Arai Tour-X 5 vs Nexx X.Wed3 | which would Justin spend his own money on?

If you’re shopping for a new adventure motorbike helmet, the chances are you’ve seen the Arai Tour-X 5 and the Nexx X.Wed3 reviewed online and wondered which is best. Over the past six months, I’ve logged thousands of miles wearing both helmets, so I know them inside and out.

Recently, I took a 2500-mile all-terrain tour across Europe and had to choose between these two adventure lids. Before revealing my choice, let’s dive into the pros and cons of each helmet to help you make an informed decision.

Common features between the helmets

Both the Arai Tour-X 5 and Nexx X.Wed3 are ECE 22.06 certified, meeting the latest European testing standards. They feature a peak, wide eye port, and ample ventilation – essentials for any adventure bike helmet.

Materials and Weight

The Arai Tour-X 5 is constructed from glass fibre, making it robust yet light. Glass fibre is known for its impact resistance and durability, ensuring that the helmet can withstand substantial impacts while still providing excellent protection.

Arai Tour-X 5 helmet on bike seat

The Nexx X.Wed3 uses carbon fibre, a material often associated with high performance due to its strength and lightweight properties. However, in this case, the Nexx is 200g heavier than the Arai. Despite the common perception that carbon fibre helmets are lighter, the Arai takes the lead in this category with its lower weight, which significantly reduces fatigue during long rides.

Balance and Comfort

Balance is a crucial factor in helmet comfort, especially during extended use. The Nexx X.Wed3 has a tendency to drop forward due to its heavier chin area, which can put a strain on your neck, particularly at lower speeds or during off-road riding.

This forward tilt can be bothersome over time, especially in stop-and-go situations. In contrast, the Arai Tour-X 5 is perfectly balanced, providing a neutral feel that makes you almost forget you’re wearing a helmet.

Nexx X.Wed3 rear

When it comes to internal comfort, both helmets excel with plush interiors that cradle your jawline, enhancing safety and providing a secure fit. This design contributes to a sense of passive safety, making you feel more relaxed and confident while riding.

The interiors of both helmets effectively wick away sweat, ensuring comfort even in hot and humid conditions. However, the Nexx’s longer chin strap can become twisted and uncomfortable, while the Arai’s strap length is just right, avoiding any excess padding flapping around.

Ventilation

Ventilation is essential for an adventure helmet, especially when riding in varying climates. The Nexx X.Wed3 stands out in this category with its extensive ventilation system. It features multiple vents across the brow and top of the head, providing a noticeable cooling effect. You can feel the breeze through your hair, which is refreshing on hot days. However, the numerous vents can sometimes cause a slight whistling noise.

Arai Tour-X 5 vs Nexx X.Wed3 chin vents

The Arai Tour-X 5 takes a different approach with a minimalist design, featuring fewer but strategically placed vents. Its smooth, round shape is designed to reduce the risk of catching on surfaces during an impact, allowing the helmet to glance off obstacles. This design philosophy emphasizes safety over maximum airflow, but it still offers adequate ventilation for most conditions.

Design and noise

Design and aesthetics play a significant role in helmet choice. The Arai Tour-X 5 boasts a sleek, streamlined design with a deep metallic lustre paint scheme that is both eye-catching and functional. Its smooth surface reduces wind resistance and potential snag points during an impact.

On the other hand, the Nexx X.Wed3 has a more intricate design with additional hardware and integrated features such as a goggle strap. While stylish, it appears busier compared to the Arai.

Nexx X.Wed3 action shot

In terms of noise, the Nexx incorporates a rubber membrane between the EPS and the outer shell, significantly reducing wind noise and vibrations. The rubber-mounted peaks also contribute to a quieter ride. The Arai can experience slight vibrations depending on the windscreen and bike combination, but overall, it remains relatively quiet.

Features and accessories

The Nexx X.Wed3 is a feature-rich helmet that comes with a host of accessories. It includes a dark visor, a Pinlock, and various mounts for action cameras, allowing you to document your rides from multiple angles. It also comes with plugs for peak removal and blanking plates for a cleaner look when using goggles. The drop-down internal sun visor is particularly useful, enabling you to adapt to changing light conditions without swapping visors.

In contrast, the Arai Tour-X 5 keeps things simple, providing a pin lock and a helmet bag. While it lacks the multitude of accessories offered by the Nexx, it excels in build quality and straightforward functionality, appealing to riders who prefer a no-nonsense approach.

Visor removal and communication systems

Arai Tour-X 5 peak from above

Both helmets have easy-to-use visor removal systems. The Nexx X.Wed3 utilises a couple of levers on either side to pop off the visor, while the Arai Tour-X 5 uses buttons that release the peak and side pods, allowing for visor removal. Both systems are efficient, with the Arai’s method being slightly easier once you’re accustomed to it.

Communication systems are essential for modern riders, and the Nexx X.Wed3 has an integrated Sena comms unit that offers a clean, factory-finished look. The Arai, paired with a Cardo Packtalk Neo, works just as well but appears less integrated aesthetically. Functionality-wise, both systems perform admirably, but the Nexx edges out the Arai in terms of integrated design.

Final decision and verdict

So, which helmet did I choose for my European tour? I went with the Arai Tour-X 5. Its lighter weight, perfect balance, superior comfort, and sleek design made it my preferred choice. It’s the helmet I want to spend time in, and it gives me the confidence and safety I need on long rides.

