Bryton Gardia R300L Review: Is It Better than Varia?

Bryton Gardia R300 review: Gardia R300 on my road bike.

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NOTE: I originally wrote this review based on my experience with the Gardia R300 demo unit. I have updated it based on new knowledge and experience with the Gardia R300L and the latest firmware.

Bryton introduced the Gardia R300L radar with taillight during the Eurobike 2022 fair. And while Magene L508 was already several months on the market, Bryton officially launched Gardia on the 22nd of March, 2023. These ‘new’ cycling radars compete with the established Varia RTL515.

I found Gardia for sale in a few Italian online stores, so I bought it. I just received it and started working on the review. When taking pictures, I noticed that I received a DEMO unit. Later, I found out that it does not receive firmware updates.

So, I reached out to Bryton, described the issue, and got a new, final production unit from them.

Bryton Gardia R300L has a sturdy mount suitable for different seatpost shapes, great battery life, and a nice app. It gives more false positives than Garmin Varia RTL515 and has a lower maximum relative detecting speed (up to 120 km/h, [74.5mph]). It never gave me a false negative, and its multi-object detection is also decent. I can recommend it. Feel free to buy it here or continue reading for more info.

Bryton Gardia R300: Is It Better than Varia?
My video review of the Bryton Gardia R300 (based on the DEMO unit)

Bryton Gardia R300L Summary

Competition is good for consumers. Varia RTL515 had no competitor for a long time. Now it has two new ones.

This should help to improve the bike radars’ quality and eventually reduce their price. Furthermore, we will have more options to choose from.

So, how does Gardia R300L differ from Varia RTL515? It claims to have longer battery life, more light modes, a better mount, and more. I will compare them below.

By the way, they have pretty similar names, huh?

Bryton Gardia R300L Setup

Bryton developed the Bryton Gardia app (for iOS and Android) that you can use for setting the radar. It’s super simple and intuitive.

Then, you have to pair the radar with your head unit. The process is the same as pairing any other sensor.

Unlike the Magene app, the Bryton app can visualize the traffic (like the Varia Radar app).
UPDATE: The Magene app can also visualize traffic after a software update.

Screenshot from the Bryton Gardia iOS app - traffic visualiton (no vehicle).
Traffic visualization (no vehicle)

You can also use it to change multiple settings (like the alerts) and learn more about available light modes.

My Experience with Gardia R300/R300L

Below, I summarized the pros and cons of Bryton Gardia R300L.

Gardia R300L Radar Pros

  • Stable mount
  • Increased sense of safety
  • Brake light
  • Changes the light pattern during the entire overtaking period
  • Auto sleep feature
  • Long battery life
  • USB-C charging port
  • Improves side visibility as well
  • It remembers the last used light mode

Gardia R300L Radar Cons

  • Light modes are not customizable
  • Low maximum detecting speed
  • More false positives than Varia
  • Worse multi-object detection than Varia

I used Gardia for about 200-300 km together with Garmin Varia. I placed Gardia on the seatpost and the Varia on my helmet to avoid signal interference.

Dirty Bryton Gardia R300 on my YOELEO R12.
Gardia R300 had no problems with dirt or water
Picture of my head from behind with the Garmin Varia RTL515 on my helmet.
To avoid signal interference, I mounted Varia on my helmet

I connected both to different bike computers (Karoo 2 and Edge 830) to watch how quickly they would detect vehicles.

Both radars detect them at basically the same time. However, while shooting a video review, I noticed that Gardia is not as accurate at detecting multiple cars. I tested this by pointing it at a highway with more traffic.

Later, I discovered that its maximum relative detecting speed is 10 to 120 km/h (6 to 74 mph). It couldn’t detect cars going faster than 120 km/h.

Anyway, it never missed a car within its capabilities. It only gave a false positive (showed a non-existent car) a few times per ride. I don’t consider that a major problem. But these false positives are more frequent than on Varia RTL515. I get them about as many times as with Magene L508.

NOTE: The R300 demo unit gave more false positives than the R300L with the latest firmware.

But what about battery life? I tested the battery life in day-flash mode, which is probably the mode most people will use the radar in.

After the first 4-hour ride, it looked like it could reach 16 hours (the remaining capacity was about 80%). Unfortunately, the battery started to drain faster and faster.

All in all, I got down to about 11 hours and 40 minutes. Compared to the supposed 17 hours, this was quite disappointing.

