Best Arai Helmets – 2021 Guide

Troy
| Last Updated: April 6, 2021

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Arai motorcycle helmets have been at the top of the helmet game for many years now.

Coming up with a list of the best Arai helmets was no easy task, but we did narrow it down to six, and we are confident that there is something for everyone on this list.

Our Top Picks for Arai Helmets

  • Snell 2020 approved
  • Removable neckroll
  • Emergency Release Tab
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  • Easy clean diffusers
  • Chin vent is external
  • Snell 2020 approved
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  • Best for the Money
  • PB-cLc construction shell
  • 3-position chin vent
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Comparison of the Best Arai Helmets

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • DOT and Snell 2020 approved with Pinlock insert included
  • Removable neckroll has extra exhaust channels to remove heat
  • Emergency Release Tab on the cheek pads
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  • Easy clean diffusers offer strong rear vacuum
  • Chin vent is external for extra space in the chin area
  • DOT approved and Snell 2020 certification
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  • Best for the Money
  • 3 sizes of PB-cLc construction shell
  • Neck vent exhaust and 3-position chin vent
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  • Chin vent offers more intake ports for breathability
  • Fully washable, removeable, and replaceable inner
  • Dry-Cool technology for greater cooling comfort
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  • Emergency Release Tab on the cheek pads
  • DOT approved and Snell 2020 certification
  • Removable neckroll has extra exhaust channels to remove heat
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  • Fully washable, removeable, and replaceable inner
  • 1-piece rear exhaust, side exhausts, and double intake front vents
  • Multi density EPS and SFL-constructed shell
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Who is Arai?

One thing that makes Arai stand out from other helmet manufacturers is that all of their helmets are handmade, and they do not mass produce. They may have fewer molded styles than other manufacturers, but they make up for it with their large selection of color choices.

Arai helmets are pricier than other helmets due to the higher quality materials used and the fact that they are handmade, but you also end up with a higher quality finished product in the end, with higher safety standards and features. 

How Long Has Arai Been Around?

Hirotake Arai started as a hatmaker in Japan before founding Arai in 1926, making the company one of the most, if not the, oldest helmet manufacturers in the world. Hirotake Arai always seemed to be one step of his counterparts, pursuing innovations and surprises - something his company continues to do to this day, leading the way in the industry.

What Kind of Warranty Does Arai Offer?

Arai offers a better warranty than most other companies, seven years from the manufacturing date and five years from the purchase date.

Review of the Best Arai Helmets

When reviewing these Arai helmets, we compared them and considered our thoughts and those of others to come up with our list of the top choices.

PROS

  • Emergency Release Tab on cheek pads
  • Neckroll is removable and has exhaust channels
  • Variable Axis System shield and side pods are exclusive to the Arai Corsair X Helmet
  • IC Duct5 forehead vent provides more airflow, features 3 positions, and is overall large and easy to operate with gloves
  • Arai's R75 shell shape creates a rounder, smoother helmet to enhance energy and impact dispersion

CONS

  • Cheek pad reassembly difficult after taking out
  • Might be best to try it on, as it fits small for some

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love this helmet, so much so that it was really hard to find cons for the above list, and we ended up just getting nit-picky. Buyers mentioned loving everything from the fit to the look of the helmet and how they wouldn’t trust anyone but Arai with their safety.

Why It Stands Out to Us

We’ve seen other companies have systems that compare to Arai’s Variable Axis System, but none have done as much with it as Arai has done with theirs, including making sure the face shield provided excellent visibility in all seasons and had a de-mist position. Not only are the safety standards DOT approved, but they are up to date with Snell 2020 as well, something we don’t see with many others yet, probably due to mass production. Another feature that stood out to us is the removable neck roll with additional exhaust channels to remove interior heat.

The Bottom Line

There are so many good things to say about the Arai Corsair X Nakagami that we could go on. The safety standards are bar none, the comfort features are a draw to riders, and the helmet just looks great.

