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Low Volume Masks

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
(as per Manglio's query).
For a freediver, the concept of low volume is usually different than what the scuba guys are imagining. We need low volume because we have only one breath of air with which to equalise, and sometimes clear, our mask. Our definition of low volume can go to extremes, where the masks limit visibility so much that no one would ever think of using them for scubadiving or even recreational freediving.
Even some freediving retailers sell the big , round window masks of old....definitely not low volume, but they have their uses.
Chances are that if the mask has only one lens, that it is not a low volume mask. The exception would be the Sphera, which is a plastic collapsible (to a point) lens on a very small skirt.
To a scuba guy, the big "aquarium" style Scubapro mask with the purge valve is acceptable, but not for us. It's massive, and any mask with a purge is a no-no in freediving.....you want to be able to re-inhale the air in the mask as you ascend; chances are that the air might escape through the valve on ascent as the air expands.
Most 2 window designs can be used for freediving to moderate depths without any perceived loss of available O2. Many spearfisherman like a slightly larger mask for the visibility they offer.
The Dacor Bandit, OMER Millenium, and Cressi equivalent are extremely low volume masks more suited for deep performance attempts.
The Sphera is also very low volume, but has a curved lens that distorts vision substantially, although I am going to try and get used to one.
The most popular masks among freedivers are all made from the same mold, with differences in appearance, cosmetics, and lens availability. These are the Cressi Superoccio, Mares Target, OMER Abyss, and Sporasub Samurai, among others. They are good for deep freediving, but still have reasonable vision. OMER offers the largest variety of design and lens differences, as far as I have seen.
On a Europen Mares site, they listed all their masks, including the volume of each.
Look around on the web, and look to see if the Company has a freediving section on their site. www.piratescuba.com and www.diveinn.com have sections devoted to freediving masks, fins, and suits.
Erik Y.
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