Author Topic: Caving Helmets  (Read 815 times)

Offline phizz4

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Caving Helmets
« on: October 09, 2019, 07:30:28 pm »
One for the Scout Cave Leaders please. Our County (Staffordshire) caving helmets are mostly Petzl Ecrin Roc. They are 10 years old. If we follow Scout advice on retiring equipment, we should follow the manufacturers recommendations, which for Petzl helmets is 10 years. So, should we do the right thing and junk them all (14 of them) and buy new Petzl Boreo (the closest to Ecrins for robustness I believe). There's nothing wrong with the Ecrins (a bit sweaty smelly) but.....? Thoughts please.

I've also attached a useful document listing manufacturers equipment lifespan which may be useful to some of you.

Offline christopher

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Re: Caving Helmets
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2019, 07:50:05 pm »
Don't scrap them, old school Petzl Ecrin helmets go for a bomb on flea bay, jut have a look, RAT's seem to find them very desirable,   If you sold them you could probably cover the cost of the new helmets
Now be thankful for good things below

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: Caving Helmets
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2019, 08:00:47 pm »
Or keep using them? The manufacturers recommendations are for climbing, and for the most part cavers helmets are to protect you when you knock your head on the ceiling. Granted, you may occasionally find yourself taking a big fall onto your head, or fending off falling debris from above, but it's not often! I think that the use case is different enough to invalidate the manufacturers recommended replacement age.

Since you're in a position of responsibility for other people's welfare I guess you can't take a risk, but many others would simply keep on using them.

Offline rhychydwr1

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Re: Caving Helmets
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2019, 08:22:39 pm »
My helmet is 60 years old and still going strong.  I did painted when new.  Something I am sure is not recommended today.

Offline Ian P

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Re: Caving Helmets
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2019, 09:53:20 pm »
If we follow Scout advice on retiring equipment, we should follow the manufacturers recommendations, which for Petzl helmets is 10 years. So,


As well as the Scout Association advice to follow manufacturers recommendations, I would expect any other “official” advice (from a technical advisor etc) to be the same. (That would be my “official” advice)

However “Fit for purpose” is a common term in a-lot of circumstances. ??

If you decide to change the helmets, a lot of centres are using Petzl Pangas. One size fits all. (The Boreos are sized)

Offline Pete K

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Re: Caving Helmets
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2019, 10:18:26 pm »
Go with Petzl Panga, they are ace and cheaper than Boreo. Bin the Ecrins, they are out of date and you'd be loosing your house if one of them led to an injury. A prosecution lawyer would have a field day.
I am a tech advisor for caving. Don't risk the out of date gear if you are in a position of responsibility and a leader, volunteer or paid. If you're in or near the Peak, I'll happily let you have a look at a Panga from my store.

Offline PaulW

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Re: Caving Helmets
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2019, 12:42:34 am »
Panga's would likely be my way forward, also depending on what lights you use , you cant run cables internally on a boreo (you can but not for group use)

pm sent aswell

Offline phizz4

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Re: Caving Helmets
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2019, 08:09:10 am »
Thanks guys, very useful advice. Confirmed my take on the situation. I'll have a look at the Panga, thanks. Anyone want a load of Ecrin Rocs? i'll probably put them on ebay unless anyone has a better suggestion.

Offline PaulW

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Re: Caving Helmets
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2019, 08:35:22 am »
your ecrins are worth money. as someone said you could almost cover the cost of replacements selling them

Offline Greg Jones

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Re: Caving Helmets
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2019, 12:20:24 pm »
Don't put all the Ecrins on Ebay in one go; drip feed them on over a few months. You'll get a much better price that way.
Renegade!

Offline badger

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Re: Caving Helmets
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2019, 12:10:35 pm »
Our county had a similar situation a few years ago. Then petzl had the ecrins. Which we did not like. We tried 2 or 3 others until we decided on a make and model. So  I would recommend try several before buying.

Offline GT

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Re: Caving Helmets
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2019, 07:08:21 pm »
As Pete's said, given your situation you need to replace them, although there's a growing argument for keeping some textiles beyond the normal 10yr retirement age plastics don't fair so well.

We've been using both the Boreo and Panga as well as having a few of the Elios kicking about.

The Elios is rubbish! Although they're robust there's just to many fiddly bits for group use so you spend ages fitting the things, and then a buckle pops open, pain in the....

The Boreo's are great in that they've multi-direction impact (i.e. foam all the way around the inside). You can get them as either Club or normal version. The Club version comes with glued in vinyl "sweat pads" so a lot better for group use, where as the alternative version comes with a removable (velcro) fabric forehead and top pads. The Boreo also comes in 2 sizes. The downside with the foam is, although it's more robust than many other foam fillings of helmets, it's still prone to damage, after which technically it should be retired.

Although the Boreo is marketed by Petzl as a Caving Helmet (for which technically there is no standard; most people go with the climbing helmet standard) if I was buying helmets for predominantly group caving I'd go with the Panga. They fit a huge range of head sizes (although there's a lot of helmet poking out the back on a very small head), super easy to adjust and fit, and internal components can be replaced. You're not going to get the same level of protection if you fall and bang your head on the side as you would with the Boreo, but they'll last a lot longer.