It seems like not that long ago that everyone was riding in the same helmet, with not a lot of choice in terms of brands available on the market. Then, in around 2013, things started to change as the idea of a more innovative, customisable approach to helmets began to take hold. One such brand that encompasses this idea is KEP Italia; an Italian company that is now renowned worldwide for its high quality, Italian-made helmets that satisfy the most stringent safety regulations.
KEP Italia was established in 2007, with their helmets beginning distribution throughout Europe in 2008. However, the brand really started to take control a few years after this, as people’s attitudes towards helmets began to change. No longer was it simply about having a non-discrete, ‘acceptably safe’ helmet to get you by; as the world became more aware of the link between helmets and safety, and began to latch onto the idea of customisable, stylish helmets, there was a noticeable shift in the market.
It has long been acknowledged that Italian made products are often of superior quality; the Italians’ ability to meld innovation and traditional craftsmanship, often with generations of passed down artisan expertise to guide their production, have given them a reputation as being leaders in many key product-related industries. KEP Italia keeps with this tradition, being located in the north of Italy and having its entire production process carried out in Italy.
The founder, Lelia Polini, wanted to design a more comfortable, safe and innovative helmet than those currently on the market. In particular, she wanted to create a new kind of helmet that would adhere to the tagline ‘Superior helmets’, and that excelled in the following areas:
- Commitment to Safety: all models of KEP Italia helmet have been designed with safety at the forefront. Not only do they satisfy the latest international safety standards, but they are one of the only brands of helmet on the market to satisfy almost every international standard and quality mark. This means they have been through and passed the most vigorous testing that accounts for many different types of fall, making them one of the safest bets when it comes to equestrian helmets. They also have a lower reach on the back of the helmet to protect the lower part of the skull.
- Ventilation system: all KEP Italia Helmets have been designed with an advanced ventilation system. Unlike many other helmet brands that are heavy and have little air flow (leading to the inevitable sweaty, matted post-riding hair look!), KEP helmets have an exclusive air control system to allow for uniform circulation of air. They have levers on the front grid that allow it to be opened and closed, providing extra air circulation if needed (and also proving handy should it be raining and you need to close it). This superior ventilation system makes KEP Italia Helmets perfect for the Australian summer.
- Lightweight: years of research have allowed KEP to produce a helmet that is almost as light as a bike helmet; far lighter than the average equestrian helmet! This is through the utilisation of state-of-the-art materials such as polycarbonate, Kevlar, mesh and aluminium.
- Removable liners: the inner padding of all KEP Italia Helmets can be removed, washed and even exchanged for a different size (depending on the shell size – a ‘Medium’ shell caters for liners of size 51-58, and a ‘Large’ shell caters for 59-62). The liner is attached directly to an anatomical cushion that fits to the nape of the neck, providing extra comfort. Additionally, it is made of ‘Coolmax’ materials for extra sanitation and breathability.
- Excellent stability: KEP Italia Helmets have five connection strap points to help distribute pressure and increase stability. This gives a greater feeling of comfort, balance and secureness.
- Customisation: as well as the standard KEP Italia helmet options (e.g. the KEP ‘Smart’ Helmet and KEP ‘Cromo Matt Black’ Helmet), there are numerous customisation options for every discipline (show jumping, dressage, eventing, racing, polo, endurance, etc). The KEP configurator allows for almost endless personalisation options: from the shell texture (shine, texture, polish, texturised or velvet), front texture (shine, texture, polish, lace, python, leather, velvet, and more!), rear texture, visor size and texture, the frame (with things like Swarovski crystals, mirror or even coloured frame), grid texture, grid button, button logo, inner pad size, and even with nameplate and custom flag options, you really can design your ‘dream’ helmet and stand out from the crowd!