The Aria by Ocean Reef is one of the best full face masks available
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A lot of people enjoy the leisurely pace of snorkeling but get put off for various reasons. The Ocean Reef Aria full face snorkel mask overcomes many of the negatives of snorkeling.
This style of mask has been around since 2014 but is still new in the snorkeling world. There are many full face mask brands entering the market and the price and quality really varies. The Aria is one of the best snorkel masks currently available.
If you already know the Ocean Reef Aria full face snorkel mask is for you, click the button below to see the current price and any discounts that may apply on Amazon.
Click on the table below to go to the answers of your most pressing question, or continue to scroll for the entire review.
Why choose the Ocean Reef Aria over other full face Snorkel masks?
Ocean Reef makes a lot of aquatic equipment, including advanced scuba diving equipment and full face scuba masks.
Ocean Reef donated the full face SCUBA masks used to bring the Thai boys and their soccer coach out of the cave they were trapped in during July 2018.
The Ocean Reef Aria is an excellent full face snorkel mask that goes a long way to overcoming many of the pitfalls of regular masks and snorkels. The Aria also has a greater variety of colors, accessories and sizes available, in comparison to other full face masks.
Ocean Reef continually make improvements to their products. They have developed and recently released the Snorkie-Talkie - you can now communicate with your swimming buddies while snorkeling. They have also released a new version of their full face snorkel mask.
How does the mask and snorkel work?
Ocean Reef developed the first full face snorkel mask in collaboration with Tribord who first hit the market with the Tribord Easybreath. There is no fogging thanks to the one-way air circulation system. The circulation system also keeps fresh air for inhalation completely separate from the CO2 exhaled.
A ball float system stops water from entering the snorkel piece as soon as it's lowered into the water.
The straps are elastic and don't get caught on your hair. It may look tricky to get the mask on initially, but it doesn't take long before you have the hang of it. It quickly becomes very easy to put on and adjust, and is very comfortable once in position.
All the good things about full-face snorkel masks
The Ocean Reef Aria is designed to make it very easy and natural to breathe through your nose and mouth.
As there's no mouthpiece, there's also no jaw fatigue. Anyone who suffers from jaw fatigue knows the pain after clamping down on a snorkel mouthpiece for a period of time. It can really take the enjoyment out of snorkeling. There's no jaw fatigue with full face snorkel masks even after hours of snorkeling.
Thanks to their clever design, there's no fogging at all with the Ocean Reef Aria full face mask. All fogging takes place in the lower part of the mask, which is a separate area from the viewing area.
Full face snorkel masks have an 180° field of vision. This is so much broader than a standard snorkel or diving mask.
The snorkel has a ball float system that stops water from entering the snorkel as soon as it's submerged. This means no more annoying water getting into your snorkel.
Full face snorkel masks have a drain valve located in the chin area. If a small amount of water does enter the mask, this will drain away through the chin valve as soon as you lift your head above the water.
How safe are these?
The one-way air circulation system that eliminates fogging also keeps the fresh air in completely separate from the CO2 exhaled. Have a look at the statement below issued by Ocean Reef's Division Manager below.
Ocean Reef make Scuba equipment and donated the Full Face Scuba Masks that were used to bring the 13 members of the Thai Soccer Team out of the cave they were trapped in during July 2018.
Ocean Reef - Jon Wilkins
Ocean Reef USA’s Sport Division Manager
"Since 2014, there have been more than 1 million full face snorkeling masks, which have been designed and manufactured by Ocean Reef, sold into the world marketplace.
"The design comes from more than 25 years of experience in the military, professional and recreational full face mask gas and scuba markets. These masks were designed to increase the enjoyment of snorkelers.
Ocean Reef’s masks are designed so that users breathe in fresh air, and eliminate spent air containing high CO2 content, safely and comfortably."
How to choose the correct size snorkel mask?
Ocean Reef has released additional sizes for children, so now the Aria snorkel mask is available in 4 sizes.
With your mouth closed, get someone to measure the distance between the bridge of your nose and the bottom of your chin.
Ocean Reef Aria - Accessories
The Ocean Reef Aria snorkel mask has a wider range of accessories available in comparison to other full face masks.
Accessories Support with Camera Holder
The camera support mount will allow a GoPro and other similar sports cameras to be mounted to the top of the snorkel mask. The Camera Support is designed to be taken off and handled, to allow you to decide where to aim your filming.
Tip: It's always a good idea to have a float on your camera. Camera floats should cost a little under $10.
Marker wings - These come in a range of colors for better recognition of individual snorkelers when the head is in the water. Marker Wings also convert the accessories supports into selfie sticks.
If you're a fan of sunset snorkeling, a variety of sizes of chemical lights can be fitted on the accessory holder. These will really help other water users be aware that you're in the water at dawn or dusk when light is poor.
Additional Mask Straps - Additional straps are available in a variety of colors.
Optical Lens Support
This is a frame that can be inserted and removed from side slots that allow the use of standard optical lenses (not included). The optical lens support is lightweight and strong. These are easy to add and remove giving the mask the ability to be shared with anyone. This accessory is compatible with ARIA sizes S/M and L/XL.
