Our Arai GP-6S vs. Arai GP-5W Comparison for 2021

Choosing a helmet can often be confusing because there are so many different models on the market. However, if you’ve been searching for a while, you’ve probably come down to choosing between Arai GP-5W vs. Arai GP-6S.

These are both by the Japanese brand called Arai and are full-face helmets. The brand is about 40 years old, and these two are its most versatile and best-selling models.

We’ve decided to compare the two in their features, design, safety and other specifications. Before you make the final decision, consider what each helmet brings because that’s the only way to pick the best one for you.

Comparing Design, Features, and Construction

Arai GP-5W Design

This one has a wider eye port that measures about 90mm or 3.5’’ in total. The size of the eye port and its exclusive shield allow you better peripheral vision.

It’s constructed with Arai’s Super Complex Laminate Construction that provides durability and resistance. The natural head shape and its lower center of gravity give a lighter feel and reduce fatigue.

It features removable cheek pads and two intake and exhaust ports for constant airflow. This reduces fogging even when you close the shield.

The GP-5W comes with a fia-8859-2015 certification sticker on the inside of the interior liner.

GP 5W helmet on the road race background

Arai GP-6S Design

The GP-6S was designed for people who like the original shape of Formula 1 helmets. It features a 10mm intake and exhaust ports for better ventilation. These can also be manually closed.

The shield pivot hardware has improved aerodynamics thanks to the redesigned track slider. It also has a locking mechanism that allows you to latch it in mid-use.

This one comes with Arai 6 series visor that’s 3mm thick. It has pre-drilled Hans ports and weighs about 4 pounds in total.

The GP-6S comes only in white, and there’s only one size to choose from.

GP 6S ARAI on the road race background

Comparing Safety Certifications

GP-5W Safety

The first thing you should know is that it’s rated by Snell for its safety and reliability. The helmet features Arai’s ScLc construction which is among the brand’s most durable constructions so far.

It comes with several standard and anti-fog shields in clear, smoke and tint. Its cheek pads are removable and provide a tight fit, so the helmet is safely secured on your head.

Plus, because it features the 6mm washer/nut, you can install a wide range of neck and head restraint systems which add to the overall safety.

Find out more about important safety ratings.

GP-6S Safety

This full-face helmet is approved and ranked by Snell and FIA for its durability and safety. The shell material is Complex Laminate in the shape of an intermediate oval.

It has a sculpted chin and ridge for some added comfort which helps when wearing it for a longer time. This is considered a safety feature because it helps lower the center of gravity.

The inside is completely padded, so the GP-6S fits tightly and supports all parts of your skull. Since a helmet is only safe when it’s comfortable, Arai included a tight-fitting chin bar that helps with how the helmet fits and protects your face.

Which Should I Buy?

Many people often struggle with choosing one of the two Arai helmets. If you can’t make up your mind between the GP-5W and GP-6S, you should first consider your needs and preferences. These are two seemingly similar helmets, but they have a few significant differences.

You Might Like the GP-5W if…

  • You’re a rally rider – the GP-5W has a specific shape and weight that makes it quite popular among rally riders and enthusiast.
  • You use a head or neck restraint system – if the system you use has a 6mm bolt, you can easily install it thanks to the M6 washer/nut.
  • You want a wider eye port – this one has a port that’s about 3.5’’ wide, so it gives you a better peripheral vision as a whole.

You Might Like the GP-6S If...

  • You want less fogging – this one has large 10mm ventilation holes that reduce fogging to a minimum. All vents are closeable so you can open them only when you feel the need.
  • Aerodynamics is important to you – some riders look for aerodynamics to help them when riding. The GP-S6 has new shield pivot hardware along with new track slider that helps a lot in this case.
  • You don’t like big helmets – most full-face helmets tend to look quite big on some people. This one is ideal if you’re looking for a smaller model that still delivers all the needed safety, durability and reliability.


Now it’s probably clear to you why these two are among the most popular full-face models on the market. Not only they come from a reliable and trustworthy brand, but they each have impressive features and specifications. 

However, it’s up to you to choose which one would work the best depending on what you need and like in a helmet. Consider what they offer and see which one suits you the best. 

They’re quite similar, so you might be able to pull off both equally as well. Still, the little difference in details can make one model work better than the other. 

Additional Resources:

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