OTS Guardian Full Face Scuba Mask
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OTS Guardian scuba diving mask tested on diver
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OTS Guardian tested under water
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OTS Guardian underwater closeup
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OTS Guardian product closeup
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OTS Guardian sideview with zeagle
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OTS Guardian holding communication port
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Full face masks are used primarily by technical divers and commercial divers, but they are increasingly popular with recreational divers as well. They are recommended in cases where the diver is exposed to cold water, polluted water, or for maintenance work, fixing a sailboats propeller, for example.

The OTS Guardian is a full face mask for scuba diving with a high-impact ABS frame, glass-filled polycarbonate visor, and polycarbonate regulator housing. The mask also features an interlocking silicone skirt and a double sealing flange for a secure seal.

The two-piece design features a removable second stage for easy cleaning and storage. Divers will appreciate how the unique one-way valves located in the oral-nasal area reduce CO2 retention and keeps the mask from fogging up.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.4

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    A very comfortable Full Face Scuba Mask
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    The automatic defogging function is a game-changer
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    5-point head strap
  • check-mark
    The glass lenses is very durable
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    Removable 2nd stage for easy cleaning and storage
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    Simple push-to-talk attachment for communication devices
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    Ambient Breathing Valve can be used on the surface to conserve air in your tank

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markEqualizing was not as intuitive as it is for other full face masks like the OTS Spectrum

Where to buy:

ots guardian scuba mask display on mannequin

OTS Guardian Full Face Scuba Mask

Review of the OTS Guardian

We sent a new OTS Guardian Full Face Masks to our team of divers to test how this state-of-the-art full face mask really does in the water. Collectively, they spent hours underwater testing the various impressive features and functions that OTS can boast through their product. Let’s see what they had to say.

The OTS Guardian Full Face Mask (FFM) has a simplistic design in full face diving mask technology. The Guardian provides total protection against cold water, chemicals, and CO2 buildup.

Specs & Features

  • Weight: 4.75 lbs
  • Dimensions: ‎12 x 9 x 7 inches
  • Mask: Skirt; 55-60 Shore A Liquid Silicone, Frame; Glass Filled Nylon, Hardware; Stainless Steel
  • Lens: Polycarbonate
  • Regulator: Glass Filled Nylon Housing
  • Bag: 420-Ballistic Nylon, Mesh, Polypro Webbing, Plastic, Rubber Closed Cell Foam
  • Window Style: 1 Front
  • Regulator Compatibility: OTS only
  • 2nd Stage Type: Balanced Downstream Demand Valve
  • Hose Thread: ⅜”
  • Hose Length: 32” (81.3cm)
  • Bag included: Yes
  • Head Strap: 5-Point Spider
  • Communication Compatibility: Buddy Phone®, Aquacom® SSB-2010
ots guardian mask product closeup

The Guardian full face mask is innovative in design and function. Ideal for very cold or polluted water, the Guardian has numerous features which set it apart from any other full face mask. The one-piece, non-rigid silicone skirt is combined with an injection-molded, high-impact, glass-filled ABS plastic frame and regulator housing to provide you with the ultimate safety and comfort underwater and also feels tough and durable.

The full face mask features 5 separate straps that are fastened around your head making mask loss considerably less probable. This also makes putting it on a little more demanding especially when diving with a hood. The 5 straps make adjustments easy and help you create a perfect seal all around.

Because this mask also removes all tension from your neck, it allows you to relax more when diving. This can help you conserve air while diving, especially if you use the Ambient Breathing Valve (ABV) on the surface of the water when waiting for your dive buddy or boat. The ABV is extremely easy to operate by turning the vale on the side of the mask.

ots guardian sideview with zeagle

In order to be able to communicate underwater during dives, divers need a full face mask that is capable of supporting communication devices. The OTS Guardian full face mask with Buddy Phone has a push-to-talk (PTT) system that makes communication while diving simple.

The console does work well with communication systems like Divercom, but the mask can feel a little bulky when attached to gadgets such as the Buddy Phone.

The OTS Guardian is made from high-quality materials, starting with the silicone skirts that can fit a wide range of faces and head sizes. The skirt is also replaceable if it wears out over time. The glass lenses are highly resistant to scratches and give you a great field of view.