It’s worth adding that I tested the radar in temperatures around 41°F (5°C). So, lower temperatures may have affected the battery life. On the other hand, the 2-year-old Varia lasted about 9 and a half hours in similar conditions.

Battery life aside, I like the design of the Gardia and its app, and I am happy with the mount. It’s very solid and doesn’t need to be adjusted in any way while riding, even after cobblestones.

I will continue using Gardia to catch some bits here and there. However, the value you get for your money is adequate. The Gardia suffers most from real battery life that is much shorter than claimed.

Bryton Gardia R300L vs. Garmin Varia RTL515

The following table summarizes the technical specifications of Gardia R300L and Varia RTL515.

FeatureBryton Gardia R300 (Eurobike 2022 specs)Bryton Gardia R300L
(Actual specs)
Varia RTL515
Dimensions97×20.9×40 mm
3.82×0.82×1.57 in
97×20.9×40 mm
3.82×0.82×1.57 in
98.6×19.7×39.6 mm
3.9×0.8×1.6 in
Claimed battery life9 hours high solid
12 hours low solid
10 hours group ride (peloton)
22 hours night flash
27 hours day flash
8 hours high solid (20 lumens)
12 hours low solid (5 lumens)
11 hours group ride (peloton)
17 hours night flash (12 lumens)
17 hours day flash (73 lumens)
24 hours radar only
6 hours solid
8 hours peloton
6 hours night flash
16 hours day flash
Real battery lifen/a11 hours and 40 minutes in the day flash mode9 hours and 30 minutes in the day flash mode¹
LumensUp to 65Up to 7320 (solid mode)
8 (peloton mode)
29 (night flash)
65 (day flash)
Light modesHigh/low solid, group ride (peloton), flash, no lightHigh/low solid, group ride (peloton), flash, no lightSolid, peloton, night flash, day flash
Detecting distanceUp to 190 mUp to 190 m²Up to 140 m
Relative detecting speed10 to 120 km/h
(6 to 74 mph)
10 to 160 km/h
(6 to 99 mph)
10 to 120 km/h
(6 to 74 mph)
Water resistanceIPX7IPX7IPX7
Viewing angle220°220°220°
Horizontal detection anglen/an/a40°
ProtocolsBluetooth, ANT+Bluetooth, ANT+Bluetooth, ANT+
BuyNot available for sale yetCheck PriceCheck Price
Check Price (
Check Price (
This table compares the main features of Bryton Gardia R300L vs. Garmin Varia RTL515.
The actual specs are based on a product description from Italian online stores.
¹About two years old unit. The battery depreciation probably influenced the battery life.
²Doesn't correspond to reality. The detecting distance is about 140 m.
Updated: 25/09/2023

And here are the specifications directly from the information booklet. The Bryton website (and R300L booklet) states a radar range of 190 m. However, my testing has not proven it. Gardia detects cars at the same time as Varia and Magene (~140m).

A picture of Bryton Gardia R300 manual with the technical specifications.
Technical specifications of R300 from the manual

Bryton Gardia R300L is a little larger than Varia RTL515 but pretty similar.

It’s not compatible with Garmin mounts because Bryton uses its own mounts.

Gardia R300L has 6 modes:

  • High solid [20 lumens]
  • Low solid [5 lumens]
  • Group ride [12 lumens]
  • Night flash [12 lumens]
  • Day flash [73 lumens]
  • LED off (radar only)

The light changes its flash pattern when you are overtaken by a car and then returns to the selected light mode. And, by the way, the R300L also has a brake light that activates when you start braking.

Check out this in-depth comparison of Gardia R300L vs. Varia RTL515 vs. Magene L508.

Things to Consider Before Buying Bryton Gardia R300L (or Any Other Bike Radar)

Garmin Varia RTL515 is highly reliable. That’s exactly what you should expect from a bike radar.

Varia radars may give you false positives, meaning they show a car that’s not there. But they never miss one (false negative).

Remember, if you buy a device like a cycling radar, you should have zero tolerance for false negatives. But you also shouldn’t 100% rely on Varia (or other radars) and use your other senses while riding.

Based on my testing, Gardia R300L proved to be reliable, but it gave more false positives than Varia.

Bryton Gardia R300L FAQ


The MSRP of the Gardia R300L is $129.99 (129.95€), which means it’s cheaper than Varia while offering better specs on paper.

I love its boxy design and the sturdy mount, which keeps radar stable even when riding on harsh roads and cobblestones.

Although my testing showed that the real battery life is far behind the claimed battery life (11 hours 40 minutes vs. 17 hours), I think R300L still provides great value for the money.

