KEP Italia: buyer beware?

There’s a thread on British forum Horse & Hound that has been making it’s way around the internet this week about an incident with a KEP helmet and subsequent customer service. If you haven’t seen it, go read it here. Be forewarned, it’s a really long thread. If you aren’t really interested in devoting that much time to being properly horrified, here’s a summary:

Girl falls off horse when he stumbles while trotting in the grass. She lands on her face/chest, impact somewhere near her temple area. It was not a hard fall. She was able to immediately get up, key in her phone’s PIN code, and call someone to catch her horse (so obviously not too terribly concussed or confused). The helmet looked like this

Her own words: “As you can see the panelled design of the hat cause the hat to fall apart on impact. In fact the hat was no longer on my head after the fall but was hanging in pieces around my neck, held together by the harness!”

Luckily aside from some abrasions and bruising she was uninjured in the fall.

Let’s take a moment to say Holy Crap. A helmet should not crumple apart like a chocolate orange upon impact, especially a fairly light impact. I cannot imagine the damage that could have been done if she’d been stepped on or kicked after the helmet fell apart. Granted, that’s my personal opinion.

So let’s give KEP the benefit of the doubt for a minute and say “Well let’s see what KEP has to say. Maybe this is a weird one-off situation.”

Here’s where KEP really shot themselves in the foot. Brace yourselves.

“I spoke with KEP Italia this morning and informed them of my accident and that their hat had fallen apart on impact. They told me that they do not deal with customers directly and will only deal with the distributor. They told me to follow procedure and to take the hat back to the shop I bought it from, they will return it to the distributor, who will then return it to KEP. KEP will then carry out an investigation and will either offer me a new replacement hat or they will repair the old one

Ok, what???

Repair the old one? WHAT? Never, under any circumstance, should a helmet be repaired after a fall. But maybe she just heard them wrong. Surely they didn’t say that, right? Luckily KEP themselves came onto the thread to speak up for themselves, thus taking away any possible misinterpretation. KEP’s response said

“When she called the person who answered the phone had not been informed about this issue and didn’t know who she was. She thus received the standard answer, including the request to provide photos via the retailer when she had bought the helmet. We usually ask our customers to at least see the photos, so that we can see what the issue is. Of course in Mrs. Smith’s case, the helmet cannot be repaired. ” and “he set some examples and talked about replacing, repairing and refunding, like we always do.”

So in fact, according to KEP, it is their “standard answer” to offer to replace, refund, or repair a helmet. Wow. Even if it’s something as minor as replacing the harness, this seems like a huge liability to me. I can’t imagine the possibility for lawsuits if someone sustained a serious injury in a “repaired” helmet.

Never fear though, it actually gets worse! KEP goes on to say that perhaps this person isn’t being truthful about the nature of her fall

“I’m really sorry to see Mrs. Smith’s reaction against our helmets after her fall. I would like to explain to her that a such a breaking of a helmet during a fall can only be caused by strong impacts received at the moment of the crash, or by the kicking or rolling of a horse on the helmet.”


assuming Mrs. Smith is not liar, we suggest one of a few things:
. that Mrs. Smith fell on a harder ground than she thinks, or that she fell in a more powerful way than she recalls;

that Mrs. Smith’s hat was not properly fastened (this is a very common situation unfortunately) and that she lost the helmet after she fell. In this case the horse might have stepped on the helmet in its effort to stand up after falling, or that it stood on the helmet in any other way;
Another, and worse, thought came into our mind: that someone might intentionally be mounting up this case with the precise purpose of damaging KEP Italia’s image. KEP Italia is a growing company and we know for sure that some of our competitors are reacting in a bad way to this, some of them even scaring off kids at shows by telling them stupid and false stories. “

So they went from calling her a liar to saying that perhaps she was making all of this up on purpose just to sully KEP’s image. Unprofessional doesn’t even begin to cover an accusation like this. Neither does astounding. There are really no words.

KEP also posted this text from their helmet’s instructions, which indicate that this helmet is in fact DESIGNED to destruct upon impact.

“Although this helmet reduces the chance of injury, in some circumstances injuries cannot be prevented. This helmet was not designed to protect your head if crushed by a horse. The degree of protection provided by this helmet depends on the circumstances of a particular accident. Using a protective helmet does not always prevent death or long-term disability. This helmet is designed to absorb the energy of a blow through partial destruction of the shell or protective padding material or both. This damage may not be visible and therefore any helmet, which suffers an impact, should be discarded and replaced by a new one as it may have exhausted its ability to absorb further shocks.”

