The 6 Best Belay Glasses in 2023
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In the constantly changing world of rock climbing, where safety and comfort are paramount, having gear that provides you with these essential elements can elevate your rock climbing abilities to new heights.
Belay Glasses, also referred to as belay specs, allow climbers to maintain a view of their climbing partner without moving their heads or straining their necks. This will help climbers focus on their given task while minimizing the chance of injury, and neck strain.
In this article, we will go over the best belay glasses, how to choose them, compare them, discuss their benefits and share personal experiences using them.
Whether you’re a climbing enthusiast or a dedicated climber, belay glasses are indispensable, and for some even crucial.
Best Belay Glasses
Cheapest Belay Glasses
Most Comfortable Glasses
Best Beginner Belay Specs
How to Choose Rock Climbing Belay Glasses
Choosing the high-quality belay glasses will make sure your climbing experience is as comfortable and safe. Here are a few factors to consider when looking for belay glasses.
Belay glasses use prisms, allowing you to look upwards without moving your neck and head. There are a couple of common prism types in belay glasses, right-angle and roof prisms.
Right-angle prisms are lighter and have a smaller profile, while roof prisms provide a wider field of vision and durability.
Field of View
Belay glasses have different fields of view, and the wider you go, the better you see, but, it’s important to know that the wider the field of view, the heavier the glasses will be.
Choosing a pair of belay glasses that fit your comfort needs will help tremendously, as you’ll be wearing them for extended periods of time.
Many belay glasses have additional comfort features like padded nose bridges and adjustable prism frames for a good fit.
Belay glasses usually use high-quality prisms, that have anti-reflective coating.
You’ll want to make sure that the lens material is durable and scratch resistant.
Prescription glasses wearers need to check that the belay glasses offer compatibility with your glasses, some designs allow you to wear glasses underneath the belay glasses.
Best Belay Glasses
YYVERTICAL Classic Belay Glasses ($64.90)
- Useful Extras
- Clear Vision
- 1-Year Warranty
We’ve used many different belay glasses, testing all the factors discussed in the section above. The choice to put the YYVERTICAL Classic glasses has been an easy one due to its high-quality materials build and comfort.
The stainless metal frames ensure that they are durable and sturdy, while also being easy to adjust and comfortable to wear. The nose pad is adjustable to different nose and head sizes.
The vision is perfect, the thin spectacle frame enables belayers to see the rock climber clearly and provide maximum safety while also reducing neck strain. These can be used with sunglasses and regular glasses.
The glasses include a microfiber cloth, 4 replacement hinge screws and a screwdriver, replacement nose pads, glasses cord, a carabiner and an anti-shock case to carry your glasses safely and comfortably.
There’s a 1-year warranty in case anything breaks, which makes this an easy pick even though the price is a bit expensive, $64.90 for a high-quality pair that is guaranteed to last a year is a bargain!
In conclusion, the YYVERTICAL Classic glasses are the best belay glasses for a good reason, they provide you with quality while also maintaining a lot of comfort and durability, at a fair price point for the given quality.
Most Comfortable Glasses
Metolius Upshot Belay Glasses ($64.95)
- High-quality prisms
- Compatible with other glasses
- Higher view angle
It’s really hard to go wrong when buying any products from the well-regarded Metolius, and this is especially true when talking about the Upshot belay glasses created by them.
These glasses provide an increased peripheral vision, allowing you to maintain a better awareness of your surroundings, increasing the safety of the climber.
The prisms provide a clear and distortion free view, and a slightly higher angle than other glasses have, to prevent neck pain even further.
The lens is made of flexible plastic, which is actually a positive aspect, as it contributes to their lightweight design and enhances overall comfort during wear.
They also include a lanyard, a hard case, and a lens cloth.
Compatible with corrective glasses and sunglasses.
The downside of the Metolius upshot glasses is that they are expensive, and while the prisms are great and the glasses are comfortable, we are not convinced that the price is reasonable considering the material of the frames, plastic shouldn’t cost a lot to make.
With all this in mind, we still chose the Metolius belay glasses as the most comfortable glasses on the market, we’ve had a superb experience with them, and while they are on the expensive side, we think that it’s worth it.
Best Beginner Belay Specs
BG Climbing Belay Glasses ($29.90)
- Prescription Glasses Compatible
- Can be uncomfortable for some
If you’re a beginner seeking to improve your belaying, or someone who has never used belay glasses, then these are the ones for you.
The zero defect BK7 prisms will ensure clear vision and durability, the frame is super fall resistant and sturdy. I tried dropping these glasses (intentionally and unintentionally) a few times, and even a dozen of times, the prisms stayed in place with no significant damage to the frame.
Compatible with prescription glasses and normal sunglasses.
They weight only 1.3 oz, making them lightweight and unnoticeable to wear.
