What are the Top 3 Outdoor Projectors?

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Reviewed By

Evan Shephard

(ISF Certified)

True Score Methodology



Reviews Analyzed

Updated Jun 21, 2024 2:10 PM


best outdoor projector guide that shows the top best projector model

A whopping 75% of electronic and appliance reviews are untrustworthy. That’s why every reviewer gets a Trust Rating so our True Score System filters out the fake reviews. See how we do it.

An outdoor movie projector lets you get that theater experience anywhere—even in your backyard. Look for key features like portability, high brightness, and durable build quality. Additionally, ensure over 90% DCI P3 or Rec.709 color gamut coverage for vibrant colors and a minimum resolution of 1080p for detailed images. In our evaluation, three projectors stood out from over 28 evaluated.

While we would like to include more data from reviews, not enough reviewers actually tested the projectors. To address this, we relied on our science-based Trust Rating and True Score system to analyze 10,104 reviews. This unique approach helps us filter out unreliable and low-quality reviews, ensuring that the products we recommend are truly reliable based on the available information. The top projectors demonstrated high performance and reliability, making them ideal for outdoor use.

How Did We Rank the Best Outdoor Projectors?

Our buying guide for the best outdoor projectors is based on an exhaustive analysis of over 200 websites, combining expert reviews, testing methods, and customer feedback. While we aimed to include extensive data, not enough reviewers actually tested the projectors. Therefore, we relied heavily on our Trust Rating and True Score system to filter out unreliable sources. Our process identified 1 must-have specification. This rigorous approach ensures our recommendations are precise, reliable, and tailored to your needs.

Our commitment to unbiased reviews is powered by our ‘True Score’ system, targeting low quality and fake reviews. When you shop through our links, you’re backing our mission. Dive deeper to see how.

?️ Minimum Specifications

  • Must be portable.

Latest Updates

  • 06/21/2024: Republished the list to include the best outdoor projectors based on our True Score system.

Top Outdoor Projectors For 2024

Prices accurate at the time of publishing

See how we test the testers

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Anker Capsule 3

    • Best For Outdoor

    The Anker Capsule 3 impresses with its portability and large screen capability. It is perfect for those seeking a high-quality, versatile outdoor projector that delivers 1080p resolution across various entertainment needs, though it does come at a premium price.

    Anker Capsule 3 Review →

    True Score





    SAVE $50


    Reasons to Buy

    • Good image quality for size
    • Reasonably low input lag

    Reasons to Avoid

    • Poor brightness levels
    • No Netflix app


    ResolutionResolution1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
    Refresh Rate60 Hz
    Display TechnologyDisplay TechnologyDLP
    Contrast RatioContrast Ratio500:1
    Digital KeystoneDigital KeystoneYes
    Max DistanceMax Distancen/a
    Max Screen SizeMax Screen Size120"
    3D Ready3D ReadyNo
    Aspect RatioAspect Ratio16:9
    BrightnessBrightness300 ANSI Lumens
    HDMI TypeHDMI TypeHDMI 2.1
    Integrated SpeakersIntegrated SpeakersYes
    Light SourceLight SourceLaser
    Light Source LifeLight Source Life30,000 hrs
    Min DistanceMin Distancen/a
    Min Screen SizeMin Screen Size60"
    Noise LevelNoise Level32 dB
    Smart FunctionalitySmart FunctionalityAndroid TV, Bluetooth, Google Assistant, Google Cast, Remote, Wi-Fi
    Sync TechnologySync Technologyn/a
    TV TunerTV TunerNo
    ThrowTypeThrowTypeShort Throw
    Video InputsVideo InputsHDMI, USB
    WeightWeight2.1 lbs

    All Specs

    Test Results

    SDR Brightness (Lumens)175
    Contrast Ratio (x:y)138
    Input Lag (ms)22
    Color Gamut % (Rec. 709)92
    Color Gamut % (DCI P3 uv)75
    Color Gamut % (Rec. 2020)56
    SDR Color Temperature (K)6,863

    All Tests

    All Retailers

    • $749.99
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    • $799.99


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    Our Verdict

    The Anker Capsule 3 is a lightweight, portable projector with a maximum screen size of over 120 inches. It is ideal for creating a cinematic experience right in your backyard. Equipped with a 1080p resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio, the Anker Capsule 3 delivers crisp, clear images that stay true to the content’s original format.

