CU Belay Glasses Review
CRRAACCK! “That’s not good” I thought as I looked up to scope out the routes we were about to climb. “My neck just cracked when I looked up” I said to Gaelyn. “I keep telling you we need those glasses” she said. She was right…
I finally bit the bullet and bought a pair of the CU Belay Glasses. They are priced high, no doubt. At $150, it’s hard to decide on another rope or some pro, or these glasses. I didn’t want to drop the cash, but my neck was constantly hurting. At the end of a climbing day, I would hike out staring at the ground to get some relief and stretch my neck. Not good… I was able to try a friend’s pair and he told me about some research he did regarding neck issues and climbing. He had heard about several climbers that needed to get their necks fused as a result of looking up for too many years. YIKES!!
I ordered the glasses from the only online source in the US, David from PowerNPlay USA. David was a pleasure to deal with and once the glasses were in stock, they arrived at my door within a couple days! The glasses come in a plastic case with a cleaning cloth. The case is actually very nice. It’s small enough to toss in a pack but protects the glasses very well, otherwise they would scratch or break if left unprotected.
Now to the glasses themselves. They are excellent. The workmanship is superb and they are very precise. The glasses stay on with the perfect amount of spring tension. They are light and comfortable. There are rubber sleeves on the sides that will grip your ears, and the nose piece is also rubber so they don’t slide down your nose. The glasses also have a lanyard so you can have them around your neck when they aren’t being used.
As said, the frames are very nice. Much nicer than I expected. They are precisely cut, and it is clear no detail was missed. The prism optics are crystal clear. Also, much better than I expected. I expected some slight haze or distortion but there is none. I was very impressed. They are large enough so you can easily see your climber yet don’t cover your entire eye. You can look over or under them if you need to.
When I first put the glasses on, I was a little disoriented. Looking forward (or up, in this case) was easy. The image was the same as looking up. Looking to the side, however, the image appeared tilted. But then, when I looked at the same location without the glasses, the image is the same. It’s just that our brains are used to looking in this direction. Once I got used to this, it was easy. I could belay naturally and keep my neck in a comfortable position. I’m totally sold on these! I’m convinced I won’t have neck pain this year from belaying. I know the price is high, but if you have the same neck issues I was starting to develop, I suggest you give these a try.