Have you ever wanted to use belay glasses while wearing corrective eyewear or sunglasses but couldn’t handle the bulk of a second set of glasses? Thanks to the innovation team at Y and Y, the new Clip Up Belay Glasses bring the traditional belay glasses to spectacle wearers around the world. Compact, light, and durable, the team at Y and Y development thought of just about everything when designing the new Clip Up. Flip them up, flip them down, the Clip Up gives spectacle wearers even more options than the typical belay glasses. We had a chance to field test the new glasses and here is what we had to say.
Y & Y Clip Up Belay Glasses
To guide our review, we have broken the product down into its specific components to give you a full summary of its features.
Weighing only 33 grams, the Clip Up fits easily in the palm of your hand and requires almost no effort at all to attach and detach from any glasses frame. Featuring wider-than-usual prisms, the Clip Up allows the user to see more of the wall than the traditional belay glasses while allowing the belayer to flip the glasses up and down, providing a much welcome relief from looking up for the duration of belaying. During our field test, we found that the wide-angled prisms of the Clip Up gave us a much better view of our partner and greater control when concentrating on belaying during initial clips.
One of the biggest advantages of the Clip Up over the traditional glasses is the ability to flip the glasses up and down during belaying so you can concentrate on your partner during clips and climbing and potentially take a rest from the glasses when your partner is resting. It also allowed us to pay more attention to the climber during the first few clips rather than relying the glasses themselves. During our initial field test, we noticed that the weight of the glasses seemed somewhat heavy for the spectacle frame being used when looking down in our bag but felt very comfortable when belaying. the team at Y and Y have tried to solve this problem by providing a set of ‘ear-wraps’ that fit on glasses that do not wrap around the ear. The problem was also solved when wearing a helmet or bandana and was really not a huge problem unless the user was looking directly down at the ground. No major difference in pupillary distance between the Clip Up and the original belay glasses was noted and and no difference in height of the Clip Up in relation to the frame was noticed during testing.
The Y and Y Clip Up offers an innovative carry case that includes an easy clip on tab and a pouch to hold the cleaning cloth and the rubber stoppers to hold your original glasses in place. Compared to the carrying case of the tradition belay glasses, the case was very easy to use and reduced handing time by a substantial amount of time. Because of the natural process of taking the glasses off your face and putting them in the case, we also noticed that there was much less touching of the lenses when using the Clip up.
Adding to the advantages over the traditional belay glasses, the case of the Clip Up is much smaller than previous cases, making it an option to take your belay glasses on more than one pitch or when moving from one crag to another. The case of the Clip Up attached easily to the harness and was very easy to access. On the critical side of the design, we found that the webbing that attaches the carabiner to the glasses case felt somewhat flimsy and could see the stitching of this webbing wearing out over time. We would recommend users to be careful with the amount of pressure put on this webbing if possible.
With its small design, the Clip Up provided better handling when placing and removing the Clip Up from the spectacles being used and was also much easier to transport from active use to its protective case. The prisms themselves are surrounded by a rubber compound that covers ever side, reducing the risk of breaking or chipping the glasses that is often associated with a metal frame on the tradition belay glasses. The prisms have also been cut on the the two outer edges to reduce chipping on the corner of the prisms. On the back of the glasses, the team and Y and Y have added extra rubber stoppers to eliminate any damage that could be done if the Clip Up was ever to be pressed into the wearers glasses. It should also be noted that during regular use, the Clip Up does not rest on the glasses, but rather, sits just out from the glasses to reduce wear. The only part of the Clip Up that may wear over time is the rubber stoppers that make contact with the frame of the glasses but Y and Y has included two extra stoppers in the carrying case. We found that these glasses were extremely durable.
Overall, the Y and Y Clip Up proved itself to be a worthy addition to the ever growing tradition belay glasses market. Not only do these glasses solve the problem of wearing two sets of glasses for spectacle wearers, it also puts a number of new features on the table including the ability to ‘flip’ your belay glasses up and down while belaying and potentially reducing bulk when multi-pitch climbing or moving from crag to crag. Light, durable and compact, these glasses provide the user with a wide angle look that covers much more surface area of the climbing wall. First time users may find the glasses a little heavy on their frames, especially if their glasses don’t wrap around the ear properly but this problem has been mitigated by rubber wraps included in the case. We would highly recommend the Clip Up to any spectacle wearer or those who just love to climbing with their shades on.