I never thought that I needed belay glasses for rappelling and climbing activities. At least, I'm pretty sure about it during my initial outdoor tenure. Then, one of my friends persuaded me to try a pair.
It was at that particular time that I made up my mind to try some of the best belay glasses. I wasn't a professional belayer back then in any manner. However, I began indulging in this activity more often after buying my first pair.
Anyway, What are Belay Glasses
When compared to regular glasses, they work quite differently. The reason - they've prismatic lenses in place of normal ones. It's the prismatic lenses that change the way of viewing the world.
The improved viewing option improves our posture and reduces neck strain. For this reason, belay glasses are highly popular among climbing and rappelling fanatics worldwide.
How Do Belay Glasses Work
Here's how. The belay glasses come fitted with prismatic lenses. The lenses bend the light coming in from above via the internal reflection process.
The process of inner reflection directs the light into the wearer's eyes. That allows him/her to see what's happening above directly (mainly to spot the climber).
However, climbers and rappellers get to do so, keeping the head in a comfy position. Such an adjustment relieves users from neck and shoulder pain. What a relief!
Ask any rappeller, and they should reply to how happy they'd be to ease their discomfort. Plus, the exclusive design of belay glass frames and the overall structure present a split vision field.
Simultaneously, the peripheral field resting on the sides of each lens helps the wearer see his/her surroundings. The central field, on the other hand, provides a vertical vision of the climber above.
At this point, anyone may wonder - who created those magnificent glasses? Well, a German climber, Albi Schneider, invented them in 2007. That's not long ago.
Can I Try Belay Glasses with My Prescription Glasses
Yes, the makers thought about this point when creating these lovely pieces. You may wear them with your correcting glasses, provided you use a clip-on style.
Few reputed brands offer belay glasses in this style. I mostly pick Y&Y models because they provide the best models right now.
I'll take this topic in another article as it deserves special attention, in my opinion.
Can I Try Belay Glasses for My Reading Regimen
Technically, yes. I've seen some individuals doing that. Actually, people have a tendency to use any pair of glasses for reading. Human beings primarily term glasses as reading accessories.
According to my, it won't affect your vision even if you put them on for long reading sessions. Yet, you could feel weird after taking them off.
These glasses tend to bend light in a unique way. I'm confident you can use them for other scenarios too. I don't remember many people reading when lying totally flat.
However, you can read lying utterly flat if you want. Just be sure you don't use belay glasses per se. Instead, get a pair of periscope glasses meant for bedtime reading.
What Do People See After Wearing Belay Glasses
Let me give you a clear picture of how you can see through them. Right from their invention in 2007, many companies tested their hands to craft this excellent belaying gear.
These glasses aren't necessary for rappellers as they usually look downwards when descending. Yet, these models might come in handy in case you plan to rope upwards for a long time.
Furthermore, they also keep rappellers from holding their neck in an inconvenient position. In addition to averting discomfort, they let you climb effortlessly, thus saving your valuable time.
No matter how fast or slow you're reading this post, you know whether you should use belay glasses or not. It's just that you may want to figure out which brand may fit your needs.
In other words, you haven't decided which pair you should buy, right? If so, let's check out the best belay glasses you may order this year. That should help you find the right pair for your specific needs.
Plus, it'll save time and minimize your purchase hassles. By the end of this post, I'll also let you know which pair I regularly use and why.
1) Y&Y Belay Glasses
Termed as a better alternative to the Belaggles, they've considered the best belay glasses on the market today. So, it adds a bit of flexibility to your mix. Y&Y glasses encompass a thinner frame and a high-end BK7 prism.
The slim frame enables two different vision fields - climber and surrounding. One notable fact is Y&Y fits perfectly on numerous prescription glasses. Furthermore, you have the option to use them even with sunglasses on.
As far as comfort goes, the makers looked at flexible bows (made from memory alloy) and silicone nose pads. They thought about all facets when creating the glasses. That makes sense as belay glasses are built with comfort as the epicenter.
In addition to this, these glasses include a top-quality spectacle case furnished with its unique carabiner. I own a similar pair. Yet, I generally use them as a backup pair in case something goes wrong with my main pair.
2) Belaggles Belay Glasses - Carbon Black
These glasses stand to almost all possible requirements. For this reason, I included them in the belay glasses segment. They aren't too bulky on your eyes. On the contrary, they render immense wearing comfort.
Even better, they provide a pleasant field of vision, frontally, and peripherally. In the words of the manufacturer, these pairs come with wide viewing lenses with utmost clarity.
Plus, they include retainer eyelets as well as curved lenses. What's more promising about Belaggles is they provide a wider viewing option along with precise magnification. There's no distortion. In my opinion, that's a key feature when you're out on the rocks.
However, there's one downside associated with these lovely glasses. The prism quality is a bit undesirable. Also, the wide-angle takes a toll on the user when it boils down to the product's weight. Of course, they carry a little more weight. You may feel uncomfortable in case you put them on top of your prescription glasses.