It reliably detects vehicles, and I didn’t get any false negatives during my 2 weeks months of experience.

On the other hand, the number of false positives is higher than on Varia, and the multi-object detection is far less accurate. Gardia also has a lower maximum relative detecting speed of 120 km/h, so it won’t detect cars riding faster than this limit.

It’s great Garmin Varia RTL515 has new competitors. I believe it will lead to more innovations and improvements in future bicycle radars and, eventually, more competitive pricing.

About The Author

37 thoughts on “Bryton Gardia R300L Review: Is It Better than Varia?”

  1. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

    Looking forward to hearing information about when these will be available in Australia. Hopefully it’ll work well with the Bryton 420.

    Also, I think you’ve made a typo:
    >But they never miss one (false positive).
    >…you should have zero tolerance for false positives.

    I think you meant false negative?

  2. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

    Dear Petr,
    How did you recognize that you received a demo unit? As the Gardia R300 finally is available in Mantel I hope the European rollout will be soon.

    Thx for the upcoming review updates 🙂

  3. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

    When you write that “I noticed that Gardia is not as accurate at detecting multiple cars” exactly what did you mean? When there are multiple cars, does it only show one? Does it ever not show the next car when it becomes the first in line?
    Did you compare Gardia’s rate of false positives to Varia’s? Any difference?
    Finally, does the Gardia have a mode where it blinks faster when cars are approaching, similar to what Varia does?

    Thanks for doing the review, the first I’ve seen of Gardia!

    1. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

      Hi Nathan,
      Thanks for your questions. Yes, I believe this is the first review. 🙂
      It’s hard to describe but let me try. 😀 I was above the highway (on a bridge), so I could see 3 cars in a row, for example. But Gardia detected the first two and the third after a while. Due to their speed, the first disappeared from the screen (once it was outside the view field) and only the 2 left. Varia could detect all three at once. Their movement on the screen was more accurate and predictable. I am working on a video review where this should be visible.
      Yes, the rate of false positives is higher than Varia but lower than Magene L508.
      Yes, it does. It will also be visible in the video review.
      – Petr

    1. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

      Hi Stefan,
      yes, it’s compatible with Garmin, Wahoo, and other bike computers. However, those who allow changing modes from the screen are limited to a few light modes only (they don’t display all light modes). To switch between them, it’s better to use the power button.
      – Petr

      1. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

        Thank you. I have an Edge 830. I think I can switch the modi with a Varia 515, or not? I think about buying the Bryton instead. Can I switch the (some) modi? When you switch it with the power button, you do not see which modi you have in cycling.

        1. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

          You can switch between solid, flash, and ‘light off’ modes, but not all 6 modes. For example, Gardia has “day flash” and “night flash”. You can’t switch between them from Garmin.
          I hope it’s more clear now. 🙂
          Let me know if you have any questions.
          – Petr

          1. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

            Thanks Petr!
            It’s a little bit more clear. But what modi is f.e. solid? is it high or low? Is light off radar only or standby?
            You know what I mean?

  4. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

    Thanks, Petr, for your very helpful insights.

    I am having trouble with my Varia RTL510’s battery. Looks like there is no way to replace it easily without possibly destroying the casing. So apparently, I am in the market for a new radar. Do you have any sense that the Gardia’s might be user replaceable? Or is it also factory-sealed like the Garmin? (I have the same question about the Magene L508.)

  5. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

    Hello Petr,
    thank you for the review and usefull information. It is very helpfull.
    I would ask you how the Gardia R300 blinks when it detects cars.
    I saw the video review of Magele L508 from GPLama and there was a difference between Magene L508 and Varia RTL515.
    If the Varia detects the first car, the radar begins to blink fast and bright until all clears. That means if there are more cars, it will blink the whole time.
    The Magene L508 blinks fast and bright just few seconds after it detects the first car and then returns to the mormal function despite the fact, that there are multiple cars.
    In this case, the second and the next cars are not warned.
    You can see it here:
    Can you please check how the Gardia R300 behaves?

