Available in gender specific cuts and neutral colours, the DHB Cosmo waterproof jacket is a nifty little shell, compact enough to fit in a jersey pocket. In many respects it's a better option than traditional technical training tops for those riders, including yours truly, who layer sensibly but run a little hot during early season training runs.
Boasting waterproof and breathability ratings of 20,000mm and 30,000 m2/24, it's a specially crafted polyamide (nylon) fabric with taped seams conceived to resist moderate to heavy downpours. Refinements are limited to a chill cheating micro-fleece collar, elasticated cuffs, rear stash pocket (which it can fold into when not required) and silicone tail grippers to prevent gathering.
The cut is extremely snug for a really seamless, wind cheating effect, so the DHB Cosmo looks and works better with tights than baggier messenger or mountain bike longs. Distinctive Scotchlite patterns emblazoned across shoulders and tail strike a very good balance between subtle and eye-catching, although weren't everyone's cup of tea.
In my experience Wiggle's sizing has always been slightly idiosyncratic, usually erring on the generous. However, the Cosmo's tail struck me as very short, so I was surprised to discover our fetching blue medium sample was quoted as optimal for my dimensions.
Texture is similarly unique, much nicer than micro or old school 'condom' jackets yet lacking the charm of more expensive soft shells. That said, I quickly acclimatised and whipping on/off as conditions dictate is an absolute cinch.
Successive, wet, blustery rides confirmed it was predominantly waterproof, doing a very good job of repelling wind too, without me feeling like I was being boiled in the bag, though it did get a little clammy before it and I warmed up enough for the fabric to start transmitting moisture.
The gated main zipper is user friendly when conditions dictate greater airflow; even in full finger gloves, ditto its rear pocket. Kamikaze descending in torrential rain confirmed there's no danger of it fluttering like a builder's tarpaulin or cold wind whistling inside. However, ten miles in a torrential storm saw the fibres surrender, leaving me distinctly wet. Drying times wavered between 20 and 90 minutes depending on persistency.
Forest frolics suggest abrasion damage shouldn't be a problem and gloopy spatter doesn't stick that readily. That said, remember to wash periodically on a low temperature with some specialist, waterproofing agent to maintain its properties.
Very versatile, lightweight shell with tremendous charm but not truly waterproof and would benefit from a longer tail
road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Cosmo Waterproof Jacket
Size tested: Medium, Blue
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"The dhb Cosmo Jacket has a slim performance race fit for an aerodynamic profile and is highly technical, lightweight and fully waterproof. It is a packable jacket that offers full protection against the elements".
Broadly agree but price is a good indicator of performance-it's not on par with Event and similar fabrics.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Waterproof rating of 20,000mm (Highly waterproof, suitable for moderate to heavy downpours)
Breathability rating of 30,000m2/24 hrs
Extremely breathable with taped seams for full protection against the elements
Slim fit for an aerodynamic profile with minimal excess fabric
3M™ Scotchlite™ reflective details for eye-catching visuals in low light conditions
One rear zipped pocket for storing your ride essentials securely, with web puller for easy access when wearing gloves
Packable - jacket packs into zipped rear pocket
Elasticated cuffs to seal out the elements and provide a tight interface with your gloves
Drop tail for extended coverage in the road cycling position, and protection from road spray
Printed silicon gripper at hem to keep the jacket in place
High fleece lined collar for comfortable, abrasion free neck coverage
Zip garage at collar to eliminate discomfort
dhb embossed elastic binding
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall and with some minor reservations, I've been mightily impressed with the Cosmo. it's a lightweight, versatile jacket, lagging behind more advanced fabrics in terms of waterproofing/breathability but light years ahead of traditional micro-jackets/race capes and packs down in a jersey pocket when not required.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Performance to price ratio, attractive livery.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A longer tail would've been nice.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Quite possibly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Generally, yes.
About the tester
Age: 40 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)