Garmin Varia radar light – user review

Garmin Varia Radar light Conclusion
In a nutshell the Garmin Varia light and radar system has been a god send when navigating the UK roads. The accuracy has been surprisingly high and is good at detecting multiple vehicles. The light system is really good and shines brighter to warn traffic as it gets closer to you. The integration into the Garmin edge range is really good.
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Garmin Varia radar light

I won’t go into extreme detail about the Garmin Varia and specifications but what I will tell you is that I have had this for 6 months now and don’t like to leave the house without it

I have linked this to a Garmin Edge 1000 and its really really good. When I am riding along I get a “bleep” and then it shows on the side of the screen the approaching vehicle as shown below

Garmin Varia Detection accuracy

The detection accuracy has been pretty good and only had one or two false readings and this is usually when I am moving around bends. The radar is also pretty good at picking up multiple cars and that is really good when planning to turn or something else that needs attention navigating.

Garmin varia rear light attached to a bike
Garmin varia rear light attached to a bike


Don’t forget. They are actually lights

Working with the Garmin Varia it is quite easy to forget that this is actually a replacement to your rear set of lights. And as lights they are full of tech in their own right. The radar talks not only to you via the bike computer or front mount but also directs to the traffic behind you. Garmin marketing suggests that cars colliding with bikes from the rear is the number one reason for accidents in America. And if this is the case we certainly want to let vehicles to know we are there. As cars approach the lights get brighter, flash more frequently and basically wave out to the driver saying hey Don’t forget there is a cyclist in front of you. To test this we will try to demonstrate with photographs what happens as cars approach.

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garmin varia rear radar bike light review
Garmin Varia radar rear cycling light


The standard flashing is a slow pulse with 4 of the LEDs illuminating.

Garmin Varia radar rear cycling light
Garmin Varia radar rear cycling light


When a car approaches the flashing intensifies and speeds up. All the LEDs will light up

Garmin Varia radar rear cycling light
Garmin Varia radar rear cycling light


Jon Ratcliffe
I am Jon R and the editor of Active JR that covers wearables, fitness tech and smart home. I have a huge passion for technology having worked in the sector for over 18 years in a variety of roles and I like combining this with fitness.My reviews and information will talk about how the product works in reality and not just what the marketing departments want you to think.You can contact Jon on Twitter @ActiveJR1


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