Review: Omer Zero Cubed Diving Mask

omer freediving masks
Omer's Zero Cubed Mask. © Omer 2013, www.omerdiving.com

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The Bottom Line:

Omer's Zero Cubed mask is a freediving mask which works well for scuba diving. It is a low-volume, two-window mask. The small size of the mask may make it inappropriate for divers with large faces, so be certain to test this mask for fit before purchase.

Pros:

• Does not need to be equalized until 60 feet
• Very low volume
• Extremely wide field of vision due to the proximity of the lenses to the face
• Textured silicon surfaces reduce light refraction

• Cons:

• May not fit divers with large faces or noses
• May be inappropriate for new divers; a tiny bit of water floods the mask completely
• Only available in black
• Unusual styling may be a pro or a con depending upon personal preference

 

Why I Switched to the Omer Zero Cubed Mask

 

I have a round face with very small features, and have always had a difficult time finding a scuba mask that fits me properly. It seems that masks that fit the width of my face are too large for my features, while the masks that fit my features (don't cover my upper lip or make it impossible to pinch my nose) are far too narrow. I have long been a fan of Omer's Alien Mask, and when I was making my mask purchase this year, I noticed the Omer Zero Cubed Mask on the website. It was advertised as having a very wide field of vision and being so low-volume that it doesn't need to be equalized until sixty feet. I ordered this mask out of curiosity.

My curiosity paid off.

Field of Vision:

Omer's advertisement about the mask's field of vision is absolutely correct. While the lenses on the Zero Cubed Mask are small, they are placed so close to the diver's eyes that the field of vision is nearly unrestricted. It was disorienting for my first few cave dives because I was unaccustomed to being able to see the floor and the ceiling at the same time.

Disorienting . . . but wonderful.

 

Textured Silicon

 

I have never seen textured silicon on a diving mask before. I was very curious about this feature of the mask when I ordered it, and was unsure as to why anyone would bother texturing portions of a mask skirt. The areas of the skirt with textured silicon are thicker than standard mask silicon, and I thought that this might interfere with fit and comfort.

After a few dives, I was sold on the textured silicon. As a cave diver, I use high-powered lights on every dive. The textured silicon does not reflect light as strongly as smooth silicon, and the difference was noticeable. For divers who dislike clear masks because of light leakage, the Zero Cubed Mask reflects even less light than normal black silicon. The textured silicon feels nice to the touch, and divers who wear gloves will likely notice that it gives them a better grip on the mask. (I don't wear gloves, so I haven't tested this feature.)

 

Ease of Equalization

 

The Zero Cubed Mask is advertised as not requiring equalization until sixty feet. I haven't taken the mask to sixty feet without equalizing it (yet), but I found that I could dive to at least fourty feet without mask equalization.

The ease of equalization is not a huge benefit for scuba divers, but freedivers will love this feature of the mask.

The Zero Cubed Mask Will Not Fit All Divers:

Omer's Zero Cubed Mask was designed for freediving, but also works well for scuba diving. However, it is a smaller mask and it is extremely low volume. The mask sits right up against my skin, which makes it comfortable for me. Divers with large faces or noses, as well as divers who find that some mask styles push uncomfortably on their foreheads, might not find this mask comfortable. The Zero Cubed is an unusual mask. Some people will love it, some people won't. Definitely try this mask on before purchase.

 

This Is Not a Good Mask for New or Student Divers

 

I would hesitate to recommend Omer's Zero Cubed Mask to novice divers or dive students because of the ease of flooding.

The mask is so low-volume that the tiniest amount of water covers the diver's eyes. A student diver who needs to partially flood his mask as part of the open water course will find it difficult to control the water entering his mask during the skill. Any errors with the mask during scuba dives are likely to result in immediate and complete mask flooding. However, it is very, very easy to clear.

Buy Commercial Mask Scrub If You Purchase This Mask:

I am a big fan of "do-it-yourselfing" and I have never purchased commercial mask buffer/scrub before. I normally use gritty toothpaste or the "flaming" trick to treat a new mask. Whatever Omer is doing in their factory makes my normal tricks ineffective. I flamed the mask about eight times over four days and scrubbed it with toothpaste at least as often. I finally broke down and purchased mask buffer to pre-treat the mask (this is different from defog) and after a few applications the mask was absolutely clear.

Overall:

Omer's Zero Cubed is my new favorite mask. However, it may not fit all people, so be sure to try it on before purchase.

More Mask Reviews and Advice: About.com Scuba's 10 Best Scuba Diving Masks (2013)

 

Manufacturer's Site