I’ve always had the impression that full faced masks where far more trouble than they were worth. Over the years I’ve had the chance to fiddle around with them in the pool as well as a few dives when I lived in the Keys, and it always seemed their advantages and novelty was easily countered by the fact that they were uncomfortable, made it difficult to clear your ears and seemed to leak constantly no matter how well they fit topside. And while they offered a fantastic field of view, having such a large airspace strapped to the front of your head seemed to offer various buoyancy challenges as well. It always seemed to me that if you were doing the type of diving that required one, it was an extremely useful piece of gear to have, but just wasn’t the best choice for a recreational diver.
My impressions were changed when I came across the Ocean Reef Neptune Space G.divers mask. At first glance I noticed how much lighter it seemed than the old masks I’d tried. Ocean Reef uses a Premium Grade Silicone in the construction of the skirt making it soft and light weight not to mention very pliable so as to give the user a very comfortable seal around their face. The bellows style face skirt uses a large sealing surface, double size of conventional masks (30-45mm), to achieve a very comfortable and secure fit. Inspecting it closer I noticed that the head harness is connected to the face shield itself allowing the pressure from adjusting the mask to be spread around the entire unit in order to help maintain a tight yet comfortable seal and the adjustment straps are made larger near the ends making it easier to grasp and hold them even with gloves on during a dive.
Often people get the impression that full-face diving masks are difficult to use when equalizing your ears. The equalization plugs in the mask I tried were not quite set to match up with my nostrils correctly and I started to wonder if this was going to be an issue. Upon removing the mask, I was happy to see that the equalization system has a tri-dimensional adjustment allowing for an easy adapting to my nose. It took a few minutes to get used to having the little plugs blocking my nostrils but after a bit of practice I didn’t give it a second thought. All in all it turned out to be quite simple and not inconvenient in the least.
The last thing I noticed about this mask before I took it for some dives is how easily customized it is for any diver’s preferences. There are easy to use ports to add a Surface Air Valve or an Octo if one chooses. The Ocean Reef Dual GSM communication system also mounts very easily to the mask for divers who want to talk to each other or have communication with the surface through out their dives. There is also a kit that includes a quick disconnect hose for users who would like to keep their mask conveniently safe and secure in it’s protective bag between uses rather than leaving it connected to the rest of their regulator and a 180 degree swivel that can be added to the hose for even more comfort.
When I hooked the system up to my first stage, and took it for a couple dives, I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that the lower part of the seal on the mask slips just under your chin and helps keep the mask secured in place. No more grasping the mask and readjusting it in order to keep it from riding up on your head. The second stage performed very comfortably, delivering air effortlessly and allowed me to breath through either my nose or my mouth. The air circulates inside the mask in a manor that keeps the face shield free from fogging and with exhaust valves located on the sides of the mask; you can set them to have your bubbles go pretty much where you want them. I’m very pleased I wandered across the Neptune Space G.divers mask.
Available in 2 sizes and 4 colors the Ocean Reef Neptune Space G.divers mask is the perfect choice for any diver looking to add comfort, convenience and an enhanced field of view to their diving!