    Beyond traditional movie watching, the Anker Capsule 3 is versatile enough to cater to streaming and gaming needs, thanks to its smart functionality. With built-in apps and multiple connectivity options, including HDMI and USB ports, it adapts well to streaming high-resolution video games and live sports, making it a great all-around entertainment tool for any outdoor setting, including projecting onto a garage door.

    The small form factor is great for portability, and its performance punches way above its weight (literally). However, it’s still held back by the fact that small projectors have to compromise somewhere, which is in the 1080p resolution. If you were hoping for 4K quality, you’d be better off looking for a full-size projector.

    The Capsule’s biggest drawback is its price. Still, despite the high cost, it is a truly portable keyboard with a comprehensive feature set that supports a wide range of outdoor activities, from video gaming sessions to binge-watching series under the stars.

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Kodak Luma 350

    • Best For Mini

    Ideal for outdoor adventurers and mobile presenters, the Kodak Luma 350 combines ultra-portability with decent video quality and a massive screen potential, making it great for leisure and professional use.

    Kodak Luma 350 Review →

    True Score






    Did you know 82% of projector reviewers are untrustworthy?

    Our research found only 16 of 86 projector reviewers as of July 2024 can be trusted. This is why Gadget Review is committed to calculating the most accurate product scores on the web.

    To do this, we give every projector review site a Trust Rating, which measures how trustworthy the site and their testing claims are. We then leverage AI & a machine learning model to combine and calculate the Trust Rating with data from experts and consumers to deliver the True Score, the web’s most accurate product quality rating.


    Projector Reviews Analyzed


    Total Products Analyzed

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Optoma ML1080

    The Optoma ML1080 delivers high-quality visuals with great brightness and 3D support. It is suitable for outdoor entertainment and professional presentations and offers robust performance in a portable package.

    Optoma ML1080 Review →

    True Score





    SAVE $88


    When selecting a leading projector for a classroom, prioritize brightness and clarity to ensure content is visible even in well-lit environments. For creative professionals, a great projector for artists offers accurate color reproduction and high resolution, making it ideal for detailed work. Budget-conscious buyers can find a cheap projector that still delivers decent performance for everyday use.

    To understand how to watch projector during the day, look for models with high lumens to combat ambient light. For gamers, the best projector for gaming provides low input lag and high refresh rates. Consider Samsung projectors for their advanced features and reliability. If you’re looking for value, explore the top projectors under $1000, which offer a great balance of quality and affordability.

Our Trusted Data Sources

We looked at 86+ projector reviewers and found that 16 are trustworthy (60%+ Trust Rating). The three we have listed below are our most trusted for projector.

  1. Pierre-Olivier Jourdenais – Rtings, LinkedIn
  2. Geoffrey Morrison – CNET, MuckRack
  3. Kam Valentine – Projector Reviews, MuckRack

Interested in a comprehensive analysis of our data sources? We’ve got you covered. Below, you’ll find a detailed list of every projector review website we’ve identified, organized by their respective Trust Ratings from highest to lowest. But we didn’t stop there. We’ve meticulously reviewed each publication and verified the data by checking whether the authors have bio links to MuckRack or LinkedIn. We’re committed to not only checking the facts but ensuring their veracity.

Projector Specifications, Test Data & Results


Projectors are complex and difficult to test and evaluate, requiring extensive testing on the same level as televisions to paint a complete picture of how any given unit performs. Unfortunately, the testing behind projectors isn’t as rigorous, and a lot of the data we’ve compiled from expert reviewers has been incomplete at times. With different brightnesses measured from different sources, different color gamut tested and spotty contrast ratio measurements, we’ve done the best we can to leverage the available data when putting together these lists but have also trusted our True Score to help us make decisions when the data isn’t available.

1. Brightness (Lumens) Specifications

Projectors have two ways you can realistically measure brightness: in lumens or in nits. Lumens are more common, but brightness in general matters because projectors have to project light strongly enough that it overcomes ambient light without losing detail or color.

Most of the time, a projector is going to be used in a fairly dark room to help give the unit the best chance of displaying content the way it was intended, but higher lumens output let you watch content in progressively bright spaces – or across longer distances on bigger screens. For standard dynamic range content, we recommend at least 1000 lumens for most home applications, but more isn’t a bad thing, and 3000 lumens or more are ideal.

