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The 4 Best Outdoor Projectors - Spring 2024 Reviews

Best Outdoor Projectors

If you're looking for the best projectors to take outdoors, many options are available depending on your needs. Are you looking for a unit for your patio or to take with you on a camping trip? For a patio projector you can take inside when the weather turns sour, you'll want a projector that offers great image quality with many smart features and isn't too unwieldy to carry inside and back. Inversely, if you want to take the projector with you on a trip to the woods, then size and weight are the primary factors, as well as having an internal battery. The smaller projectors on this list can't compete with the bigger units in terms of image quality, but some small portable models provide a decent viewing experience. Ultimately, your choice of an outdoor projector will vary greatly based on context, so the products on this list cover a variety of uses.

We've bought and tested more than 35 projectors, and below, you'll find the best outdoor-friendly projectors to buy. If you want to carry your projector with you and don't necessarily need it to be used outdoors, look at our best portable projector recommendations. Or, if you're shopping at a price point, read our best projectors under $500 and best projectors under $1,000 lists. You can also vote on which ones you want us to purchase next and test.

  1. Best Outdoor Projector

    If you're looking for the best outdoor projector for your patio, look up the XGIMI HORIZON Ultra. This model has many smart features and has Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 support. It also offers great image quality, as its brightness is impressive, good enough to overcome a few lights on the patio on a dark night. If you wish to turn off the lights instead, the unit has very good contrast, even if it doesn't have the inkiest blacks. It's well-calibrated out of the box and projects colorful images with its wide color gamut. Plus, it supports HDR, so this is truly a fully-featured projector.

    The unit is also relatively lightweight compared to other products in its category; at a rather compact 11.2 pounds, it's light enough that you can bring it outside for an evening on the patio and then bring it back in before the weather turns sour. Of course, you'll need an outlet on your patio or a long extension cable, as the unit doesn't have an integrated battery. Its portability is further enhanced by its extensive image correction features, as it has full auto keystone correction with object avoidance, autofocus, and intelligent screen alignment, so it's a breeze to set up once you take it outside. Its Android TV 11 OS has Chromecast and AirScreen built-in for easy casting from your phone, and it has two 12W Harman/Kardon speakers in case you don't wish to connect the unit to a soundbar. All these features make this the best projector for outdoor movies.

    See our review

  2. Best Portable Outdoor Projector

    The best outdoor movie projector you can easily carry is the XGIMI Halo+. It's compact and weighs 3.7 pounds, so it conveniently fits into a backpack. The built-in battery ensures up to 2.5 hours of continuous playback, which lasts long enough for most movies except the very longest, so you don't need an outlet to watch a movie with this model. The projector boasts various image correction features like full auto keystone, autofocus, intelligent screen alignment, and obstacle avoidance, so it adjusts its image geometry automatically when you move it or when you're projecting on an uneven surface, like the side of a tent. The XGIMI Halo+ features the Android TV smart interface, supports Chromecast and AirScreen, and comes equipped with Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 capabilities, so you can easily connect the device to your phone's Wi-Fi hotspot to stream your favorite shows on the go. The two 5W Harman/Kardon speakers also mean you won't need to carry a Bluetooth speaker when out on a camping trip.

    While dim, it's still significantly brighter than other battery-powered ultra-portables, so its 1080p image is pleasant (if unspectacular) when the lights are off, especially with its great contrast. The projector also supports a wide color gamut and HDR, although its brightness just isn't good enough to take full advantage of these features. If you ever want to connect external devices to the projector, the XGIMI Halo+ offers one HDMI port, which doubles as an eARC port, and a USB port for playing video files directly from the unit. Ultimately, if you're looking for a high-quality projector for outdoor adventures, especially if you're in remote areas, the XGIMI Halo+ is the best product you can get.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Outdoor Projector

    If you're looking for an affordable outdoor projector, consider the Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01. While lacking HDR support, it projects a bright 1280 x 800 resolution image, ideal for daytime use, although no projector truly excels in handling bright daylight outdoors. Despite this limitation, the projector stands out for movie watching. Its vibrant image makes content pop, particularly on dark and gloomy days. However, its contrast falls short, causing blacks to appear gray; this projector is better suited to impressing in dimly lit conditions instead of pitch black ones, which is good for outdoor use as nights aren't typically pitch black due to the presence of ambient lights or moonlight.

