In the wake of the ongoing snorkel mask revolution a lot of companies try to get there piece of the pie. The newest kid on the block is the SeaBeast AF90 mask with a special anti-fog treated lens which prevents fogging at all. So is this snorkel mask worth your money? No not so much.
First off there is a lot to like about the AF90. The design looks good and though and the build quality is great. You can really feel a lot of effort is put in to make this mask great.
The high build quality shows as well when you put on the mask. The silicon is soft and has a great fit. Like most masks the Seabeast is available in two sizes which corresponds with the lengt from the top of your nose to your chin. There is no child version of the Seabeast available just yet. The cover over the mouth and nose is sufficient to keep any bad air out of the looking part and the valves are working correctly as well.
If we take a look at the snorkel on top we find the standard parts like a dry top to keep water out. Different is the way the snorkel detaches from the mask. With other masks the snorkel comes off completely but with the AF90 the snorkel folds back when detached, staying attached to the snorkel. When you want to use the mask, you just put it back up and secure it with the clip on the top. This is a great innovation and skips the whole jerking off the snorkel part and prevents losing it altogether.
The lens is a flat one with small curves on the edges. Although these curves do refract a bit of the sight this is not really bothersome when using the mask. Only a part of the lens is see-through which gives you a nice focus straight ahead. This also prevents a lot of exces light pouring in from the sides.
All great but……
So, the Seabeast is shaping up to be nothing short of a great snorkel mask. There is only one big problem with it and it’s also the reason why we can’t recommend it to you. A few weeks ago we made a video about dangerous snorkel masks and how to avoid them. In this video we discuss the possibility of CO2 building up within the mask and how this can be dangerous. A lot of snorkel mask manufactures have tackled this problem by making small tubes which run along the side of the mask to the snorkel. The snorkel is divided in three tubes for which the to outer are for the bad air which you exhale.This prevents any exhailed air (which contains more CO2) the be sucked back into the mask when you inhale. If it wasn’t for this system you would keep on breathing your own already used air which causes an ever increasing amount of CO2. In the end this can even cause you to faint while snorkeling.
First off the Seabeast doesn’t have three outlets in the snorkel. There are two which are both used for both the good air(inhaling) and the bad air(exhaling). This causes the bad air to go back into the mask. An other major difference with other snorkel masks is the fact that the tubes running along the mask to the top are open at the top near the snorkel. We haven’t seen these two characteristics on any of the other masks we have tried period.
Contact with Seabeast
Since the difference between the mask from Seabeast and any other mask is so big we’ve contacted Seabeast. In their reaction they state that some bad air isn’t bad and they have tested the masks. Nonetheless you shouldn’t use the Seabeast for more than half an hour on an end. This isn’t stated anywhere in the manual or on their website.
So is the Seabeast AF90 worth a Buy?
At the moment no! We find the differences between the design of the Seabeast and other masks worrying. Also the reaction given by Seabeast does not help to lift our worries. We are not snorkel mask designers and we are not saying it is dangerous to use the Seabeast but the fact that they say you shouldn’t use the mask for more than half an hour is strange. All this together makes us not recommend this mask.