9 Best Outdoor Projectors for Backyard Patio and Camping

best-outdoor-projectors

Our Top 3 Picks

Optoma HD142X 1080p Projector

Optoma-HD142X-1080p-3000-Lumens-3D-DLP-Home-Theater-ProjectorLumens should be one of the most important features when it comes to home theater, especially when watching outside. With 3000 lumens rating, this Optoma unit definitely impresses as a good outside projector. With built-in speakers you also need very little effort to setup.

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DBPOWER T20 LCD Mini Movie Projector

Upgraded-DBPOWER-T20-LCD-Mini-Movie-ProjectorThis high-quality camping projector is in second place because its lumens is slightly lower. But at night you won’t see the difference and you get the benefit of great connectivity (a range of options). And it’s so small you can easily transport it to anywhere you want to entertain people. It’s the best family accessory.

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BenQ DLP HD 1080p Projector

BenQ-DLP-HD-1080p-ProjectorThese backyard projectors claim to fame is the immense contrast ratio. And who knew a projector could have environmentally friendly features? You’ll have great viewing pleasure with HD and 3D viewing options & it’s quite compact and light enough to easily store & carry around.

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Top-Rated Outside Projectors

Optoma HD142X 1080p 3000 Lumens 3D DLP Home Theater Projector

Optoma HD142X 1080p 3000 Lumens 3D DLP Home Theater Projector

This top-rated outdoor movie projector is packed with features that impress such as 3000 Lumens and the screen size range is anything between 66” (at 8’) to 107” (at 12’). You get 2 HDMI connections, 3D Sync and USB service Display Technology. You can correct keystone, but note that you can’t shift the lens itself.

All of this in a sturdy, sleek black exterior casing and it only weighs 5.5lb. Its dimensions: 11.73” x 9” x 3.7”.

Why We Like It

It’s quite versatile for outdoor movies as it can work in high humidity and extreme temperature conditions (5°C – 40°C). Read Full Review

Pros:
  • Can operate in 85% humidity
  • Decent lamp life at 8 000 hours
  • 10W speaker built in
  • Excellent color spectrum reproduction
  • Full HD 1080p
Cons:
  • Oversplash around the edges
  • Screen selection turns off quickly, making it difficult to change settings

FAQ

Can you use this with your Mac computer?
Yes you can. You’ll just need a Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter & cable.

Is canned air cleaning the best option for this device?
No, canned air cleaning can push dust further into the device, instead of removing it. Chances are the dust will be pushed inside the lens.

Will this work in a large setup such as a wedding venue?
No not really. It’s designed for small home setups and the lumens may not work, especially in lighted rooms.

 

DBPOWER T20 LCD Mini Movie Projector: Good for Backyard

Upgraded DBPOWER T20 LCD Mini Movie Projector

This brand focuses on giving you an easy viewing solution with a quick setup as well as transport options. Since it’s very small (8” x 12” x 4.5”) it can easily fit into luggage or your vehicle. And it only weighs 2.1lb.

Its lumens is a bit low at only 1800 but it will work at night. It support 1080p viewing so you’ll get quality images. It can work with VGA, HDMI, USB, AV and SD connectivity. You’ll get a contrast ratio of 1000:1 and it can give you 16:9 aspect ratio.

Why We Like It

The brand makes viewing and setup easy because it provides the necessary HDMI cable. Read Full Review

Pros:
  • Range of connections to use with PCs, Fire Stick, iPads and more
  • Upgraded with 10% more brightness
  • 1 year warranty
  • Fan gives very little noise
Cons:
  • Not practical for business or PPT use
  • Requires a Wi-Fi dongle for connection to Smartphones or tablets
  • Low lumens

FAQ

How do you view images from your Smartphone (Apple or Android)?
With both these devices you can connect with the help of an adapter, a converter or a streaming device. Some old phones have ports you can use with a HDMI adapter. You can mirror via Chromecast, but Amazon may charge you for this. You should find HDMI converters for most phones, but note that they use power so your battery will quickly run out.

