Best Belay Glasses

Belay Glasses - Reviews & Guides For 2020

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Belay Glasses Buyers Guide

The relationship between a climber and a belayer requires impeccable trust. You need proper communication because while the climber is on their way, a belaying person guides them. However, it could be a straining task for a belayer to guide the climber consistently.

To help with these endeavors, belay glasses are available in the market. However, there are countless options available, and some people don't know about this brilliant innovation.

In this guide, you will learn about the importance of belay glasses. If you're contemplating whether it is worth getting belay glasses or not, you will get cohesive reasons. Furthermore, there is a full-fledged but straightforward buyer guide for belay glasses to make it easier for you.

You may also find some helpful tips and considerations along the way. There are answers to some common questions to simplify it for you further. Overall, this is your one-stop for everything you need to know about belay glasses and how to buy the best belay glasses.

How do belay glasses work?

If you get into the technical information, then they utilize prismatic lenses. These prismatic lenses bend the light that comes from above, at some height. The bending light creates a reflection on the glasses for you to perceive. Thus, belay glasses help you see what's going on with your climber at an elevated height.

You don't have to move or elevate your neck at all. Belay glasses allow you to maintain a comfortable position for the neck. You might be looking straight, but if you have belay glasses, they will enable you to monitor everything going above and around the climber.

However, it requires some practice for you to understand the functionality of belay glasses. Often, it has some distorted field for your vision. Thus, you might have to try different belay glasses unless you find the most comfortable ones.

Remember, the primary object of belay glasses is to reduce the strain you put on the neck. To do so, you need a proper pair of belay glasses. Furthermore, you need to practice with them and work with the climber to belay accurately. There is often some difference in the vision.

Over the years, belay glasses have become a prevalent part of climbing activities. You can see almost every belayer wearing these nowadays. There are countless innovations, similar to conventional glasses for belay glasses. Thus, it becomes paramount to learn about the various factors that determine the perfect piece for you.

Reasons to buy belay glasses

Are belay glasses worth it? If you have questions like these and wonder whether you should buy one, here are some of the most compelling reasons. Remember that it is an activity-specific tool. Thus, you should invest in them if you're a professional rock or mountain climber or a belayer who guides them.

There's no point in buying them if you enjoy rock climbing once in a while. However, if you're a belayer, these become the essential tools. These can prove to be a high value for money and help you neglect several problems. In the long run, belay glasses are highly effective.

Increases the safety

As a mountain climber strongly relies upon belayer to guide them, you are responsible for their safety. By using belay glasses, you will be able to keep eyes on the climber consistently. Simultaneously, you can help with pathfinding. Thus, it drastically reduces accidents like slip and falls when the belayer takes a rest.

You don't have to rest your neck or take breaks frequently. When a belayer rests their neck, they stop looking at the climber or the climbing route. If the climber can't wait, they may continue by themselves and could compromise the overall results by falling. It could also lead to irreversible damage. Thus, belay glasses are highly effective in eliminating these problems.

Reduce neck problems

The belayers across the world face a single most prominent problem throughout their careers. Their necks become stiff, and they develop some deformity or neck-related issues. It is because you have to look up and move your neck around consistently. Thus, it creates a lot of tension.

By using belay glasses, you can drastically reduce the strain from your neck. You will have a more relaxed and natural position to view the climbing without requiring too much neck movement. By holding a natural position, you eliminate the chances of developing neck problems with time.

This is primarily an excellent choice for older belayers. If you want to reduce medical expenses and other massage therapies and whatnot, you should consider investing in belay glasses.

Factors to consider when buying belay glasses

So, are you ready to browse through a range of belay glasses? Of course, nobody wants to get confused. Now that you've decided to buy belay glasses, here's the ultimate buyer's guide. However, these factors aim to provide you information and get a choice that matches personal preference.

If you want to make a quick buying decision, you can skim down to the part according to your requirement for a quick buying decision.

Frames

The frames of any glasses play a crucial role in delivering the utmost comfort with proper fitting. It also determines how long you can use the glasses. These are the primary part of the belay glasses that hold the lenses and help you find a comfortable fit.

Thus, here are some considerations you would have to make regarding the frames of your belay glasses:

The material

First, you have to consider the material of the frame. If you're allergic to certain elements, this becomes a vital factor to consider. There are countless materials available for frames. You will find metal frames and plastic frames.

Stainless steel is most common in belay glasses for metal. However, if you don't mind investing more bucks, you can find better alloys, including titanium, for your belay. A metal frame is generally more durable but equally heavy.

For plastic frames, propionate would be a better choice for sports activities. Thus, it is inevitably the right choice for your belay glasses. You might also want to consider the maintenance, durability, and flexibility of the frames before deciding.

