Could Garmin's new Varia RCT715 rear light with built-in camera and radar alert be the ultimate cycling safety device?

The Garmin Varia RCT715
(Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin have today added a new model to its range of Varia tail lights. This latest model, the Varia RCT715, combines the radar warning functionality of its existing Varia devices with a camera that continuously records video and auto-saves the footage in the event of a collision.

The Varia RCT715 uses radar to detect inbound vehicles from the rear up to 140 meters away and uses visual and audio cues to alert the rider via their Garmin Edge, Garmin smartwatch or the Varia phone app.

The continually recording 1030P 30FPS camera records footage on the included 16GB XD memory card as well as to the smartphone app and saves the footage if it detects an incident such as a crash.

The Garmin Varia RCT715

(Image credit: Rich Owen)

On it's brightest 20 lumen setting, the light can be seen from up to a mile away and there are various flash modes as well as a solid light option. Garmin say the rechargeable battery will last for between three and six hours depending the light setting.

Despite its multiple functions, measuring 4.2 x 1.7 x 1.3 inches (106.5 x 42.0 x 31.9 mm), the Varia RCT715 is not much bigger than a standard rear light, while its weight of 5.2 oz (147.0 g) is pretty comparable too.

For more details, see Garmin's website. We'll have full review of the Varia RCT715 very soon and you may also be interested in our current selection of the best mountain bike lights.

The Garmin Varia RCT715

(Image credit: Garmin)

Tech Specs: Garmin Varia RCT715

  • Price: $399.99 / £349.99
  • Dimensions (LxWxD): 4.2″ x 1.7″ x 1.3″ (106.5 x 42.0 x 31.9 mm)
  • Weight: 5.2 oz (147.0 g)
  • Light modes: Solid, peloton, night flash, day flash
  • Lumens: 20 solid, 8 peloton, 29 night flash, 65 day flash
  • Camera modes: Continuous, off, radar-activated
  • Camera settings: 1080p/720p, with 30 FPS
  • Battery life: 4 hours solid, 5 hours peloton, 3 hours night flash, 6 hours day flash (all with 1080p recording)
  • ANT+: Yes (radar, bike lights)
  • BLE: Yes (radar, camera control)
  • Wi-Fi: Yes (local network only)
  • Water rating: IPX7
  • Viewing angle: 220 degrees
Richard Owen
Editor, Bike Perfect

Rich has been riding mountain bikes for over 30 years and mostly likes hitting flowy yet technical trails that point downhill. A jack of many trades, he has competed in cross-country, enduro and long distance MTB races. A resident of North Devon, Rich can mostly be found pedaling furiously around his local trails, or slightly further afield in the Quantocks, the Mendips or Exmoor. 

Current rides: Merida One-Forty 6000, Banshee Paradox

Height: 175cm

Weight: 68kg