Review: Apex/OTS Guardian Full Face Mask
Hey guys, this is Cody from Rowand’s Reef and I’m here to talk to you about the Apex/OTS Guardian Full Face Mask. I picked up one of these a few years back when I started working as a Commercial Diver and needed a setup that would allow me to use a communications system. Over the years I started to use it more and more for recreational diving and I want to talk to you about why I think the Apex/OTS Guardian deserves a home in your gear bag as well.
The Apex/OTS Guardian Full Face Mask is designed to make diving easier, more comfortable and safer for divers of all skill levels. With the Apex/OTS Guardian Full Face Mask you have the luxury of breathing through your mouth as well as your nose, the full face mask style will keep your face warmer while diving in colder environments and the increased field of view and ability to communicate underwater can alleviate the stress a regular mask and regulator system can cause.
The biggest challenge I faced as a new diver was finding a mask that was comfortable, fit perfectly and didn’t leak all of the time. The Apex/OTS Guardian Full Face Mask solved all of these problems with its Double Mask Seal. This innovated seal system allows the mask to fit virtually every shape of face flawlessly, guaranteeing a perfect fit and comfortable seal that never leaks. It also performs very well for individuals with facial hair. Being a full face mask with the regulator and mask as one joint unit, this alleviates the issue of mask squeeze because breathing normally will equalize it automatically. This can be a problem for newer divers who haven’t mastered airway control and find it difficult to equalize their mask underwater. The Apex/OTS Guardian Full Face Mask also comes with a factory anti-fog coating inside the visor which removes the need to spit in the mask or use anti-fog drops. All of this contributes to the Apex/OTS Guardian Full Face Mask delivering the most comfortable and hassle free diving experiences available.
Equalizing can be tough sometimes, and with other full face mask systems it can be even more difficult. The Apex/OTS Guardian has solved this problem by including a wide range of adjustable nose blocks in the box. This allows people with every shape and size of nose to be able to equalize with ease. If you are not a fan of using the Valsalva Maneuver you will be pleased with how much easier the Frenzel Maneuver is in the Apex/OTS Guardian. Because you’re not holding a regulator with a mouthpiece in your mouth you get a much greater range of jaw movement and swallowing is much easier as well. Again, all of this makes the Apex/OTS Guardian one of the easiest and most versatile equalizing experiences out there.
One last feature that makes a world of difference over every other Full Face Mask I have used is the Ambient Breathing Valve (ABV). With other systems you will be pulling air off of your tank as soon as you put the mask on. This means you will probably go through quite a bit of your air supply before you get in the water and descend, especially if there is a lengthy surface swim involved. The Apex/OTS Guardian has a little twist valve on the side that when opened allows you to draw air from outside of the mask.
Despite all of the incredible advantages the Apex/OTS Guardian Full Face Mask can offer any diver it isn’t without its downsides. Every time I go into the water with my Guardian I have to be prepared for the (unlikely) possibility of a “catastrophic failure.” If the mask was to start leaking continuously beyond the point of recovery or if the regulator was to fail I would have to have a pocket mask and an alternate air source I could switch to. It is also important to seek out proper training to learn how to use the system correctly. However, most dive centers that are selling this system will likely be able to teach you how to use it.
Thanks for taking the time to read read my review of the Apex/OTS Guardian Full Face Mask and I hope you get to experience just how great diving one of these can be.