I don’t know about you but that seems really concerning in a sport where there are often secondary blows beyond the initial impact. I’ve fallen a lot, I’ve seen helmets take a lot of impacts, and I’ve never once seen one completely split apart like that. If the helmet falls apart when you hit the ground, what happens when you then get stepped on, or fallen on, or if you end up bouncing or being dragged?

But yet again, let’s pretend we can move beyond that…

Someone else on the thread spoke out about a similar thing happening to their helmet and didn’t have many nice things to say about their opinion of KEP. The KEP representitive sent that person this private message:

“We are aware of your defamatory words against our products and our company in various posts on this Forum.
Please stop saying lies about our company. We ask you to take your responsibility for what you say and reserve the right to take any legal action against you if you do not cease to defame our company in the continuation of these posts.”

So basically… if you don’t like our helmets, you better shut up about it or we’ll threaten to sue you. What in the world is going on here, KEP? It was bad enough that the helmet split apart, but the ensuing words and actions from your company have turned this into nothing short of a complete and utter fiasco.

After reading this thread on H&H I took to Tumblr to see what all had been said about these photos there. Again I figured let’s play devils advocate and see if this really was in fact a one-off type situation. Several people on Tumblr came forward and said they’d had the same experience. I was able to contact 3 of these people and confirm that yes, their helmets also split apart upon minor to medium impact. One of them was told by KEP that this is how they are designed to work. The other two were told by KEP that they had never heard of this happening before. I don’t know if y’all are confused, but I sure am.

So, I encourage everyone to go read that thread on H&H and see how this played out with your own eyes and form your own opinions. Especially if you own or are considering purchasing a KEP helmet. The things posted by KEP are very thought-provoking, to say the least. I have no doubt that when KEP finds this blog post they will threaten me with legal action as well, but at this point this is a huge safety issue AND a huge customer service issue, and IMO it just can’t be swept under the rug and made to “disappear” with threats.

78 thoughts on “KEP Italia: buyer beware?

  1. there are no words but wow. I only read your account but wow. Massive fail on the company’s part NO MATTER how the darn helmet fell apart. Wow….i need more caffeine now. 🙂


  2. I’m glad I don’t use KEP. It sounds like they’re reacting in a very different way than an American or UK company would – sounds like they don’t take customer feedback and word of mouth (or internet!) seriously, nor customer service the way we expect it. They probably need some PR people and some training on how to work with international customers …

    Still, even if they got all that, I wouldn’t want a helmet that disintegrates like that on the first impact. Even if they cleaned up their act I wouldn’t buy a helmet from them if they’re designed to do the chocolate orange thing!

    Mmmm, chocolate orange ….


  3. This is completely unreal. I’m with you, I’d give them the benefit of the doubt in the beginning
    but their own comments have ensured I will never purchase any of their products.


  4. Just……WOW.

    Personally, I don’t love the look of the KEP helmets so I probably won’t ever own one, but their response to this situation is completely unacceptable. Like you said, helmets should NEVER be repaired after a fall, and the fact that they’re hanging this girl out to dry and calling her a liar is unfathomable.


  5. Wow! Check yourselves KEP… You’re no longer dealing with a single person. That being said I’m a Samshield girl. I’m sure they aren’t squeaky clean either though. It’s a tough sport! But I certainly wouldn’t want a helmet that implodes.


  6. And these silly things are $4-700?!!?!? I feel like one of those old velvet hunt caps would provide more protection.


  7. Holy crap that’s insane. You would think a company that is supposed to be providing safety gear would stand behind their products more. And maybe not immediately start slinging mud!


  8. My lawyer spidey-sense is tingling. Did they really just call someone who was harmed by their apparently completely defective product a liar and threaten another one with a defamation suit? Did I wake up in the twilight zone????


    1. That’s what I thought too. I feel like if anyone should be scared of getting sued, it would be them! But perhaps the scare tactics and threats are intended to make people be quiet and go away? It’s hard not to think the worst in this situation, given all that was said by KEP themselves.


      1. I wonder if this was a US Company where negligence and products liability suits are so common, if the response would be different. Not that they couldn’t be subject to suit in the US… given that their products are being purchased and used here… but I digress.


