Ironically, in the current (July) issue of UK magazine Climber, Andy Kirkpatrick equivovated over the Startec saying: 'I'd really like to slag this helmet off. At first glance I find it hard to believe that this flimsy thing really does offer more than the most rudimentary protection. The shell and lining is so thin, and the shape so close fitting, my gut feeling says it's got to be some sort of Italian joke.' And indeed the BMC's tests suggested that there simply wasn't enough padding to provide adequate protection.

The results aren't definitive since the helmet had been used and may have deteriorated in use, but a concerned BMC are urgently looking for Startecs purchased before May of this year for further testing. If you can help, please e-mail Andy Macnae at the BMC.

Note that a new, redesigned Startec was released this June and, when tested, conformed to regulations. It's also the BMC's opinion that the main problem is with rockfall and the helmet would perform adequately in many other climbing situations, presumably in a fall for example. They therefor recommend that the model isn't used in situations where rockfall is likely.

Check out the BMC's news pages for the full details