The mask I use is the Atomic Sub Frame mask. After sitting in the shop, staring at the wall of masks, I have had some time to decide. I have been through a few dive masks since completed my PADI open water course and have tried on plenty more. I now know all the ins and outs of the different masks that we sell at Dive HQ Christchurch.
Why I chose the Atomic Sub Frame mask?
Fit is the most important thing when it comes to choosing the correct mask for you face. You may love the look of a mask, but if it does not fit you will have a bad experience when you are diving or spearfishing. What I look for when fitting a mask is the seal around your face. To do this I pull the straps forward and bring the mask up to your face. The first thing to look at is how the skirt of the mask fits around your face without any pressure. Problem areas are generally around the temples, or under the nose on the cheek lines. This is quite important but Ill get back to it in a second. Next, breath in gently through your nose. This should seal the mask onto your face and feel comfortable and secure. If there is anywhere that air is coming in, water will also enter through the same place.
Why we look at the shape of the mask skirt is important because of the softness of the silicon that the masks are made from. Another one of our popular masks is the Beauchat Maxlux S. This is a reasonably priced and comfortable single lens mask.
A common misconception that divers make is that if their mask is leaking, then they tighten the strap which pushes the mask harder against your face. This is not necessarily the right way to fix the problem as you are now over tightening your mask. This can manipulate the skirt and make it worse! So you need to make sure that when you are trying masks on in the shop that you are not manipulating the skirt to much.
The Sub Frame has, what I consider, a mid range softness. It is firm and holds it shape very well, but very soft to touch. This gives it a very comfortable feel against your face. I found when I was in the water for long periods of time, that my previous masks use to irritate my skin because my mask moved around. The Sub Frame has not given me the same issue.
I am a big advocate for a single lens masks and I still believe they are great and the best option. The reason for that is without the nose bridge between lenses, it opens your field of vision.
A benefit of a double lens mask like the Atomic Sub Frame is that the lenses can be replaced with corrective lenses. Nothing worse than paying all that money for dive gear and training to get down and not be able to see anything…
The strap and clips on the Atomic Sub Frame mask work well. A standard silicon strap with clips on either side with pinch buttons for easy adjustment. To find the right tightness, I usually over tighten it slightly, then push the pinch buttons to release the tension and then I know that the fit is just about right.
It comes in different colours also. I have the red with black skirt to match my Atomic BC1 BCD. It also comes in clear skirts. Other colours available are green, purple and blue.
With the comfort and style of the Sub Frame it was an easy choice for me to pick. The last thing as to why I picked this mask is that I know that Atomic Aquatics only make quality products. They have openly said that they would rather make the best products with the best materials rather than skimp on price to produce a lesser product. The Sub Frame retails at $179. Not a lot really when your mask is your window to the underwater world.