If you have a camping trip coming up, and you are in charge of setting up the events, why not go with a movie night? Everybody loves a good movie, but when you are out in the wilds, you cannot really take your TV with you. Sure, you can take your laptop, but it is not ideal if there are a lot of people watching the movie.
However, if you invest in the best portable projector for camping, planning movie nights becomes extremely easy. With this one investment, you can breathe fresh life into your upcoming trip. A portable projector makes the experience more memorable for everyone.
The best thing about these devices is that they are extremely compact. In fact, you can put most of the units that we will talk about in your pocket and take it with you. And when the time is right, you can simply whip it out, set it up, and turn on your favorite movie for everyone to enjoy.
In this article, we will talk about some of the finest projectors that you can find on the market to take with you when you go camping. So, without further ado, let us get started.
List of Best Portable Projector For Camping:
Top 10 Best Portable Projector for Camping Reviews
When you want to buy a new projector, especially for your camping trip, you want to make sure you are getting a good one. And unfortunately, a good projector can cost quite a lot. But if you know where to look, you can find some fantastic options at a reasonable price.
In the following section, we will give you a quick rundown of a couple of fantastic projectors that will be perfect for your next camping trip.
1. NEBULA Anker Capsule, Smart Wi-Fi Mini Projector
We will start off our list of reviews with the Anker Capsule by the brand Nebula. Nebula is a leading brand in the world of projectors and has a wide catalog of products for you to choose from. Though we decided to go with the Anker Capsule, their other units are also worth a look.
This particular model powered by DLP’s IntelliBright Algorithm provides remarkable contrast and clarity in viewing. The mini projectors typically use LED lights as their light source. This unit is capable of delivering up to 100 Ansi-Lumen images, which is perfect for viewing movies and images in a relatively dim environment.
It gives you a display resolution of 854 x 480 pixels and has an aspect ratio of 16:9. As for screen size, its 100 inches of projection at a 3.08m throw ratio will give you plenty of viewing area, making it a great choice for family and group entertainment.
The focus adjustment in the unit is manual. In addition, the vertical Keystone correction of up to 40 degrees is automated, while the horizontal correction of up to 40 degrees is manual. The HDMI port in the unit supports up to 1080p of input media, while a Micro USB port allows charging and data storage via a flash drive.
This unit also supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 for seamless media streaming. The lamp life in the unit is around 30000 hours. And its 5200mAh battery gives you up to 4 hours of runtime. The built-in speaker is 5W which is loud enough for a relatively quiet environment. The wattage of this projector is 18 watts.
The brand also has an upgraded model that is capable of 200 Lumens brightness called the Anker Nebula Capsule Max. That is worth a look, but it does cost a bit more than this one. Alternatively, the Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector is a pricier option that has more powerful 8W speakers for a louder sound. It is also capable of displaying 720-pixel videos.
But if you are on a budget, the Anker Nebula Apollo might be a great choice for you. It costs more than the Anker Capsule but offers better brightness and has a 6W speaker for better sound. However, the original is just as decent if you do not want to bother with too many options.
- Display resolution of 854 x 480 pixels
- 16:9 aspect ratio with 100 inches of view area
- Supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- Powered by Android 7.0 smartphone OS
2. BenQ GV30 Portable Smart Projector
For our next outdoor projector for camping, we will be going with the brand BenQ with their high-end Portable Smart Projector GV30. It is one of the best projectors for camping that offers phenomenal performance, albeit at a higher cost. But considering the picture clarity, the price seems pretty reasonable.
Similar to most mini projectors, this one is powered by DLP technology. The image will be crystal clear, and thanks to its 300 Ansi-Lumens brightness, you will be able to clearly see movies or pictures even when the environment is not pitch-dark. The lamp uses LEDs as its light source. So, it can work well as a home entertainment system too. The wattage of this projector is 42 watts.
