By Bethy Driscoll
The Aeris team also knows how uncomfortable a misplaced snorkel can be on a dive, and they did something about it with a sewn-in snorkel keeper. The 1-inch elastic strap is looped and sewn through two plastic pieces that are fastened to the hard frame, not the silicone. This helps hold the mask comfortably in place on your face throughout your whole dive. You don’t have to worry about your strap coming unthreaded underwater or being unevenly tightened; you simply adjust the mask strap by sliding the material from the right to the left until it is sized just right, which can easily be done with 5 mm gloves on.
The next thing that I noticed was the slanted,wide frame and its increased field of vision. The extended lens, positioned at a downward angle, allows a diver to see and access their equipment from the chin down. While gearing up at the back of the boat with my mask on, I was surprised that I was able to look down and have a clear view of all my D-rings, clips and gauges. I also found that the low-volume, angled frame was very streamlined when doing a giant stride off of the top deck of the boat — my Cyanea didn’t move and I was ready to test it out underwater.
Usually, once I descend into the kelp forest, I spend majority of my dive looking up to capture beams of light sneaking through the kelp canopy, playing sea lions, or soaring bat rays. You can imagine how sore a my neck can grow after an hour of tilting my head upward, but the Cyanea’s wide frame lens allowed me to easily gaze up toward the surface without adjusting my body positioning. Overall, I was very impressed with the field of vision and I would suggest this mask for anybody who feels claustrophobic underwater.
This mask also offers hope for those divers who have had a mask frame press so hard on their forehead that it left a bruise. Divers with all face sizes and shapes have said this mask doesn’t put pressure between the brows and it seals great. A someone with big smile lines, I was surprised how well the Cyanea sat on my chubby cheeks.The super-soft silicone molded to the curves of my face really well, which ultimately means less water in my mask when I start laughing or making funny faces underwater.
Finally, I wanted to know how the Aeris Cyanea looked on me, so I took a handful of selfies. Unlike a lot of double pane masks, this one doesn’t make me look cross-eyed, and the black silicone adds a nice contrast in photos. (I opted to get the black silicone with red accent, but there are a variety of color combinations).
After I tested the Cyanea mask, I asked my buddies to test the waters as well. This is what they thought:
Natalie Blea – avid scuba diver and conservationist
I really loved the extra-clear lens and the extra-wide view of the new Aeris Cyanea mask. The security of the skirts’ fit on my petite face has me anxious to dive with it again ASAP.”
Virginia Hatter – hardcore PADI MSDT and ocean enthusiast
“…being a previously sponsored semi-professional ATV racer and snowboard enthusiast, it was nice to see someone create a scuba diving diving mask with a similar strap for comfort, promoting less stress on the anchor points, easy adjustment and broad contact with my hood. The black skirt and soft feel to the face was also a welcomed necessity. Looking forward to them hopefully being produced in a black skirt with white-frame accents and strap color scheme.”
Doug Krause – Vice President of Aeris
The Cyanea concept believe it or not started with two things that have annoyed me for as long as I can remember – the snorkel and how it attaches to the mask and the ever complicated mask strap buckle. The seemingly simple snorkel keeper has been redesigned over the years to include swivels, slides and quick releases – all without really addressing the fact that as designed, they simply don’t position the snorkel efficiently. The bottom line is that you’ve got one section in your mouth – then it takes a sharp turn up to your mask strap at your temple – and somehow the hope is that the snorkel top faces toward the back of your head or up while you’re face down in the water. It doesn’t happen. Of course, using the highest quality silicone available, careful human factor study for fit, ultra clear glass, and a terrific view – up, down and side to side don’t hurt to guarantee the Cyanea to be one of the best fitting, best performing masks ever designed.”