        1. I bet it would be very different. Things are handled completely differently here than in Europe. The whole thing just reeks of wounded pride on KEP’s part, complete cultural mistranslation, and it will end very, very badly for them if they keep it up.


      2. I agree wholeheartedly. Have they not met any horse people? We all talk to each other, and an issue like this is NOT going to quiet down after their threats.


  9. I read that thread yesterday and its not even the fact that KEP clearly has a defective product on their hands…its their reaction to the customer! Appalling at best and posting all the “testimonials” and that horrific video do nothing to reinforce anything positive about the company. I will never be doing business with them, that’s for sure.


    1. Did you watch that video with the sound on? You can very clearly hear a loud plastic crunch when the horse’s hind end comes down on her head. I have a hard time believing the helmet survived intact with that kind of noise.


  10. ok so that customer service is shocking and unacceptable – especially given they’re in the market for safety gear. end of story.

    the scientist in me is a little more curious about the helmet’s destruction tho. certain design elements exist wherein the force of impact is absorbed through purposeful destruction. think: crumple zone in cars, or old school flip phones that would burst apart with the battery flying halfway across the room when dropped – but then all the pieces would fit back together unharmed.

    i’ve always thought that this was a clever use of physics in design, and the fact that her head would remain unharmed bc the helmet itself blew to smithereens by absorbing the entirety of the blow is pretty cool. if that was the purpose, you’d think KEP would be all about touting that (and maybe would have some supporting evidence about why that panel design might actually allow for repair, vs the traditional solid shell helmets we’re used to).

    but… based on KEP’s response (which is again, unacceptable), it’s not clear that this is the case. i’m just curious! (sorry for the novel!)


    1. The problem with a riding helmet destructing upon impact is that we often have secondary impacts. If the helmet is in pieces there’s nothing left to save you from an errant hoof, the horse falling on top of you, the recoil/bounce that occurs when you strike a hard surface, etc. The KEP people never did come right out and say how their design is supposed to work, only what’s printed on their label, but what people who have had the same problem have been told is conflicting and confusing. I too would be interested in learning more about the science behind this, and what happens upon secondary impact of the helmet has in fact already destructed upon initial impact. I’ve searched for data but not been very successful.


      1. Yea that risk of secondary impact is kind of a big deal, esp considering how many riders go under the horse risking kicks to the head.

        It’s just a shame tho bc it seems like an interesting and innovative approach to helmet design – even if the current version isn’t quite “there” yet. You would think KEP would take advantage of this opportunity to continue the design coversation rather than shutting down and villainizing their customers. Boo KEP!


  11. I didn’t read the original thread, but companies should stand behind their product. Bad customer service, even if only with one customer, goes a long way. I have never cared for the look of their helmets, or the price, but I would never buy one now. If you fell walking to the ring or fell jumping a fence, you still fell and that should be covered under the replacement policy. I can’t see how a helmet that breaks into pieces does anyone any good at all.


  12. RUH ROH KEP! Man, if this isn’t going to tank a fledgling company, I don’t know what will! I’m not sure what I fear more… the astronomical prices of a helmet that’s designed to protect my head from being bumped by my horse by EXPLODING open, or being sued by a bunch of angry corporate people when I try to report it?!


  13. The whole destroyed-on-impact thing seems pretty universal in the helmet world. That’s why we don’t drop helmets from more than 3′ onto a hard surface or leave them in hot cars, because we know that compromises their integrity and thus our protection. THAT SAID.

    My Charles Owen wouldn’t do that. Neither would my cheap ovation. Because yeah. If you only hit your head one time on the way down, you’re very lucky. The helmet CANNOT just bust apart like that.

    I actually am in the market for a new helmet this year, but I will be staying far, far away from KEP. Ain’t nobody got time for that.


  14. Oh my gosh! I have always been a fan of KEP, they are light, airy, and makes my head look smaller. But after reading the H&H thread, I feel slightly uncomfortable to take that hat out for a xc schooling tomorrow, a real pity. And those replys! What a fucking shit of bollucks !

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The comment that no one has said but thought:

    If I have a mild fall, I don’t throw away my helmet. If my helmet accidentally falls off a shelf,I don’t throw away my helmet. I’m a clumsy adult and things have hit my head, and thus my helmet, many times, but it did not get thrown away immediately.