Tested by Justin Hayzelden

"The Arai Tour-X 5 is a well constructed, comfortable and versatile helmet. It brings together some of the best features of the current range, such as the RX-7’s visor system, Quantic’s logo vent and Profile V’s wider base, along with improvements of its own, to stand as a testament to the company’s commitment to safety through measured evolution.

"With the peak fitted the T-X 5 is ideal for adventure touring, boasting ample room to flip the visor up and wear goggles if needs be, and with it removed makes a smart and practical alternative to a traditional full-face lid. In a previous review I said that the T-X 4 could be the only lid you’ll ever need, but with its quick-change visor, improved shape and enhanced ventilation, the Tour-X 5 takes that versatility to the next level."

Read our full Arai Tour-X 5 review

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Versatile
  • Wide field of vision
  • Easy visor change
  • Excellent ventilation
  • High build quality
  • Adjustable fit

Cons

  • Cheek pads are a little too 'Velcro friendly'
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Visor
    5.0
  • Ventilation
    5.0
  • Noise
    4.0
  • Looks
    5.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Value
    5.0
  • Overall
    5.0
Weight 1,700 grammes
Construction Complex fibre laminate
Chin strap type D ring
Intercom ready Yes
Drop down sun visor No
Pinlock Yes
Interior Fully removable, moisture wicking and washable
Warranty 5 years
Safety standard ECE 22.06
  • Adaptive fit
  • Removable peak
  • Adjustable peak
  • Quick release visor
  • Fully removable and washable moisture wicking liner
  • Speaker cavities
  • Pinlock included
  • Adjustable vents
Tested by Justin Hayzelden

"It’s taken seven years for the latest version of NEXX’s adventure lid to reach the shelves and I was really keen to find out if the wait for the X.WED3 had been worth it? Well, first off, fit is absolutely bang on. I take a medium and it slipped comfortably onto my noggin without any need for adjustment.

"Build quality is of a high standard, and it does feel like a lot of helmet for the money, especially as it comes with goodies such as GoPro mounts and a spare smoked visor. With a five year extended warranty available, the X.WED3 is worth considering for an all round adventure touring lid – as long as you can live with the weight."

Read our full Nexx X.Wed3 review

Pros

  • Quiet with or without peak
  • Well integrated comms
  • Excellent ventilation

Cons

  • Chin strap too long
  • Ventilation ports can whistle
  • Comfort
    4.0
  • Visor
    5.0
  • Ventilation
    5.0
  • Noise
    4.0
  • Looks
    4.0
  • Quality
    4.0
  • Value
    4.0
  • Overall
    4.0
Weight 1790g
Construction Multi-composite fibre shell
Chin strap type Double D-ring
Intercom ready Yes
Drop down sun visor Yes
Pinlock Yes (included)
Interior Soft anti-sweat and anti-allergic fabric inner lining
Shell sizes 3 (XXS-S, M-L, XL-XXXL)
Warranty Two years
Safety standard ECE 22.06
  • High-impact carbon fibre shell
  • Fast release system allows for easy removal and cleaning of the full interior
  • Soft-touch X-Mart Dry fabrics that keep the interior cool and dry
  • Synthetic leather lining with large ventilation mesh panels
  • Anti-vibration EPS helps reduce turbulent air at high speeds
  • X-Foam crash bumpers at the base of the chin and sides help absorb energy in the event of an off
  • Removable peak, with 3 levels of adjustment
  • Retractable large inner sun visor
  • Spring-loaded visor recoil system gives a perfect airtight seal
  • Pinlock insert included in the box
  • 7 air intake vents and 4 exhaust outlet
  • Double D ring strap with magnetic button closure
  • Integrated goggle strap holder
  • X-COM3 series can be fully integrated into the helmet (not included)

Watch the video version of this review here

How MCN tested these helmets

At MCN, our team of expert journalists have decades of experience gained over hundreds of thousands of miles. We don’t test our kit to destruction; we use it exactly how you do, in the real world and in all conditions. That means we can deliver impartial buying advice you can rely on.

Each of our writers has an in-depth understanding of the needs of today’s biker… because they are one.

MCN Products Editor, Justin Hayzelden wore the Arai Tour-X 5 and Nexx X.Wed3 helmets for thousands of miles on MCN test bikes and in all weathers and conditions, too. As our resident bike kit expert, Justin is perfectly placed to compare the two and come up with a test winner.

To find out more about our kit testing, head to our dedicated page explaining how we test motorcycle products.


Our scores explained

When we review a product, we award it a score out of five. In the ratings tab of a given product, you may also find more specific scores for the different aspects of a product’s performance to help you make an informed decision. Here’s a guide to what each number score means:

  • 1 star – Poor performance in this category or overall. A product with a single star rating has fallen below the expected standard and should be avoided.
  • 2 stars – Basic performance in this area or overall. A product with a two-star rating has managed to perform to a barely acceptable level and there is room for improvement.
  • 3 stars – An average performance in this area or overall. A product with a three-star rating has achieved a basic level of performance and is deemed adequate.
  • 4 stars – A product has performed over and above the accepted averaged in this category or overall. A product with a four-star rating has surpassed expectation and delivered in a particularly impressive way.
  • 5 stars – A product has performed at the highest possible level in a particular category or overall. A product with a five-star rating has delivered to the highest possible level, impressing the tester with its performance. We would happily spend our own money on it.

- Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us.