These models come in a few different colors. Purple, yellow, lemon, black, and pink are the available options to choose from. In a nutshell, the Belaggles belay glasses do the job well for focal precision and viewing angles. However, they're a bit bulky on your head and eyes.
3) Belay Glasses for Rock Climbing
It's actually the lightest pair on my list. Consequently, these belay glasses the most comfortable pair to put on. However, that doesn't indicate they're unreliable or flimsy in any manner. After all, they have a highly durable titanium frame.
Users who prefer a lighter pair or those who intend to wear something on prescription glasses go after this light-weight model. Another advantage - these belay glasses come at a lower price tag compared to the glasses mentioned above.
I really appreciate the affordable price tag. Still, the overall design disappointed me. Despite this fact, these glasses make an ideal choice if you want an obtrusive pair of belay glasses.
The model comes housed in a shock-proof case. Plus, it accompanies a cleaning cloth, an extra silicone nose pad, and a black neck strap. Additionally, you get a screwdriver and two screws for quick overhauling.
4) Crush Climbing Crush Vision Belay Glasses
It might not be as favored as other brands that we've presented so far. Yet, I believe that the makers deserve applause for crafting a fine piece of product for users. The glasses are obviously sturdy, as expected.
Words fail to describe the pair's durability as you accompany this climbing equipment in rocks or uneven hills. Although the frames are a bit bulky, the Crush Climbing Belay Glasses surprisingly carry a lighter weight.
Since they match durability and light-weight, they come at a slightly higher price. The reason - the manufacturing costs tend to elevate for quality items. Plus, the crystal clear prism of the glasses offers much better resistance to scratches.
Still, you may expect a few scratches due to regular usage and damages. Yet, they're a preferred quality eye-wear. The package comes complete with a case, lanyard, a cleaning kit, a crush climbing sticker, and a trainee eBook.
Finally, I'd like to comment on the design aspect. The glasses feature a superb appearance. They unquestionably stand out with their unique looks when compared to the models mentioned above. The design team deserves a pat on their back for their contemporary and futuristic designing approach.
Useful Tips on Purchasing Belay Glasses
- Belay glass frames come in various materials. However, stay clear of models that come with plastic frames unless you have a slimmer budget. Plastic framed pieces are a lot cheaper compared to their metal counterparts. That should compensate for a tight budget. However, they lack the much-sought durability. It's best to buy a few metal-framed pairs instead of buying too many plastic-framed pairs. That way, you can enjoy the longevity of glasses without sacrificing durability and quality.
- Buying belay glasses isn't a budget-breaking affair. Yet, some models are better than others and come at a slightly higher cost. Choose the pair that matches your needs, depending on your experience level and usage criteria. I won't expend too much if I want to belay a couple of times a year.
- No matter your choice, be sure that they fit you properly. In case you want to wear them on your prescription glasses, take extra care to find the right fit. Everything may appear fine outwardly, but the excess weight can be annoying. So better look for a lighter pair instead of carrying a bulky pair with some kind of discomfort.
- Check the design and other visual appeals of the model, but don't overdo the aesthetics. Belay glasses aren't meant to enhance your looks. They are comfort-oriented and functional. So, don't try to look for ornamentation when making your selection. Instead, see to it that they have high-quality frames and prisms. The other accessories are mere filling elements. Even I get carried with reviewing the designs when buying belay glasses. So, I intend to practice on this point too. No one is perfect, okay?
- In case you don't wish to invest too much in a decent pair, try to make your belay glasses. However, you'll need a standard pair of periscope reading glasses for the base. The result may not be as promising as you wish. Still, it'll be a lot cheaper even though it'll have some imperfections.
What's The Best Belay Glasses in My Opinion
Whenever I plan to go belaying, I always carry two pairs. I've my reasons for owning two pairs for my outdoor tenures. My first pair belongs to the Belaggles brand. Plus, I keep one pair of belay glasses from Y&Y for backup.
I won't say which pair is better than the other. Yet, I'm used to the Belaggles. I find them more comfortable out there. However, that doesn't mean that I don't like Y&Y. It's just that I use Belaggles more often and have become accustomed to its usage.
Conclusion on the Best Belay Glasses
The market is full of various glasses. Each pair has its own perks and downsides. You may choose whatever you want, depending on your liking and needs. Still, I tried to shed light on a few popular options you may find useful.
Each of the models stated above is entirely viable for anyone thriving to practice belaying without enduring neck pain. Here, I wouldn't say that belay glasses significantly changed my life as a belayer. However, they did make my outdoor adventures more comfortable.
They're unquestionably an appealing and straightforward piece of climbing accessory that most people underrate. Also, many belayers often ignore them because they don't feel like using them.
Yet, they don't eat up too much space in your bag. However, they can definitely help you get rid of uncomfortable episodes that you might encounter when belaying. Put simply, they ease your shoulder and neck pain when climbing and rappelling in your preferred spots.
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