    I know this is a safety concern but for me, having a helmet destroy itself right away is a dumb idea. If I had to throw away my helmet everytime it got banged a little I wouldn’t even be needing the helmet because I’d be too poor to ride. I know my noggin is important and I replace my helmet after a hard fall or warranty ceases.


  16. I’m shocked!! Not just at the helmet, but at the company’s obvious lack of customer service in the matter! Do they not know anything about the demographic of people they are selling to? Equestrians are serious about our safety, and not afraid to speak up. They’ve obviously started digging themselves a nice hole, and I won’t feel bad as it comes back to keep biting them in the ass. Besides if the craftsmanship of the helmet is that questionable it sounds like this needed to be brought to light anyway.


  17. Thank you for this post. I had no idea about this, and I’m impressed you contacted specific individuals to verify! The exploding helmet is just crazy and the customer service response is unforgivable. After my rotational fall + horse hoof hitting me in the head, my Ovation had barely a 1/2″ dent to show for it!


  18. Did the user on the forum who claimed to be KEP Italia ever actually provide any credentials that they were in fact who they said they were? It’s just a possibility you could’ve had a weird out there that was replying, but didn’t actually represent the company.

    And yes, while I would never want a repaired helmet after a fall, they may offer to repair torn lining or harness that’s not necessarily a cause of a fall. Or maybe the bill snaps off because it fell from a shelf funny, I don’t know. Those to me are OK repairs, so not necessarily an outright bad thing that a helmet company says they do repairs. And the person is advocating replacement (“This damage may not be visible and therefore any helmet, which suffers an impact, should be discarded and replaced by a new one as it may have exhausted its ability to absorb further shocks.”).

    I have never seen a helmet break apart like above. And I’ve had and seen plenty of falls (I’ve broken my clavicle twice, my hand, injured my ankle so bad it should’ve just broke, seen a few concussions, and my mother broke her leg in three places). The only person who suffered major head trauma was the one who wasn’t wearing a helmet like an idiot.


    1. Yes, the original poster talked to the same person via the KEP facebook page and on the phone. That person confirmed discussions between the poster and their company. I seriously doubt someone out there trying to pose as KEP could succeed in being so elaborate as to pull off fb and phone discussions via KEPs page and KEP’s phone number. If you read the whole thread there’s info and confirmations on that.


      1. Oh yeah, didn’t catch that part. Thought maybe we had a crazy on our hands striving for attention. Whew! I am very interested to see the drama if they happen to fall across your blog! See what other mess they get themselves in!


  19. I just told a friend about this today. Her mom was considering a KEP helmet because they liked the look, but I guess looks can be deceiving. These are high dollar helmets, and I’m not exactly sure how they managed to pass safety tests. I got the feeling that maybe the original poster got a faulty helmet and that hers was simply a bad egg, but that is obviously not the case.


  20. Unbelievable! These helmets passed safety tests and the company wasn’t written off as being crazy people!? Sometimes I wonder…


  21. Omg….

    So they repair helmets but then in their instructions say it should be disguarded after any impact? Contradicting…

    I am just dumbfounded by their responses!!


  22. Chiming in late, but I do have a small thing to add. Although it might be surprising, NASCAR cars are designed to “fall apart” on impact. This might seem counterintuitive, but it allows the energy to dissipate much more quickly which prevents the drivers from being more seriously injured. Austin Dillon’s recent crash at Talladega is a perfect example. His car literally disintegrated as his car was launched into the catch fence and then he was hit quite a hard a second time. He walked away with just some body soreness. Video here:

    Obviously NASCAR cars are a different animal, but I do see where this helmet manufacturer is coming from. With that said, their response to this situations seems highly unprofessional.


    1. The issue with riding helmets is secondary impact. Having been kicked in the head after a fall, I would have been in serious trouble if the helmet had fallen apart upon the initial impact and left parts of my head exposed.It’s hard to tell here if that’s what KEP’s design is going for, since what they say on their tag contradicts some of what their rep said. Studies, relating specifically to riding and the types of falls/impacts we typically take, would be fantastic. NASCAR has all sorts of other safety equipment (the Hans device, roll cages, etc) that we don’t have, so their helmet needs and design aren’t going to be directly comparable to ours.