The unit can output up to 720-pixel HD contents with an aspect ratio of 16:9. At 8.9 feet throw distance, you will be able to get the screen size as big as 100 inches. You can also turn the screen size smaller simply by placing the projector closer to the wall or projection screen. Under normal mode, the typical lamp life expectancy is 30,000 hours.
However, the best part of the unit is its picture clarity and color accuracy. You can manually adjust the vertical keystone correction and it comes with an optimized picture mode that uses Cinematic Color and offers extreme color accuracy and performance. As for the I/O ports, you get an HDMI and a USB-C port for hooking it up to your media device.
This unit also works with Wireless and Bluetooth and is compatible with AirPlay and Chromecast for wireless casting. Its small and portable design makes it a great choice if you want to take it along for your camping trip. The device also features a 2.1 channel audio output for clear sound.
- Small and portable design
- It can be used as a Bluetooth speaker
- Has Airplay and Chromecast support
- 720p HD video output
3. KODAK Luma 150 Ultra Mini Pocket Pico Projector
Coming up next is the Luma 150 Ultra Mini Pocket Pico Projector by none other than KODAK. If you have any interest in photography, you should already recognize the name of the brand. And if you are in the market for the best mini projector for camping, this is one of your best bets. It is a portable projector with an LED light source that can project images on any surface.
Thanks to the DLP technology powering this device, it promises to deliver stunning picture quality and clarity regardless of whether you are watching movies or giving a presentation. Its 60 ANSI-lumens brightness seems quite low on paper, but if you are using it in a dark environment, it should not be too much of an issue. It also allows vertical keystone correction.
The unit features a native display resolution of 854 x 480 pixels and can support up to 4k resolution media. Its 16:9 aspect ratio gives you a wide viewing angle, and at a throw ratio of 1:2, the screen size goes up to 150 inches. So, enjoying a movie with the whole family is never a problem. The only downside is the lamp life which is only 3000 hours. The wattage of this projector is 5 watts only.
However, it boasts 16.7 million display colors, and its 1000:1 contrast ratio means you will be able to enjoy vivid colors that feel almost lifelike. It has a micro-USB port and an HDMI output port for its input-output options, and you can easily hook it up to a secondary device for streaming movies.
The unit also comes with Bluetooth support which means you can hook it up to your smartphone and watch movies that way. Its size is quite small so you can put it in your pocket and take it along with you on your next camping trip. It is a battery operated projector with a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts up to 2.5 hours on a full charge.
- 150 inches projection screen
- Perfect portable camping projector
- Excellent color and image clarity
- Supports up to 4k videos
4. ViewSonic M1+ Portable LED Projector with Auto Keystone Correction
ViewSonic is a leading brand in the world of display technology, so it makes sense that they have a high-quality projector for you to consider. The M1+ Portable LED Projector with auto keystone correction is a great pickup if you are planning a movie night even on your next camping trip.
It comes with 24-100 display technology and gives you a total brightness of 300 LED lumens. It is a mini projector with an LED light source with a lamp life of 30,000 hours. So naturally, you will be able to use it effortlessly even if the room light condition is not ideal. The wattage of this device is 45 watts.
Not only does it work great in a dark environment, but it can also give you a clear picture in a relatively well-lit room. The unit has a display resolution of 640 x 480 pixels, which is not exactly ideal. But it does have support for HD or FHD media, so it should not impact your experience all that much. Besides, its wide viewing angle also makes sure that you have a good time with it.
The unit has a relatively small throw ratio which is great since its projection screen is around 100 inches. It comes with built-in storage, and the Dual Harman/Kardon speakers give you excellent audio output. In fact, you can also use it as a Bluetooth speaker if you want to listen to some music.
Its overall setup is pretty effortless. Since the focal adjustment in the unit is Automated, you do not have to fiddle around with it too long. The unit comes with a built-in battery that lasts up to 8 hours on a full charge. As for I/O, you get HDMI, USB C, and a USB A port to set it up with any of your media devices.
If you want a more affordable option, ViewSonic also offers another great projector called M1 Mini+. It comes at a much cheaper price tag and has many of the same features as the M1 Ultra. However, it has a battery life of only 1.5 hours which might be a bit of a letdown for some.
Alternatively, the M2 by ViewSonic is another fantastic pickup if you want that 1080p FHD output. It is an upgraded version of the M1 with a lot of improvements in different sectors. But then again, it is a lot more expensive than even the M1 Ultra.
- Excellent connectivity options
- Short throw distance
- It offers excellent viewing angles
- High-quality built-in speakers
5. LG PF50KA 100” Portable Full HD (1920 x 1080) LED Smart TV Home Theater CineBeam Projector
We don’t think the brand LG needs any introduction unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years. The PF50KA by the brand is a fantastic battery powered projector for camping that features excellent design and has superb options for any movie lover.
It features DLP display technology, but that is quite standard with most outdoor projectors for camping. The best part about this device, however, is its 600 lumens of brightness. This means you will be able to use the projector not only for camping but also in your living room as your main entertainment station. The lamp life of this LED light source projector is 30,000 hours.
The native display output resolution of the unit is 1080p, which is another fantastic thing. Combined with its excellent throw distance and auto keystone correction, you will be able to set it up anywhere and enjoy a large 100-inch projector screen that delivers superb picture quality and resolution.
Its 100000:1 image contrast ratio also ensures proper color accuracy whenever you fire it up. It supports Wireless connectivity for effortless streaming. But you can also use a media device such as your smartphone, Firestick, or even a USB flash drive to playback media without any issues. The wattage of this LG projector is 65 watts.
This unit also comes with a built-in battery that is capable of lasting for up to 8 hours on a full charge. So. your viewing experience will not be hampered in any way. Its portable size and excellent image output make it a fantastic pickup if you want the best projector for RV in your pocket.
- 1080p display output with auto vertical keystone correction
- 100-inch screen size
- 100000:1 image contrast ratio
- 600 lumens of maximum brightness
6. Anker Nebula Solar Portable 1080p Projector
So, we decided to go with another fantastic option by the brand Nebula after already recommending four of their projectors before, and frankly, you shouldn’t blame us. The quality and performance that this brand delivers are top-notch. And this particular model is no different.
Similar to other tent projectors that we reviewed so far, this one too is powered by DLP technology. It has a total brightness of 400 Ansi Lumens and also supports an HDR 10 display with a LED light source. This feature is extremely rare in a projector at this price range, and it can greatly enhance your viewing experience. Also, you can expect an average lamp life of 3000 hours.
Furthermore, its 1080p video output at a 16:9 aspect ratio also ensures you have a good time watching movies. This projector features auto vertical keystone correction and manual horizontal keystone correction. The total screen size is 120 inches at a moderate throw distance. In addition, it comes with a 3W built-in speaker to ensure you get proper audio playback.
As we already said, it supports HDR 10. So, you should expect brilliant blacks and clear images with more vibrant colors. It comes with HDMI connectivity along with USB ports so that you can hook it up to your flash drive and playback your media effortlessly, anywhere. It also has the same wattage as the previous model which is 65 watts.
The best part about the unit is that it is solar-powered. So, you will not have to worry about recharging the battery. Instead, you can leave it in a sunny room, and it will recharge itself automatically. For the price, this outdoor camping projector kit is one of the finest out there.
- Supports HDR 10.
- Rechargeable via solar energy
- 400 ANSI Lumens of brightness
- Compact and portable design
7. AKASO Mini Projector, Pocket-Sized DLP Portable Projector
If you are on a budget and do not want to go overboard looking for the best camping projector, we have just the thing for you. This Mini Projector by the brand AKASO does not cost a lot but delivers a consistent and memorable experience in the heart of the user.
This unit is powered by DLP technology, and as you well know, it offers a much better viewing experience than LCD. The total brightness of the unit is only 50 ANSI Lumens, though, so you might want to use it in a dark room. It does not perform too well in a bright environment.
The long 30,000 hours lamp life of its LED light source allows the device to be used outdoors for a long period of time. The unit also has a decent resolution of 854 x 480 pixels and can playback media of up to 1080p resolution. But the best part of it is its enormous projection screen of 150 inches.
Combined with its 16:9 aspect ratio and auto V keystone correction, your movie nights will never turn out boring. In addition, the picture quality that it delivers is superb. Sure, if the room is too bright, the whites may seem faded. But in a dark room, you will get crisp and clear colors without any extra saturation. It also has support for multiple connections, including HDMI and USB.
No wattage rating on this one. This device runs on a built-in 4000 mAh battery. The unit also comes with a remote control to help you operate it comfortably. It has a decent battery life that lasts for more than two hours on a full charge. And when it runs out of juice, you can recharge it easily. For the price, the value it offers is superb.
- It comes at an affordable price
- 50 ANSI Lumens of brightness
- 854 x 480 pixels display resolution
- The battery lasts for more than 2 hours
8. XGIMI Halo True 1080p Portable Projector for Outdoor Movie Night
While the last video projector we talked about may have been great for people on a budget, it does have its fair bit of issues. If you are not the one to compromise, especially when it comes to watching movies, then the Halo True 1080p Projector by XGIMI might be the better choice.
It is also powered by DLP technology, but its net brightness is way higher. Thanks to its LED light source that features 800 ANSI Lumens of brightness, it can run well even if the light condition in the room is not ideal. And if you take it out camping, it is safe to say that you can watch a movie even during the day.
The unit can deliver up to 1080p images, so the image clarity will also be pretty fantastic. Its 16:9 aspect ratio gives you excellent viewing angles, and 150 inches of screen size makes it a great choice for large group viewing. In fact, you can even use it as a theater projector if you want. It has a wattage of 5 watts only.
In addition to playback, it also supports android apps such as YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, etc. So, you can stream movies from a media platform if you do not have a physical disc. The 10W Harman Kardon speaker built into it also comes in handy to enhance your overall experience.
The unit also supports automated keystone correction so that you will have perfect alignment with the projector screen when you use it. It comes with a high-capacity battery that can give you up to 2 hours or more runtime on a full charge. Sure, it costs a lot, but it does deliver a great experience and also 30,000 hours of lamp life.
The XGIMI Elfin Mini Projector is another alternative that you can consider, but that also costs pretty much the same. But it does have a different style, and some may prefer the white aesthetics more. Whichever one you end up going with, you are in for a great time watching movies and videos.
- Supports 19080p display resolution
- It comes with powerful speakers
- Automatic keystone correction
- Large 150-inch screen size
9. Core Innovations – 720p – HD 150” Portable LCD Home Theater Projector
This portable mini projector by the brand Core Innovations is another fine pickup if you do not want to spend too much green for your movie-watching hobby. It has a few issues here and there, but nothing major that will impact your experience. The best part, its price is extremely reasonable.
It runs on LCD light source instead of DLP, which is one of the main reasons why it costs so low. But on the other hand, its 85 Ansi Lumens of peak brightness makes up for it by allowing you to use it even in a decently-lit room. You do not have to close the curtains every time you plan on firing it up.
Furthermore, the unit can support up to 720p media playback, enhancing your experience significantly. The maximum viewing area that it can deliver is 150 inches. Combined with its widescreen design, it should be a fantastic pickup for any upcoming movie night.
In addition, the unit supports automatic keystone correction to ensure zero distortion in your image. It comes with a 2W built-in speaker and also supports Audio Out if you want to hook it up to a bigger audio system. You can also link it up to your smart devices and stream video from there.
This unit also includes a remote for easy access to different functions. Its 8400 mAh battery lasts longer than two hours effortlessly, and once it runs out, you can always recharge it. It provides up to 20,000 hours of lamp life. Overall, this is a great pickup for anyone who wants to enjoy movie nights on their camping trips with their friends and family.
- 150 inches of screen size
- Excellent battery lifespan
- It comes with a 2W built-in speaker
- Powered by LCD technology
10. VANKYO Burger 101 Wireless Pico Projector
We will be wrapping up our list of the best projector for camping with one of the most affordable options out there. This unit by the brand VANKYO is not your top-of-the-line projector for movie enthusiasts. But if you manage your expectations going in, this can be a decent investment.
This mini projector uses LED light source and advanced DLP technology to ensure you have a good time watching movies or videos with this projector. Its 50 Lumens of peak brightness, however, is a major lacking of the device. Still, if the room is dark, the picture quality will not be that bad at all.
It has a native resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. But its widescreen aspect ratio, along with up to 100 inches of projector size, truly makes up for it. You will still be able to playback higher resolution images and get a good viewing experience out of it without any issues.
This unit can also be paired up with your smartphone for effortless streaming. It comes with a USB port, an HDMI port, and an Audio out if you want to hook it up to your home theater system. Furthermore, the 2.4G wi-fi can also be used to stream media from online platforms.
It also supports automatic and manual Keystone correction of around 40 degrees. You can also use it as an overhead projector setup if you want to use it for presentations. Its 5200 mAh battery delivers up to 2 hours of runtime on a full charge. Last but not least, this projector has a lamp life of up to 10,000 hours.
- It comes at a very attractive price
- 50 Ansi Lumens of peak brightness
- 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio
- 854 x 480 pixels of display resolution
What Features To Look For In An Outdoor Projector?
Now that you have a good idea of the options that are available in the market, you should feel pretty confident about picking one up. But before you do so, there are a couple of things you want to think about.
Since a projector is a pretty expensive device, you want to make sure you are weighing all your options before you buy one. In the following section, we will talk about a couple of features that you want to consider before you commit to a particular pocket projector for camping.
1. Image Size
Whenever we talk about projectors, the first thing that we prioritize is the screen size. The truth is, most users who like to watch movies with a projector prefer a bigger screen size. It gives them the feel of watching the movie in a theater which drastically enhances the experience.
If you check our list of products, you will see that we mostly went with units that have a minimum of 100-inch screen size. Sure, you can bring the projector further from the screen to minimize the screen size, but having the option to watch media on a larger screen is always handy, especially for camping trips.
The brightness of a projector is measured in ANSI Lumens. While some models come with a peak brightness of 50 Ansi Lumens, you will not be able to get a good performance out of them in a well-lit room. As a rule of thumb, the higher the brightness of the projector, the better your overall viewing performance.
Then again, projectors are not typically designed to be used in a bright room. So, if you are using it in a dark room, it might not make too much of a difference. But for brighter environments, we recommend going with a unit that has at least 300 ANSI Lumens brightness or more.
In this day and age, almost everyone knows that a higher output resolution means a better and sharper image. However, in projectors, that is not always the case. Sure, you can go with a 1080p or even a 4k projector, but your experience might not be impacted all that much.
In fact, most projectors run on a native 640 or 480p resolution, and since the screen size is large, you do not miss out on any of the details. Still, this is a feature worth mentioning as some people do prefer to see every bit of detail possible when they are watching a movie. In that case, a higher output resolution is definitely better.
4. Picture Quality
If the quality of the image is poor, you will naturally not enjoy watching any movies or videos with the projector. Sadly, you cannot judge the picture quality of the projector before trying it out yourself. But there are a few things that you can check to get a good idea about its video quality.
For instance, you want to check the contrast ratio and also if it comes with any display enhancing features such as HDR. Other than that, the resolution level of the projector also gives you a decent idea of its picture clarity.
5. Size and Weight
Since you mainly plan on using the projector for camping trips, you do not want to go with a large unit. Instead, a portable, pocket-sized projector will offer you a better value for your investment. Thankfully, there are plenty of options in that form factor.
But don’t let the size be your only determining factor. You also want to think about the weight of the projectors. Some small projectors weigh a ton, and you would not have a good time lugging them around with you when you are out camping. So, look for a unit that weighs less and is small enough to fit comfortably in your backpack.
6. Connectivity Options
You also want to think about the input and output options that you get with the projector that you are buying. Ports such as HDMI and USB, along with an adapter port, are pretty standard in most projectors. But some models give you more options to work with.
For a better experience, we would recommend going with a projector that allows for Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity. That way, you will be able to pair it up with your smartphone or laptop and stream media from online platforms such as Netflix or YouTube directly through your projector.
7. Battery Lifespan
Most movies last at least 1.5 hours, and if your projector dies in the middle of a movie, that would be a very sad thing. So, whenever you are planning to buy a new projector for whatever reason, make sure you take a long hard look at the battery lifespan of the unit.
Any projectors that have a battery life lower than 2 hours are not worth buying. Some of the high-end models can last for up to 8 hours on a single charge. If you plan on camping for a few days, you might have a better experience with a projector that can last longer.
8. Speaker Quality
If you do not plan on hooking your projector up to a secondary audio device, we strongly recommend you spend some time thinking about the speaker quality of the projector you are planning to buy. After all, watching a movie without a good sound does not exactly seem ideal.
While the built-in audio of most projectors is there only as a secondary option, some models do have high-quality feature speakers. You want to look for higher wattage in the built-in speaker and preferably Harman Kardon Speakers, as those speakers are known to deliver better sound.
How Do You Power A Projector For Camping
The good thing about portable projectors is that most of them run on rechargeable batteries. So, if you remember to charge up your projector before you set out for your camping trip, you should not have anything to worry about in terms of powering it.
However, if you happen to go with a projector that requires a consistent power source, then you can use your car battery. We would not recommend it, however, but instead would suggest using a generator if you have access to one.
Another option to power the projector is to use a 12-volt backup battery or power bank. However, not everyone keeps one spare in the backpack, so the generator or car battery option will still be the better route.
Other than that, you would require a projector screen if you plan on watching it under the stars. Having a Bluetooth speaker will allow you to pair it up with the projector and improve the quality of the audio.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are Nebula projectors any good for camping?
Nebula is one of the most well-known brands out there whenever you are looking for a projector. If you want a projector for your camping trip and expect a good viewing experience, Nebula is a great brand to go with. We have already listed plenty of options by the brand for you to shift through.
2. Can you use a projector in a tent when camping?
Of course, you can. As long as the projector has a minimum of 17 inches of throw distance, you can use it perfectly in your cozy camping tent. And since the inside of a tent is already dark at night, your viewing experience will be quite enjoyable.
3. How many lumens do I need for outdoor camping?
If you are camping outdoors and want to watch movies at night with your projector, make sure it has a peak brightness of at least 30 to 50 lumens. If it is any less, you would not be able to make out the details in the video that clearly. For brighter environments, the brightness of the projector also needs to be higher.
4. Can I run a projector from a car battery?
If your car battery has at least 20Ah of power, it should be able to run most portable mini projectors without any issues.
5. Do you need a projector screen while camping?
It depends on where you want to project the image. If you want to enjoy a movie with your friends near the campfire, you, of course, need a projector screen. However, if you want to use it inside your tent, you can use the insides of the tent as your projector screen without any issues.
6. Can a power bank power a mini projector?
A power bank is a portable battery that can be charged and used to power a variety of devices. Power banks are often used in place of a wall outlet to charge electronic devices.
This small device can be used to power a variety of electronic devices, including small, portable projectors. You just need to connect the power bank to the projector via an adapter and plug your device into the USB port on the projector.
If you’re not sure if it’ll work with your projector, first, check the power draw of your mini projector. Then, find out how powerful your power bank is and see if it can generate enough electricity for your device.
A portable projector can help you create a lot of good memories with your friends and loved ones. You can make your camping trips more exciting and eliminate all of the boredom.
Besides, it can also come in handy later on if you are doing presentations for the office or school. We hope our review of the best portable camping projectors can help you find the perfect option for your needs. Good luck!