There is an option available in which you get a mix of the two materials. Metal and plastic hybrid frames are catching popularity due to their flexibility and long-lasting durability.

Frame type

There are two types of frames available in belay glasses: Rigid and flexible. As their name suggests, a rigid frame is heavier but offers a better fit. These tend to be overall better in performance and comfort. However, you might not want to wear them for more extended periods.

Meanwhile, flexible frames are less prone to damage if they fall. Similarly, they settle according to the shape of your head and offer a decent fit. As they are lightweight, they are more prone to slipping and such. However, it could depend on the material you get for them.

Optics

Of course, the reason for you to choose belay glasses is to help you with comfort. However, comfort is irrelevant if you don't get the right vision. After all, the job of the belayer is to track the area and guide the climber. Thus, you need high-grade optics in your belay glasses to ensure impeccable visionary capacity.

Lens quality

The first factor for optics is the quality of lenses. For this, you have to consider the material they encompass. Glass lenses offer impeccable clarity that is identical to 'High definition.' However, they are more prone to damage if they fall and such.

Glass lenses are more resistant to dirt and stain. You will undoubtedly create them, but the effect on vision is minimal. Fiber optics are more damage resistant but might not offer better clarity. Thus, you should aim for glass lenses. There is a different type of quality in lenses that you might want to consider.

Size of the prism

The size of the prism can matter significantly if you don't want to narrow down your vision. A larger prism would make it easier for you to keep track of the heights. Simultaneously, it will restrict your actual field of vision and make it hard for you to keep track of your surroundings.

Thus, it becomes vital for you to balance your actual field of view with belay glasses. For this, you can try different glasses for a couple of minutes unless you find the right size. Too small prisms will fail to provide you proper vision, so consider this as well.

Get the size that comfortably fits your eyes without hindering your actual vision.

Angular adjustments

Many high-end belay glasses come with functionality to adjust the angle of the prism lenses for better viewing. It allows you to take a comfortable position with the neck. You don't have to move your neck much at all. You can adjust the angle for a better view and range.

Some glasses are limited in height or range. They can offer the view for a belayer. This adjustment capacity can eliminate the restrictions for a more well-versed approach.

Anti-UV or anti-glare

Belay glasses are indeed a highly effective device. However, there aren't many additions to the lenses. The best you can hope for is a high-quality vision from them. Some higher-end glasses offer you anti-UV or anti-glare capabilities.

However, these are not generally worth it. You can instead substitute them for compatibility with other glasses. If you feel uncomfortable wearing belay glasses on other glasses, you can consider these factors.

Vision power

As mentioned above, belay glasses are very minimalist and straightforward in design. Thus, it is challenging to find other qualities like anti-UV, anti-glare. Similarly, it would be rare to find belay glasses with power. For this, you will have to order a customized piece.

A customized piece will inevitably increase the cost of the glasses drastically. However, it is suitable for those who don't want to wear belay glasses on top of other glasses. If you choose the right fitting for belay glasses, you don't have to worry about the vision power they support.

Fitting

The fitting of belay glasses is more important than it would seem on the surface. As a belayer or mountain climber, you'd have to move your body and head around. Thus it would result in the glasses' displacement if they don't hold a firm grip on your face. It could result in slippage and damage to the belay glasses. Thus, fitting plays an important role.

Here are some factors you can consider, apart from the general fitting, for your belay glasses:

Stacking capacity

The stacking capacity of your belay glasses determines how efficiently you can use it with other glasses. In intense sunlight, you might have to wear sunglasses. If you have impaired vision, you might have to wear glasses to view clearly.

A prism's stacking capacity allows you to comfortably wear them or set them on other glasses without any problem. It should be firm. You can check to see if there are clips or extra components to provide this fitting.

Indeed, if you get belay glasses with stacking capacity, it will cost more than a few bucks that you'd invest in a standard pair.

Retractable pillars

Some belay glasses have a prism attached to a retractable mechanism and a pillar for the user's frame to support them. The retractable prism could be a valuable addition to help you use belay glasses according to the requirement. Thus, you will have an easier time keeping track of the trail and your surroundings.

Often, while considering the fitting, pillars of the frame are the most vital consideration. As long as they are firm, you can have remarkable belay glasses. If you're a climber and belayer both, then retractable belay glasses would be a better choice for you.

Functionality and comfort

In the above segment, we covered some factors that are an essential part of belay glasses. For glasses, those were the vital considerations to make. Now, this segment will talk more about the reasoning. There are specific reasons you chose belay glasses for. How well does it fulfill the purpose? This is a credible consideration to make.

For that, you have to look at the functionality and comfort specifications of your belay glasses. How?

