Updated Dec 9, 2022
Looking for the best projector for camping?
If you are planning a trip to your nearby hill and go on a camping tour, having the best portable projector for camping can be game-changing. It can enhance your camping experience by providing a source of entertainment to watch on a large screen on which you can enjoy the movies and TV shows with your friends and family.
You must have heard the term ‘glamour camping’ used now and then. It is the same as camping in the faraway wilderness but along with all the other luxuries in the world, hence a ‘glamour’ tour. This can be especially useful if you have little kids.
They don’t have anything to do with nature and are most likely to get bored pretty soon if they don’t have their favorite cartoons and TV shows to watch. That is where the best portable projector for camping comes in.
Thanks to the advancement in technology, there are mini portable projectors available in the market today which are a great way to entertain yourself while on a camping trip with your friends and family by watching movies through a USB or a Netflix account by using a mobile hotspot.
The way a portable projector works is the same mechanism of any regular home cinema or office projector. It has a very high-intensity beam that passes through several shifted pixels on a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screen.
A mini portable projector uses three of these: LCD screens and the light which passes through it is divided into three tones before merging into a prism to create a crystal clear, vibrant image projection on the projector screen placed at a distance.
Anker Nebula Capsule Projector
Best Projector For Camping
AKASO Mini Projector
Nebula by Anker Mars II Pro
LG PF50KA Portable
ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector
Best Battery Projector For Camping
VANKYO Burger 101 Pico Projector
BenQ’s HT2050A 1080P
AAXA P2-A Pico Projector
Buying guide for the best portable projector for camping
With hundreds of different options available in the market, you should know how to filter out the crap and choose the best portable outdoor projector which suits your needs. Here are a few important things to look for in an outdoor projector before buying one:
Portability and compact size
The portability and size of the projector matter if you are going to buy it for camping purposes. You don’t want to have a bulky projector that is impossible to carry around and pack in your backpack. You should always opt for a lightweight and compact projector for traveling.
If most of your usage of the projector is going to be during the night or evening time, then a projector with mediocre brightness can work for you. But if you like to watch movies during the daytime also, you need to buy a projector which produces at least 500 lumens of brightness.
There is simply no point in a portable outdoor projector for camping if it requires to be connected to a power source and has no built-in battery pack. Or even if it does have a battery, but it is too small that it barely runs the projector for some time, it is of no use. Go for a projector with a rechargeable battery which at least offers you some decent battery life when fully charged.
When it comes to a camping projector for a movie night with your friends, you need to have the best mini projector with a portable screen. This means getting a projector with a high native resolution, brightness, and contrast ratio to get an HD image. Outdoor projectors, especially camping projectors should be able to provide great image quality even in a well-lit room to be considered as an outdoor movie projector.
Camping projector recommendations cannot include any movie projector that does not support multiple connectivity options. You cannot find a power source in the wilderness, hence, it’s essential your projector supports both wired and wireless options. The best camping projector comes equipped with flash drive support, an HDMI port, Wi-Fi, and an optional Wi-Fi adapter to connect to other media devices.
Our Criteria For Choosing The Best Projector For Camping
An outdoor projector varies greatly from a home theater projector. This is because of its exposure to greater light content which requires a high resolution and brightness level to keep up with it. Most projectors accept HD content, but only a few of them utilize it to produce high-quality pictures.
Besides focusing on the image quality, we made sure to include projectors that are easy to use as well. This includes selecting projectors with a built-in system to eliminate the need for portable speakers and Bluetooth speakers.
No movie projector is complete without a long-lasting LED lamp. A good quality LED lamp alongside a short throw distance is what makes a top-quality projector, and that is exactly what we aim to provide for you.
Best portable projectors for camping: Our Top Picks
Luckily, there are a lot of options available in the market as of now for the best outdoor projectors. But with so many options to choose from, it becomes very difficult to make a choice. We have done the hard part for you and after going through various products online, we have shortlisted the following projectors which we think are best for outdoor activities like camping.
If you are in hurry and want to avoid going through all the details of every product mentioned in the list, we got you covered. Out of all of them, the editor’s recommendation for you for the best portable projector for camping is the Anker Nebula Capsule Mini Projector. For its more in-depth features and details, scroll down to check out our review of it and other projectors.
