If you’ve recently picked up climbing, then you are probably already familiar with the skill of belaying, which is a cornerstone of this specific sport. Belaying in layman’s terms is the technique of securing the climbing rope for another climber to ensure their safety and prevent them from hitting the ground if they fall off a rock, take a leader fall, or slip while top-roping.
As such, one of the key pieces of gear you will need (apart from good grip climbing shoes, ropes, climbing helmet, safety harness etc) – is a good pair of belay glasses. These glasses may seem a bit “extra” to you at first, but in reality, they will help make the process faster and more enjoyable, allowing you to focus on the task at hand and stay fit. The glasses come fitted with prismatic lenses that are used by belayers while rock climbing to avoid the attendant neck strain that usually comes with the sport.
How to Choose Best Belay Glasses for Climbing?
This article will help keep you stay abreast on the main belay glasses trends so that you can choose the best model for your needs.
Some types of belay glasses are costly but can feel a bit flimsy. If you want a pair that will stay with you on multiple rock climbing excursions, then you should be on the lookout for glasses that have rigid frames. These sturdy frames are easy to use with only one hand and they help keep your lenses protected when you set the glasses down. The thick frames also prevent scratches or other abrasions that may plague them when you’re rock climbing.
Furthermore, since the newest frames are sturdier and can be used with only one hand, a good pair of belay glasses will make your climbing much easier since you usually don’t put the glasses on until your climber is halfway up the wall.
While rigid frames are a pretty big trend in 2020, you need to bear in mind that these kinds of glasses aren’t adjustable, so they don’t always fit many people. They also cannot be combined with glasses or sunglasses, so if you have to wear those, then you’re out of luck with these new models.
Glasses with Adjustable Views
Having glasses that offer adjustable views will enhance your climbing experience in more ways than one. As customer reviews for the best belay glasses can attest, the adjustable views allow you to eliminate any potential neck pain since you will get a pretty good field of view, thanks to the optics provided in the glasses itself. This means that you no longer have to constantly use the muscles of your neck to turn your head and get a clear view.
The majority of belay glasses that were previously available on the market could only elevate the field of vision by sixty degrees. This can be rather useless if you climb cliffs that are far steeper than that. However, these advanced models can make the experience more fun and efficient for you while preventing many of the painful side effects of this particular form of exercise.
Newer models available this year focus on affordability without neglecting the more sophisticated aspects that costumes have come to expect from belay glasses. These models tend to feel lightweight and they typically come with an adjustable metal frame, making them quite helpful for those who have to wear glasses or prescription sunglasses.
They also come with larger frames and prisms, which allows you to clearly see more of the landscape without straining your neck. The lightweight frames can also be adjusted to fit your face shape, which is an added boon for many. Moreover, the new models are fitted with quality lenses, allowing for a better view, which is essential to any avid climber.
One last note: even the cheaper models come with lanyards and are easy to transport, so they will always be handy, and you won’t have to worry about losing them on one of your excursions.
Basic Functionalities for Newbies
Other important types of belay glasses are the ones that just cover the basic functionalities needed for novice climbers and belayers. These models also tend to be inexpensive and are perhaps even more lightweight than other types. Plus, they come with thin, plastic frames that don’t block your view. While they are not the most durable frames, they remain incredibly comfortable. The only drawback is that these models aren’t highly adjustable, so they don’t fit many people.
That being said, they do offer a pretty good field of view and cover peripheral vision to help make the climb a smooth experience. Be on the lookout for a brand that doesn’t skimp on necessary extras, such as a case and a lanyard, to help you take good care of your first pair of belay glasses.
Glasses with a Fashionable Twist
The best belay glasses available on the market now are made in response to a huge demand in both functionality and fashion. Glasses that come in all sorts of bright colors and interesting shapes are a big trend in 2020.
While these tend to come with a higher price tag, the vast majority of models will have sturdy frames that also offer a good field of vision and unimpeded peripheral view. Style doesn’t have to come at the expense of practicality and safety; there are quite a few well-crafted pairs that you can choose from that suit your style.
If this sounds like the perfect balance for you, then be sure to go for plastic frames that feel lightweight and comfortable, and make sure they are thin enough to stay out of the way of your peripheral vision so that you remain aware of your surroundings while keeping your eyes on your climber. An added plus is that these playful models don’t skimp on cool accessories, such as bright cases, and they also come with several practical accessories, such as replacement screws and cleaning tools.
Whether you are relatively new to this type of outdoorsy sport or a seasoned pro, having a good pair of belay glasses is absolutely essential. As you become more proficient in the sport, you may need to upgrade to a different model to cater to your changing needs. Luckily, 2020 is offering a variety of sophisticated models to choose from, so make note of your particular needs, and look for a pair accordingly.