Can you rear project with this device?
While it’s possible to flip the image, rear projection often requires more brightness than this can give, so your image may not be as clear.

 

BenQ W1070 DLP Home Theater Projector

BenQ DLP HD 1080p Projector

These HD projectors impress with large projections sizes and high contrast ratios. The latter gives you rich black and very clear, luminous white in your images. This contrast rating is actually three times more than you’ll find on many LCD products.

It’s also capable of giving you full HD 1080p images so watch your Blu-Ray movies via this from now on. It has 2 HDMI ports and speakers are built in for a quick, easy setup.

Why We Like It

This brand provides you with SmartEco technology which helps the lamp survive for longer. Since this is one of the highest maintenance expenses, it’s a huge budget help. But secondly, it helps the environment. By saving up to 70% of lamp power consumption it’s one less thing that will need replacement soon. This is possible by activating Eco Black Mode if no display source is detected for three minutes. Read Full Review

Pros:
  • High contrast ratio of 10 000:1
  • Huge projection size possible of 200”
  • Built in speakers to play audio of movies or games
Cons:
  • Some consumers find it overheats quite quickly

FAQ

Is this a practical option to project game visuals with?
Yes you’ll enjoy playing to these images since there is no lag and the pictures are so clear & vivid (not pale).

Can you use viewing cinema 3D glasses to enjoy 3D viewing?
No, because they’re passive 3D glasses. You need active versions such as Active Shutter DLPLink 3D glasses. Also, ensure you’ve got the settings correct as they determine your watch experience.

 

ViewSonic PJD5555W 3300 Lumens WXGA HDMI Projector

ViewSonic PJD5555W 3300 Lumens WXGA HDMI Projector

Do you want to enjoy a 110” screen from 12ft away, or a massive 220” by placing the projector 30ft from the screen? Both are possible with this device and you’ll get a clear picture even at dusk thanks to 3 300 lumens.

8 000 hours lamp hours and an extensive warranty makes this an excellent budget buy. The brand provides VGA cables, power cable and even a remote with batteries included. You get all the important connection options such as VGA, HDMI 3.5mm Audio in/out, but note that there’s only a mini USB connection.

Why We Like It

You get a better color range thanks to SuperColor Technology. Read Full Review

Pros:
  • 3 year warranty
  • Extremely high contrast ratio
  • Built-in speakers
  • Remote included
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows
Cons:
  • Quite an expensive unit
  • Limited zoom flexibility

FAQ

Do you get a 1080p resolution?
No. Your image source can provide this type of resolution, but the unit will convert it to a lower resolution such as 800 x 600.

How do you keep insects from spoiling a night’s viewing, since they’re attracted by the light?
Simply place zapper lights at a distance so they attract the bugs away from your screen and projector to keep on enjoying movies without disturbance.

 

Epson Home Cinema 3020: Movie Night Projector (HDMI, TV, 3LCD, Real 3D)

Epson Home Cinema 3020 1080p

Here’s such a modern design housing state of the art features. With some of the most impressive contrast ratios on this list (40 000:1) your picture will be crystal clear. There’s even a 2D to 3D conversion option.

It provides a very decent 2 300 lumens and has a Split Screen feature. This means you can view two different images side by side, coming from two separate sources.

Why We Like It

Your viewing pleasure is guaranteed since the brand provides you with two sets of 3D glasses when purchasing the projector. Read Full Review

Pros:
  • The stunning white finish adds style to the room where it’s used
  • Built-in speakers
  • Huge 120” screen from only 16ft away from the screen
Cons:
  • Quite heavy, so not the ideal portable video projector
  • No quick Keystone adjustment
  • A fan can be too loud if you don’t have a proper sound setup
  • Impractical in short throw distance

FAQ

Can you rear project with this projector?
Yes it’s possible. It’s both bright enough and full of color.

Which lens adjustments are possible?
Note that there is no lens shift but you can adjust horizontally and vertically. There is also no quick corner Keystone adjustment feature.

Can you plug in a USB with an mp4 file and watch it?
No, the device itself won’t read this type of file. You need to set up a device that can read it—such as a Blu-Ray player—and then connect it to the projector. You can also connect your PS4.

 

Meyoung TC80 LED Mini Projector: Great for Camping

Meyoung TC80 LED Mini Projector

This projector is in a super modern white casing and inside you find technology to give anything from 50”-130” screen size. You can either have an aspect ratio of 4:3 or 16:9. It has multiple connection options such as HDMI and even takes SD Cards & USB flash drives and is compatible with mobile HDD.

With the built-in speaker and amplifier, even your audio is sorted instantly. You’ll get 1 200 lumens which are decent for night viewing, although you’ll have to wait until it’s really dark. You can watch at a resolution of 800×600.

Why We Like It

This is one of the lightest models you’ll find on this list of reviews, weighing in at only 1.98lb. A lightweight model is easy to transport and less likely of getting damaged accidentally because even a child can safely carry this. That makes it practical for camping since anyone in the family can help you set this up. Dimensions: 7.9” x 3” x 5.7”.

Pros:
  • Remote control included
  • Power and AV cord included
  • Many types of files are supported such as MP4
Cons:
  • Not for business use
  • Resolution is low
  • HDMI for mobile devices not included

FAQ

Can you mount this outdoor projector?
Yes, it’s easily mountable since it has a mounting screw on the bottom of the projector. This means it can even be mounted upside down if your situation requires it. Then simply use the ‘Flip Image’ setting.

Does the projector have an autofocus feature?
No. The user must focus manually, but it will keep that focus for the entire viewing session. Manual focusing is actually more beneficial since you have more control over the situation.

 

IJIA DVD Projector: Nice for Watching Movies Outside

IJIA DVD Projector with DVD Player

This is not only a projector but a DVD player too. That means one less machine to put up outside for movie night because this combo projector does it all. Alternatively, you can connect devices via USB, your TV can be plugged in or you can use AV inputs. It even has an SD card slot.

The 40W lamp is designed for long-term use and it will give you a resolution of 800×600. There is a small 3W speaker for general use, or use the two audio outputs to connect it to a proper sound system.

Note that the DVD player is very sensitive, so slightest scratch or dust will cause it to malfunction.

Why We Like It

This makes practical sense for family entertainment since with a DVD projectors setup is quick when you don’t have to carry around many different machines.

Pros:
  • Can attach to a tripod
  • Sold with built-in DVD player
  • Remote included
Cons:
  • Low lumens at only 800
  • No HD viewing

FAQ

Is the speaker loud enough for general viewing?
Yes, for family viewing—or even a presentation—the audio level is sufficient. For larger crowds, you’ll need speakers. Remember that you can’t connect via Wi-Fi, so use one of the provided outputs for connecting speakers.

Can you connect to Fire Stick?
No this unit doesn’t have the appropriate connection for Fire Stick.

 

CAIWEI Small Wireless WiFi Home Theater Projector

CAIWEI HD Wireless WiFi 1080P 3600 Lumen Home Theater Cinema Projector

This makes home theater super easy because with this CAIWEI system you can connect via Wi-Fi instead of cords. With this connection, you can stream your content from mobile devices including an iPad. Alternatively, you can use USB, HDMI or VGA connections.

It also has a 5W stereo sound system so your viewing pleasure is thanks to sound and visuals. The 3 500 lumens will ensure a crisp picture even if it’s not entirely dark.

You also get high-quality components since the lamp will last you 50 000 hours.

Why We Like It

Thanks to the brand using Ultra-Mute fans, the unit won’t bother you when viewing your favorite movie.

Pros:
  • High lumens
  • HD viewing
  • Wi-Fi connectivity; no adapters needed to view via Smartphone
  • Large screen
  • Up to 1920 x 1200 resolution
Cons:
  • One of the largest units on this list of reviews

FAQ

What mounting options do you have?
Note that you can mount this on the ceiling or place on a table. Because there’s a 360 ° flip setting you can also use it for rear projection. However, note that the wall mount is not provided, but the brand can recommend appropriate options.