      1. Never meant to imply that NASCAR safety and rider safety are even in the same category. I was simply pointing out that disintegration is a thing. Should our helmets disintegrate? I don’t think completely would be healthy as I’ve taken a number of very hard falls myself. But I do find it interesting that the helmet in question passed ATM/SEI safety standards. I’ve never purchased a KEP helmet and can’t imagine ever doing so, but I’d be interested in hearing from the safety folks about this helmet’s integrity.

        Endurance riders were among the first to embrace helmets (I’ve worn one since at least 1994?), so I am thrilled with the very public discussion this issue has generated. Yeah for so many people actively criticizing a manufacturer as they demand better and safer products. Thanks for starting a much needed conversation. :0)


        1. When I went and started attempting to research helmet certification criteria, I was a little surprised. I couldn’t find a ton of detailed information but what I did find wasn’t nearly as rigorous as I would have expected. At least not the two that I looked at so far. There are others that I haven’t had time to thoroughly research yet, so maybe it gets better. I would be very interested in a safety comparison study as was done a few years ago with different football helmets, but I’m not even sure where to go to ask for that, who would do it, how, etc. I’m a little shocked no one has done it already, but then again there’s a lot about this, and the subsequent issues it has led to, that has been shocking to me.


      2. Helmets are designed to crack internally on impact. That’s how helmets work. The kenetic energy of the impact is disapated by cracking the helmet rather than your head (you will likely never know its broken). This is the same for every single riding helmet that I know of (GPA, Samshield, Charles Owen, One K etc.) and they all come with a one fall warning and a replacement policy if you do fall (big discounts for the first few years, no questions asked). It’s an incentive to get a new one. Although it will physically protect you like a shell, there is little or no shock absorption after the initial fall. I just want to make sure your readers know this as it applies to ALL riding helmets and its VERY important. Misinformation can be potentially fatal in this case. Replace your helmet after a fall to the head, its not designed for multiple impacts, regardless of the brand.


  23. many of the schooling style helmets are designed to sacrifice themselves to protect the contents. This meets testing regs. Seeing the pictures it is likely that the impact was harder than the rider thought. Great that it destroyed & she is fine! Doing what it is supposed to do. That is why the company is upset they are being bad mouthed! These styles of helmets are ok for beginners, a trail ride or perhaps dressage but do not offer the same level of protection from secondary impacts so anything more you I would recommend a more substantial shell. Repairs would only be done to harness or cosmetic lining not structural!


    1. I’m not sure how the helmet needs of a dressage rider or trail rider would be any different than that of any other rider. You can still be involved in a rotation fall at the walk, or collide with a tree on the trail, or fall on concrete. That makes no sense to say that a helmet would be ok for certain levels of riding but not for others.

      As for the company’s reaction – they very easily could have turned this situation into an educational opportunity about their design, studies they’ve done, etc etc. Never ever should you blame your customers, call them liars, threaten people with legal action if they dare speak a negative word about your product, or accuse someone of a smear campaign. The unprofessionalism displayed here is beyond comprehension. It could not have possibly been handled in a worse way. You simply cannot, as a business, take things personally and become ruled by emotion. If you really believe in your product then stand behind it and educate people about why it’s so great. They got it very very wrong here.


    2. If it was even possible to select your risk level before getting on a horse (hilarious and ridiculous idea, but I’ll play pretend for a minute), then the onus on the manufacturer is EVEN HIGHER. They would have a moral duty to blast from the roof tops, all their marketing, and each individual helmet label that these helmets were not safe for falling off in.

      Lest you doubt, there are segments of the horse world that still show in non-certified hunt caps and EVERY SINGLE ONE is labeled as such. Not a crash helmet. Not a safety device. A fashion accessory.

      But maybe KEP also sells horses with little gauges where you can set your daily risk level? I mean, there’s on-tyte boots to go with on-tyte stirrups. Is it possible that there’s KEP helmets and horses that are guaranteed to never stumble or trip?


  24. I think Claire = KEP Italia.

    Dressage rider= Trail rider=beginner. *sigh*.

    I don’t think “you don’t need a really good helmet, you only ride dressage” ever won any marketing awards. Or “your life is more expendable because you’re a beginner” hahaha


    Liked by 1 person

  25. I’m actually looking to buy a new helmet and have seen KEP around. I think I’ll stick to my GPAs, I’ve been using them for years now.


  26. Now i am not surprised. Since there is a known case here in thailand that a rider fall (not hard fall at all) and the helmet fell into pieces.


