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Black Diamond Cosmo Review

A good light, but caught in a no-mans land between better lights and cheaper lights
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Price:  $30 List | $29.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, small size, excellent flood lighting
Cons:  Below average spot beam, disappointing low-mode battery life
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
By Jediah Porter and RJ Spurrier  ⋅  May 28, 2018
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#11 of 27
  • Trail Finding - 35% 4
  • Close Proximity - 20% 9
  • Battery Life - 15% 5
  • Weight - 15% 6
  • Ease of Use - 15% 6

Our Verdict

While this is a good headlamp, we implore you to spend another $10 and get something like the Black Diamond Spot which has much better beam brightness and quality combined with a very respectable battery life. The Cosmo is a middle of the road kind of light. It offers average performance and average battery life at an average price. If you are on a budget, look to the Petzl Tikkina which scored slightly better for a fraction of the price.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Cosmo is a solid headlamp with good performance overall, and excellent flood lighting for close proximity use. At $30 list, it falls into a tough price range where a little more money gets you a much higher performance headlamp, like the Spot, and products like the Tikkina offer better overall performance for 33% lower price.

Performance Comparison

Trail Finding

A score of 4 for trail finding is disappointing for a $30 headlamp, and most similarly priced competitors offer significantly better performance.

Beam Distance Photos
Beam photo of Black Diamond Cosmo
Beam photo of Black Diamond Spot

Black Diamond Cosmo
Black Diamond Spot

In comparing the Cosmo (above left) and Black Diamond Spot (right), two products from the same manufacturer and priced just $10 apart, it is remarkable that they can vary so much. The Spot casts a much superior distance beam.

Close Proximity

The strongest performance from the Cosmo is when used around camp, or in the tent, for close proximity work. The flood beam is one of the very best of all headlamps we tested, wide, evenly lit, and dimmable from nice soft lighting for use in the tent, and brighter for use in the camp kitchen. It is worth noting that the Black Diamond Astro offers a flood beam that is nearly as good, at a price 33% lower.

Battery Life

Battery life is where the Cosmo edges slightly ahead of the Spot.


At 3.0 ounces or 86 grams, this is a compact but not ultralight headlamp. It is about the same weight as the Spot. For comparison, the featherweight champion Petzl e+LITE is less than a third the weight at 27 g.


This is a solid light but tough to justify buying. At $30 list it is wedged between competitors that either score much better for another $6-10 or offer the same or better performance for lower cost. The BD Spot, for example, performs significantly better for only $10 more. It has a nearly identical form factor and mass with a much better beam. On the low-end, the Petzl Tikkina offers better all-around performance at 33% lower cost.

Jediah Porter and RJ Spurrier