When I’m considering a new mask purchase, there are a few things I always take into account:
- Fit/ Comfort
This week’s product review is on one of my all time favourite masks – The Hollis M1 Onyx.
Released by Hollis International in 2009, this product has stood the test of time, and is now one of the most popular high-end masks on the market.
Made with Matte Black silicone, first impression of this mask is leaning towards the more utilitarian side, with no fancy bits on it all other than a bit of red in the Hollis logo.
As with all things Hollis makes, this mask is exceptional quality. Not much more needs to be said on that.
The mask’s lens is of notable mention – made of Saint Gobain Diamant Crystal Clear Lens (an awfully long name that basically means better than usual tempered glass), you’ll find underwater scenes less green and a lot clearer with this mask than your usual run of the mill tempered mask.
It’s also worth noting that this mask is entirely frameless – the lens actually forms the structure of the body, with the silicone fused onto the glass. The lack of frame doesn’t appear to matter – despite many uses and now my hefty fingers attempting to peel the silicone off the lens, nothing will budge it.
- Excellent feel of materials
- Manufactured very well, no returns or issues with this mask since we started selling it
- Fancy clear glass added bonus re: underwater clarity
- Hollis has to charge more because this bad boy lasts so long
I’m lucky in that I’ve got one of those easy to fit faces – oval and without a prominent brow. On me, this mask is perfect. It sits on my face under pressure without the strap and seals remarkably well. I can sometimes have trouble with my nose (mum says its Amazonian, dad says its huge) fitting into masks, but the nose pocket on the Hollis M1 is generous enough that my snoz feels free to roam without restraint.
The silicone skirt is supple and doesn’t cause any discomfort or pressure marks on my face after wearing it during this review. It also continues to seal even after smiling and cracking jokes in the office – it will hold up well underwater with the reg in.
- Seals well (on me)
- Nice silicone
- Not the softest skirted mask I’ve tried – probably attributed to the lack of frame and needing a firmer skirt
- Join between the inner and outer seal is at quite a sharp angle (pictured) – this doesn’t compromise the fit on me but may on someone with a narrower face or defined lines on their face.
This is where the Hollis M1 excels. It really offers unparalleled vision – better than any other mask I’ve tried. Particularly noted is the downwards vision in this mask – I see the bottoms of my cheeks before I see the bottom of the mask. A very useful feature for checking gauges.
Peripherally this mask is also brilliant – the side of my vision is barely affected at all.
- Industry leading vision
- Fancy clear glass makes things seem brighter – like I’m not wearing anything at all
- Only available in black skirted silicone – some may consider this a con
- We LOVE black skirted masks here so we don’t consider this a drawback at all!
I love love love this mask – that’s why I use it. It is towards the steeper end of the price spectrum BUT it pays dividends in vision, reliability and fit.
Perhaps because of the lack of frame, or maybe it’s because of the fancy lens… This mask is one of the worst for post manufacture fogging I’ve ever encountered.
We always treat any mask purchased from us either in store or online, however the M1 will need a bit of extra elbow grease. I’ve heard putting it through the dishwasher works. Personally I gave it a good scrub (cream cleanser or toothpaste & a fingernail on the inside of the lens) a few times and then used it alternating antifog and baby shampoo. No issues with fogging and now I just use standard antifog after a few weeks of this.
Products mentioned in this blog: