a blue full-face snorkeling mask
Freediving,  Gear Review

Decathlon’s Easybreath Snorkeling Mask 2.0

Being the pioneer of full-face snorkeling mask, Decathlon’s brand for snorkeling and diving equipment, SUBEA, is yet to release this year their newest item and innovation – the Easybreath Surface Snorkeling Mask 2.0 that actually lets you communicate even at a distance without removing the mask!

Easybreath Surface Snorkeling Mask vs Ordinary Snorkeling Mask

Coverage and Breathing

The ordinary snorkeling mask basically covers the eyes, nose and mouth. It allows one to breath only through the mouth using a separate snorkel with its other end above the surface of the water. Breathing through nose may cause fogging of the lens. This mask also allows one to dive up to several meters as it allows equalization through pinching of the nose. The Easybreath, on the other hand, is a full-face mask made of Polycarbonate plastic. It covers the whole face and is steadily fastened on the head through the adjustable elasticated textile strap. Its difference from an ordinary snorkeling mask is that it allows breathing through either the nose or the mouth – just like how breathing is on the land. Hence, it is good for those who are having trouble with snorkeling that requires breathing through the mouth alone.
The full-face mask has high quality silicone face skirt that provides more than cushion and comfort and also serves as a seal to prevent the water from coming in to the face. A part of this skirt extends and separates the upper part of the face from the nose and the mouth. The exclusivity of the air circulation on the lower part prevents the mask from fogging. Its field of view is also wider compared to the ordinary snorkeling mask.

The Dry-top Snorkel System

Unlike the ordinary mask, The Easybreath Suface Snorkeling Mask has a steady “dry top” snorkel system. It may be removable but it can be clipped and mounted firmly on top. The airway at the top automatically closes in as the water pushes the soft rubber up to prevent the water from coming into the mask. The water that came into the snorkel system gets drained through the purge valve at the bottom of the mask.
Held my breath for a few sec and swam a little beyond the surface with my Easybreath mask
The full-face mask, however, cannot be used in diving as equalization might be challenging. Maximum depth for it would be one meter. Going deeper and beyond this causes the pressure to push the mask so hard against the face. Though advance equalization technique (i.e. hands-free, frenzel, VTO) may work somehow, it is still not advisable to use it for diving. Some may also experience slight difficulty in breathing as a portion of the Carbon Dioxide exhaled may possibly concentrate and build up at the breathing area of the mask.The mask has different colors and sizes. Sizes vary from Small to Medium and Medium to Large frame. It can be loosened or  tightened through the elastic strap. It is available in all the branches of Decathlon stores in the Philippines and can be purchased from their website.

The Easybreath Surface Snorkeling Mask 2.0

Water enthusiasts know that one of the inconveniences and disadvantages of using full-face masks when snorkeling is that talking to your buddy is impossible while wearing it. This year, Decathlon Philippines will be releasing their Easybreath Surface Snorkeling 2.0. This all new improved Surface Snorkeling Mask allows enthusiasts to explore the ocean from the surface at the same time, talk with one another even at a 30-meter distance.
The Dry Top Snorkel System of Easybreath Surface Snorkeling Mask 2.0 with a battery-operated wireless radio

The 2.0 version has the same mask with a modified mount for the dry top snorkel system. If you already have SUBEA’s surface snorkeling mask, you can soon get from the Decathlon stores an adapter that lets you replace and clip the dry top snorkel system to a new one that has the battery-operated wireless radio.

It takes two to tango!

The two-way wireless radio is powered by three pieces of AA battery type. The modified design keeps the water from getting into the body of the snorkel with the batteries. It has a water-resistant microphone and speaker which are found at the lower back part of the snorkel itself. The communicating device has three buttons – the power, volume up and volume down. A flickering blue light indicates that the radio is on and working. It also makes a distinct sound for power on and off, volume up and down indication. The design of the full-face mask allows its users to talk with ease as the lower part of the face is also covered.

The back of the old dry top snorkel of Easybreath versus the one with the radio
The old and the new

The Review

We recently visited one of my most favorite diving spot in Batangas and I got the chance to test the all new Easybreath Surface Snorkeling Mask 2.0. Together with my diving buddy, we put on the mask, walked to opposite direction, swam into the waters and turned the wireless radio on. We set the device to the highest volume possible.

The Wireless Communicating Device

At five meters apart, we could clearly hear one another – on and off waters. I loved how we could talk despite the distance as it’s only possible before when we would remove our masks and shout the words out. Proving how good it worked at five meters apart, we tried swimming away from each other and continuously talked. One of the devices worked well – What I have said could be heard clearly by my diving buddy. However, I started receiving low frequency audio which made it hard for me to understand what my diving buddy was saying. This happened to us at around ten meters apart and our heads out of the water. I played with the volume controller hoping that it would do something about it. When he tried snorkeling, I did not understand a thing as the sounds I received were just distorted ones – maybe it was his voice drowned in the sound of the waves, too. However, there would be times that the reception would be good with my mask as I could decipher what he said despite the low volume (though the volume was set on max). The battery may also be a factor on this problem (review to be updated).

The Mask

The mask’s lens did not fog up all throughout our snorkeling experience. It also gave me an unobstructed and panoramic view of the underwater life. Further, the elastic strap and the silicon skirts both provided comfort on my head and face.  The elastic trap didn’t get my long hair pulled and tangled. The Eeasybreath’s elastic strap can be adjusted (tightened or loosened) by pulling the end of the strap found at the jaw area. Adjusting it is somehow convenient as it could just be pulled back to prevent it from getting loose. The strap is made of fabric that doesn’t easily slip. It is fastened and clipped firmly, too, as there is a band that also serves as a lock. However, there would be times that the mask would leak at the silicon skirts on the forehead area especially when I directly look down.

Traveling with the Easybreath Surface Snorkeling Mask

You can actually dismount the snorkel from the mask itself. Regardless, the fact that it is bulky cannot be denied. Further, you have to take a good care of it especially when packing for it to be safe from being scratched, broken or dropped. Sand and rocks may also cause the scratch. Since its mask is plastic, it is prone to scratches which are really distracting when snorkeling. When used, make sure that you’ll also get the mask dry especially the strap first as it can get the other stuff in your bag soaked, too, just in case.

Things to Remember when Using the Full Face Mask

If you’re planning to get yourself a full-face mask, be reminded of the following:
1. Never use it for diving.
2. This is only good for casual snorkeling and swimming.
3. Choose the mask that fits your face correctly.
4. Store it carefully to avoid scratches and damage.
5. Go for the branded, tried and tested ones as these won’t compromise your safety (only if you consider these reminders, too).

Have you tried using SUBEA’s Easybreath full face mask, too? How’s your experience? Tell us about it!

Anne Elizabeth Gumiran, also known as Queenie, is a 20-something, full-time public school teacher, a part-time travel blogger and a freediver. She started putting her stories of adventures and misadventures into words and pictures in 2017 and continues to do so as she shares her advocacy, Sustainable Traveling.

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