For comfort

The comfort comes from the mixture of all of the above-given factors. Proper fitting, the right material, and correct optics will help you get the utmost ease. The comfort for your eyes and the settlement of the glasses on your face would make a huge impact.

Any good pair of belay glasses should eliminate your requirement to move the neck too much. It should provide clarity in vision and proper use. That's how you will maximize the comfort of the glasses.

Consider factors like how long can you wear belay glasses? Is it comfortable for you to put them on and take them off? Do you notice them if you're wearing them on the face? Do they offer overall ease? All of these will help you make the right choice regarding comfort.

For functionality

The functionality of belay glasses has a lot to do with the vision they offer. Apart from that, you have to consider their compatibility with other glasses, especially sunglasses or powered glasses. Furthermore, you are looking for ease of wearing and usage.

If you're a mountain climber who uses belay glasses, you might want it to be easy to wear and carry. Fitting becomes paramount but so does the ability to swap belay glasses for better vision. All of these features combine the functionality of your glasses.

Portability and storage

People frequently overlook the importance of portability and storage of belay glasses. These are minimal constructs that seem somewhat fragile. They can break easily if you don't carry them properly. Thus, you need to get proper casing for them to store them and carry them around. An adequate case will prevent them from sustaining damage.

Similarly, if you're a natural mountain climber or camper, then you might want the hooks or something like a harness for the case. It would enable you to carry belay glasses with your backpack or other equipment. Your climbing pants most likely have hoops for you to harness your belay glasses case there or the glasses.

Proper storage means it would be easier for you to carry the glasses. Portability has much more to do with how you can bring them. These conveniences are more important than people give them credit for. If you're a full-fledged belayer, you need to carry your belay glasses everywhere. Thus, you have to ensure that they don't sustain damage. That's where proper casing would come into play.

According to your requirements

There are different types of people with individual preferences. You might be a little confused about which pair of belay glasses suit you according to the purpose. Therefore, this is a quick guide to help you make the decision. Here you will find quick tips that will fit your requirements for belay glasses:

For fashionable appeal

Many climbers or belayers like glasses that go with their style. Despite how belay glasses look, they tweak up your appearance. At least, that's true for the mountain climbing region. If you like color, trends, and fashion, you might want to stick to nylon or other plastic frames. You will get a wide range of designs and colors to complement your attire. Thick and durable frames with proper certification should be your primary consideration.

For cost-effective choices

If you're looking for economical belay glasses, there are many budget-friendly options. Belay glasses are available for as long as a single-digit price range. For budget-friendly belay glasses, you can get reflective glasses and entry-level choices. Cheap belay glasses are better if you're part of an activity that could make you retain too much shock or bumps. If you frequently lose your belay glasses, you should certainly stick to budget-friendly options.

Feature-full approach

If you're a practical person focusing on performance functionality, you are looking for SPI-certified belay glasses. These will have a higher quality of optics with flexible frames. It is also a good idea to have flexible frames if you have more than one belayer guiding you. Features are essential for a practical pair. Thus, it would undoubtedly cost more than other options.

For competitions and performance

If you're a competitive climber, you might want full-fledged and high-grade belay glasses. Here, you can't consider the expenses. The primary features to look for are the quality of the optics, material, and, more importantly, the adjustment. As belay glasses come with the frame and angular adjustment, it would provide a more well-versed approach to the glasses and make them the right choice for you.

FAQs: Best Belay Glasses

Q: Are there any extra features to look for in belay glasses?

A: Apart from everything that the guide covers, you can find many extra features. Many belayers use a cord with their glasses to prevent dropping them. This could enable you to carry them conveniently and use them whenever the situation arises.

Q: How to use belay glasses?

A: The best way to use belay glasses is first to try them and get used to the visionary ability they offer. Think of it like an extra screen they are offering you to view. You shouldn't wear belay glasses if the climber is at base level or ground-level height. Once they start reaching a height that requires you to elevate your neck, you can use belay glasses.

Some belay glasses have fixed angles, so you might have to move closer and farther to help the climber.

Q: How to maintain or clean belay glasses?

A: Treat belay glasses like any other piece of glasses you own, like sunglasses or vision glasses. You would need a clean cloth, most likely a microfiber cloth, to help with the wiping and cleaning. If required, you can utilize cleaning alcohol to take care of them. It would be better to make sure the material is not reactive before cleaning them by using an agent.

Conclusion

Now you have everything you need to know about belay glasses. There isn't an aspect you wouldn't know about belay from fitting to budget and various requirements. Even professional belayers might not have this range of information. Thus, with this, you can always find the best belay glasses for mountain climbing, gym climbing, or other requirements.

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