Runner-up:
Arai VX Pro 4

PROS

  • DOT and Snell 2020 rated
  • Shell is built with a specially designed composite fiber sandwiched between two layers of Super Fiber Laminate
  • Center top vent, inner chin vent, under-peak air intake, goggle ventilation, and lower side vents make up the ventilation system
  • The dry-cool interior liner is removable and washable, it will transfer heat away from your head and dry quicker than most fabrics
  • A facial contour system helps to keep an even better snug fit and enhance the lower jaw when moving around and putting the helmet on

CONS

  • Vents designed to break off easily
  • Parts can be on backorder for months

What Recent Buyers Report

Most people love their Arai VX Pro 4 and have had no issues with it whatsoever, while a few have mentioned that their vents have popped off while riding in the woods (this is an off-road helmet), only to be told they shouldn’t be riding in the woods. Still, most customers are extremely happy and have nothing but positive things to say about this helmet.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The first thing that caught our eye is the design and just how great it looks. That brought us to the ventilation system. Not only is Arai’s system an intake and outtake system, but it also includes easy to clean diffusers, as well as an inner chin vent shutter that prevents debris from coming into the helmet in dusty riding conditions. Another thing that stands out is its unique composite fiber sandwiched between two layers of Super Fiber Laminate.

The Bottom Line

The design of this helmet is unique, and we think that it’s top-notch. Maybe it’s not meant for rough off-roading, but you could definitely do trails with it and some off-roading, just stay away from driving through trees.

Best for the Money:
Arai Regent-X

PROS

  • DOT and Snell M2020 certified
  • Dual intake front vents, three-position chin vent, neck vent exhaust, side exhausts, and one-piece rear exhaust
  • Airflow under the helmet reduces wind noise and turbulence while exhausting hot air
  • Pockets for speakers
  • A foam spring support in the cheek pad that compresses and rebounds without excessive pressure offers a snugger fit

CONS

  • Not enough features
  • Hard to get good airflow

What Recent Buyers Report

There is a mix of reports for this helmet, but those who want something affordable are extremely happy. They have no complaints or may mention the airflow to a small degree. The biggest complaints come from those used to higher-end helmets, with better quality materials and features. 

Why It Stands Out to Us

This handmade helmet has many features that you won’t find in some other company’s lower-priced helmets. That in itself stood out to us as pretty impressive, but we also liked that there is an option of six colors for this helmet. Just like the number one helmet on our list, you are getting the same safety ratings, and you also get the facial contour system for a snug fit, an antimicrobial liner, multiple vents, and exhausts for airflow, plus pockets for speakers. This helmet is not going to leave you wanting for much.

The Bottom Line

This helmet is great for beginners or those who want to purchase their first Arai. Even if it isn’t its top range helmet, you are still sure to have it for years because of the craftsmanship that goes into making each one.

Arai XD4 Review:
Arai XD-4

PROS

  • Snell M2020 approved
  • Exhaust ports added to the top diffuser vents
  • Comfort headliner, with peel away temple pads
  • Improved shell shape for better aerodynamics at higher speeds
  • Interior is fully removable, replaceable, and washable, including the comfort headliner, cheek pads, and chinstrap covers

CONS

  • Rain trickles through, making the face shield fog up
  • When riding without a windscreen, you will get some lift

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers of this helmet are very happy with it, and one of those reasons is that it is one of the few touring helmets to receive the Snell 2020 certifications. Where some people had issues, others did not, so the cons don’t necessarily seem to be product-wide issues. Many customers don’t feel the need to upgrade.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The Arai XD-4 sets the standard for safety, quality, and comfort, and it does so for such a low price point, without cutting corners. While you might not get all of the bells and whistles of VX Pro 4, you’re also not marketing to the same consumer. One feature we like about this helmet is the micro fitting peel away temple and cheek pads so you can find the best fit. It beats having to go out and purchase another shell. And always wanting to be a step ahead, this is one of the only touring helmets to be Snell certified.

The Bottom Line

You don’t have to be a weekend warrior to appreciate this touring helmet as not everyone is looking for a top of the line helmet. Arai still focuses on safety and comfort at all levels of their styles and designs.