  27. I have been wearing the KEP helmets for six years, and believe them to the safest on the market. I had a nasty fall at a show two years ago and hit my head not once, but twice. I was convinced I had to be hurt because the impact was so hard and loud. So loud in fact that everyone outside the arena heard it. Several of my peers ran into the arena to come to my aid. I laid there waiting for something bad to happen, but then realized that I felt fine! My helmet did it’s job, and I was shocked that I didn’t even have a headache. The next day I had pretty severe whiplash pain, but my head was perfect. (Or at least as perfect as it’s ever been). I immediately bought one for my partner, and I encourage my clients to purchase them. I can’t say enough good things about KEP, they are the ONLY brand I wear. They are designed to come apart to some degree as they absorb impact. The physical appearance of the helmet after an accident should not be what is judged in my opinion. The fact that one’s head is intact should.


  28. Alrighty. I’m not a blogger, but I am a rider. And a medical professional. I could try to make my point regarding this hot topic with some very technical information, statistics, research, explanation of shear forces, diffuse axonal injuries and their neuropathology, linear vs angular acceleration injuries, and helmet technology. But, I’d rather be looking at Henry’s derp face than regurgitating statistically significant research articles.
    So let me break this down for you plainly:
    Ask a trauma/neuro medical professional their opinion on a safety helmet that falls apart/breaks/explodes on impact and the likelihood of said helmet protecting your melon. Get an expert opinion from someone who sees head injuries on a regular basis.
    There are different kinds of helmet technology and as equestrians (I use that term loosely for myself and if you saw me ride, you might agree) we should EDUCATE ourselves and make our decisions based on scientific data.
    To that point, do I want a pretty helmet that is a great color and makes my eyes look even bluer? Hell yes, I do! So do I buy the cool looking helmet that explodes on impact because my eyes look great? Fuck no, I do NOT. I buy a shirt that does. (makes my eyes look great, not one that explodes.) Because if I have a TBI or DAI after a fall from my OTTB, I won’t even know my own name, much less what color my eyes are.

    KEP’s explanation of its helmet design (if they did indeed state the helmet is designed to fall apart upon impact) is scientifically unsound. It is inaccurate, dangerous, and potentially lethal. I very much would like to see the research they used to come to that design decision.

    Basically sports helmets fall into two categories. Single and multiple impact helmets. Both attempt to prevent head injuries (single from linear injuries, multiple from rotational), NEITHER fall apart on impact. Energy-absorbing structures (which work to prevent head injuries) do not break apart upon impact. Educate yourselves, please.

    Let me put it to you this way, you fans of KEP: when you are watching American Football, do you cringe when you see the players hit their heads together? Do you cringe when a player falls on his head? Yes, you do. Now imagine how you would feel if one of those helmets fell apart on impact. Now imagine your head in that helmet that fell apart.
    You know what we do in the trauma center when we have motorcyclists/football players/bicyclists come in with head injuries? WE LOOK AT THE HELMET. If the helmet is even scratched, we worry about traumatic brain injury. JUST SCRATCHED, not broken, not in pieces.
    Do you know what we (somewhat) jokingly call people whose helmets are broken on impact? Organ donors.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, LB, you just saved me a lot of typing, ROFL! Scientist/mega physics nerd & safety nazi concurs. As does a person who has lost their beloved to a TBI. Don’t mess around. That does NOT mean you have to spend $$$$$$ — I am not the type of person or income bracket that will spend $300+ on a helmet…because I know the forces, the tests & the technology & the $50 Troxel is equally (& in a very few cases, even more) effective. Not to mention, umm, when I whack my head (it’s horses, folks, it’s going to happen, probably at a walk even), it’s $50 instead of $$$$$$.

      I will absolutely spend money on the MOST EFFECTIVE safety equipment I can (please see, for example, the $700 worth of tires my horse trailer is sitting, sigh, motionless on), but I (and I encourage EVERYONE to, the resources are out there now, easy to use) will educate myself about the product (thank you, Google) first & be as fully informed as a consumer as I can be.

      Please (& this refers to ALL things you use/purchase) do not trust your life to marketing alone.


