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Climbing Frog Belay Glasses // Review

Climbing Frog Belay Glasses // Review

Belay glasses seem to be all the rage at the moment.  They’re a save-all for your neck, according to the manufacturers and thankfully the cost of a pair has reduced dramatically in recent times.  Today we review the Climbing Frog brand of belay glasses, which come in at less than half the price of some premium brands (with 10% off for 10 of our readers, so get in quick).  But… do you get less bang for your buck or are these a winning pair of neck-saving specs?  Beth and Emily from Womenclimb both tried them out independently; it’s time to find out their verdict:

Climbing FrogEmily’s Review of Climbing Frog Belay Glasses:

Why did I want belay glasses?

For quite a while I’ve been thinking about getting some belay glasses. Recently I’ve had 6 month break from climbing with a knee operation, but before that I was suffering really badly from migraines during and after climbing.  I was thinking that I might have to give up climbing completely, as it was so bad.  Part of the problem was the strain in my neck and looking up at the bright lights in the roof of the climbing centre.

When Climbing Frog contacted me to see if we would trial them, I jumped at the chance, thinking that they might help me belay in a more natural position, reducing the stress on my body and hopefully reducing the number of migraines.

Climbing at Holyhead Mountain with Climbing frog Belay GlassesWhere did I test them out?

I tested the glasses at Holyhead Mountain – an outdoor crag on the island of Anglesey in north Wales.  I’m a trad climber mostly, so it made sense to try them out while climbing in this style.

How they look:

From the start I thought these specs looked really hardwearing, particularly in comparison with other pairs that I’ve seen people wearing at the climbing wall.  They have a plastic casing, which looks like they would withstand the inevitable drops and knocks that climbing gear receives when it’s in full use.  They’re not as pretty and elegant at the other styles I’ve seen, but for me that isn’t much of an issue, if they function well.

Climbing Frog Belay Glasses - 3They come packaged really well, with a brilliant, hard compact case, which fitted well into the hood of my rucksack for the walk-in.  They also have a lens cleaner, which was useful when they got a bit of dirt on.

How they feel

Having never used these sorts of glasses before I have to admit that it felt weird wearing them, to start off with.  I wear normal glasses, so I was curious to see how they would work over my specs.  Getting used to them took about half an hour, then I gradually adjusted and it felt a bit more normal.  They definitely helped reduce the strain on my neck.  Since being back climbing, only about 6 weeks, I’ve fortunately not had a migraine.  It’s not necessarily to do with the glasses, but a whole series of measures I’ve taken to be healthier in my climbing.

Do they function well?

The glasses stayed on well – something that I thought might be an issue.  I found it took me a while to work out which bit of the glasses to look into and how to hold my head to get the best image of my climbing partner up above.  Once I’d got that covered it was much better.  At one point I took them off thinking that I might be better without them, but I realised that the slightly strange sensation wearing the glasses was better than the pain in my neck from not wearing them!

If you suffer from vertigo (I guess you may not climb anyway), but they may make some people feel a little dizzy, so it’s worth borrowing a pair to try out for a whole night at the climbing wall in a risk managed environment.

Would I take them trad climbing?

After my recent experience with migraines, I’m going to take these with me on my trips, but whether they stay in my bag will depend on the length of the walk in – if it’s a long one and I need to reduce weight they would probably stay in the car.  Now, if I were planning a sport climbing trip, it would be a different matter and I would almost certainly take them with me.  They are going with me 100% of the time to the climbing wall this winter.

Do they improve your vision?

Unbelievably I think my vision was better wearing them than without, which is an additional benefit – I am a bit like Mr Magoo though – every little bit helps – I can’t promise they’ll help everyone!

 

Beth’s Review of Climbing Frog Belay Glasses:

 

Why did I want belay glasses?

 

My local climbing center has the tallest indoor climbing wall in the UK. This means that belaying someone on this is a total pain in the neck, quite literally. Over the years I have tried different methods to save my neck, from standing back further (not great if someone falls and they are heavier than you) to having a neck “shake out” every few minutes. I have seen the belay glasses being used in this tall wall area so I was keen to give them a try.
Where did I test them out?

Awesome Walls climbing center in Stockport on the 23.5 metre high wall and other overhanging walls in the center.

How they look:

They look pretty sleek but also quite sturdy. They come in a hard case with a glass wipe and the case has a handy carbiner clip on, which i actually used as i clipped onto my harness as not to leave them lying around for someone else to pick up!

Frog belay glasses

How they feel

They fit my head very comfortably. I have quite a round face and find that most glasses are too tight around the sides of my head but these were snug but still comfortable and didn’t pinch. I have sensitivity to light so I found these did cause my eyes to strain as due to them allowing you to look up while maintaining a forward gaze, I had the ceiling lights in my eyes more than I usually would.

For very tall walls you still have to look up slightly to see your climber at a height so there was still some neck strain there.

Still have to look up slightly

I still had to look up slightly

Do they function well?

Pros:

  • I was able to keep an eye on the climber the whole time they were on the wall without straining my neck.
  • I think it means people are less likely to talk to you while you are belaying so less distractions!
  • Was able to feed out rope quicker.
  • Reactions were faster as I was more concentrated on the task.

Cons:

Feeding out rope- a bit larder to know how much you are giving out without seeing it!

  • I found it hard knowing how much rope I had given out. If you look down to your rope you can only really see a few inches above your hands so I was not sure how much slack was there. This means it was harder to belay dynamically.
  • You can’t see your climbing partner until around the second clip! I wore them on my head to start with them pulled them down when they reached the second clip.
  • In between belaying I put these on top of my head, as you would normal glasses. Every time I bent down to scoop up the rope they would fall off. They need to be stored between climbs so it might be a bit of faff but I wouldn’t use them to belay on all indoor walls anyway, just the very tall ones.
  • I had a slight headache after using them but this was likely to be because of my light sensitivity.

Overall I think these would take getting used to but are worth it if your local wall or crag has a tall wall section where you experience neck strain whilst belaying.

Would I take them trad climbing?

Perhaps not for trad climbing as I belay very dynamically and like to see exactly how much rope I am giving out. However I would consider taking them on sport climbing trips where the rock can often be high and quite vertical.

Do they improve your vision?

I didn’t find this but them again I don’t wear glasses and don’t have sight issues.

The big reveal…

Price

These belay glasses are an incredible £25. When we saw the price we couldn’t believe how affordable these glasses have become.  At this price they’re definitely on the Christmas List.  We think it’s great value for money and love these glasses – great bang for your buck!

The first 10 people who buy a pair using the code EMILY on this link will get 10% off!

Get in quick before the offer goes. 

Buy online at Climbing Frog

Climbing Frog sent us this item to review.  We don’t receive any financial reward for this review, but we do provide ourselves on giving honest and impartial reviews on all products that we test.  Most of the products we test are our own items, which we wear and use in our everyday climbing.  If you have questions, you can email us: hello@womenclimb.co.uk.

Want to be part of the community?  Let us know your top tips or join our Facebook groups to help you connect with other women and build your confidence climbing:  Become part of it right now.

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3 Comments
  • Chris
    November 22, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Thorough review of a relatively new brand. Great to see them in use.

  • Holly
    March 13, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    I bought a pair of these glasses a few months ago, put them on and immediately regretted buying them. They are ridiculously heavy, and slipped off my nose straight away.I emailed the seller numerous times but have yet to get a reply; needless to say I won’t be using these and wouldn’t recommend them at all.
    A shame, considering the above review was so positive.

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