Garmin Varia – Rearview Car Radar

It looks back while you ride ahead

The Varia detects incoming cars from behind using radar technology and provides both visual and audible alerts to the cyclist when a car approaches from up to 153 yards (140 meters) away. The device locks in place on a mount attached to a seat post of a bicycle and can be paired with Garmin's Edge bike computer and many of their smartwatches. There's also the optional Varia Radar Display Unit, which displays the traffic coming from behind when connected.

Pros

  • Subtle compared to rearview mirrors
  • Does not interfere with aerodynamic
  • Has incident recording feature

Cons

  • Camera does not come with stabilization
  • Camera may not be able make out license plates from far
  • Incident detection can be too sensitive
  • Expensive

3 Varia models

There are currently 3 models of the Varia. The cheapest one (RVR315 – $149.99) only comes with radar and no tail light like the other two models. The latest model and the most expensive (RCT715 – $399.99) also comes with tail light and a 1080p 30 fps camera. The middle model has a tail light and radar but no camera (RTL515 – $199.99).

The Varia RCT715 (the one with the camera) takes up to 128 GB SD memory. You can set up the camera to record all the time when it is turned on or set it to record only when a vehicle is detected. The Varia can also record only when an incident is detected either when detected by a paired device or via the accelerometer on the Varia itself. When paired with either a Garmin Edge, Garmin wearable or a Garmin Varia app on your smartphone, you can have data overlays on the video including time and date, speed, and GPS location data.

When recording at 1080p, battery life can go up to 6 hours depending the lighting mode.

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