I just finished helmet shopping and was considering the Stilo ST4 W Composite vs. the Arai GP-6S. I ended up getting a GP-6S (less expensive version of GP6). For me, the Arai was a better fit for my head. I was actually pretty disappointed the Stilo didn't work out, but the Arai is better in a few key areas.
Quick Stilo ST4 W Composite ($869 before options) impressions:
+ Very nice build quality, looks amazing.
+ Venting around the face area is great. 5 vents and anti-fog visor is standard.
+ Integrated helmet electronics are great for chatterbox or whatever other radio you may have.
+ Weight seemed good, around 3.3 .lbs? If I had to guess, slightly lighter than the Arai.
+ Better value than Arai considering all the features, silver paint, ability to upgrade, customizable padding, etc.
- Not a fan of the ear muffs. They greatly attenuate outside noise. For race cars this is a plus. For a stock Elise, you might not be able to hear your car that well. Stilo USA has some alternative ear pieces that allow in more sound, or you can poke holes in the ones that come with your helmet.
- Specific to my own head, Medium way too tight, Large too big. Replaceable padding (crown or cheek pads) would not help for me.
neutral: Forced air / water options are nice, but I'm just an HPDE driver, not an endurance driver. I really do not need these two options for my 30 minute sessions at the track.
Quick impressions of the Arai GP6-S ($950) vs. the Stilo ST4 W Composite that I tried:
+ The Large Arai size fits me better, perhaps a little tight in the crown. The Stilo seems to run slightly bigger depending on your head shape, since the Large Stilo had a bit of space front to back, but the Medium was way too tight.
+ The Arai has awesome balance. Doesn't feel top heavy at all.
+ Arai interior is more soft than the Stilo.
+ Visor opening mechanism is extremely convenient. I like it better than any other helmet I've tried, including the Stilos.
+ Build quality is really good. Stilo build quality was great on the outside too, but the Arai seems a little better on the inside as well.
+ The shape of the ear cups in the Arai fits me a little better.
+ Arai makes a unique shell for each helmet size, so the overall size is minimized. I don't have the Stilo Large side by side to the Arai large, but the Arai seems smaller. Stilo makes two shell sizes to keep costs down and then adjusts the padding on the inside. If you fit into a Medium Stilo, you will have the smallest shell size for your head. But Large and XL share the big shell on the Stilos. Not a big deal either way.
+ Visibility is good. I didn't have any complaints with the Stilo Wide, but peripheral view with this Arai non-wide helmet is slightly better. Up and down view is about the same.
- The Stilo has better venting in the mouth area. 5 vents vs. only 2 with the Arai. As hard as I tried to fog up my visor with the Stilo, it did not happen. With the Arai, I can do it if I try, though I don't think it will be an issue in practice.
- Value not as good as Stilo. Less features and costs a bit more.
So mostly due to fit, the Arai wins for me, though I am still evaluating whether the Arai fits my head correctly. The overall build quality and visor opening mechanism were also big pluses for me. The Stilo is a very nice helmet. If it fits your head, it may be the right choice! It doesn't matter how nice a helmet is or how many features it has. Comfort is the most important thing, and if that's not right, don't get it.
'05 Lotus Elise: RS134 Monolites, Nitron Singles, Monoballs, V2 arms, RTD2 brace, Innovative motor mounts, V2 tank, GPan, Larini 8", TransCables, LumosHID, GiroDisc, Ferodo DS2500, etc.
'16 Porsche Cayman GT4
Last edited by Vantage; 03-09-2012 at 03:27 PM.