This review is actually long overdue as I've had this mask for well over a year now and I honestly don't know why I hadn't done it before now. After trying multiple masks over several years (and several hundred dollars), some were good (Mystic, Star, Nano), and some were bad (Zero Cubed). Before this, I had actually decided upon the Cressi Nano as "the one". I thoroughly enjoyed the fit and volume of the Nano, but there were a couple of VERY minor issues with the fit. I'm convinced that the issue has more to do with my face than the masks, but it was still enough to keep me looking for the perfect, or at least the next best fit. A couple of years ago at the Blue Wild Expo, I saw and got to try on a pre-production sample of the soon to be released Omer UP-M1 freediving mask. I immediately noticed the softness of the silicone skirt, how it conformed to my face and sealed instantly, even with a dry fit.
I immediately let my friends at Austin's Dive Shop know that I wanted to get the first crack at this mask the second it was released. It took a little longer than originally predicted by Omer at the Blue Wild, but I ultimately got the call about 8 months after the show. It had finally arrived and I headed over to the dive shop immediately after work. I happily laid out the purchase price and headed home, looking forward to my next outing so I could try it out.
I will admit, that I was initially a little hesitant because of the obvious design similarities between the UP-M1 and the woefully misfitting Zero Cubed. I remembered that my initial test fit of the Zero Cubed was also pretty good but once I started using the mask with a snorkel, the top of the frame would bury itself into my brow ultimately causing headaches after using it, even for very short times, but I remained optimistic with the UP-M1. Luckily, my expectations were met and even exceeded a little bit because of how comfortable the mask was when doing all day dives.
From a volume perspective, the UP-M1 is another "Ultra Low Volume" mask (like the Nano at 85 cm3) and is incredibly easy to equalize. As mentioned, the silicone skirt is very soft and does not bind anywhere along it's edge. This has sometimes been an issue for me along the seal beneath my nose as I sometimes have a beard and positioning of the masks when I have one is very critical in order to maintain a proper and comfortable seal. The textured finish on the sides of the nose increases grip and makes equalizing considerably easier since your gloves are less likely to slip compared to a slick silicone finish on most other masks (if you're a valsava method equalizer like me). Last but not least when I compared the field of vision of my Nano to that of the UP-M1, I found no noticable differences. I did not conduct actual measurements, but in simple visual verification, my findings in the differences were unnoticeable to me. At the end of the day, most spearfisherman/divers aren't going to notice a minimal difference in field of view in every day diving.
I still love my Nano and pack it on every trip as my backup but my primary mask is definitely now the UP-M1 I honestly believe that you cannot make a wrong choice between these two. Whichever fits your face and your budget is the right choice. If I was to have one complaint about the UP-M1, it would have to be about the back of the strap as sometimes it's a little hard to get to lay flat. But I saw that they have addressed this in the UP-M3 by adding a couple of extra pieces of webbing on the back part of the strap that should get it to lay flat a litlle bit easier.
I know there have been a couple of newer masks released since the release of the UP-M1 but for me, at least for now, the search is over. With the prices for everything new ever increasing, I would recommend the UP-M1 without reservation and hopefully whomever I recommend it to can take advantage of lower prices since it won't be the newest mask at the shop.