5 Best Portable Projectors for Camping (Handheld, Battery-Powered)

If you are looking for entertainment to take along for your next camping trip, consider a projector for playing movies and games. There are several projectors available that are suitable for outdoor use. They are designed to withstand the elements and are convenient to use.

The projectors reviewed below would be ideal in any camping situation. The best part is that a projector can be budget-friendly and affordable.

Top 5 Portable Projectors for Camping 

Here are some of the best portable battery-powered projectors for camping options on the market.

1. ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector

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ViewSonic is a highly regarded brand in the industry. Not only do they have a history of producing excellent projectors, but they are also known for affordable prices.

The ViewSonic M1 portable projector is designed for portability. It’s compact and lightweight, which makes it easy to carry on your camping trip. Of course, the Viewsonic isn’t the smallest or lightest option on our list at 4.96 x 5.7 x 1.57 inches and 1.5 lbs, but it’s still small and portable.

Apart from its size, several features make it the perfect projector for outdoor use.

The ViewSonic M1 is a short-throw projector capable of displaying images up to 100 inches from 8 feet away. Furthermore, it has built-in dual Harmon Kardon speakers that deliver the best sound effects.

Additionally, it offers streaming capabilities when you purchase an extra dongle. It means you can easily stream your favorite Netflix, Comcast, DirectTV, or AT&T Uverse shows as long as you are camping in an area with good cellular coverage.

This ViewSonic projector has a battery that can provide you with up to 6 hours of power on a single charge. Its battery makes it one of the longer-lasting options on the list.

Finally, it comes with a built-in smart stand that makes it perfect for projecting at various angles.

Pros

  • Built-in stand to use while outdoors
  • Short-throw projector for big screens
  • Easy setup and controls
  • Offers up to 6 hours of battery life on a single charge
  • Affordable outdoor projector

Cons

  • Offers only 480p resolution
  • 250 ANSI low lumen light bulb is not the brightest

2. AKASO Pocket-sized Mini Projector

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The AKASO mini handheld projector measures at only 5.51  x 2.71 x 0.62 inches and weighs just 0.46 lbs, making it ideal for easy portability. At only 50 ANSI lumens, the AKASO mini projector is best for dark rooms. However, it’s still enough to use outdoors at night.

Additionally, the AKASO mini projector is designed with multiple external connectivity options. The device uses USB and AV to connect to other devices. It also features HDMI and Micro SD ports which makes it easy to watch more than just movies. You can also use this handheld projector to play video games, share photos, and watch your favorite TV series.

The projector can run an entire movie for about two hours on just one charge. If the battery runs low, you can still use it while recharging it. The RGB LED lights of the AKASO mini projector have a service life of approximately 30,000 hours. You can watch movies at 1080p and project images up to 120 inches.

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Long RGB LED light service life
  • Project images up to 120 inches
  • Watch a two-hour movie on a single charge

Cons

  • 50 ANSI lumens isn’t that bright and best for dark rooms

3. Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector

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The Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector is designed for home use and has useful features for most camping trips. The mini projector has a built-in 8W speaker, so you won’t have to pack an extra portable Bluetooth speaker for your trip.

However, if you want to carry a bigger external speaker, the Nebula Capsule II projector has Bluetooth capability. It’s just one of its many connectivity ports on the machine, including Wi-Fi, USB, and HDMI.

The Nebula Capsule II is equipped with 200 ANSI lumens. It can run for 2.5 hours on battery mode or two hours on standard mode. Either way, you can enjoy an entire movie and more on a single charge.

Another standout feature worth mentioning is that you have 400,000+ content options available with the onboard Android TV. In addition, it includes access to dozens of apps, including Hulu, Amazon Prime, and YouTube.

Pros

  • Voice-activated with Google Assistant
  • Offers supersized entertainment from a 40″ display
  • Delivers high-quality images up to 100 inches
  • Extended playtime with 2.5 hours of continuous HD projection

Cons

  • The fan can get a bit loud
  • Nebula app for device is not compatible with the iPhone

4. LG PF50KA Portable CineBeam Projector

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The LG PF50KA Portable Cinebeam mini projector is packed with features that far outweigh most of its competitors in the same category. First, it’s a full HD projector with 1080p images.

Furthermore, the LG PF50KA features 800 ANSI lumens which are more than the other projectors we reviewed. As a result, it’s one of the best projectors for under $1000 for bright rooms and outdoor areas.

The LG CineBeam projector has two HDMI inputs, a USB (Type C and A input), ethernet, and coaxial connections. You can use it with a wide range of images and media sources.

It also offers wireless connectivity along with the iconic LG SmartTV and ScreenShare platform. The lightweight projector weighs only 2.1 lbs. and has a battery that lasts up to 2.5 hours on a single charge.

