Y&Y Clip Ups
Some time ago I reviewed some Y&Y Belay Glasses (you can find that review here). At the time I'd seen plenty of people using belay glasses at climbing walls and sport crags and yet wasn't convinced they were that useful - they seemed a bit of a gimmick.
How wrong I was! I am now a firm addict. You may look like you aren't paying attention as you stare straight ahead while your partner hangs on above, but those in the know realise you are fully attentive and your neck isn't being strained either. For steep route belaying they are fantastic.
The whole Peak Mountaineering crew and a bunch of climbing partners have been using those first Y&Y glasses ever since and they are still performing as well as ever. The optics are superb and the overall construction is great.
Y&Y have recently produced a clip on style of the same glasses and I was really keen to see if they worked as well. Kindly, they sent a pair to try. There are 2 times I would see these being useful. The first is for sunny weather climbing where you want to wear sunglasses and the second obvious time is if you are a prescription glasses wearer who wants the benefits of belay glasses.
The Clip Ups use the same high quality optics as the original but to this they have added a sturdy clip system that attaches them firmly over the upper part of the frame. They have attached confidence inspiringly to any type of glasses we have tried so far. The glasses also incorporate a hinge system so you can flip them up when not in use.
Although I normally wear contact lenses I do have some prescription glasses and so have tried that combination out quite a lot at local climbing walls and for some outdoor sport climbing. A British winter isn't the ideal time to try them for sunny sport climbing but I have had a couple of bright weather trips onto Peak sport routes which have allowed them to be tested with sunglasses and a friend took them out to the Costa Blanca recently.
They perform just as well as the other Y&Y's and seem to be just as effective when used with the darker lenses of sunglasses. I tried them with a couple of types of sunglasses and noticed that on one pair, because the Clip Ups are quite front heavy, there was a tendency for the glasses to gradually slide down the bridge of my nose. This didn't happen with my prescription glasses or other models of sunglasses but is something to be aware of. I also notice that (although our test pair didn't come with any) new pairs are being shipped with silicone extenders that fit on the end of the glasses arms to keep them from sliding up.
The hinge feature is great and means you can easily flip them up when not needed or wait until your partner is a few metres off the ground and then flip them down for action. This isn't a feature on the other Y&Y's we have and yet it would be really useful on those too.
The Clip Ups come with a neat little case that can be clipped on a harness and, because they don't have the arms, they are much more compact. The case is hard and should prevent them getting damaged when stored in a rucksack, but I'd still suggest packing them carefully.
The Y&Y Clip Ups are perfect for prescription glasses wearers and anyone that regularly belays in sunglasses. The same great quality and performance and, at £55 RRP, very good value too.
Posted by Paul
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