Arai Signet X Review:
Arai Signet-X

PROS

  • Snell 2020 and DOT approved
  • VAS shield latch system captures and holds the shield closed more securely to help prevent unexpected opening
  • The shell design was created internally by Arai and is a super complex laminate construction, which combines materials and techniques to deliver performance and affordability
  • VAS MAX Vision shield for better visibility in all seasons for all types of riding and comes standard with a clear anti-fog Pinlock insert
  • Interior liner is removable and made from Eco-Pure material, which helps maintain neutral acidity levels close to human skin and is antibacterial

CONS

  • Different sizing than previous Signet series’
  • VAS hard to manage one-handed and with gloves

What Recent Buyers Report

Purchasers of the Signet-X are happy to have found a helmet that fits their head shape comfortably, and many have upgraded from the Signet-Q due to the number of upgrades that Arai made in making the new helmet better. Many find this helmet quieter and more refined from previous versions, and those who previously owned other brands are happy they made the switch to Arai.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The Signet series of helmets are for those with a long oval head. A majority of helmets are for those with an intermediate oval head. While some people may not think much of this, it stood out to us that Arai was conscious enough to make an entire series for long oval heads. And not only that, they weren’t happy enough with the Signet-Q, but they made a complete overhaul for the Signet-X and came up with an amazing helmet, available in six colors, for a price that’s still cheaper than others out there on the market.

The Bottom Line

If you have a long oval-shaped head, look no further than Arai’s Signet-X for your next helmet. It will give you the comfort, quality, and safety you need in a helmet, all with a beautiful design. 

Arai Defiant Review:
Arai Defiant-X

PROS

  • Pockets for speakers
  • DOT and Snell M2020 certified
  • Removable, washable cheek pads with a 5mm peel-away layer for a perfect fit
  • Dual intake front vents, three-position chin vent, neck vent exhaust, side exhausts, and one-piece rear exhaust
  • A foam spring support in the cheek pad that compresses and rebounds without excessive pressure offers a snugger fit

CONS

  • Squeeze points in ears and forehead
  • Chin bar vents are tricky to manipulate

What Recent Buyers Report

While the Arai Defiant-X isn’t the best-rated helmet in Arai’s catalog, it is still pretty high up there. Many happy customers state that they find the helmet very comfortable and are pleased with the design.

Why It Stands Out to Us

Other than the fact that it comes in nine different colors, we are impressed with its upgraded design to create a strong shell to disperse energy upon impact. With all of that, it still manages to pack in features like its Free Flow System, multi-density EPS, removable antimicrobial liner, and so much more. 

The Bottom Line

The Arai Defiant-X is another great upgrade from the company that made one of their great products even better, yet another example of why they remain at the top of the industry in innovation.

What Makes Arai Products Stand Out From the Competition?

The biggest stand out for Arai and its products is that each helmet is handcrafted. The company strives for perfection and always wants to be ahead of the industry when it comes to innovation. It also likes to give its customers little surprises along the way, which is why it is known to set the bar for manufacturing helmets.

Another unique quality about Arai is their warranty. Most companies offer one-year warranties, whereas Arai offers seven years from manufactured date and five years from purchase date warranty, offering comfort for the consumer.

Arai Helmet Types

Arai has four series of full-face street helmets: Corsair, Signet, Defiant, and Quantum.

Photo credit: RobbReport.com

Corsair

The Corsair has long been renowned as one of the most advanced, highest quality helmets available anywhere in the world.

Signet

The Signet is a go-to if you have more of a long oval-shaped head. It prides itself on comfort, quiet, stability, and ventilation.

Defiant

Defiant’s main design is a bold yet refined helmet that is round and smooth to create a strong shell that disperses energy upon impact.

Quantum

Just like the Signet is a great go-to helmet, if you have an oval-shaped head, the Quantum is a great go-to helmet, if you have a rounder head.

Arai Helmet Size Chart

To get the most accurate sizing for your helmet, wrap a measuring tape around your head, above your ears and eyebrows, making sure the measuring tape is snug. Use that measurement and reference the chart below.

Photo credit: CometKartSales.com

How Do Arai Helmets Compare?

We’ve covered a lot about Arai products and what we and their customers think about them. But how do they stand up against some of the other top brands in the motorcycle helmet industry?

