Prescription diving masks?
April 5, 2006 6:54 AM   Subscribe

I wear glasses and I need a prescription dive mask for snorkeling, but I don't know anything about them. Anyone have tips or recommendations?
posted by smackfu to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's pretty straightforward - the shop where i got mine sold me the mask, they then remove the individual lenses and replace them with lenses to suit your prescription. They had everything in stock so i got it all on the spot. And you can keep the original lenses so if ever you dive with contact lenses you can use the same mask.
posted by jontyjago at 7:21 AM on April 5, 2006

...and that's about it...mine ran me 120 with one lens(i'm blind in one eye)

contacts work just fine through a mask....i've made a few hundred dives with contacts and enjoy it much more than with my prescription soon as i would take the mask off i'd be blind as a bat...
posted by killyb at 7:31 AM on April 5, 2006

I second contact lenses if you are able to wear them. Fittings cost about $200 in my area, and lenses vary between $6-20 per lens, but it's an investment because you can wear contacts anywhere, but the $120+ prescription dive mask has limited application.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 8:12 AM on April 5, 2006

Yeah, I had a corrective diving mask about 15 years ago. The lenses were individual for each eye, and the manufacturer made pre-cut corrective lenses. Being pre-cut they were never perfectly located, but the fact that I could see meant I didn't care.

I think the mask was a TUSA Liberator - they still make them, and still make corrective lenses.
posted by lowlife at 8:22 AM on April 5, 2006

Really, contacts.
posted by Hogshead at 8:46 AM on April 5, 2006

If you have bifocals, you can outfit a mask with a perscription and purchase a relatively inexpensive bifocal add-on as well. Bifocals in the range of $60.00 if I remember right.
posted by orlin at 8:47 AM on April 5, 2006

Oh -- and if you do get a perscription, keep the old clear lens to refit to clear later if you wish
posted by orlin at 8:48 AM on April 5, 2006

Many shops on Maui seemed to rent them, and I imagine that's the case at most diving/snorkeling destinations. They were an extra $5 for the week at the shop I rented mine.
posted by togdon at 9:13 AM on April 5, 2006

Anyone have tips or recommendations?

Listen to the folks that are suggesting that you get contacts (unless you can't wear them for some reason). I don't wear contacts very much anymore, but I keep a few sets of disposables around for special occasions and snorkeling is one of them. My mask comes off a lot for defogging and just to rest my face, and I hate being blind.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:45 AM on April 5, 2006

Just bring a copy of your prescription to the dive shop. I got mine at Adorama in NYC (it's not called that, actually, but it's right upstairs above the camera shop and I believe it's part of the same business). I don't remember the price but it was closer to $50 than $100. The salesman popped out the neutral lenses and popped in the corrective ones (you get to keep all of them). I think they only come in quarter (or half?) diopter increments, but they insisted that this isn't a problem for most people because between one thing and another (varying refraction in the water, etc.) the eye would be compensate for smaller variations. I'm sure this isn't ideal, but I've been completely comfortable snorkeling with them since. Note that you probably do have to get a dual lens mask instead of a single lens mask.
posted by Songdog at 10:44 AM on April 5, 2006

I got a prescription mask a few months ago for a trip to Hawaii. I've never worn contacts, and get freaky about touching my eyes, so rather than train myself to wear contacts I bought the prescription mask. At the dive shop I went to, only a fraction of the masks they had accepted pop-in prescription lenses. My mask (a Tusa) ran about $70, and the lenses were $30 each. I have no idea if that was a deal or a ripoff. The pop-in lenses come in .5 increments, and aren't available with astigmatism correction (those are custom, and take more time and bucks). If you're astigmatic, the rule of thumb is to adjust your prescription by 50% of the astigmatism stronger. And I strongly suggest buying (or at least trying) masks at a dive shop. My initial choice fit horribly, and would have leaked badly if I'd bought it. The mask I do have has a great seal on my face and is really comfortable.
posted by jonzino at 5:33 PM on April 5, 2006

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