Camping is a wonderful way to spend your holidays or summer weekends. Yet, have you ever shown a movie outdoors with a portable projector when you’re camping or RVing?
Even though it may seem counter-intuitive, watching outdoor movies while camping is more than a novelty. Nowadays, you can enjoy outdoor movies with your friends and family thanks to lightweight projectors.
In this post we will tackle:
- What are the best outdoor projectors?
- Do you need a movie screen?
- Do you need speakers?
- What to look for in a mini projector
Camping Projector Reviews
Top Pick: ViewSonic 3800 Lumens WXGA
What makes the ViewSonic 3800 Lumens WXGA High Brightness Projector the top pick for an outdoor movie projector for your camping projector?
This projector is lightweight, making the projector extremely portable. But portable does not mean the performance will be impaired.
The Viewsonic 3800 lumen projector competes with the big boys in the projector market and is the number one choice for many businesses and home movie projector setups.
Its bright bulb giving an exceptional 3800 lumens, will allow you to show movies at dusk and in relatively high ambient light conditions.
The colors are crisp and clear, and the Viewsonic can project 120 inches from around 15 feet.
The setup is simple, plug and play. You can use any device you like for movie storage, such as Roku or fire stick.
With intuitive menus, you will have no problem navigating the projector for the very best results.
- Portable and robust for a camping projector
- Easy to set up
- Intuitive menu for ease of navigation through the projector options
- Bright 3800-lumen bulb
- HDMI connectivity supports a wide range of media players from PC and mobile devices.
- Remote control for ease of use
- Quiet fan
- Supplied with power cables
- Outstanding industry-leading warranty
- Not battery operated
- Speakers deliver a lackluster performance, and external speakers are required for the best viewing enjoyment.
The Viewsonic is a great outdoor movie projector that can be used anywhere, providing a power supply.
Its portability and ease of setup and operation combined with clear, crisp projection make the projector ideal for camping and R/V setups.
Pocket Pick: Magnasonic LED Pocket Pico
Don’t be put off by the size of the Magnasonic LED Pocket Pico Video Projector. It packs an enviable punch and will not disappoint even the harshest critics.
This tiny outdoor projector is lightweight and genuinely pocket-sized and boasts of being the world’s smallest DLP projector delivering an actual movie quality image.
Being pocket-sized does not mean this mini projector does not project large images. On the contrary, the Magnasonic LED Pocket Pico Video Projector can easily show 60-inch images, an ideal size for camping.
- Lightweight and portability
- Great video quality
- Built-in rechargeable battery with fast 2-hour charging
- Lamp life 20.000 hours
- Plug and play easy to use
- HDMI, mini HDMI. supports a wide range of media players from smartphones, laptops, and all HDMI video players
- You can use a 3.5 mm headphone jack for individual use.
- Subtitle images can be a little blurry
- Audio is not loud and needs external speakers
- Cannot operate with high ambient light conditions, the image will wash out.
This tiny projector delivers a fantastic image if the ambient light is low. Still, for its price range, the Magnasonic LED Pocket Pico Video Projector is the best pocket pick for a good reason.
Best Budget Pick: VILINICE 5000L Mini
When looking at budget projectors for camping, the WiFi Projector, VILINICE 5000L Mini Bluetooth Movie Projector, has to be in the mix.
At the price point, the Vilinice is worth a look. This mini projector is perfect for mirroring what you have on your mobile phone.
Simple plug-and-play features make this budget projector easy to use by anyone.
- Mirrors the image on your mobile device
- Latest connection technology for WiFi and USB connections
- No need for expensive HDMI connectors
- Multi-layer optics to reduce reflection for a clear, crisp image
- Great picture quality
- Perfect for an outdoor movie setup
- Portability and robust design
- Decent speakers with the advanced circulations cooling system
- Questionable WiFi connectivity
- The projected image is best in total darkness. Otherwise, you may experience image and color washout.
The WiFi Projector, VILINICE 5000L Mini Bluetooth Movie Projector, has some limitations but made it into the best budget list because it delivers perfect image mirroring from your mobile device.
At this price point, it’s hard to see how you could go wrong with this projector.
Mini Projector, Vamvo Ultra Mini Portable Projector
If you want true portability, then this pocket-sized Mini Projector, Vamvo Ultra Mini Portable Projector, is a great contender in the field of heavyweights.
This tiny projector from Vamvo can literally fit in your back pocket. Now, if that’s not portable, then nothing is.
The size of this projector makes it suitable for any camping trip, and that’s why it’s loved so much and did this review.
Does this mini projector deliver? You bet it does. You can watch a whole movie before the projector needs to be recharged, and the image can be projected onto an 80-inch screen.
This mini projector from Vamvo competes with the big boys while only having the size of a mobile phone.