Arai vs Schuberth

There are many similarities to how Arai and Schuberth helmets are constructed, minus the manufacturing process since Schuberth uses the latest technology instead of handcrafting. When reviewing the two companies side by side, many often peg Arai as the winner for comfort. The only area that Schuberth comes out as a winner is in the built-in sun shield. Another noticeable advantage of the Arai helmets is the 

Photo credit: ScenicApp.space

AGV vs Arai

AGV and Arai have many of the same features and technology; however, Arai seems to manufacture those features better than AGV does. Both companies use premium quality materials, trying to build the lightest helmet they can, and AGV comes out the winner here, beating Arai for the lightest. Arai wins for the choice of colors and designs, to the point where it isn’t even a competition with AGV. Arai doesn’t have as many series of helmets as AGV does, but perhaps they don’t need to. They can cover all types of riders with the ones they have.

Shoei vs Arai Helmets

Comparing Shoei vs Arai is the hardest of all three comparisons. Originally, Shoei was aimed at those with rounder heads and Arai towards those with more of an oval-shaped head. Now, Arai has moved into three shapes, and Shoei is starting to provide more of a range in shapes, too. Most people do state that Arai is more comfortable than Shoei, but for many other features, for every person you have choosing Arai, you’ll have one choosing Shoei, so it’s a pretty close tie-down. While the two companies focus on the same things such as safety and comfort, they do take different approaches to each.

Photo credit: Revzilla.com

How to Clean an Arai Helmet

After every ride, wipe down the helmet with a towel, including the residual sweat from the inside surface. If you use sunblock, make-up, or hair products, you may want to pull out the cheek pads and headliner and give them a quick rinse in the sink. The buildup of these products can become difficult to remove after a while.

When cleaning the face shield, make sure to use warm water and a microfiber cloth to prevent any damage. Lay the wet microfiber cloth across the face shield to soften the bugs and debris, making cleaning easier. Once cleaned, adding a carnauba wax will help protect the lenses.

About once or twice a season, you will want to do a full strip-down wash, removing all of the interior parts, including headliner, interior lining, and cheek pads to give them a thorough wash.

Conclusion

Arai helmets are some of the best-manufactured helmets on the market, and they have one of the most loyal followings. We looked at several different styles, compared them with other brands, and talked about what other people had to say you can see which are the best, and we hope that we were able to help you make an informed decision.

People Also Ask

When you're looking for Arai helmets, you may have some questions that you might not be able to find the answers to on the company’s website. So, we tried to answer a few of them here.

Why Are Arai Helmets So Expensive?

Arai helmets continue to strive to be the best and use the best materials to bring you handcrafted premium helmets. They pride themselves on safety, quality, and comfort for their customers. Each helmet leaves their facility in pristine condition, with a standard extended warranty.

Photo credit: electrodealpro.com

What To Do If You're Between Sizes on Arai Helmet?

Many Arai helmets come with peel away layers on their cheeks or head liners, so you can add or remove layers as needed to ensure a better fit for you. Some models also have cheeks that pump up with air to provide you with a better fit. Each helmet comes in several different sizes, so you’re bound to find the perfect fit for you.

What Certifications Do Arai Helmets Meet?

All of Arai’s helmets meet a safety certificate of some sort. They either have DOT or Snell 2020, or both. The DOT safety standard is the basic certificate, even though the testing procedure is very thorough. Snell M2020 certification is considered the gold standard when it comes to helmet rating. 

Are Arai Helmets Safer?

Arai has long been a pioneer for safety, and it’s one of the reasons that it hasn’t made any significant changes in its safety construction for years. Yes, there have been tweaks here and there, but nothing major. These little tweaks have seen them slip from the top spot in safety to number 2 in recent years. Shoei has surpassed them by taking a different approach to safety, while also considering rider comfort, a stance that Arai thinks affects safety.

Troy

Hi, my name’s Troy. I started riding motorcycles with Clay mid-2020 and soaking up his vast knowledge of bikes. I have been writing for a few years and decided it was a good time to start writing about what I’m passionate about - motorcycles. No matter how bad your day is, a bike will always make you feel better, that’s my motto.