spearfishing?
But there is a very important distinction that can mean the difference between success and failure when you’re chasing your prey.
Scuba and snorkeling masks have a much larger profile. They’re big, bulky, and often brightly colored.
Spearfishing masks are the polar opposite, they’re designed to be unobtrusive and subtle, so you don’t draw attention to yourself when on the hunt.
While you’re welcome to try spearfishing with a standard scuba or snorkeling mask, you’re not going to be nearly as successful as you would with a dedicated spearfishing counterpart.
The fit of your spearfishing mask is most important, and should be your number one consideration when in the market for a new set of goggles.
For shopping online, it’s important to read reviews, and check to see how a mask fits on fellow spearfishers with their reported experience.
I would also highly recommend checking out YouTube video reviews of the particular mask you’re interested in.
In order to tell if a mask fits, you should hold it in place, and breathe in through your nose. The mask should stay where it is without aid, gently sucking on to your face and forming a tight, but comfortable seal.
If it falls off, or you can breathe easily – the mask does not fit and you need to go back to the drawing board.
Straps and Buckles
Straps should be made of a durable, comfortable silicone, designed to fit snugly around your head without causing any restrictions.
The buckle design is most important, and should be easily accessible and simple to use and adjust, all while maintaining a low profile so as not to increase your drag in the water.
Color might be little more than an aesthetic personal preference for many products out there – but it’s a very important consideration when it comes to the best spearfishing masks on the market.
First, it’s imperative that the skirt of the mask should not be clear/transparent, as the reflection will blind you when you’re on the surface. It needs to be of a solid color, but steer clear of white and go for darker shades.
And that color should be something muted, like black, blue, dark greens, or gray. Brightly colored masks are the enemy of spearfishers, as they will give you away in no time and scare off your prey.
Good spearfishing goggles should come with tempered safety lenses that have been specially treated to withstand underwater environments.
When it comes to choosing the color, you’re not going to go far wrong if you just opt for clear lenses, as they will give you the best vision quality.
However, colored versions are available, and some divers prefer them for the effect they provide.
Some lenses claim to increase clarity and color, but the jury is out if they actually work, and after a certain depth, everything just becomes blue anyway.
Mirrored lenses are useful for camouflage, as they help to mimic your surroundings and will help you swim unnoticed.
You’ll find that fish generally don’t like being stared at, and mirrored lenses are the perfect solution. Plus, they make you look super cool.
Field of View and Volume
Field of view – or field of vision (FOV) refers to how much you can see when your mask is in place. This includes your peripheral sight lines, up, down, and to the sides. Having the best possible FOV is vital to successful spearfishing – and enjoying the experience as a whole.
Mask volume refers to the size of the pocket of air a mask has when it’s on your face. The lower this is, the less air you need to use for equalizing when you’re diving.
Deep divers worry more about low volume than they do about field of view, but for spearfishers, the opposite is true.
Field of view is very important when it comes to spearfishing. If you can’t see what you’re hunting, you’re not giving yourself the best opportunity for success.
When it comes down to a choice, simply pick the spearfishing mask with the best field of view. You will not regret it, and dramatically improve your underwater adventure as a result.
Still, cutting-edge spearfishing masks should offer a happy medium and a nice balance between volume and field of view, so you can get the best of both worlds.
Spearfishing masks don’t really come with any additional bells and whistles to tempt you to part with your cash, but one extra feature of note is the inclusion of an action camera mount.
These days, it seems everyone wants to film and upload their adventures, or keep footage for posterity and enjoyable memories in the future.
It’s up to you if you want to choose a mask with this capability, but just remember you’ll be carrying extra weight and bulk that will increase your drag.
Action camera mounts for your mask are available separately if you don’t want one that’s already built-in, so you can maybe add this feature for later dives if desired.
A good quality spearfishing mask should cost you less than $100, with the best coming in around the $65-$90 mark.
While this isn’t going to break the bank, I would highly advise you spend a bit more than you would usually, and get something that’s dependable and durable.
Don’t cut corners when choosing the best spearfishing equipment – or any diving gear for that matter. You shouldn’t put a price on safety, so buy a cheap mask at your own risk.
What is the best spearfishing mask?
Good question. Any one of the masks included above could take the title, and it really depends what you’re looking for and your personal needs.
Basically, the first three masks in this review. You can’t go wrong with one of those models.
Are spearfishing and scuba diving masks the same?
No. Spearfishing masks are generally designed with a much smaller profile, and will have a lower volume than scuba masks.
Scuba diving masks tend to be larger and bulkier, and while they offer a greater field of view, their size can significantly increase drag, which isn’t ideal when you’re chasing sea critters.
What is a low-volume mask?
Low volume simply refers to how much water it takes to fill the pocket of air that’s created when the mask is in place.
Typically, for low-volume masks this will be 100 milliliters or less. Low volume masks are designed so deep divers and spearfishers don’t need to expel as much air when equalizing, thus preventing the chance of eye/face injuries due to underwater pressure.
As mentioned in the buyer’s guide above, it’s a factor that’s more important for freediving than it is for spearfishing, as the trade-off of a lower volume mask is usually a reduction in your field of view.
How do I make sure a spearfishing mask fits?
The downside of shopping online is that you can’t try everything on, but the upside is that it’s easier than ever to return items that don’t fit.
It’s also very simple to see if a spearfishing mask is going to work for you. When you receive it, simply hold it over your eyes flush with your skin – without the straps – and take a breath through your nose.
The mask should gently suck on to your face and stay in place without the need to hold it. This means you can achieve a comfortable seal and you’re good to go.
If you can breathe clearly in and out through your nose, or the mask falls off, it doesn’t fit and you should make another choice.
How do I prevent my spearfishing mask from fogging?
Great question. Fogging is the bane of any diver, regardless if you’re spearfishing or not, and there’s a catalog of ways to prevent your lenses steaming up.
From using saliva to dish soap, toothpaste to anti-fog products, and even burning the glass with a lighter – the choice is yours.
Some are much more effective than others, and you should experiment with each different method to find out what works best for you.
Check out the video below for some tips and tricks on how to keep your spearfishing mask from fogging.
What do I need to start spearfishing?
Glad you asked. A mask is important – so make sure you choose a good one from this review. You should also have a snorkel.
Then you need a good quality speargun, so follow that link to find one. You’re not going to be able to catch a fish with your bare hands unless you happen to be Aquaman.
Finally – although not essential to begin in shallower, warmer waters – a spearfishing wetsuit is highly recommended.
How do I clean my spearfishing mask?
As soon as you get out, rinse the mask with a little fresh water. Then, when possible, wash the mask in warm water and mild detergent/dish soap.
Towel off as much as possible, then hang the mask up until it’s completely dry. Don’t use any sources of heat, and only properly store the mask when it is no longer wet.
How do I wear a spearfishing mask with facial hair?
If you’re rocking a mustache and you’re worried about sealing the skirt of a spearfishing mask, a top tip is to apply a layer of petroleum jelly to your hairy upper lip.
That should significantly improve your chances of getting a nice, comfortable seal.
The best spearfishing masks will offer you a good field of vision, with a slimline profile and low volume, maximizing both your comfort and chances of success.
Let me know which product you’ve gone for and why, and feel free to let us know about your spearfishing adventures in the comments below.
Happy fishin’ and stickin’!