- Without a doubt, this projector is portable and versatile. Its dimensions are 5.7 inches x 3.2 inches and weighs in at 0.6 lbs.
- Portability and versatility, like having a portable TV in your back pocket
- Projects on to an 80_inch screen with clarity of image and colors
- Supports USB and HDMI
- Crisp, clear images offer vibrancy to anything you decide to watch through the Vamvo mini.
- Watch whole movies for two hours plus charge.
- The Vamvo supports a wide range of media devices with easy connection.
- Reliability, should you have a problem with your Vamvo mini projector within the first three months, the unit will be replaced without question.
- Ambient light conditions need to be below for the best picture quality.
- Although you can watch a whole movie for a couple of hours, you will then need to recharge.
Mini Projector, Vamvo Ultra Mini Portable Projector is a great way to watch your favorite movies while camping. This is the ultimate in portability and has many features you will love.
The price point is perfect for a projector as small as this, delivering quality images.
GROVIEW Mini Projector
If budget is an issue for you, you can’t ignore the Mini Projector, GROVIEW Outdoor Movie Projector.
One of the best value-for-money outdoor projectors we could find for your camping vacation. The GROVIEW has a unique feature that more expensive projectors only dream of having.
This portable projector has a zoom feature via remote control for you to adjust the picture quality without moving the projector forwards and backward.
The projector utilizes a high light transmittance lens to compensate for its lack of lumens. However, this works well and delivers a crisp, clean image that is hard to criticize.
If you are looking for a great cinematic experience, then this projector delivers. Your viewing size will range from 72 inches to a massive 240 inches; this is unrivaled in this class of projector.
Projectors of a higher caliber often lack speaker quality, but this portable projector has built-in 3W dual stereo speakers offering a decent sound without the need for external speakers.
An accurate multimedia projector system is compatible with almost everything on the market, from HDMI to SD cards and everything else you would expect from a state-of-the-art portable projector.
- Portability and robust ABS casing
- Wireless technology
- Perfect for outdoor use with a large screen image
- Quality inbuilt sound system
- Remote control operation
- Zoom in and out for clarity of images
- 100-inch projection screen included
- It needs to be dark for the best picture quality as ambient light washout the image
- Not enough lumens
- No Battery capability
For the price, it is impossible to ignore this portable projector for your camping trip, yes, it has some limitations, and if you do not want to watch movies at dusk with your children, then this projector has a lot to offer for outdoor indoor use.
The remote control operation and ease of setup make this projector a worthy contender to be included in this list. It may be last on the list, but it could equally be the first.
Can You Use a Projector When Camping
You need to have a power supply or charge batteries if your projector operates from battery power.
Using a projector for your camping vacation will add a new dimension to your camping entertainment.
Below is a list of highly suitable outdoor projectors best suited for your camping outdoor movie theater.
What to Look for in a Mini Projector for Camping
You will need portability; consider how much space you will have on your campsite. Do you want to carry a huge intrusive projector?
Remember, you need to break down the outdoor movie experience when your night is over. Small projector and wireless connectivity mean fast breakdown.
Of course, you want good image clarity, so the number of lumens will be vital to you. Campsites can have a fair amount of ambient light so that lumens will equal a crisp image.
Why are Portable Projectors Great for Camper RV/Van Entertainment?
It’s easy to recognize the trend of vacations as we move away from expensive flights overseas, preferring to vacation at an affordable price, and check out what our own country has to offer.
However, when it comes to entertainment, there are some limitations to be considered. Vacations in the outdoors will most likely leave you without an internet connection unless you invest in an expensive satellite system which, to be frank, is not viable for most of us.
So that leaves us with the option of huddling around a laptop or mobile device to watch a downloaded movie, and it’s not the best experience.
This leads us to a viable alternative and well within the financial reach of most of you reading this article.
The portable projector! An excellent choice of outdoor movie projectors can deliver entertainment for you and your family and friends while camping in the wilderness.
You can view clear, crisp images from a projector and, the good news is they are portable and easy to set up.
Let’s take a look at some of the best outdoor projectors on offer to make your camping vacation even more pleasurable for you and your guests.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the technicalities of the outdoor movie projector, and the screen can be forgotten or become a side issue.
So for your convenience, we have included a screen that will meet all of your needs regarding projection quality and portability.
Outdoor Projector Screen – Foldable Portable Outdoor Movie Screen
This Outdoor Projector Screen from Vamvo is just simplicity itself and so easy to set up. It takes approximately 3 minutes to erect fully, and it uses camping pole technology!
Just unfold the screen and thread the flexible support poles and secure them to the ground with camping tent pegs. It’s done!
It’s very secure and robust, making the image seem as if it has been reflected onto a solid wall of projection screen material.
