The 2 Best Outdoor Projectors of 2024

Any modestly sized, freestanding projector can work well outdoors for the occasional backyard movie night, provided that you can run power and video to it. But if you’re specifically looking for a more rugged, battery-powered projector to take camping, RVing, and the like, the Nebula Mars 3 stands out for its good brightness, long battery life, and ease of use.

A traditional, non-battery-powered projector like the similarly priced BenQ HT2060 delivers better picture quality and can get brighter overall, so you can pair it with a larger outdoor screen. But its design doesn’t exactly scream “road trip!” like the Mars 3 does.

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Our pick

This portable 1080p projector offers the good brightness, long battery life, and convenient features we want in an outdoor projector, but it’s bulkier than your average portable design.

The Nebula Mars 3 is the brightest battery-powered projector we’ve measured to date. It also has the longest battery life, and its internal speaker sounds more robust than what you get from most competitors. Although this 1080p LED projector can’t compete with the best budget home theater projectors in overall picture quality, it boasts reasonably good contrast and color accuracy for its intended use.

Add in the Android TV streaming platform, automatic image focus, and a wealth of outdoor-friendly features—such as weatherproofing (with an IPX3 rating), drop resistance, a built-in LED lantern, and USB-A and USB-C charging ports for your mobile devices—and you have the best all-around projector for outdoor use.

The downsides: The Mars 3 is pricey and bulky, you have to sideload the Netflix app, and the projector has no direct USB-C video port, so you’ll need to buy an HDMI adapter cable.

Budget pick

This full-featured, battery-powered projector isn’t as bright as our top pick, and its internal speaker can’t play as loud. But it’s a great choice for use in a smaller outdoor area.

If you’re planning to use your outdoor projector with a smaller screen or in a smaller space, such as a covered patio, a deck, or a small campsite, the Nebula Mars 3 Air is a more affordable alternative that shares a lot of DNA with our top pick. This model is our favorite mini projector for indoor use, but it also has the battery power and portable form we want to see in an outdoor projector.

This 1080p LED projector is not really designed for big-screen movie-watching in a large outdoor space. It’s less than half as bright as the Mars 3, and its internal speaker can’t play as loud. But for a more modest setup where everyone is seated within close range of the projector, the Mars 3 Air’s performance should satisfy—and you can easily add a portable Bluetooth speaker for more volume.

The main drawbacks of this model are its lack of weatherproofing and its omission of a USB-C video port. Also, its awkwardly designed underside limits which tripods and mounts you can attach.

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