Brightness (Lumens; higher is better; 0 = No Data)

2. Height Specifications

Mini projectors have to actually be “portable”mini”, and one way to confirm that is by looking at the measurements of the projector. Height gives you a decent idea of where you can set a projector, particularly if you want to stow it in a bag or place it on a set of shelves.

We don’t have a specific recommended size for height; you simply need the projector be short enough to suit your needs, which varies depending what kind of storage solution you have for the projector.

Height (Inches; 0 = No Data)

3. Width Specifications

Width is just as important as height when it comes to mini projectors. Get too wide and you’ll run into significant issues with being able to place the projector wherever you want, which is the whole point of getting a mini projector.

We don’t have a recommended size for width; you just need the projector to have a small enough footprint that you can put it wherever you want to or need to.

Width (Inches; 0 = No Data)

4. Noise Level Specifications

Projectors make noise when they’re running, and if the noise level is high, it’s going to start cutting into the content you’re watching. This is distracting, so the quieter a projector can run, the better.

That said, there’s no real “ideal” noise level for your projector, it just shouldn’t exceed 40 dB. For reference, a typical conversation is about 60 dB.

Noise Level (dB; 0 = No Data)

5. Maximum Screen Size Specifications

Projectors can produce images of varying sizes, and the maximum screen size is as the name suggests: the maximum size screen a projector can output. Anything larger and you start to lose focus and quality.

We don’t recommend a maximum screen size for most applications unless you’re trying to use a projector for a church or outdoors on something like a garage wall. Generally speaking, you should opt for a maximum screen size that is no larger than what you’d realistically try to project. You don’t have to avoid projectors with large screen sizes, but there’s no reason to pay extra if, for example, that’s the only difference between the two choices you’ve narrowed things down to.

Maximum Screen Size(inches; 0 = No Data)

Best Outdoor Projectors: Mistakes To Avoid

  1. Ignoring Brightness Requirements: Outdoor environments typically have higher ambient light levels compared to indoor settings. Ignoring brightness (measured in lumens) can result in washed-out or barely visible images. Choose a projector with high brightness levels to ensure clear visibility, even in well-lit environments, like outdoors.

  2. Not Considering Weather Resistance: Outdoor projectors are exposed to various weather conditions such as rain, humidity, dust, and temperature fluctuations. Neglecting weather resistance can lead to damage and decreased longevity. Look for projectors with an IP rating for water and dust resistance, or consider using weatherproof enclosures for added protection. When deciding between an outdoor TV and a projector, consider that outdoor TVs often come with built-in weather resistance, while projectors may require additional protective measures. However, projectors can offer larger screen sizes and more flexibility in placement, making them a great choice for creating a cinematic outdoor experience.

  3. Resolution Mismatch: Outdoor screens tend to be larger than indoor screens, requiring higher-resolution projectors for crisp and clear images. Ensure the projector’s resolution matches the size of the outdoor screen to avoid pixelation and reduced clarity, especially for text and fine details. For the best results, consider using a 4K projector, which provides exceptional detail and clarity, making it ideal for large outdoor screens.

  4. Lack of Portability: Outdoor events may require moving the projector to different locations or venues. Neglecting portability can make it challenging to transport and set up the projector effectively. Choose a lightweight and portable projector for outdoor use, or consider factors like handle design and carrying cases for easy transport. Additionally, a short-throw projector can be beneficial for outdoor events, as it allows you to project large images from a short distance, making setup easier and more flexible in various environments. Short-throw projectors are particularly useful in limited spaces, ensuring you can achieve a big-screen experience without needing a lot of room.

The Best Outdoor Projectors Tests & Specs Compared

True Score
Noise Level
Max Screen Size

Anker Capsule 3

  • Best for Mini

  • 300 ANSI Lumens

  • 6.7"

  • 3.2"

  • 32 dB

  • 120"


Kodak Luma 350

  • Best for Golf Simulator

  • 350 lumens

  • 1.25"

  • 4.45"

  • 30 dB

  • 200"


Optoma ML1080

  • Best for Outdoor

  • 1200 Lumens

  • 2.6"

  • 6.18"

  • 28 dB

  • 100"


Outdoor Projector Questions (FAQ)

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