Bradley Axmith, Divemaster
The Oceanic Discovery
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Oceanic Discovery Mask: Key Specifications
- 100% silicone skirt
- Rotating strap buckles with hinge
- 5 different color options including dark and transparent skirt
- Flexible quick-release buckles with pinch clip strap adjustment
- Buckles integrated into the skirt rather than the frame
- Low volume
- Dual lens
The Oceanic Discovery versus the Tusa Freedom Ceos
I picked the Tusa Freedom Ceos to compare with the Oceanic Discovery. Both are mid-range, dual-lens masks with similar build and quality. Tusa’s Freedom Skirt is synonymous with a good seal and comfort. While the Freedom is a little pricier by about 10-20%, there’s very little separation between them in terms of comfort.
What stands out at first glance is the view from within. The Oceanic Discovery has a more rounded teardrop glass form giving it slightly more peripheral vision compared to the more square-like line of the Freedom’s outer lens border.
The wide field of vision Oceanic put on the Discovery is something to be appreciated, making it easier on the neck. I didn’t have to swivel quite as much while scanning around, meaning less discomfort and probably more bottom time due to less energy expended.
Whereas the Discovery has a wider field of vision, the Freedom provides a greater range looking downward. For this reason, the Freedom is a definite delight when snorkeling over more than 10 feet of water, but the Discovery aint to shabby either.
When it comes to comfort, the Discovery fitted great on my semi-large mug. The seal held just fine despite my whiskers too. This is another point of divergence. Basically, the Discovery is great for medium and above-sized faces and noses, whereas the Freedom Ceos could prove slightly uncomfortable for divers and snorkelers with broader sniffers, in particular at the bridge of the nose.
In general, the Freedom Ceos and the Oceanic Discovery are very similar masks, with the Freedom providing a better vertical field of view, while the Discovery boasts superior lateral vision. Oceanic’s Discovery is equally comfortable and costs slightly less than the competition.
Read further for more on the full review of the Discovery.
The low-down on the Oceanic Discovery
Having noted the least important component of a diving mask on my priorities list here’s a breakdown of Oceanic’s newest offering in no particular order:
Ok. I lied. Comfort is key and the way a dive mask fits is a make or break criteria of dive or snorkeling experience. I’ve suffered the slings and arrows of outrageously uncomfortable masks and come away with one conclusion. It sucks.
The Oceanic Discovery felt like it was made for my face. My colleagues and a random dude on the beach (not recommended during the COVID apocalypse) had similar impressions. The high-grade, soft silicone skirt has a form factor that adjusts to the contours of various facial structures, making for a firm seal and no suction-cup face.
Clearing water while at depth was no problem because of the thinner skirting just under the nose and the low volume profile.
As mentioned above, what’s great about this traditional teardrop-style, dual-lens masks is the field of vision they provide. Especially the peripheral view is grand with the widened outer edges. Finding and maintaining zen down below is always made easier by limiting the amount one has to swivel to look and observe moving and various objects and fish.
The inner edges around the nose give even the meaty fingers ample access to equalize. Even with gloves on, pinching the nose shouldn’t be a problem. And yet the wide birth doesn’t obstruct the view when looking left to right, right and left.
Placed on the top edge just above the eyes and at the bottom trough are gummi striations placed for thumb and forefinger to easily adjust and move mask for removal or purging of water. Purging is a pinch. Well done.
The Straps and Buckles
More and more companies are designing masks with quick-release buckles. There might be a question of how robust this makes a mask over the long-term, but it does make for an easy and quick escape from the discomfort of pulling hair following a dive. Considering some masks have added a neoprene or fabric strap to avoid hair pulling, this might appeal to some.
Technical divers may find this quick release problematic, deciding the risk of an ill-timed, unintentional quick-release too much to gamble on. But for recreational divers, the swivel-capable buckle with hinge and pinch clip makes it easy to adjust the fit of the mask exactly to your liking and it stays there. With the buckle embedded in the skirt, the fit of the mask follows the movements of your face, even when removing and replacing the reg.
Assuming the quick-release buckle doesn’t break after continued use, which it probably won’t, this gets a thumbs up.
The Silicone Skirt
Even though the Oceanic Discovery is not a high-end dive mask, it has a pretty impressive build quality to it. The high-grade 100% silicone contributes to this. It’s the skirt that provides comfort and a very reliable seal. It’s the skirt that helps make clearing and purging the mask a piece of cake.
The inner lip or ridge of the silicone skirt that wraps around the eyes and across the brow helps make the seal more reliable and the suction effect less intense and uncomfortable.
It’s also the quality of the skirt that will make this dive mask (if treated right over time) last 20 years. Thin under the nose and thick around the eyes and forehead where it should be, the skirt speaks of thoughtful design with thickened supports to strengthen the embedded buckles.
Care and Maintenance
Always rinse with fresh water as soon as possible.
In terms of comfort and vision, there are no complaints as previously noted. The wide field of view in particular is worth mentioning again.
Having dived with the Tusa Freedom Ceos with equal delight I didn’t expect to be so pleased with this one, but alas I look forward to the next dive with the Ocean Discovery mask.
And given the reasonable price of this mid-range mask, it’s suitable for beginners, dive shops, and more advanced divers in my opinion.