8th December 2019

Why do i need a prescription dive mask for freediving?

Freediving, also known as breath-hold diving or skin diving, allows the diver to explore the the underwater world without the burden of scuba gear. Experienced free divers can hold their breath for more than 10 minutes. Herbert Nitsch holds the current world for deepest free dive, over 200 meters deep.


There are many reasons to freedive, besides competition. Bubbles from scuba tanks and regulators can scare away fish and other life that are noise averse. Some enjoy the freedom of moving through the water unencumbered by equipment.  Spear fisherman, who want to minimize the distance between themselves and their prey, frequently free dive instead of scuba. While spearfishing while scuba diving is not illegal in the United States, in many other parts of the world, it is due to the concerns for damage to coral reefs. 

Whether you are struggling to see your depth gauge/freediving watch or need help seeing the fish, a prescription freediving mask can improve your overall freediving experience. 


If you are freediving already, you are probably aware of the unique needs when considering a mask specific to free diving. Vision options, for free divers who need lens correction can also affect mask choice. If you are freediving and need help seeing clearly, a prescription freediving mask if for you. 

Herbert Nitsch, current world record holder for deepst free dive.

Which freediving mask is best for prescription lenses

Atum Free Diving Mask with prescription distance lenses.

prescription considerations for freediving masks

Stonger prescriptions, specially high plus lenses, require more space is the mask. This can be countered by using a smaller lens, like in the MP208 dive mask as another factor on lens thickness is lens size. If your prescription is very strong, you may need to go to a higher volume dive mask. 

Scuba diving masks and freediving masks share many characteristics, and in fact many people use freediving masks for scuba. Both sports require a mask with tempered glass lenses and sturdy construction.

The biggest concern for freedivers is volume of the mask. As divers descend, they must add air (through exhalation) into the mask to counter the pressure exerted onto the airspace in the mask.  Mask squeeze, occurs when air is not added. Masks with larger volumes, require more air to counter mask squeeze, air that would limit the freedivers bottom time. Pictured on the left is an ultra low volume mask, the IST Mp208 Atum mask with prescription distance lenses installed. 

Features of a quality freediving mask

  • Tempered glass lenses
  • Low volume 
  • Comfortable Strap
  •  Strong Construction

Freediving mask recommendations from see the sea rx

Top choice- MP208/ Atum Mask


MSRP: $65.00 + Lenses

The Atum mask is the most popular prescription-able freediving mask on See the Sea. The Atum features quality high end silicone, frameless design, low volume, and tempered glass lenses. 

The Atum is suitable for all our lens types including reading lenses, bifocals, and single vision distance and can correct for astigmatism, double vision, and other needs requiring custom lenses.

Distance lenses start at $208.00
Bifocals start at $285.00


Runner up- Hunter mask


MSRP: $49.99 + Lenses

For those that want a slightly larger volume mask, the Hunter mask is available for a slightly lower price with the same grade of silicone (but in a framed design instead of frameless). 

The hunter has also slightly larger lenses for a bit more viewing area which will be appreciated by divers who want reading only lenses at the bottom of the mask. The hunger volume is slightly larger than traditional freediving masks, but it is still a low volume mask ideal for those whose prescriptions would be limited in the Atum. 

If you have any questions about prescription dive masks, free diving masks, or lenses in general, don’t hesitate to call, email, or chat us anytime!