Garmin VARIA RCT715: The all-in one rear camera, light and radar combo is here!

(Featured image credit: DC Rainmaker)

It’s the device I’ve been waiting YEARS for somebody (read: Garmin) to release! An all-in-one rear facing camera, light and radar unit. Previously if you wanted a single device, you’ve been limited to either a “light + radar” or a “light + camera” option (essentially, the previous generation VARIA Radar or the Cycliq Fly6 Camera). The new Garmin VARIA Radar RCT715 has been floating around under “non disclosure” for a little while now, but has finally gone public. All the usual trusted cycling internet reviewers released their thoughts in unison over the last 24 hours.

Garmin VARIA Radar RCT715 – DC Rainmaker’s Review

So how did the new VARIA RCT715 fare? As Shane Miller (GPLama) said; “It’s complicated…”

It looks like the unit will most certainly do the job, but is far from perfect and of course not cheap. Some of the number plate ID tests that Shane Miller posted in the above video were quite hit and miss. I really, really, wanted this to be perfect. Perhaps I was asking too much for a “first generation” product. Hopefully with future firmware updates Garmin can iron out some of these early niggles.

I haven’t been able to get my hands on one pre-release, so I’m tempted to jump in and order (especially as my Cycliq Fly6 has died) but I might wait a couple of months for some actual customer reviews to filter through first. Perhaps I should wait for a few rounds of Garmin firmware updates too, or even hold out a year or so for the “Mk II” version?

What do you think of the new Garmin VARIA RCT715 combo?

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Doug McNamee says:

    I have the first generation Varia and I consider it an essential riding component. I’m not sure how beneficial a camera would be or not but I can understand the purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Maybe if the light-radar model goes on sale I’ll opt for that. I had a rear camera for a few years, thankfully never captured any crazy behaviour or crashes!

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  2. Personally I don’t see the point of the radar but maybe that’s just because I haven’t used one. I’ve always felt too that the more things a product tries to do then the less well each is done. It’s difficult to get 3 complicated tasks in one unit, keep it small and light and be good at them all.

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    1. I’ve never used a Radar personally, but everyone who has one seems to swear by them. I’m not sure if it’d be useful info or just another distraction. When I rode with a guy who was using one, it beeped a lot. I’d actually like to borrow one first.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sportive Cyclist on YouTube did a review of the Varia a while back. I haven’t watched it but maybe worth a look. He had a certain style but does pretty thorough reviews from a regular user pov.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. bgddyjim says:

    Can’t wait to get my hands on one! Sadly, we don’t require front mounted license plates in my state… now it’ll be time to advocate for that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, well that takes away a lot of the advantage of the rear camera! I guess you can still get vehicle make/model, or if you are involved in an incident, footage of the collision and possibly the culprit if they get out of the car.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Just read a review of this. Says it’s a little buggy and some other issue. At $300 it’s a luxury but maybe someday after a few upgrades. Look forward to hearing how it works for you, TC.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Certainly a luxury item. Not sure I’m willing to part with the $$$ just yet.

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