Posted 22 October 2015
DIVER TESTS – Atomic Venom Frameless Mask
A mask with no frame? How does that work? Rather well, NIGEL WADE finds
Posted 22 October 2015
A mask with no frame? How does that work? Rather well, NIGEL WADE finds
DIVER TESTS – Atomic Venom Frameless Mask
MASK DESIGN BOFFINS HAVE COME UP with some surprisingly innovative configurations in their quest to produce the perfect diving window. 
I’ve been testing masks like a man possessed over my two-year tenure as Technical Editor for DIVER, culminating in a group comparison test in which I examined the field of view of 22 models (Vision Variability, May 2015). 
The group tests gave me an insight into the psyche of the designers in their attempt to create masks that came close to a universal fit. 
I was under the impression that I had seen it all – until, that was, Atomic Aquatics sent me its latest Venom Frameless model to take for a spin under water.

THE DESIGN
The new Venom Frameless has the same shape, lens, buckles and strap as the original Venom, but that’s where the similarity ends. The skirt is where it all happens. 
Atomic has produced what the Americans call “Gummi Bear Ultrasoft” silicon (although the UK distributor would rather I referred to it as “Gel Silicon”). 
The face-seal is constructed from this gel, which is co-moulded to a more rigid body to create a blend of stiff and soft bi-silicon, and the seal geometry has had to be redesigned to make the most of this new material. 
The skirt is bonded directly to the lens, eliminating the need for a bulky frame and resulting in a streamlined low-profile, low-volume mask. 
The single lens is made from Schott Superwite Ultraclear glass, which has had the iron content removed during the manufacturing process to give superior light transmission and subsequent clarity. 
The Venom Frameless is available in black-and-grey or black-and-red colour schemes with the gel carrying the colours. Because of the frameless design, the lens is not available with an anti-reflective coating (ARC).


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