Black Diamond Cosmo Review
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Black Diamond Cosmo
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|$19.99 at Evo|
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$19.95 at Amazon
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$19.95 at REI
|Pros||Lightweight, small size, excellent flood lighting||Excellent spot light capability, wide evenly lit flood beam, above average in most ways||Good performance for the price, 94 meter beam throw, easy to use||Super easy to use, inexpensive, solid performance, compact, and reliable||Lightweight, small size, excellent flood beam, great price|
|Cons||Below average spot beam, disappointing low-mode battery life||Below average battery life, claimed battery life is wildly misleading, single button hard to use, lame waterproofing||Average in most ways||Good but not great spot beam for trail finding, slightly below average flood beam optics||Too weak a beam for trail finding or distance viewing|
|Bottom Line||A good light, but caught in a no-mans land between better lights and cheaper lights||A quality, durable, and bright light that hits the sweet spot for most people's needs, despite dubious marketing claims||The Yalumi is a good light, at a good price, that provides basic functionality||For $20, the Tikkina offers impressive performance at a great price, that will meet most people's needs||Offers great close proximity lighting at a budget price|
|Rating Categories||Black Diamond Cosmo||Black Diamond Spot||Yalumi LED 140-Lumen||Petzl Tikkina||Black Diamond Astro|
|Trail Finding (35%)|
|Close Proximity (20%)|
|Battery Life (15%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Black Diamond Cosmo||Black Diamond Spot||Yalumi LED 140-Lumen||Petzl Tikkina||Black Diamond Astro|
|Measured Beam Distance||66 m||94 m||94 m||62 m||38 m|
|Claimed Distance||65 m||80 m||90 m||55 m||35 m|
|Measured High Mode Run-time (ANSI)||3.9 hrs||2.9 hrs||4.3 hrs||3.5 hrs||4.8 hrs|
|Claimed High Mode Run-time||45 hrs||30 hrs||Not specified||60 hrs||20 hrs|
|Measured Low Mode Run-time||39 hrs||9.7 hrs||47 hrs||223 hrs||95 hrs|
|Claimed Low Mode Run-time||180 hrs||175 hrs||100 hrs||220 hrs||80 hrs|
|Measured Weight||3 oz, 86 g||3.1 oz, 89 g||2.7 oz, 77 g||2.9 oz, 83 g||3 oz, 86 g|
|Battery Type||3 AAA||3 AAA||3 AAA||3 AAA||3 AAA|
|Water Resistance||IPX8 waterproof beyond one meter||Splash proof (dubious IPX8 claim)||IPX4 splash proof||IPX4 splash proof||IPX4 splash proof|
|Manuf Claimed Lumens||200 lumens||300 lumens||140 lumens||150 lumens||150 lumens|
|Beam Type||flood/spot, dimmable||flood/spot||flood/spot||flood||flood, dimmable|
|On Switch Lock||yes||yes||no||no||yes|
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.
A score of 4 for trail finding is disappointing for a $30 headlamp, and most similarly priced competitors offer significantly better performance.
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.
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 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.
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