We've tried a few adventure helmets, now it's time to try one of the main leaders in the adventure helmet scene, the Arai XD-3. Not only is this premium-quality helmet made from the best materials, it looks the goods and works well. It's availale from XS to size XXL, and there is an array of plain and graphics color to choose from, the Arai XD-3 helmet in the picture is the Trek-Red Arai XD-3 helmet.
A special feature of the Arai XD-3 helmet is the high-flow peak, which channels air directly into the front vents. This not only directs air into the vents, it is the most stable peak I've ever used on an adventure or dirt bike-style helmet at any speed. A nice finishing touch to show the quality and thought gone into the build of the Arai XD-3 is a blacked-out section under the front of the peak, which keeps light reflection to a minimum.
Keeping you cool, the Arai XD-3 helmet has four top vents: dual intake/dual exhaust ventilation top vents and double delta bridged exhaust vents designed to draw significant volumes of air from the helmet interior.
One the chin bar, there is a large vent that allows masses of air flow. One great feature of the Arai XD-3 helmet is that it also stars interior and exterior controls that flow fresh air to the mouth area or across the shield interior to help prevent fogging: now you can have just the right setting, depending on the conditions. A twin-cam shield pivot system allows the face shield to completely open under the peak to allow the wearing of goggles, and the peak can also be lowered for better aerodynamics. The visor is clear and offers a wide-vision span and is dead easy to change.
You can configure the Arai X-3 helmet with shield only, so many functions/styles of riding can be covered with the one helmet purchase. As I write this article, I have on order a dark smoke-tinted visor if you wish (not exactly legal in Thailand, but I could not resist).
Keeping the Arai XD-3 in tip-top condition is easy. The finish on the outside of the helmet is supreme, allowing for easy cleaning, and the fully removable (and replaceable)( washable liner lets you keep the inside feeling and selling nice. You can also get other-sized liners for a custom fit. Liner size and thickness labels are found on the underside of the removable liners.
A 'pull-down airflow spoiler' under the chin guard comes standard, but I prefer to have the chin area open on my helmet for better airflow. However, I did use this feature for a short ride and it does cut the amount of wind directed onto your chin and neck – good for colder December nights...
Helmet attachment is via the standard D-ring and strap, but the length of strap is a tad too short for my liking and takes some getting used to, especially in compared to my other helmets, which have a longer straps.
In my opinion, helmet fit of the Arai range is for a unique head style. I take a large in all helmet brands and it was no different here, but the Arai XD-3 was quite tight for the first initial break-in period. I did try on the XL but it was too loose, making the large the right fit. After a a month of occasional use, it is starting to mold very well to my head. Wind noise is reasonable, as you would expect from a mix of the noisier dirt bike style to a road motorcycle-style helmet. The Arai XD-3 helmet in itself is fairly light and relaxing to wear.