    1. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

      Hi Maroš,
      Thank you. 🙂
      Gardia behaves like Varia. You can actually see it in my video review (time stamp added).
      However, I am actually not sure whether the different pattern is for the entire duration of being overtaken (I think it is). I will double-check it once I am outside.
      Let me know if you have any questions.
      – Petr

  6. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

    Hi Petr,
    I buyed the Gardia in Italy. I have some questions:
    1. How to update the firmware? I have 0.7.6 installed (Garmin Edge 830 says 17.00?!?)
    2. How to change some modi with the Garmin Edge? The light modi in the Garmin menu is deactivated. I’m only sabe to witch the modi in the light network. You have 4 options, but they are all nearly the same: automatic, “Gute Sichtbarkeit” (in German), trail and individual. All is a high flash light but only in individual you can switch manual on the light.
    3. Is there a modi that the light only flashes if a car will be measured?
    4. The modi high or low flash is nearly the same? Both are extremly light!

    1. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

      Hi Stefan,
      1. You can update the firmware using the Bryton Gardia app.
      2. There is a specific (widget) page in Garmin Edge bike computers. 🙂
      3. I think when you have the ‘radar only,’ the light starts to flash when a car is approaching.
      4. Yes, the difference is not as visible.

  7. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

    Hi Petr,
    sorry I found it. You have to set up the light to individual, then you can swith ALL modi. But it’s only possible to switch them in the Light-Menu. No chance with fast start or in the bike computer sites or not?

      1. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

        In the Garmin Edge menu for the lights, you can set the light network to “Trail”, “Automatic”, “Best visibility” or “Individual”, for example. You can only use the lamp modes if you set to “Individual”. Otherwise the field is greyed out.
        And you’re right, if the “Radar only, i.e. lights off” mode is on, it only flashes when a vehicle is approaching, I just tested that.

        What’s the name of the widget? Do you have to download it or is it a build-in app?

        Ok, then there seems to be no newer firmware than 0.7.6. There is no option to check for new firmware in the Bryton app itself. But in the “manual” it says that when you start it is searched.

        The device is really cool, thanks for the explanations.

        1. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

          Oh, I see. But still, it doesn’t give you access to all light modes. Using the power button is easier and faster.
          I mean the menu in the Garmin Edge, no 3rd party widget. 🙂
          I have R0.8.6 firmware. The Gardia app offered an update automatically.
          You are welcome, Stefan. 🙂
          – Petr

          1. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

            You are right, today I also have R0.8.6 firmware. But without changelog. But the device is really nice. Only the Bryton-App is terrible. But I use it standalone or with my Garmin.

  8. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

    Well the app is terribly translated into German. Ok, I can live with that. But e.g. for the firmware update cancel and update was the same wording (I think “cancel” or something like that and I had to guess what updating really means).
    The app is also closed if no light is connected and you click on “Manage Guardian”. Sometimes the lamp is not found and only very slowly.
    Which is also very illogical: In my Android menu: left arrow actually means a menu/step back. But this button also exits the app. In itself, the app already works, but in my opinion relatively illogical and sometimes very buggy.

    1. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

      I testet the Gardia yesterday outdoors with my Garmin Egde 830.
      What’s good:
      – no car was missed, only 2, but I was on a bike path and 2 meters below the car and one car was immediately behind me after turning.
      – The “Radar only” mode works perfectly when there is a vehicle behind, then the light comes on.
      – Battery life
      What’s not so good:
      – You can switch all of the Guardia’s light modes in the Edge, but that’s only possible in the nested light menu. So far I haven’t found an IQ app or widget that is direct and faster.
      – The display is delayed, almost always the car is already over, but is still displayed behind it.
      – There is no yellow visual warning. It’s just red and green. I find that a bit illogical. It’s almost always red, it doesn’t matter how fast the car approaches.
      – The detecting multiple cars is not very reliable.
      – So far I haven’t found a way to statistically evaluate the traffic on Garmin Connect. Apparently this is a proprietary functionality that is only supported by Varia. It should actually work, but my unit didn’t save any traffic data (I uploaded the fit-file to
      – Once the Guardia recognized a crash barrier as a vehicle(s). But it was downhill in a long curve and it was only once.

  9. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

    I have one addition:
    Sometimes, but very rarely, a car will be recognized as 2-3. I think the Varia is probably better in this discipline. But the light modes and cheaper price make the Guardia a very good alternative. Hopefully the detection will be improved with future FW updates.

  10. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

    Hey there. Great review. Do you know if the firmware has been updated since your review? If so, do you know if there have been significant improvements related to car detection accuracy and reduction of false positives? Thanks!

    1. Profile picture of Petr Minarik - the founder of

      Hi Garry,
      Thank you for your comment.
      A few weeks ago, Bryton released a firmware update. I tried to update it through the app, but I didn’t get any update prompt. I’m not sure why. I’ll check it again once I’m back from vacation. 🙂
      – Petr

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