These area a Support only - it's like buying eye glasses without the glass. You can either take these to your optometrists to have lenses fitted to suit your eyes, or you can buy the generic lens to fit.
The video below shows how to set up the Optical Lens Support on the Ocean Reef Aria and Sea Vu Dry full face snorkel masks.
Ocean Reef's Snorkie Talkie is now here
We've been waiting a while for this accessory to be available - and it's finally available for sale on Amazon! Ocean Reef have developed a surface communication unit for their full face snorkels.
This unit has the very catchy name of 'the Snorkie Talkie'. The transmitter / receiver snaps onto the end of the snorkel tube of the full face Aria mask, and is connected to a speaker which you place over your ear via a silicone tube.
Snorkie-Talkie comes with a rechargeable battery and USB cable charger. The battery has 1,200 stand-by battery life and will give around 8 hours of operating time when fully charged.
These units has a communication range of up to 900 feet (or 275 meters), so you can easily communicate with anyone on the same frequency.
It does have some restrictions that you need to be aware of. It's waterproof to around 9.8 feet (or 3 meters), and it won't work when the transmitter is submerged. Nearly 10 feet is still a very reasonable depth for these masks, so I wouldn't let this stop you if you were considering buying these units.
UPDATE February 2019: Ocean Reef are now selling these separately from their masks. Previously you had to purchase the mask and communication unit together.
Tips for first-time use
When you receive your mask, put it on to check that there's no gap between the bottom of the mask and your chin. This is the most common reason for the mask letting in water. If your finger can find a gap, then return it for a smaller size.
To put the mask on, pull the elasticized straps to each side and put it on CHIN FIRST.
Before swimming for the first time, make sure you are relaxed and practice breathing out of the water first. Once you're comfortable with this, then submerge your head.
You may find you breathe too quickly to begin with, but this should slow and become more natural as you relax and realize how easy and fun it really is.
General Care and Maintenance - Things to Avoid
The mask has a polycarbanate lens so it scratches easier than glass. Sand and rough surfaces will scratch the visor of the snorkel mask. Make sure that it's always resting visor-side up.
Rinse the mask after each use, as sand in the snorkel area can cause the float valve to stick. If there's sand on the mask, don't use force to clip the snorkel into place. Give it a rinse in fresh water before connecting.
Don't wash in the dishwasher, as this will damage the mask. A simple rinse in fresh water is all that it needs.
Keep the mesh bag that the mask comes in, as this is ventilated and ideal for storage. Always rinse the mask after use even if it's only been in a swimming pool. Store the mask in the mesh bag and away from sunlight.
Things you need to be aware of!
Hair, Beards and Masks
Sorry, there's just no getting around this one.... beards will cause water to enter the mask. Whether it's a traditional mask or the Ocean Reef Aria, water will get in if there's hair between the silicone skirt of the mask and your skin. Beards create tiny spaces that will allow water to seep in.
Water will also leak into the mask if you don't clear long hair away from your face when putting the mask on. It may feel like a tight seal, but a fringe or long hair trapped between the mask and your skin is going to allow water to seep into the mask.
You can dive to up to 10 feet (or around 3 meters) below the surface with a full face snorkel mask but these are not designed for Free Diving. There's too great a volume of air inside the face cavity of the mask, and it can become uncomfortable under the pressure of deeper diving.
Don't forget, 10 feet is a really good depth so don't let this put you off. It's just something to be aware of.
If you really love diving deeper then 10 feet, then you may want to look at the Ninja Shark full face mask. It gives you the ability to equalize so you can swim much deeper. You can find out a bit more about these on our Best Snorkel Recommendations page.
Avoid Duck Diving or Lap Swimming
As with a traditional snorkel and mask, if you lean your head too far forward water will enter the snorkel. The float valve system only works when the snorkel is in a vertical position. This isn't just about leaning your head too far forward when plunging into the water. It also means your air supply will be cut off it you look directly up into the sky while standing out of water.
It can let water into the snorkel when free diving, or duck diving. If you love duck diving while snorkeling, then have a look at the PowerBreather Snorkel.
Don't buy a full face snorkel mask if you’re intending to use it while swimming laps. You’ll be disappointed with the performance, as full face snorkel masks are simply not designed for this. If you're looking for a snorkel to help swim laps, then have a look at our pick of the top 4 laps swimming snorkels.
The PowerBreather snorkel comes in 5 different models for different swimming requirements. These are made for endurance and lap swimmers, as well as recreational snorkelers.
The Ocean Reef Aria full face snorkel mask is well designed and made with quality materials.
It's not a cheap version of an expensive brand. This is a great mask made by professionals. The people at Ocean Reef understand how important peripheral vision is when underwater, so their masks all have transparent colored silicone giving the best view possible.
This is an excellent mask and is at the top of the price range in comparison to other full face masks. The Aria has a greater choice of accessories including an optical support, marker wings, and now a communications unit.
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