1. Anker Nebula Capsule Mini Projector
The top of our today’s list is the Anker Nebula capsule mini projector. When it comes to portability and ease of access, battery life has a huge role in it. And the Anker Nebula capsule has the longest playtime out of all other regular mini projectors of this league. It has a playtime of 4 hours compared to the 2 hours playtime of other projectors with built-in batteries.
It is capable of producing up to 100 inches of image and it runs on the Android Operating System. A very distinguishing feature of this mini projector is its looks and design. The Anker Nebula capsule looks more like an ultra-modern Bluetooth speaker than a mini projector thanks to its 360 degrees circular speakers which are located at the bottom of the cylindrical mini projector.
Other than being fully charged to last 4 full hours of playtime, it can also be plugged into your power bank to do its function. Just imagine it, 4 hours of battery life, which means two consecutive full movies, and the ability to pug it into your power bank to charge it back and also use it at the same time. It also acts as a power bank if you want to use its battery to charge your phone and other devices.
2. AKASO Pocket-sized Mini Projector
The AKASO pico pocket-sized projector is probably one of the best pocket projectors for camping and outdoor activities. It is also widely popular for cookies decoration and tracing images.
If you want to take a look at the best pico projectors for cookies, check out this article.
This mini projector features 50 ANSI lumens which makes it bright enough to be used during a night stay in your camp to watch movies and your favorite TV shows. It has a battery life of one and a half hours if fully charged, which is sufficient for one whole movie. It also works while plugged into a charging source like a power bank so you can plug and watch at the same time.
The claimed native resolution of this projector is around 1080p on paper, which is near to around 720p when experienced in real life. The Anker nebula capsule allowed the image size of up to 100 inches, and this Akaso mini projector can project an image of up to 120 inches. For connectivity, you can store movies and TV shows in a USB or a micro SD card and plug it straight into the projector to watch from it.
3. Nebula by Anker Mars II Pro
The third place on our list for best outdoor projectors for camping is covered by yet another projector from Anker. This is the Anker Nebula Mars 2 Pro. The Nebula series was launched and soon became successful, in the niche of pico/mini projectors.
It is a ‘smart’ mini projector that is useful for camping trips but also, it can be used as a daily driver at your home for watching Netflix and movies. It is that good. It has a resolution of 720p (1280 x 720) and is capable of brightness up to 500 Lumens, which is sufficient as we discussed in our buying guide. And it can throw the largest projection on a screen out of all the other projectors mentioned on the list, that is a staggering 150 inches just from this small device.
The most distinguishing feature, just like the Nebula capsule, about the Nebula Mars 2 Pro is its speaker. It has one of the most amazing sounding speakers on a projector. With surround sound and ultra-high-quality audio, this will give you the best sounding experience with your movies on a camping trip.
4. LG PF50KA Portable Mini projector
The fourth position in our list of the best portable projectors is the LG PF50KA smart projector. It is a very powerful projector consisting of features from a high-end projector packed into a very portable body. It offers the highest resolution of all the other projectors on this list, which is full HD 1080p. It is also brighter than most portable projectors with a brightness of 800 lumens.
It has probably the most versatile connectivity options, which includes 2 HDMI inputs, 1 USB-A input, 1 USB Type-C port, coaxial, and an ethernet connection. It also comes with LG’s SmartTV and ScreenShare platform which is featured on all the high-end smart TVs by LG. It can throw a projection of up to 100 inches while maintaining the 1080p resolution.
So far, it does not sound like a portable or mini projector. But believe me, it is. It only weighs around 2.1 pounds in total and has a built-in battery which gives you a playback time of 2.5 hours. It also has two 1W speakers built-in. Overall, it is a very nice steal with the highest resolution on the list. If you have the budget, you should go for it.
Also recommended: Best Projector Under $500
5. ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector
Viewsonic has been known to produce some great projectors and the M1 portable projector is one of them. It is made for maximum portability with its compact size, design, and lightweight. Let us talk about the best feature of this projector first. It has a staggering 6 hours of battery life when fully charged. Yes, you heard it right. It is 6 hours of playback time, which is probably the longest of any other projectors mentioned on this list.
It is a very portable projector with a very compact form factor and it only weighs around 1.65 pounds. It also has a various number on connectivity options available which include one HDMI slot, one slot for MicroSD card, one USB Type-A port, and one USB Type-C port.
