Arai Pro Shade System ReviewArai Pro Shade System Review

Providing a unique alternative to retractable interior sun visors, Arai’s Pro Shade System mounts adjustable sun and glare protection on the outside of the helmet, in keeping with Arai’s position that extra internal equipment can compromise a helmet’s integrity in the event of an impact.

Attached to a Max-V Brow Vented shield, the Pro Shade System easily replaces the shield of most current Arai full-face street helmets. Swapping in the Pro Shade System is as simple as exchanging a clear visor for a shaded one, but you get both options at the same time, and the Pro Shade System adds minimal weight to the helmet.

The shaded shield can be quickly flipped up or down with a gloved hand while riding. Simply grasp it in the center and pull gently away from the helmet, and the shield locks into place in either position. This is easier than reaching for the release button or track slider on the internal-shield-equipped helmets. I also prefer not having a secondary shield close to my face, as happens with the interior visor.

One of my favorite features of the Pro Shade is the ability to partially block the late afternoon sun with the dark shield in the up position. The smoked shield has enough of a hand-shading-eyes effect when dipping your head to the appropriate angle to be surprisingly effective. With the Pro Shade shield up, it does not catch a significant amount of additional windblast when turning your head to look over your shoulder at freeway speeds.

Arai Pro Shade SystemEverything is a trade-off, of course. At high noon on sweltering summer days, when you flick up the face shield at a stop to get some air, the shaded visor goes with it, giving you a face full of bright sun.

Additionally, while we like that the shield does not block Arai’s excellent Brow Vent intake ducts when the shield is in the lower position, it does allow the sun to peek straight through the vents at a certain time of the afternoon when your head is at just the wrong angle.

Finally, your field of vision is not as fully shaded with an externally mounted sun shield as it is farther away from your eyes. When glancing from the road to mirrors, then back to the road, your line-of-sight goes from shaded to unshaded and back. This does help those without perfect vision read the clocks more easily, however.

Despite these minor complaints, Arai’s Pro Shade System is a welcome option for having the convenience of both clear and shaded visors on one helmet, and is a unanimous winner with the Ultimate MotorCycling staff.

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