Pros

  • Features a bright 800 ANSI lumens
  • Built-in 1-watt speakers
  • The battery can run for 2.5 hours on a single charge
  • Offers Full HD and true 1080p high-definition sharpness
  • Several connectivity options for easily playing movies or sharing photos

Cons

  • Expensive

5. KODAK Luma 150 Ultra Mini Pocket Pico Projector

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The KODAK Luma Mini Pocket Projector is ideal for camping and is compatible with your iPhone or Android smartphone. It was designed for easy portability and makes the ultimate multimedia companion for your travels.

The KODAK projector is capable of casting a bright image onto a 150-inch canvas. In addition, it offers Full HD, which allows you to watch movies in 1080p while camping.

Another saleable factor is the multiple connectivity options including, Miracast, Airplay, Wi-Fi, Micro USB, HDMI, and a storage drive. In addition to the sleek and compact design, it also comes with a built-in speaker and a powerful battery that can run for 2.5 hours on a single charge.

Pros

  • Designed for near-universal device compatibility
  • It offers a host of connectivity options for devices
  • Full HD and simple touch controls
  • Equipped with a built-in speaker
  • The battery can run for 2.5 hours on a single charge

Cons

  • It has 60 ANSI lumens, which is on the darker side
  • Copyrighted content from Hulu, Netflix, and similar streaming services cannot be mirrored or screencast

What’s the Best Projector That Works in Daylight?

When you want to view movies or use a projector in daylight, there are a few key factors that you must consider. First, it has to offer at least 2,500 lumens. Lumens determine how bright the images are projected on the screen.

While the recommended number of lumens is 3,600, anything above 2,500 lumens should suffice. You want an outdoor projector that offers the right blend of brightness, color accuracy, and contrast for daylight viewing.

One of the best projectors that work in daylight is the upgraded AuKing with 25600 lumens for under $100.

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What’s the Best Camping Projector Screen?

Just like choosing an outdoor projector for camping, the type of screen you choose helps improve the best viewing experience. Also, the screen size is an important consideration to keep in mind.

Choose a projection screen around 120 inches for camping in a wooded area, outdoor use in your backyard, or a mini drive-in movie.

Using a large screen lets you comfortably watch your movies at 1080p, even using a short throw.

An affordable projection screen is the Keenstone 120-inch 4K for outdoor or indoor use.

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Tips on How to Set Up a Camping Movie Projector

Setting up a camping projector isn’t quite the same as doing it at home. At home, you have plenty of places to put it vs. unlimited space while camping.

Buy the Right Projector

It starts with buying a machine with enough lumens based on your needs. You should consider a projector with 2500 lumens for bright rooms and small lumens in dark rooms.

It also needs to be portable and have enough power to project an entire movie on a single charge if you can’t recharge it with a power source nearby without an outdoor extension cord.

Buy The Right Projector Screen

Most battery-powered camping projectors can project images up to 150-inches. However, that doesn’t mean you need to get a projector screen that is that big. The recommended screen size is 120 inches.

The screen size lets you enjoy 1080p images, even from a short throw outdoor projector.

Bring Bluetooth Speakers

Some outdoor projectors have built-in speakers. However, depending on your preference and the size of the area, you may prefer to use your own portable speakers for movies.

One of the best alternatives is to bring your own Bluetooth speakers to connect to the projector. It will bring more immersive sound for music and watching movies. But, of course, this means you have to buy a projector that offers Bluetooth connectivity.

Finally, you need to find the right stand and distance between the projector and the screen. If it’s too close, the movie picture may be too small. However, if it’s too far, you might get poor picture quality that’s too big for the screen.

What Important Factors Before Buying an Outdoor Projector for Camping?

Here are some of the key factors you need to consider before buying an outdoor projector, including:

Number of Lumens

It should be able to produce images bright enough to enjoy your viewing experience. You’ll probably want a projector with 2,500 lumens or higher.

Battery Life

Consider the power source because portability and battery life go hand in hand. You may not always have a secondary power source available when camping, so you want a projector with good battery life.

The best portable projectors for camping have at least 2 hours of battery life on a single charge.

Native Resolution

Many portable projectors don’t always offer 4K quality for under $2000, but many come close with a native resolution of 1080p.

Throw Distance

The throw distance is how far the projector must be from the screen to provide good picture quality. For example, a short throw projector allows you to view your movies with exceptional clarity from a very short distance.

Best Portable Projectors for Camping Summary

Reviewed here are some of the best camping projectors available on the market today. The best part is that most of them are affordable in price.

Choose one and enjoy your favorite movies under the stars.