The foldable setup makes this screen portable and easy to carry; the screen has an impressive 74.4-inch diagonal screen which makes this screen the ideal size for most outdoor movie projectors.
Worried about the size? Don’t be; it was designed to be carried by a sedan so that you will have plenty of room for this screen on your camping trip.
This portable movie screen is affordable and a must for your outdoor movie theater.
What can I use if I don’t have a projector screen?
When camping, you have to be practical, and if the screen is an issue, you can use a white sheet. You will need to tie the corners and secure them to either a tree or the side of your camper van.
It will work fine if it’s not so breezy.
With most built-in projector speakers not being brave enough for the job, you should use a decent speaker system for your maximum enjoyment.
The recommendation is not to carry lots of speakers; it’s not practical and a hassle. So here is our pick for your enjoyment.
OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Portable Speaker
The OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Portable Speaker is an ideal choice for any outdoor speaker setup. It’s a single unit that can work on a Bluetooth connection.
The Oontz delivers crystal clear sound with perfect mids and impressive bass.
The Oontz is from Cambridge industries that are synonymous with quality speakers.
A 100-foot Bluetooth range ensures seamless connectivity every time. The loud clear volume will make your movie stand out, and viewing will be enhanced.
The Oontz is splash-proof and has an impressive 14 hours of battery life.
As you would expect, this speaker is capable of connecting with most platforms available.
Why do we love this speaker so much? Quality, portability, and check out the price.
Should I buy the Anker Nebula Capsule or the Anker Nebula Capsule II?
Let’s take a look at the Nebula Capsule II, this cool-looking device has some unique e features and is a contender for replacing a smart TV. But we can look at the outdoor projector capabilities.
According to the company, the Nebula II can project a 100-foot image from about 10.5 feet away. (mashable.com)
If you are into Netflix, this projector will be of interest to you. With preinstalled Netflix software, the Nebula is ready to go.
The Nebula comes with google assistance. You may wonder why, but this is an excellent feature, and you will certainly use the service.
Although the Nebula is very cool with some great features like an outdoor projector for your camping trip, I’m unsure.
The Nebula requires a good WiFi signal to work at its optimum. Most of us are trying to avoid WiFi by camping in remote areas.
A great package, but for the outdoors, there are more straightforward pieces of kit that will make your life a whole lot easier at a more affordable price.
Can All Projectors Be Used Outside?
In theory, yes, in practicality, no. In a nutshell, outdoor movie projectors are not waterproof; this should be a consideration. Your projector is full of sensitive electronics, and a splash of water could see you with an enormous repair bill or a useless projector.
If your projector has low lumens, you will only be able to watch a movie outdoors when it is dark and with minimum ambient lighting.
The projector can tolerate the more lumens you have, the more ambient light. Ambient light is not your friend when it comes to outdoor movie theaters.
Most projectors have built-in speakers that can be adequate for indoor use, but since outdoors, the speakers are rarely good enough, and external speakers are required.
Is a Projector Better Than a TV For Eyes
Eye health is a consideration for many folks, and the truth is your TV emits a lot of blue light, which is known to be damaging to the eyes.
When you project an image onto a screen, you are not looking at direct light but reflected light which dissipates some of the harshnesses of the light.
Watching a projected movie is gentle on the eyes.
So, Which Portable Projector Should I Buy?
That indeed is the 64 million dollar question! There are many great projectors on the market, so the choice is vast.
First, know what your budget is and what you want to achieve. Do you want to use the projector a couple of times each year or even every weekend during the summer months?
Do you want to show movies at dusk for the younger members of your family and friends? If so, you need a projector with enough lumens to overcome ambient light.
If space is a premium, you need to consider a genuinely portable projector that is pocket-sized, as reviewed in this article.
If space and budget are not an issue, then buy a projector that is bristling with features and wireless technology. This will make setting up a whole lot easier for you.
Compliment your projector choice with a decent outdoor movie screen and speakers. The ones suggested in this article are perfect for the camping movie experience.
Keep in mind projectors are rarely waterproof, and water ingress will cause damage.
Like What You’re Reading?
Every endeavor has been made to give accurate information to the reader. We want you to have the very best outdoor movie experience on your camping vacation.
Hours of validating research go into each article cutting through the information the busy average guy does not need to read.
If you like what you are reading and have some suggestions for improvements, please contact us.
Having the correct projector combined with movie choice and a decent sound system will provide hours of entertainment on what could have been a dull night of a camping trip.
Adding good friends and family members with some great outdoor food vibes is the recipe for a successful camping trip and fun-filled entertainment from your outdoor projector setup.
Don’t forget your outdoor projector will be perfect for backyard parties throughout the summer and autumn months. And then can be enjoyed indoors for all-year-round family entertainment.