For the first time since Varia devices launched seven years ago, Garmin has added a built-in camera to its much-loved rearview radar lineup. The Varia RCT715 not only makes road cyclists more visible and warns them of approaching vehicles, it automatically records any incidents that might occur. That means safety-minded bicyclists now only have to worry about mounting and charging a single device instead of two.
The Varia RCT715 (the RCT stands for Radar, Camera, Taillight) features a 1080p/30fps camera with a 140-degree field of view. A built-in accelerometer triggers automatic incident detection to capture video footage from before, during, and after an incident. Video can also be set to record continuously, giving you about four hours of battery life with radar enabled and the glowing red taillight set to a solid high.
The taillight is visible from up to a mile away during the day, according to Garmin, and the rearview radar will warn riders of approaching vehicles from up to 153 yards (140 meters) away when paired with a compatible Garmin cycling computer, Garmin watch, or the Varia app. Those alerts can be lifesaving when riding mountain switchbacks or isolated stretches of road, especially when exhausted or otherwise distracted.
Garmin is selling the Varia RCT715 today for $399.99. But first you might want to check out some early reviews from the likes of DC Rainmaker and DesFit who complain about false positives on incident detection and buggy software out of the gate.