 

Ohderii LED Video Projector: Cheap Model

Ohderii 2018 Newest Upgraded LED Video Projector

This is a small, sleek unit that is packed with great features. You can have your screen up to 180” in size. (Note that the manufacturer advises 120” or smaller for optimum clarity). You can set it up to anything from 3.92ft to 18ft from your screen.

You can enjoy either 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio. When it’s running it only produces 30db of noise with the fan which shouldn’t disrupt your viewing. You can expect the lamp to serve you well for 20 000 hours.

Why We Like It

Despite its inexpensive price this mini exterior projector gives you a variety of important features and even includes a remote control.

Pros:
  • Compact design
  • Long cord provided
  • Built-in SRS sound
  • Low fan noise
  • Low price
Cons:
  • No sound when content source is connected via VGA
  • Low lumens at only 1800

FAQ

Can these small wireless projectors show 1080p images?
No, the projector can receive 1080p images, but will convert them to a lower pixel rating such as 480p. However, this is still great for a digital projector of this affordable price.

Is there a headphone jack?
Yes there is and you can use this to plug in sound equipment such as a sound bar to enhance audio.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Projector for Outdoor Use

These best outdoor projectors are such delicate products and outdoor use of any object adds some risk to using it. So let’s help you pick the one that will make gatherings outdoors work well.

Size of the Projection
Where will you use yours? Is it to watch movies outside? Each projector is suitable to be positioned a certain distance from the screen. Make sure yours won’t be out of focus or too small/large in your setting.

Resolution
Look for a 1080p projector for patio or other exterior uses. This ensures image clarity and even if you sit close to the screen you won’t see the different pixels, but a quality image. Also look for 16:9 aspect ratio.

Connectivity
How many ports do you see at the back of the TV projectors? A practical projector will allow VGA, SVideo, USB, HDMI and even RJ45 connections. The latter is a bonus to stream live from the internet and with us using the net so much, this may become a prerequisite in the near future.

 Audio Options
Make peace that you probably won’t get exceptional sound if you do find one that has built-in speakers. Because projectors’ designers are more focused on the visual aspect, a home speaker system will produce better sound than the projector itself. Therefore, don’t make built-in speakers a deciding factor. Rather invest in good quality, separate systems.

How Easy is it to Maintain?
Because they’re so delicate you’re not supposed to clean them inside and out yourself. You simply need to keep the lens clean and if you can compress air clean it occasionally that will suffice. However, if yours has internal dust filters it’s a bonus. Fewer dust particles will reach the interior and affect functioning.

How Long Will the Lamp Last?
Lamps are extremely pricey so make sure you don’t have to replace yours too often. Around 10 000 hours of viewing is a good rating. Remember to balance this out with other features. Don’t spend too much on high lumens if it’s only going to last you 3 000 hours. A cheap LED projector becomes costly if you need to change lights all the time.

Price Range

Under $100 (click to check our 3 top-rated models)

Under $200

Under $300

Under $500

How Many Lumens Do I Need for an Outdoor Projector?

Lumens relates to how bright the image is sent out by your projector. Why is this important? Because you may not always watch in pitch black night. Do you need a daylight projector? What if you want to start that movie a bit earlier, or what if there are many street lights that affect your viewing experience?

With minimum 2 000 lumens, you’ll usually be able to enjoy the picture, even at dusk or with some daylight still present. You can invest in a 4 000 lumens option if you know your schedule needs to always start early. But know that a 2 000 lumens will display much the same as a 4 000 lumens late at night. So the latter isn’t necessary if you’re working on a budget.

Tip: With each 1 000 lumens you add, you gain about an hour’s worth of watching pleasure because you can start earlier. Also, remember it’s not only about recommended lumens. Your resolution (see above) also determines how clear that picture will be.

Conclusion

You can find the ideal projector that falls into a price category you love because brands cater for all kinds of preferences. What’s clear is that the manufacturers are also particular in an application, as most of these units are for movie viewing and not for business use. Find another list of reviews if that’s what you’re shopping for, but if more quality time with the family is needed, you now have many options.