Despite some minor, challenges dealing with a bulkier unit than a normal mask, our team of divers thoroughly enjoyed using the Guardian full face mask by Ocean Technology Systems. This product is an impressive and useful piece of equipment for commercial as well as recreational diving in cold water and situations where verbal communication is nice.

ots-guardian-holding-exhaust

Features

Several features have made the OTS Guardian full face diving mask popular for commercial and recreational divers alike. Here’s what they are:

  • Non-rigid silicone skirt with double seal for extra safety and comfort
  • High impact glass lens for security and durability
  • ABS plastic frame with regulator housing
  • Adjustable straps on 5-point head harness for excellent comfort
  • Patented soft squeeze buckles for easy adjustment and use
  • Nose block equalization works well once getting accustomed to it
  • Universal double face seal can fit most face shapes and sizes
  • Anti-fog technology to enhance your visual clarity
  • One-way valves in the oral-nasal pocket to residual CO2
  • Removable 2nd stage with standard low-pressure (LP) hose for easy cleaning and storing
  • Communications port for easy installation of compatible systems such as Buddy Phone® or Aquacom® SSB-2010
  • Ambient Breathing Valve (ABV) for air conservation at the surface
  • Comes with an OTS mask bag
  • Various colors available

Make sure to read on for more details on how the various components of the OTS Guardian full face mask make it one of the best full face diving masks for commercial and recreational divers.

5-Point Spider Strap Adjustment

The OTS Guardian mask uses an adjustable 5-point spider head strap that secures around your head and distributes the pressure points, not on your cheeks like most other full face masks. This also provides more versatility for different face shapes.

This improves comfort and makes this a great choice for those with facial hair or glasses. Adjusting the straps is easy thanks to a simple pull-on/pull-off system that allows you to adjust the strap lengths without any hassle or frustration.

Comfort is key when it comes to full face diving masks. Higher air consumption underwater can be a symptom of frustration and hassle so investing in a full face mask that prioritizes ultimate comfort the way OTS have done with this product, is a good idea. This is especially important in professional diving work, where time (and air) really is money!

There is a chance that air can escape out of the mask, also leading to faster air consumption. Luckily you can hear the bubbles rumbling out and easily firm up one of the straps to stop it. Your buddy can also verbally inform you that air is getting out.

ots-guardian-strap-adjustment-side-view

Universal Double Seal

This mask has a number of great features. One of the most important is that it fits a wide variety of head sizes and shapes. As discussed above, the strap system can be adjusted to fit just about anyone – but the most innovative part of this mask is the double seal feature.

The skirt is thick, but not overly so. It is also quite soft, which helps keep the mask tight against your face without being uncomfortable.

Diving with this full face mask is comfortable and dry, as the double seal allows you to go easy on the strap tightness while still maintaining a secure seal on your face, making this mask a very dry (leak free) mask and rendering your dive more comfortable all around.

Communications Operation

There are several advantages to having a full-face dive mask. The biggest advantage to a full-face dive mask is the built-in communication port. Standard scuba diving masks have no way for divers to talk with each other, but full-face masks do. Using a BuddyPhone will allow you and your diving buddies to communicate underwater, which can make the experience more enjoyable for all involved.

The OTS Guardian full face mask with Buddy Phone includes a PTT technology that makes communicating while diving very easy. The sound is also impressively clear and there were no issues with reception when we tested this.

It automatically turns on when the mask enters the water. You’re presented with a menu allowing you to adjust volume and change channels. It’s a good idea to test this pre-dive by licking two fingers and applying them to the two visible screws on the buddy phone unit. This simulates entering the water and allows two units to ensure they’re on the same channel and can both receive and transmit.

While this product works well with communication systems like Divercom, the mask can feel a bit chunky when coupled to devices like the Buddy Phone.

ots-guardian-communication-operation-sideview

Ambient Breathing Valve (ABV)

A fantastic little feature on this mask is the ABV, or ambient breathing valve, which can be used when floating above water to conserve the air in your SCUBA tank while you’re waiting for your dive buddies or waiting for your next group dive. Simply turn the knob on the top right of the mask anti-clockwise to loosen it and take in that fresh sea air.

