Low Volume (Low Profile) Mask

A low volume (low profile) mask is a specific type of scuba diving mask designed to provide divers with a reduced air space between the mask and the diver’s face. This feature offers various benefits, such as reduced drag, easier purging, and better overall comfort for the diver. The low volume mask has become increasingly popular among recreational and professional divers alike, as it enhances underwater visibility and provides a more streamlined diving experience.

Design and Materials

Low volume masks are characterized by their close-fitting design, which allows the mask to sit closer to the diver’s face. This is achieved through the use of high-quality materials and innovative construction techniques. Typically, low volume masks are made with a soft, hypoallergenic silicone skirt that contours to the diver’s face, providing a comfortable and secure seal. The lens is usually made from tempered glass, which is durable and resistant to scratching, offering clear and undistorted vision underwater.

One of the most significant design elements of a low volume mask is the reduced internal volume. This is achieved by placing the lens closer to the diver’s face and minimizing the distance between the mask and the face. Some low volume masks also feature a frameless design, which further reduces the overall mask volume.

Benefits of Low Volume Masks

There are several advantages to using a low volume mask for scuba diving. Some of these benefits include:

  1. Reduced Drag: The streamlined design of a low volume mask significantly decreases the resistance experienced by the diver when moving through the water. This reduction in drag can lead to improved efficiency, allowing the diver to expend less energy and potentially extend dive time.
  2. Easier Purging: A key benefit of low volume masks is the ease with which they can be cleared of water. If a mask floods, the reduced air space means that less air is required to force the water out. This is particularly useful for freedivers, who have a limited air supply and need to conserve as much as possible.
  3. Enhanced Visibility: With the lens positioned closer to the diver’s face, low volume masks offer improved peripheral vision, enabling divers to see more of their surroundings. This is especially important in underwater environments where visibility can be limited due to poor lighting or the presence of particulate matter.
  4. Increased Comfort: The close fit and lightweight design of low volume masks often result in a more comfortable experience for the diver. The soft silicone skirt creates a secure seal, reducing the likelihood of leaks and minimizing pressure on the face.
  5. Easier Equalization: The reduced air space inside a low volume mask can make equalizing pressure during descent more straightforward. The diver can simply pinch their nose through the mask’s soft skirt and gently blow to equalize the pressure in their ears and sinuses.

Types of Low Volume Masks

There are various types of low volume masks on the market, each catering to different preferences and diving styles. Some of the most common types include:

  1. Single Lens Masks: These masks feature a single large lens, offering an uninterrupted field of view. This design is ideal for divers who prioritize visibility and prefer an unobstructed view of their surroundings.
  2. Dual Lens Masks: Dual lens masks have two separate lenses, providing a more customized fit for the diver. These masks often feature a teardrop shape that allows for better downward visibility, making them well-suited for tasks such as underwater photography or monitoring dive equipment.
  3. Frameless Masks: Frameless low volume masks eliminate the external frame, further reducing the mask’s overall weight and profile. This design makes them highly compact and easy to pack, ideal for divers who travel frequently.

Caring for Your Low Volume Mask

To maintain the performance and longevity of a low volume mask, it’s essential to properly care for and clean the mask after each dive. Here are some essential maintenance tips to ensure your low volume mask remains in optimal condition:

  1. Rinse Thoroughly: After each dive, rinse your mask with fresh water to remove any salt, sand, or other debris that may have accumulated during the dive. This will help prevent scratches on the lens and prolong the life of the silicone skirt.
  2. Clean Regularly: Use a mild soap or a mask cleaning solution to gently clean the mask’s interior and exterior surfaces. This will help remove any residual salt, sunscreen, or oils from your skin that may have built up on the mask. Be sure to rinse the mask thoroughly after cleaning to remove any soap residue.
  3. Dry Properly: After rinsing and cleaning, allow your mask to air dry completely before storing it. Store the mask in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure to UV rays can damage the silicone and other mask components.
  4. Protect the Lens: To prevent scratches on the lens, consider using a protective storage case or pouch when not in use. This will help shield the lens from potential damage during transportation or storage.
  5. Regularly Inspect: Periodically inspect your low volume mask for signs of wear or damage, such as cracks in the lens or tears in the silicone skirt. If you notice any issues, address them promptly to ensure the mask continues to function correctly and safely.

In Summary

The low volume (low profile) mask is an essential piece of scuba diving equipment, offering divers numerous benefits, including reduced drag, improved visibility, and increased comfort. These masks come in various styles and designs, catering to the unique preferences of individual divers. Proper care and maintenance of your low volume mask will ensure its longevity and optimal performance, enhancing your overall diving experience.