We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Full face mask at Costco

Ontario
Level Contributor
941 posts
19 reviews
Save Topic
Full face mask at Costco

Hi, I bought the Head Sport face mask at Costco and I am interested in hearing other people's opinions as to how it stacks up compared to more expensive ones. Pros: clear vision, no fog, no leakage, it is really nice not to have that snorkel in your mouth. Cons: the straps are a cheaper material that most, I am wondering if they hold up; it is awkward to pack and carry around; and I have had some trouble breathing when the waves are a bit rough.I know this is a well-known issue with these masks but I am wondering if anyone has found a full-face mask that offers a better breathing experience than this one.

43 replies to this topic
Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Maui
Level Contributor
14,454 posts
48 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Full face mask at Costco

I personally would not use it...especially a cheaper version. They are already studying whether these masks are causing some of the problems with drownings while snorkeling... the breathing issues as well as hard to take off easily. I wouldn't risk it..especially with a cheap knock off. I am friends with some people in the business on Maui and they are highly skeptical of them.

Fresno, California
Level Contributor
222 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Full face mask at Costco

I looked long & hard to find a full-face mask that wouldn't leak on my narrow face and ended up with the Ocean Aria from the Maui Costco (it leaks a bit but not excessively). I like it as an occasional change of page for easy snorkeling, but it does make it harder to breathe during strenuous swimming. Every full-face mask I've seen is just a minor variation on the original Tribord design, and IMO there's no way any of them aren't going to be problematic for active swimmers. The problem is simply that the volume of air in the mask restricts air exchange--and absent some advance in technology, that's going to be an issue with all of them.

Maui
Level Contributor
70,164 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Full face mask at Costco

I am in the *maybe* camp--and it's a huge maybe. The problems with these masks are growing, better documented, and **seem** to indicate the air exchange issue is greater than first thought.

Wisconsin
Level Contributor
437 posts
91 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Full face mask at Costco

I have the Tribord full face mask. I've also read some of the articles with concerns about the full face mask. I can't use a mask/snorkel because I have a hyperactive gag reflex (sorry, TMI). Prior to buying the face mask, I'd just use a pair of goggles (that don't cover my nose) and fins. Which leaves for a less than desirable experience, as I can't snorkel for long holding my breath. I definitely don't mind getting my face/hair wet, I'm not claustrophobic, and I'm not afraid of the ocean. I don't mean that I don't realize/respect how incredibly powerful/dangerous the ocean can be, but in the sense that some people are extremely uncomfortable/out of their element in even the best conditions while in the ocean. I've been swimming/snorkeling in the ocean since I was a kid, and growing up by Lake Michigan have a healthy fear/knowledge of undertows/rip tides.

I've used the Tribord once, in calm conditions with fins & a snorkel vest. I'm a good swimmer (former lifeguard), but I like the snorkel vest partially for safety, partially for visibility, and partially to help reach the perfect buoyancy despite being able to tread water in calm conditions for 1+ hours. The mask was absolutely incredible! No leaks, visibility greater than any goggles/mask set I've ever used. (I was able to tolerate a mask/snorkel better as a kid, still difficult, but the older I got, the harder it was to use to the point where I don't even attempt anymore). I didn't find the mask difficult to remove in the water, and didn't find it difficult to breathe, although I wasn't swimming quickly/hard by any means.

TBH, for me I feel safer using the full face mask than just the goggles alone. I'd have to take breaks from holding my breath so that I wouldn't get light headed. The only downside is you can't dive down with the full face mask, but in the future I plan on bringing my goggles just in case I want to. I always prefer snorkeling in calm water, if it's super choppy or rough it's not really pleasant IMO. Apparently this makes me "not a snorkeler" at all according to some snarky articles on the topic, but I guess if that is the case, so be it. Even with a traditional snorkel as a kid, getting water washing into your gear in rough water isn't pleasant/safe anyways IMO.

Just one anecdotal experience, so certainly not proof of anything either way. I will certainly use it while keeping the cautions about them in mind for future use.

Ontario
Level Contributor
941 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Full face mask at Costco

From my reading, the Tribord 2017 is supposed to have better air exchange but little detail is given. Also, the VistVue was said by one review to be better for breathing. Anyone with experience of them? I too would like to have a full face mask as one option while keeping my usual snorkel gear for choppy days. I started to get sores on my mouth from the snorkel, I believe.

Fresno, California
Level Contributor
222 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Full face mask at Costco

I'd be skeptical of any claims like that without convincing evidence as to how. any full-face design is going to hold more air than can be easily pushed out, and after a while a lot of it is going to be dead. unless I heard a clear & logical explanation of the technology, I wouldn't buy it.

Ontario
Level Contributor
941 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Full face mask at Costco

Can anyone point me to documentation of the breathing problems and possible connection to drownings??

Winnipeg
Level Contributor
253 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Full face mask at Costco

I too have a full face mask (Tribord) I love it. Amazing clarity. It has never leaked, I can take it off- while in the water, easily. The straps are thick elastic cloth, they seem fine but don’t know what to compare them too... I don’t feel I have an issue with air intake, but I do not snorkel for over an hour. I want to stay pretty much on the surface, I don’t go Waaay out from shore, and I always have my partner beside me. For these reasons I feel it’s safe enough to purchase one for my daughter for our next trip.

I have read some articles saying how these masks could* be unsafe. And some articles from avid snorkellers who don’t like the limitations these masks cause. I think it’s very good to be informed of any potential issues to watch out for.

Taylorone- Here is an article I read last year... I know there is another post on TA Maui forum discussing full face masks.

civilbeat.org/2017/…

Ontario
Level Contributor
941 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Full face mask at Costco

Wow...thanks for the reference....very interesting.

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
566 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Full face mask at Costco

We’ve been using the Triboard masks for 3 years now and love them. We haven’t experienced any air exchange issues with them. If you have facial hair, these are a Godsend as traditional masks always leak with a moustasche. I used to spend all my time clearing my mask :-(

The Triboard will, on occasion, leak a bit, but there is an automatic purge valve in the bottom of the mask that takes care of any accumulated water.

The Triboard uses a series of valves and a bifurcated snorkel. Fresh air intake comes in the center channel of the snorkel and exhaust goes out two separate channels on each side of the intake channel of the snorkel. I think this has a very positive effect on the air exchange issue. I don’t know if the knockoffs have this feature or not.

I caution those looking at the knockoffs. My son rented an off brand last year and it fogged up instantly and would not clear when in use. I tried it as well and had the same fogging issue. Our Triboards have never fogged on us.

Reply to: Full face mask at Costco
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted