Heading into the Great Outdoors is all about being amazed. Fantastic experiences are awaiting just outside your front door. However, you can have a brilliant experience outdoors without leaving all the technology behind. Imagine setting up your tent, preparing a whole Site, and then relaxing with your kids or your partner to watch your favorite movie. You could enjoy the incredible atmosphere of your campsite a hand the best entertainment on the planet through your phone, tablet or DVD player. Let us help you find the best mini projector for camping!
Maybe some camping purists won’t like this as an idea. For some, the campsite is a safe place to retreat from technology. More power to them! Other people would really enjoy watching a great film during the next camping trip. Kids love movies. They would be amazed to sit out under the stars enjoying their favorite movie.
Why take a projector camping?
While there are many reasons to leave all your gadgets at home, there are a few reasons to take some of them with you.
- First, watching a movie outdoors is a novel experience. People of a certain age can remember going to drive in movie theatres. There is something magical about watching a movie in wide open spaces.
- Second, many people who choose camping projectors also have kids. This form of entertainment is brilliant for children. After a long day of playing, hiking, and adventuring, your kids could curl up with a steaming mug of hot chocolate and watch a family movie.
- Finally, it’s nice when people compliment you. Imagine the envy from other campers at the site when they see you and your family watching a film together. You will receive loads of positive feedback from other families. You might even have a few extra children for the next film night!
It’s important to remember how you’re going to use your projector. It is going to be outside. It is going to be off the grid. It is going to be packed and unpacked many times.
With these uses in mind, there are three main features to look for in a camping projector.
- The most important part of your watching experience is the picture. A dim picture or a blurry picture will produce a rubbish movie time. You can look for projectors with a high lumen level. Lumens are a measure of a projector’s brightness level. The higher this number is, the brighter the picture will be.
- Another important consideration is power. Unless you’re camping with a generator or an electrical connection, your projector needs a battery. The life of that battery will decide how many episodes of your favourite show you can watch before everything goes dark. Choose a projector with a long battery life.
- The final measure of a good camping projector is its durability. Durability is affected by build quality, size, and packaging. A large, chunky projector is going to be harder to protect than a small, compact projector. Likewise, a projector made of flimsy plastic will be much easier to break than one with a higher material quality. The projector’s case should protect it during transport.
Best Camping Projectors
We have compiled a list of the five most amazing camping projectors on the market. These aren’t the cheapest options, but they can be relied upon to make your outdoor cinema experience absolutely brilliant!
1. WOWOTO P5
The WOWOTO P5 is a mini beast in the camping projector world. The picture is one of the brightest on the market. A huge battery bank will set you up for long binge sessions on Netflix or Prime Video. Beautiful build quality ensures a long life for this beast.
Let’s start with the picture. The most important feature is the level of brightness. The P5 produces a brilliant 3500 lumens. Many office and school projectors produce the same amount. With this level of brightness, you can watch movies and shows during the day or at night. All pictures and videos should be easy to see.
The P5 also supports image resolution up to 1080p. This is great for playing high-definition videos. The maximum screen resolution is 1280 x 800. These stats mean the P5 should be able to handle whatever film or TV series you want to watch.
There is power to spare built into the P5 as well. The battery holds a 15,600 mAh charge. Long movies are no problem because the projector will play movies for between five and six hours on a single charge. You could even recharge your iPhone X more than five times!
Two speakers are mounted at either end of the tubular design. In the middle, the projector’s lens is covered by a sliding protective cover. The build quality is really high and this beast should tolerate being thrown into the car for many weekend trips.
2. ApeMan Portable Projector
Big movies need big sound. The ApeMan Portable Projector delivers awesome sound in a small, clever package. The picture is also brighter than 70% of other projectors.
Sound quality is a big deal when watching movies and TV shows. Explosions and exciting moments should sound dramatic. Dramatic whispers and dialogue should still be audible without straining. The ApeMan packs two 3 Watt speakers into its frame. Volume and clarity are no problem. In addition to playing movies, this device can function as a bluetooth speaker when music is all you want.
The picture isn’t less important than the sound. The ApeMan boasts a truly awesome 4000 lumen display brightness. Dim conditions will be great but this powerful picture will show up even in the daytime. The contrast ratio is a little lower than other projectors, but most people will never notice.
The battery life is okay, but not the best on the market. A single charge provides up to 2.5 hours of watching time. The 5,500 mAh battery shouldn’t take too long to charge. It won’t power any of your other devices, though.
Compact design means easy packaging. Easy packaging means better protection. The ApeMan Portable Projector achieves this very well. Its dimensions are about 4”x4”x4”. It’s only a little bigger than a Rubik’s Cube!
3. Anker Nebula Mars II
There are so many things to like about the Nebula Mars II. Do you start with the nice autofocus feature? Perhaps the built-in Android 7.1 is calling out to you? Maybe the dual 10W speakers are begging for your attention? Whatever you like, this projector has nearly all of it!
The picture quality is fantastic due to the 720p DLP projection clarity. DLP projectors produce a very clear picture and render colors brilliantly. The brightness level is 300 ANSI Lumens. This means you can watch in low light or dark. Full daylight may produce a washed out image. The image ratio is 16:9, which is a standard widescreen ratio. The Nebula Mars II also has a single-second autofocus for clear pictures without knob fiddling.
One of the best features of this mini projector is its sound. Anker produce some of the best bluetooth speakers on the market. They have incorporated two 10W speakers into this beauty. The sound will be loud and clear for everyone in your campsite to hear.
Portability is a big deal for camping projectors. Anker have included one small detail most other manufacturers have missed: a strap. It’s so simple! The strap makes carrying the projector feel much more secure. The rest of the projector is put together nicely and should survive many trips in and out of the car and tent.
4. Cocar Mini Projector
Cocar brings you a very cute little projector for your next camping trip. The Cocar Mini Projector is small, lightweight and produces a good image for its size.
Weighing in at just over half a pound, the Cocar projector is seriously light. It is about as long as two credit cards put next to each other and as wide as a single card. It’s only .7 inches thick. This projector is not much bigger than some people’s tablets!
The picture is great within its intended purpose. This is not a home theater system projector. Instead, for camping or impromptu family movie nights, the Cocar Mini Projector will do the job very well. The advertised lumen level is 100. While this sounds low, it is very good for a projector this small. Watching movies in the dark or at dusk will be no problem.
One disadvantage to this projector is its lack of speakers. You’ll need to bring your own speakers and a cable or bluetooth device to connect them.
Most movies last for two hours or a little more. The Cocar Mini Projector’s battery life is slightly more than two and half hours. This makes it perfect for a camping movie night or family binge session. It’s not going to charge all your other devices but it will play a few episodes of Game of Thrones. What could be more epic than watching a fantasy adventure under the stars?
5. ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector
Rounding out our list of the most amazing camping projectors is the ViewSonic Portable Projector. This stylish portable projector has some awesome features and can be found at low, low prices on Amazon.
The ViewSonic sets itself apart from other projectors with its short throw lens. It is designed to provide a bigger picture at shorter distances to the projection surface. This makes it ideal for use in smaller family tents and even kids’ bedrooms. The picture is very bright at 250 ANSI lumens. A shorter throw distance makes the most efficient use of image brightness because less light is lost.
The image resolution is a little lower than other projectors on the market. However, with a shorter throw distance, any image distortion is minimized. Another great image feature is the auto keystone function. Because of this, you can project at many different angles without your movie looking like a pyramid on the tent wall.
The ViewSonic also comes with dual Harmon Kardan speakers. These provide clear sound capable of filling small rooms and tents.
One accessory is sold separately but we recommend it highly. Buy the M1’s stand. This little beauty is designed for the M1 and doubles as a lens cap. Once the projector is rotated so the stand covers the lens, it automatically switches off. This adds durability and convenience all at once.
What Else Should You Know?
Projectors come with different connectivity options. You will want to investigate the best connection for your use. Some of these have built-in operating systems – usually Android. Others use an HDMI connection and can hook straight into your phone or tablet. They are designed to be use-friendly so you shouldn’t run into any problems!