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Cheap vs Big Brand.

Discussion in 'Fins, Masks and Snorkels' started by CUMBIAMAN, Jun 3, 2018.


    CUMBIAMAN Angel Fish

    I found a cheap mask from Walmart that fits well, seems durable, silicone, etc. What would be the advantage of diving with a big brand mask worth +10 times more?
  2. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Solo Diver

    I think if you actually held both at the same time, you would understand without having to ask.
    The discount stuff might get you through a summer with some kids in a pool or maybe a weekend on a vacation.
    Good stuff will have nice glass lenses. Won't scratch, defog works better. The strap attachments are typically better. The skirts are often more supple and will conform better.

    The discount stuff for in the pool or snorkeling, if it breaks you are not in a place you can't get out of. On SCUBA, you really need a mask that won't let you down.

    The "they feel the same" is simply the lack of expertise. I was recently at a friends place in his pool and he had a discount pool mask. It was a quarter the weight. Passed the suck test. Leaked. Lenses were hazy (it was older). I got what I needed it for done (pool light) but I really missed my good mask that felt right and actually worked. Once you know what a good mask is like, you realize the pool masks are a joke. They look like the real thing, and that is what sells them. The look like the bargin, and for those who only play with them as a pool toy they will be just fine. Strap anchor breaks, the surface is only a few feet up.
  3. CT Sean

    CT Sean Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Central Connecticut
    Does it have a tempered glass lens/lenses?
  4. JamesBon92007

    JamesBon92007 Great White

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Southern California...too far from the ocean
    I think broncobowsher has it well covered. There may be a very few exceptions where a "generic" mask is identical to a name-brand mask (made in the same factory etc) but those are rare and would probably require a lot of research and possibly insider knowledge.
  5. Mason Gierke

    Mason Gierke Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Kankakee, IL
    Do you feel that the $30 mask sold by DGX falls into the don't buy area, I purchased one recently but haven't had a chance to try it out.
  6. EdC

    EdC Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Connecticut
    If your refering to this one- DGX Ultra View Frameless Mask you wont be disappointed. I like it better than the Scuba Pro mask I started with that was twice as much.
    Scratch_Monkey likes this.
  7. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    Fit and comfort are THE most important aspect in choosing a mask. Try it on. Protectionism is alive and well in the Scuba Industry.
  8. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, FL USA
    You can get decent quality dive masks for $20. I dove a "snorkel pro" mask from a local dive shop for years. It's in my profile pic. It did have tempered glass lenses. I later replaced it with a $120 seadive rayblocker HD. I wanted a mask with a black skirt and I wanted to try the gimmicks on expensive masks like the fancy coatings. The black skirt is quite nice, but I don't think the coatings are a big deal. I wouldn't hesitate to get another $20 snorkel pro if I could find it with a black skirt. The skirt material on the $100 mask is slightly softer than the skirt on the $20 mask. I still have the $20 mask, but I don't use it anymore.

    As others have said, the most important thing about a dive mask is that it fits without leaking. Fit is so important that I would not recommend buying online unless you are replacing a lost mask and know exactly which one fits you. Go to a dive shop and try on masks. If you don't find a perfect fit at that shop, move on to the next shop. The Walmart masks are in sealed plastic packaging; you can't try them on unless you bring scissors to open the package. I'm guessing their security folks would not be impressed.

    However, the masks I've seen at walmart are nothing like a real dive mask, not even the cheap snorkel pro mask that I used to have. The skirts are so stiff they're more like plastic than rubber. The adjustment on the mask straps are very difficult to use. Those things are going to make it uncomfortable to wear for an hour long dive.

    In conclusion: while the masks that walmart sells are garbage, you can get workable dive masks for very cheap if you're lucky enough to find one that fits your face.
  9. rhwestfall

    rhwestfall Woof! ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: "La Grande Ile"
    My wife's favorite mask is an off brand (yes, still a true "dive mask") that cost probably $30 decades ago. To this day, she hasn't found anything she likes better in regard to fit.....

    I currently dive HOG branded masks, and prefer them over past DACOR, ScubaPro, Oceanic, others? I have tried over the years. Recently got a "Kraken" model to match my DH, but haven't had a chance to dive it yet.

  10. JamesBon92007

    JamesBon92007 Great White

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Southern California...too far from the ocean
    Yes, I've read some great reviews on that mask. I dive with a very old Cressi Occhio and the current version called the Super Occhio is selling for about $35. I can't speak for the newer version just yet (but my son-in-law and grandson have them) but I've never found a mask that I like better than my old Occhio.

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