The only potential downfall of this feature is if you forget to close the valve before going down. The valve keeps water out until you tilt your head to the side. At this point, you’ll flood your mask. To avoid this, make sure you close the valve back up after every dive so that it’s in the ‘ready’ position for your next trip.

If you get a flooded mask screwing the ABV shut and purging the mask is done quickly and easily.

ots-guardian-ambient-breathing-valve-closeup-sideview

Price/ Quality Ratio

For a price upwards of $800, the OTS Guardian Full Face Mask could be yours. We’re under no pretense that this isn’t a lot of money so you’re probably wanting to know if the damage to your wallet is genuinely worth it.

We believe that, even though this is a high price, it’s well worth it if you’re sure Full Face Diving is for you. This full face diving mask boasts a dozen great features, the overall build quality and the tight fit makes it a great buy. There’s a reason why so many commercial divers choose the OTS Guadian.

If you have the money and you want to spend it on a good product, we can guarantee that you will not be disappointed with the quality of comfort and security that the OTS Guardian offers.

You might want to consider the OTS Spectrum Full Face Mask as a cheaper alternative – though there is nothing ‘cheap’ about it. The Spectrum is cheaper, partly because it doesn’t include a regulator. It is yet another fantastic product by OTS. See our in-depth review of it here.

Do we recommend it?

Yes, the OTS Guardian full face mask is a fantastic product. Our dive team has been testing this product for a few weeks now and they all have the same thing to say after each dive. Diving with the OTS Guardian full face mask is a great experience; breathing is easy and comfortable; the mask is a perfect fit, and the visibility is great.

Although this mask can be used easily by all, given that the price may be too expensive for personal use. IFf money is not an option, and you want the best, here’s your Full Face Mask.

Related Reviews

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.4

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    A very comfortable Full Face Scuba Mask
  • check-mark
    The automatic defogging function is a game-changer
  • check-mark
    5-point head strap
  • check-mark
    The glass lenses is very durable
  • check-mark
    Removable 2nd stage for easy cleaning and storage
  • check-mark
    Simple push-to-talk attachment for communication devices
  • check-mark
    Ambient Breathing Valve can be used on the surface to conserve air in your tank

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markEqualizing was not as intuitive as it is for other full face masks like the OTS Spectrum

Do you want more?

Stay updated with guides, reviews and more about paddling.

FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What is the best full face diving mask?

As with all scuba gear – full face diving masks have various features which makes them better for particular types of diving. Some masks boast a lower volume design and have torch attachment ports for use in dark wrecks or cave systems. Others have ambient breathing valves (ABVs) to allow a diver to breath fresh air instead of using up tank air – this can be handy in a search and rescue operation where a diver may spend more time swimming across the surface.

Here are the best full face diving masks:

Check out our Full Face Diving Mask guide for more details on the best full face diving masks on the market today.

Can you dive with a full face mask?

Learning to dive with a full face mask is a must if you want to do public safety diving, research diving, or dive in very cold water. When it comes to scuba diving, a full face mask is ideal for those who have difficulty using traditional scuba masks.

Check out our Full Face Diving Mask guide for more details on the best full face diving masks on the market today.

How do you equalize with a full face scuba mask?

There are various equalizing mechanisms across the assortment of available full face masks on the market.

The Guardian Full Face Mask has a simple equalising mechanism. Because everyone’s chin-to-nose distance is unique, you must first modify the equalising assembly to make it match your face perfectly. Different pad and wire sizes are available to increase or decrease the assembly’s size. Fixing the assembly to higher or lower slots on the wire stand allows you to raise or lower the equalising block. The equalising assembly will then be pushed up on your nose, blocking your nostrils, and allowing you to equalise once you’ve made sure it’s comfortable and functional for you.

Check out our Full Face Diving Mask guide for more details on the best full face diving masks on the market today.

How much is a full face dive mask?

Full-face masks may cost anywhere from $500 to $1,600, depending on the model. And, of course, they are much heavier than a standard mask for travel. Additionally, a $100 or so for training in how to use your new full-face mask should be exprected for optimal use and safety.

Check out our Full Face Diving Mask guide for more details on the best full face diving masks on the market today.

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