The only downside about these glasses is the comfort aspect, as the arms sit a bit awkwardly on the ears and, for some, can also be too short.
Overall, the BG glasses are worth every penny, while not even being that expensive, even considering some downsides we experienced, plenty of climbers consider these as the perfect pair for beginners.
Cheapest Belay Glasses
- Cheapest Belay Glasses
- Good Optics
- Compatible With Corrective Glasses
- Not Very Durable
- Clip Broke Quickly
The NiceClimbs belay glasses are significantly cheaper than other glasses, but hold their own when it comes to quality and durability.
Despite being the cheapest pair, the NiceClimbs glasses are well-made, and designed.
They’re made of plastic, which makes them durable and lightweight, while providing comfort.
The optics provide a clear and large field of vision, ensuring the climbers maximum safety and belayer’s comfort.
An adjustable neck strap is included, allowing you to take your glasses on and off quickly, a plastic case and a cloth to clean them.
These glasses are excellent for anyone who is just getting into belaying and climbing, or for anyone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on belay glasses.
Now, of course, at this price you’re not going to get an outstanding pair of belay glasses, the quality is cheap, everything about this is cheap, but at the end of the day, you get what you paid for.
In conclusion, these NiceClimbs belay glasses are genuinely good, they aren’t perfect, but the value is definitely worth it, paying $19.99 for a durable, lightweight pair that provides crystal clear vision is a bargain.
Best Belay Glasses For Eye/Sun Glasses
Y And Y – Clip Up ($62.90)
- Easy On & Off Switch
- Adjustable Everything
For those of you that wear corrective eyeglasses or like to use sunglasses when climbing or belaying, then these are the perfect pair for you!
The Y&Y clip ups are well-designed from high-quality materials, they maintain a high standard of optics while also providing exceptional comfort and usefulness for people who wear glasses on a daily basis.
You can easily switch them on and off by pushing them up or down, as demonstrated in the picture below.
The quality is superb, some of the best prisms we’ve used, the best part is that the adjustable prism allows you to see exactly what you want and need with ease.
They’re super comfortable, you will need only 1 hand to control them, allowing you to 100% focus on the task at hand. Simply take them on and off with a flick of the wrist, so easy and fun! It’s hard not to feel like a professional when using them.
You also get an anti slip ear hook, so your glasses don’t slip and fall, resulting in damage to the belay glasses.
The only downside to these is the price, but honestly, after using them for a few climbs, it’s safe to say that the value you get from them is definitely worth the investment.
In conclusion, the Y&Y aren’t for everybody, but they are certainly great, the value is great, the prisms are great, everything is adjustable, it all feels very premium, and if you’re second guessing whether to buy these or not, then it’s an easy choice – YES!
Most Durable Belay Glasses
- Sturdy & Durable
- High-Quality Prisms
- Clip broke quickly
These belay glasses feature a polycarbonate frame and lens which increase durability, making them resistant to falls and scratches.
The polycarbonate material is also very lightweight, making these glasses weigh only 1.37 oz.
The zero default prisms on these are enlarged, providing a very comfortable belaying adventure.
3 different colors are available for a sporty look.
Super comfortable, they sit on the face very conveniently.
The package includes a case with a carabiner, so you can take them anywhere you’d like.
Compatible with spectacles and sunglasses.
The only downside to it, is the case, as the clip broke quickly, it’s not as durable as the glasses, but for the quality of the glasses, you can always buy another clip.
In conclusion, the Plasfun belay glasses are super durable and sturdy, for an affordable price! The prisms are high quality and large, so belaying has never been more comfortable!
How do belay glasses work?
Used by rock climbers, belay glasses help reduce neck pain and improve your belaying experience.
Typically, as the belayer, you’ll have to always tilt your head to keep an eye on your climbing partner.
Belay glasses will help tremendously and take a lot of tension off the belayer’s neck, by using prisms.
The glasses consist of prisms that bend light 90 degrees, that way the belayer can see the climber’s movement without tilting his head.
With belay glasses, you can look forward and see your climbing partner, while reducing neck pain and being able to focus on belaying exclusively.
Belay glasses provide a lot of comfort and safety to climbers and belayers, reducing neck strain and adding another layer of safety as the belayer can now exclusively focus on the important task of keeping you safe.
Several key factors stand out when trying to decide which belay glasses to choose, among the most important ones are: lightweight design, optics quality, and durability.
We have explored some of the most popular options on the market, through our research, we highlighted the features, pros, cons and conclusions about every product in the article.
Are belay glasses worth it? Absolutely.
In our opinion, belay glasses are indispensable, and a necessary part of your climbing gear.
We found that the best belay glasses are the BG climbing belay glasses, providing a good value monetarily, while also providing great quality and performance.
As you consider purchasing a pair of belay glasses, make sure to consider every factor and option carefully, fueling your next climbing adventure with comfort and safety!