With all those options, it even has an internal storage of 16 GB! So even if you forget to take the MicroSD card with you or do not light to carry a separate USB on your camping trips, you can always store the movies on its internal storage and watch them right away without the need to plug in anything into it. It also has Harmon Karden Stereo speakers which sound better than average.
It has only 250 lumens of brightness and a resolution of only 480p, which could have been improved.
6. VANKYO Burger 101 Pico Projector
Vankyo Burger 101 pico projector is another model in our list of the best portable video projectors for camping. It is a very modern-looking projector which is so small that it can fit in your palm and you will still be able to close your hand. But do not judge it based on its small size. It has a 5200 mAh lithium battery built inside it which gives a very good playback time of 3 hours when fully charged.
The resolution of this portable pocket projector for camping is 800 x 480 (480p) and has a brightness of 2600 Lux, which is sufficient to watch movies at the campsite with the bonfire burning.
This projector can project images of size ranging from 30 inches to 110 inches onto a screen a 2.62 ft to 9.84 ft. For connectivity, it offers a wireless connection and single HDMI and USB ports.
Check More: Best Cheap Projector Under 100
7. BenQ’s HT2050A 1080P Projector
If you are looking for the best projectors for camping, you are at the right place. BenQ’s HT2050A is in our top picks for best projectors for camping. This product comes with dimensions of 15 x 11 x 5 inches. It weighs about 8 pounds. It provides you with the best image quality without burdening your pocket.
It has a high contrast ratio and offers a decent amount of brightness. It has a brightness of 2200 Lumens. It has a built-in speaker of 10 W, which is more than enough to play music outside. However, if you are fond of listening to extraordinarily loud music, you can connect any source through an audio jack. You can also enjoy 3D movies on this projector, and you surely will not be disappointed.
The major distinguishing feature it has is True Vertical Lens Shift. It has a lamp life of 6,000 hours depending on the type of projection mode you use. It provides an ultra smoothing experience because of the low input lag of 16ms. This projector can project up to 300 inches.
8. AAXA P2-A Android Smart LED Pico Projector
Another model in our list of the best portable projectors for camping is AAXA P2-A Android Smart LED. This projector comes with dimensions of 2.8 x 2.3 x 2.8 inches. It weighs about 8.8 ounces. It is a pocket-sized device, therefore carrying it around is not an issue. It has an option of connecting to iPhone/IOS though it has running Android software thus making it highly user-friendly.
It has a maximum screen projection of up to 100 inches. You can connect your projector through a Wi-Fi connection and run many apps including Netflix, HBO Go and many others. It has a USB connection along with a 3.5 mm headphone jack helping you plug in your headphones.
It provides a maximum resolution of 1080p, which gives you clear and sharp images. It provides a high contrast ratio and an extended LED life of 20,000 hours.
If you are looking for a reliable outdoor projector; there can be nothing better than the Vankyo Burger 101 pico projector and the Anker Nebula capsule mini projector. Their pocket-size dimensions provide a convenient fix for your camping trips, without hampering the specs. This ensures high-grade features, almost the same as full-size projectors but better.
Another premium projector to invest in is BenQ’s HT2050A. From speakers to image clarity; it provides you the best of everything. You can use it for your camping trips as well as for daily binging; making it the best portable projector.
Which portable projector is the best?
The best portable camping projector needs to have a small, compact size so that it is easier to carry around. Besides, it should also have a high native resolution and brightness level to combat the external light conditions. When it comes to a camping movie projector, the most popular by far is the Anker Nebula capsule mini portable projector. With a great built-in media player and long battery life, it stands out from other mini projectors in the market right now.
Are portable camping projectors worth it?
Portable projectors are totally worth it, given their size and ease of use. It has become a staple in modern camping gear, providing a high-resolution image even in ambient light. Moreover, many projectors feature high-quality built-in speaker, eliminating the need for any external BlueTooth speaker.
How many lumens do you need for an outdoor camping projector?
Outdoor camping projectors require high lumen brightness with a minimum of 2500 lumen brightness if you plan on watching movies outside to overcome light pollution since ambient light may result in the dullness of the image. While the native resolution, and throw distance matter; it is the brightness that has the most impact on the image quality.
If you are planning to visit a camping site with your family, we hope that this buying guide with detailed reviews of each product has helped you find the best portable projector for camping to watch movies. Which mini projector are you going to buy? Let us know in the comments below.