Best outdoor projector: 7 top buys for your backyard theatre

The best outdoor projector will bring the big screen to your own backyard this season. See our expert guide for the best buys

best outdoor projector in use in garden with couple laying on floor
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(Image credit: Getty Images)

Looking for an outdoor projector? Then only the best outdoor projector will do. So long as you're under cover, a backyard movie night or holiday staycation can be enjoyed whatever the weather.

We've rounded up the top outdoor projectors below, taking into account cost, image quality, sound, and other factors that will affect your overall experience. The projectors we've chosen are suitable for indoor and outdoor use, just don't forget to bring them inside when you've finished outside because they are NOT weather-resistant.

As you may have seen, outdoor projectors have been in high demand this year with more people looking for fun ways to spend time at home. We've scoured high and low to bring you a selection of highly rated projectors that are still available to buy, so keep scrolling to see our top picks.

Want to keep watching your favorite shows to inside the home? No worries: head over to our best TV guide for budget buys to premium 8K Ultra HD screens.

The best outdoor projectors buys: ranked

BenQ TK850 outdoor projector

(Image credit: BenQ)

1. BenQ TK850 Projector

The best outdoor projector: it ticks all the right boxes for us

Specifications
Lumens: 3000
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Contrast ratio: 30,000:1
Reasons to buy
+Incredibly bright picture+Support for 4K and HDR
Reasons to avoid
-No streaming apps

This projector boasts an amazing 4K resolution, boosted audio, an intense brightness and a focus on sports broadcasts, which really helps it to stand out from the crowded projector market.

True 4K UHD with HDR-PRO

This projector is a top pick for sports enthusiasts, as well as anyone who appreciates a very impressive picture. You can replicate the football games in your living room, or backyard, to create the ultimate stadium experience. This model even comes with Custom Sports modes, with powerful sounds, for that all around home cinema experience.

The HDR-PRO technology works with the 4K HDR to enhance the viewing experience, offering a wider field of contrast to bring out every detail of the scenes as they unfold.

Keystone correction

When the projector must be placed off-center, for example, placing it on a table on uneven ground, the vertical keystone function will adjust the image so it is ideally aligned for viewing.

Chambered speakers

Featuring a powerful 10-watt chambered speaker, this projector will enhance the sound of you games, movies and favorite shows, whether your in or outside the house.

TMY Projector

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. TMY V08 720P Native Projector

Best budget projector: this has been one of the most popular projectors, too

Specifications
Lumens: Info not available
Resolution: 1080P FHD
Contrast ratio: 2000:1
Reasons to buy
+Bright, crisp image+Good audio+Includes foldable / portable projection screen
Reasons to avoid
-Keystone could be more accurate

This is an excellent budget option if you're looking for something to set up for the occasional movie night in the backyard. It has one of the highest ratings on Amazon (4.8 out of 5) with reviewers raving about the image quality, how easy it is to set-up and are impressed with the audio, especially at this price.

Clear, bright image

This compact projector packs a big image. It has a 720P Native Resolution and Full HD 1920 x 1080 Support which will display a clear, dynamic, and realistic reproduction of your media content. 

And it's a bright image at that, too. It's been upgraded to feature 4500 Lux image brightness and, using the latest Eye-Protective technique and Higher-Definition glass lens, dark areas on the 100in screen are minimized for the ultimate immersive viewing experience. 

Smart connections

You can connect your smartphone, tablet and / or Mac to this video projector so you can stream content directly from your device. You'll just need to buy an additional cable to do this, unless you already have one.

Alternatively you can connect to your laptop, DVD player, MicroSD card or USB for playback of your favorite movies, series, and games. The best part? When running your content you can control it from a separate remote control but, as one reviewer points out, you'll need to buy a couple of AA batteries for this, too.

Optoma UHD60 4k outdoor projector

(Image credit: Optoma)

3. Optoma UHD60 3000 Lumens 4K UHD Projector

Best 4K outdoor projector: it is big $$$s, yep, but it could be soo worth it

Specifications
Lumens: 3,000
Resolution: 4K
Contrast ratio: 1,000,000:1
Reasons to buy
+ Boasts stereo speakers + Incredible 4K resolution 
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive-Does not support 3D

If you're looking for the best 4K viewing outdoors, and you're prepared to pay the hefty price tag, then this is the projector for you.

Enjoy a truly stunning visual experience

For your money, you're guaranteed to receive stunning 4K quality and incredible color contrasting. This means enjoying your favorite film and TV series in the best possible quality. 

And impressive sound

As well as a stunning visual experience, this model also boasts impressive stereo sound. This is where the Optoma UHD60 really makes an impression compared with other models on the market.

Arguably, this is the kind of stereo you buy for your cinema room (it’s hard to justify the outlay otherwise), but when you want to benefit from the full 4K quality of your Blu-ray DVDs outside, this is the kind of money you’re going to have to spend.  

DBPOWER L21 LCD Video Projector

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. DBPOWER L21 LCD Video Projector

Best video projector for audio: this Full HD projector has a Hi-Fi stereo sound, which is great even when outdoors

Specifications
Lumens: 5000
Resolution: 1920x1080p
Contrast ratio: 3000:1
Reasons to buy
+High brightness+Excellent stereo sound+Compatible with your smartphone+Easy to set up
Reasons to avoid
-Fan is a little noisy

With a brightness upgrade and dual stereo speakers, this projector from DBPower gets our vote for the best projector for audio outdoors.