  29. To all of you who have been writing or reading on this blog with regards to KEP Italia and the ‘Andrea Smith case’, showing knowledge and sometimes sharp points of view, we invite you to contact us directly if you need any clarification or you have some questions.
    This would allow us to give you precise information on the basis of which to form your opinion. The address to use is:


    1. Funny how you’ll reply to direct contacts for clarification or questions but you won’t post anything about your “break into lots of pieces on impact” in public. I’ll never buy one of your overpriced helmets when my $50 Troxel or $80 IRH is cheaper and doesn’t fall to pieces around my head when I fall off. Since when has fashion become more important than safety?


  30. i bought one of these to protect my head when i started to ride again after brain surgery. ive never fallen off in it but i am questioning now whether it is as safe as i need


  31. Wow, just wow. There is just so much wrong here it almost seems made up. The obvious and many mistakes made by KEP Italia have already been stated multiple times but one thing that bothers me is there continual fall back to the safety ratings held by their helmets. In my opinion safety ratings is where you START not something to be used as a shield to hide behind.

    I believe it is entirely possible that this particular helmet was simply a lemon or among a batch of lemons for one reason or another and if the company had responded with horror and an immediate desire to inspect and learn what might have gone wrong I wouldn’t have thought too much of it. Lemons and mistakes in production do happen and especially when you factor in the age of this particular helmet. Think about the latest recalls in airbags as an example. I have no idea how airbags are tested and rated but I have to imagine that there is some kind of rating system. Could you imagine if airbag companies responded to mishaps with their product by simply telling people about their safety ratings!

    The way this company has conducted itself is completely absurd to the point that I almost feel sorry for them. This is not a helmet I would have ever considered buying anyways because the price point is also absurd but now I don’t think you’d even be able to give me one for free.


  32. Holy cow. I had never heard of this company before this post, but I sure won’t give them a second thought now! You never, ever call a customer a liar, even if you think they are wrong. Customer service 101!


  33. My daughter loves these hats and wanted the White Cromo S one for Christmas to wear for when she does her Showjumping.
    After reading what has happened and everybody’s comments on it, I have just told her she won’t be getting one now.
    Thank you to the lady for making us aware of this.


  34. I followed the posts about this incident in the summer of 2015, with interest. I thought the helmets were well designed and were now being worn by many top riders but the safety did worry me. Then I began to think about how cars are designed and the fact that the car outer shell usually takes most of the impact in a crash so you don’t. The car crumples even under the lightest of impacts to protect us.
    This is exactly what Kep helmets do, they take most of the impact so your skull doesn’t. So the fact that this ladies helmet fell apart on impact, the helmet did what it should, it protected her head. I have come off trotting through grass when my horse somersaulted when he tripped, my head was driven at force into the ground. I thought I had broken my neck as I lost all feeling in my arm, the force was that great. The hat did not come apart but maybe if it had I would not still have a numb hand.
    I therefore went out and purchased a helmet for competitions. After 3 shows I was delighted with it, fits perfectly and no sweaty head. I loved it. Then whilst overladen with saddles and bridles, with the KEP helmet safe in its bag over my shoulder, I was bringing my heavy ramp down. As I tried to stop the ramp crashing to the floor as it usually does, my hat slipped off my shoulder and went under the ramp as it came down. I was frantic my gorgeous hat had just taken one huge impact. It would be fine, surely. It wasn’t, when I took the liner out I had cracked it all the way through, as it was designed to do. If you think about it, how many hats can you check if they are cracked after impact, not many, but this has a removable lining so the damage was plain to see. So that is positive in a way. I was distraught, it had cost me a lot of money.
    KEP Italy have been marvelous, I got offered a 50% discount on a new hat and when they found out the circumstances they said;

    ‘Considering your kindness and the passion you have shown for our brand, we have decided to apply an extra discount off your final price’

    They have been quick to reply and are even going to build me a special design for my new hat.

    I have nothing bad to say about them. The safety is impeccable and the design is stunning. Sont be put off by this post the helmet did want it should and saved her head!


    1. Except the real issue is secondary impact – as discussed at length. If the helmet disintegrates after the first impact, especially to the point of coming away from the head either partially or completely, you are really in a mess of trouble if there’s more/repeated impact. A design like that works in a lot of sports and with a lot of applications, but riding is a different ballgame. It’s important, as a consumer, to be aware of how the different helmets are designed to work, and how you can expect them to perform in certain situations. Yes the KEP works as it’s designed to. However, I personally would never put anything on my head that was only designed with a single impact in mind. But I’m glad you had good experiences with their customer service and hope the helmet works out well for you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s