Just got my hands on one of these ever so sexy Omer Zero 3 masks the other day.
Probably slightly sexier than other masks as it was designed in collaboration with Momo (they design motorcycle and car stuff… and they are Italian so that helps I guess?).
To look at, there is no better looking mask in my opinion, very Batman, new cool batman… not camp 60s Batman. Think more The Dark Knight and less kerblam… kerpow… jumping jehosephats.
The raked lenses, matt finish nose and built in menacing frown gives it a ‘This guy means business’ look. Especially when you hold it up next to something like my old favourite the Superocchio, which always makes you look a little depressed and cross-eyed.
The strap is really nice. It opens up to cover as much or as little of the back of your head as you wish. This gives a really secure feel. This secure feeling is probably increased thanks to the matt finish of the strap itself, moving away from the gloss look of a lot of freediving silicone. The clips are clever too. Hard to describe really, they almost cantilever on themselves to close shut, and seem really well made. Not too much in the way of tiny buttons to fiddle with in order to adjust.
To hold, it is very light… too light perhaps? I dont know. When something is light you always assume it wont last, but thats not always the case. Only time will tell on that one.
Getting wet. Vision and seal.
Just like a lot of low volume masks, the Zero 3 has one real problem in regards to fit. By stripping down all superfluous materials and seal, it can make masks like this uncomfortable to wear if it doesnt naturally fit your face.
Now… I feel like I just scrape in on the comfortable side of things.
Its comfy, but if my nose were a bit bigger… or my forehead a bit more prominent then this would not be a good mask for me. So before you commit to buying, as with any mask, i would recommend trying one on (or if buying online making sure you can benefit from distance selling regulations).
When i dipped my head under the water i didnt get a great seal at first. So i adjusted its position on my face and then all was well. The best way to describe this mask is to think of it like a supercar vs a family saloon. The supercar needs a little extra car in its settings etc whilst the saloon will run just fine the moment you jump in…. you get the idea? I have to shift it up a bit to get a good seal, which seem right i guess as it means my brow fills the ‘mean’ looking eyebrow bit. Although this does give me some pressure on the center of my brow. Not too much though.
Once I got a good seal it gave me really AMAZING vision. So much better than my Superoccio and a billlion time better than the Minima. I would put it on a par with something like the Lince. It also didnt seem to magnify as much as my other masks. Everywhere seemed the ‘correct’ distance away, which felt odd at first, but not as odd as say the weirdness you get from a sphera mask (if you have used one, you know what i mean).
When it comes to deep diving, volume is the buzzword. Less internal volume means more depth as you have less airspace to have to equalise. Omer sell the Zero 3 under the premise that it has such a low volume that you do not need to equalise it until 18m! Well well… that is quite a boast! Lets put it up again ts some of its top competitors and see how low volume it really is.
We tested the volume of the masks by filling them with water. We blocked the nose pocket (as your nose basically fills that anyway) and focused on the volume in the main airspace between the lens and the eye. This is the ranking…
In reverse order, using ml as the measurement (you measure gas in litres too so its kinda appropriate…)
5.Cressi Occhio Plus – 125ml
4.Cressi Superocchio – 100ml
3.Omer Bandit – 90ml
2.Cressi Minima- 75ml
and the winner…….
1.Omer Zero 3! 55ml
Not bad huh!? (remember this is not including ‘nose’ volume)
A mask of such a low volume has to out perform other masks at depth, as long as it fits you.
How does it feel at depth?
The great vision really helps make you feel more comfortable under the water for a start. As it compresses i did feel a fair bit of pressure on my brow, but not so much as to make the dive uncomfortable. Im not sure if its on purpose or not, but the lenses actually sweep away from the face, so when it compresses, it flexes at the nose and allows the mask to wrap a little around the face but with no distortion of vision. If it wasn’t on purpose, its certainly very lucky, as its a great feature.
Did i equalise before 18m. Yes. Did i have too? Maybe not, habit broke in and I forgot that the 18m zero equalisation thing was a selling point. I only had the chance to dive to 20m as i was teaching an AIDA 2 star freediving course, but it felt great up to then. The vision still winning me over more than anything.
Being totally honest, i didnt get the best seal when inverted, but i think that may have been due to a bit of manly stubble that im sporting at the moment!
All in all…. Its a great mask. If you have the spare cash i would recommend it. Hey…If you dont like it at least you can use it for fancy dress this Halloween!
Not the best seal.
Bit of pressure on the brow.
VERY low volume
You can get your own Batman mask…. I mean Omer Zero 3… from Spearfishingstore.co.uk. Students of Freedive UK get a discount!