Image quality

With a brightness upgrade from 4200Lux to 5000Lux, the DBPOWER L21 offers an incredible image clarity with bright, bold colors and deep, dark hues which will rival  comparable projectors on the market.

It also features a native resolution 1280*720p and 1920*1080p supported, and the latest LED source technology, without inflicting the same optical harm as TVs, laptops, and tablets.

Hi-Fi stereo sound

Boasting integrated dual stereo speakers you'll have a surround sound style experience, even outdoors, which makes it an awesome choice for parties (post-lockdown) and movies nights. 

outdoor projector

(Image credit: Benq)

5. BenQ HT2050A 1080P Home Theater Projector

Best mid-range outdoor projector: everything you need with a reasonable price tag

Specifications
Lumens: 2200
Resolution: 800 x 600
Contrast ratio: FHD 1080p
Reasons to buy
+Dramatic on-screen visuals+10W x 1 MaxxAudio+Vertical + horizontal keystone
Reasons to avoid
-Some reviewers complained about black levels

If you're looking for an outdoor projector from a top brand at a price that won't set you back thousands, this BenQ projector is a popular model that's half the price of our top pick.

Enjoy your favorite films in 3D

Calibrated for cinematic color, this projector is perfect for watching films, and with 3D compatibility you can even watch your favorite characters pop out in your backyard, too.

Impressive sound system

The projector comes with powerful 10W MaxxAudio speakers installed. With both HDMI and USB imports, this projector is great for Blu-rays and smart sticks.

VANKYO LEISURE 3

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. VANKYO LEISURE 3 Projector

Best mini outdoor projector: it may be small but it packs a mighty home theater experience

Specifications
Lumens: 2400
Resolution: 1920*1080P
Contrast ratio: 2000:1
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful, clear picture+Quick and easy to set up+Projects a large screen
Reasons to avoid
-Requires a dark room (or for the sun to be fully set) for the best performance

This projector has flown off the shelves and we're not sure when it'll be back in stock. If / when it is, our handy widget will show you where it is available to buy for the best price.

If you're looking for a portable projector to use around your house or backyard then this projector from Vankyo should fit the bill.

Big, bright picture

This 2019 model underwent a tech update, so it now projects a 6 percent brighter picture than what it achieved before. It's also been updated with the 2018 revolutionary renewed 2400 lumens for an incredible picture quality.

You can choose to watch your favorite movies on any screen sizes from 32in, right up to a massive 170in. And you can pretty much position it anywhere within viewing range thanks to a projection distance of between 4.9ft to 16.4ft.

Smart connections

Set up is mega easy with a HDMI lightening cable for iPhone, plus a MHL cable for Android, although you will have to buy these separately to take advantage of the connection.

Alternatively you can easily stream content from the Amazon Fire TV stick, video consoles, PCs, laptops (etc) with the HDMI input.

GooDee Upgraded video projector

(Image credit: Amazon)

7. GooDee Upgraded Video Projector

Best outdoor projector if you're looking for an entry level: the upgraded brightness makes the image bigger and brighter than ever before

Specifications
Lumens: 300
Resolution: 1080p
Contrast ratio: 3000: 1
Reasons to buy
+Good picture quality+Easy to set up
Reasons to avoid
-Lea

This projector is another good option if budget is tight, and it comes highly recommended on Amazon with reference to an easy setup and good picture quality, too.

Upgraded brightness

This model is an upgrade from one of the best selling projectors at GooDee, and they've upgraded the lumens to make it a whole lot brighter. Together with the 3000: 1 contrast ratio and wider viewing, you'll be able to enjoy this bigger, brighter image in low light or in an outdoor spot like the backyard.

Large viewing screen range

This projector works on a wide variety of screen sizes, with viewing screen range of 44"-230", at distances of 4. 9ft - 18ft. It works optimally with a 98" screen at a distance of 10 ft. away. 

Get connected

This video projector can easily connect to a range of devices: Amazon Fire Stick, Chromecast, PC, laptop, tablet, and so on, via the HDMI, USB, VGA and AV ports. (Phew! That's a lot of entertainment coverage, right there!) So, with this in mind, you can not only stream content from a range of devices but you could also set up some surround sound with 2 built-in 3W speakers, too.


How to choose the best outdoor projector 

When it comes to choosing the best outdoor projector to suit your needs, there are a few factors worth careful consideration.

Image quality

For a projector to provide a quality image outside, 2,000 lumens is the lowest you can go in terms of brightness. Outdoor projectors should also playback in at least HD resolution to ensure the picture is of reasonable quality.

Screen

Aside from those fairly important tech specs, consider whether you’ll need to purchase a screen or whether the side of the house or your garage door will do. 

Film source and sound

Consider the source of your film – will you need to bring a laptop or games console outside? Many outdoor projectors have limited volume so some good outdoor speakers will also always help, especially if you are broadcasting to a crowd. Browse our list of the best outdoor speakers to connect with your projector.

Also note: most outdoor projectors are not compatible with Dolby Digital, so if you find that you're having trouble with sound, turn off Dolby Digital on your device.

What is the best outdoor projector?

To recap... if you want the best outdoor projector (in our opinion) then we wouldn't hesitate to buy the BenQ TK850 Projector. It has an out-of-this-world 4K resolution, boosted audio, an intense brightness and a focus on sports broadcasts so, really, it has the complete package for a fab movie marathon in the backyard.

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