    Similar to the XGIMI HORIZON Ultra, this model isn't technically portable. Still, its 5.4-pound weight makes it relatively light for carrying around, although it necessitates a power outlet due to the absence of an internal battery. Unlike the Ultra, it lacks auto keystone correction and autofocusing, requiring manual adjustments for any geometry issues. Furthermore, it lacks a smart operating system, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, making an external streaming dongle essential. It only has one integrated 5W speaker, so pairing it with a soundbar or Bluetooth speaker is recommended when using a streaming dongle. The projector includes a USB-B port for PC control and can project certain file formats via its USB-A port. Still, it is notably limited in ports, offering only one HDMI port. Despite its minimal features, the Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01 remains a compelling choice for a budget outdoor unit, offering solid performance at an affordable price.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Portable Outdoor Projector

    If you're searching for an affordable, portable outdoor projector that still delivers satisfactory image quality, consider the XGIMI MoGo 2—a compact option that won't break the bank. This 2.4-pound projector is exceptionally small, making it easy to throw into your backpack. While lacking an internal battery, it supports external charging via power banks through its USB-C port, making it an ideal companion for camping trips. This projector incorporates several image correction features, including full auto keystone, autofocus, intelligent screen alignment, and obstacle avoidance, ensuring seamless adjustments to its image geometry whenever you reposition it. It has many smart features, including its built-in Android TV 11 smart interface, Chromecast, and AirScreen support. Additionally, it comes equipped with Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 capabilities for versatile connectivity. To complete the package, this projector boasts two built-in 8W speakers, so it's quite easy to take outdoors.

    Unfortunately, the projector is very dim, so you can only really use it at night, and even then, it's not exactly the most vibrant viewing experience possible. Trying to use this projector when sitting next to an active firepit can be a frustrating experience. Fortunately, its contrast, though mediocre, is sufficient for an acceptable dark night viewing experience. Despite having a wide color gamut and HDR support, the projector can't really exploit these features due to its insufficient brightness. Unlike the other picks, this unit only projects a 720p image, so it doesn't look as sharp, but then again, no image will be sharp when projected onto the side of a tent. Ultimately, you get this projector because of its price, not its image quality. If cheap and portable is what you're after, it's hard to beat this model.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • BenQ X3000i: The BenQ X3000i is a great outdoor projector. It offers slightly better image quality than the XGIMI HORIZON Ultra due to its slightly better contrast and image accuracy, although the XGIMI is marginally brighter. The XGIMI is far easier to take outside than the BenQ due to its lighter weight, full suite of image correction features, and more modern wireless connectivity options. See our review
  • Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12: The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 is a decent small option for the patio with its satisfactory image quality and complete feature set. However, the Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01 is much brighter, cheaper, and light enough to be taken outside easily. See our review
  • Epson Home Cinema 1080: The Epson Home Cinema 1080 is one of the best values at its price point, but for outdoor use, it gets overshadowed by the lighter and cheaper Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01. While the Home Cinema 1080 offers better image quality, the Flex is brighter, which is important when used outdoors. See our review
  • Epson Home Cinema 3800: The Epson Home Cinema 3800 offers slightly better image quality than the XGIMI HORIZON Ultra due to its higher peak brightness and better color accuracy. However, it's a rather large projector with no wireless connectivity options or smart features, and the lighter XGIMI has a full suite of image correction features and modern wireless connectivity options, making it far easier to take outside. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Apr 09, 2024: Verified our picks for availability and further emphasized the outdoor chops of some of our picks.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best projectors to take outdoors for most people to buy. We factor in the price (a cheaper projector wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no projectors that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of the best outdoor-friendly projectors. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no projector is perfect, many are good enough for most uses; however, avoid the worst models to ensure adequate quality.