Garmin Varia Radar RCT715 Camera Rear Light: Quick Review

The Garmin Varia Radar RCT715 is a serious bit of kit, with a high price and impressive spec list. What's The Best's cycling expert, Myles Warwood, puts the light to the test. Read on to find out how the Veria fared.

Garmin Varia Radar RCT715

by Myles Warwood |
Updated on

Garmin has long been a well-known name in cycling, offering fitness products aplenty. The Garmin Varia bike lights are the range of a smart bike light that can connect to your bike computer and adapt to its surroundings.

The Garmin Varia Radar RCT715 Camera Rear Light is the range-topping rear light offering more than just alerting drivers and other road users to your presence. It will record up to a resolution of 1080p (Full HD), while the radar will alert you to any vehicles within 140 metres of you.

The different modes, which change automatically depending on conditions, give you peace of mind that this light always has your back. A peloton mode which means you don't dazzle the riders around you, and with a maximum brightness of 65 Lumens, it is more than enough to get you seen by drivers behind.

There is one drawback of this bike light, though the cost – the cheapest I've found it at the time of writing is at Sigma Sports, where it will still set you back £350. For a rear bike light, that's a lot. However, this offers you much more and might be the only rear bike light you ever need to purchase.

Verdict: Garmin has produced a bike light which will help you to be seen in all conditions; it's intuitive to the point that you forget it's there until something comes up behind you. In short, this is quite possibly the only bike light you'd ever need to buy.

Score: 5/5

This article was originally published on 16/11/2022. We’ve checked back to update the links and change some formatting, so the date at the top of the page may not match up. The words and score of the original review remain unaltered.


  • Intuitive
  • Warns you of vehicles behind
  • Works well riding in a group
  • Records in 1080p at 30 fps
  • Securely mounted
  • 16GB SD card included


  • High price

What's good?

I could wax lyrical for a long time on what is good about this bike light, but the biggest compliment I can give it is that it just works.

With it being a Garmin, you'd think it would only work with a Garmin Bike computer, like the Garmin Edge 830 we reviewed previously. Good news, you Wahooligans, it will also link seamlessly to your ELEMNT Bolt or ELEMNT ROAM and work precisely the same way. When a vehicle is 140m behind you or less, your bike computer will beep to alert you, and a small vehicle graphic or dot will show on the side of your bike computer, showing you how far away they are. When a car does approach, or there is someone behind, the light pattern changes from a steady to a bright blinking pattern letting other road users know where you are.

With all of this going on, you would think that battery life would be affected. While recording at 1080p, you get four hours with a solid light, five hours with the slightly dimmer peloton, three hours on night flash and six hours of battery life on day flash. You can stretch out battery life further by recording in 720p and changing the settings so that the camera only comes on when the radar picks up a car.

What's okay?

The Garmin Varia Radar RCT715 Camera Rear Light has only two areas which could be improved, charge time and battery life indicator.

While if you have the Garmin App, you can see how much battery life you have left by connecting to the light via your smartphone, if you're using a Wahoo product, this isn't shown on screen. Depending on how busy your commute or ride is, you don't know how much battery life is left if you've been using it on your ride. A simple solution is to plug it in at the end of each day. Not too much of a hassle, but if you don't and only remember in the morning, it can take a while to get that battery up to 100 per cent again.

Any negatives?

The only negatives I could muster were the ones above – while these have workarounds, they can be slightly annoying. If you don't have a Garmin or Wahoo cycling computer, you'd need to use your smartphone to get notifications of what is behind you.

But the cost of this light suggests that it's for the hardened rider who may already have a bike computer or thinking of buying one, regardless. A smartphone mount for your bike is inexpensive, but having your phone on the show can be annoying if you're commuting in the big city.

More items to consider

How the product was tested

I took the Garmin Varia Radar RCT715 out on group rides and solo rides in the day and once the sun had gone down, in varying weather conditions to test the effectiveness of the radar. It was also tested with Garmin and Wahoo products to see how it performed on each device.

Myles is a Commercial Content Writer for What's The Best, Parkers and CAR. His areas of expertise include cycling, fitness tech and hot hatches.

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