The Best Outdoor Projector Screens (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
The best outdoor projector screens for screening movies absolutely anywhere
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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON April 5, 2021
Trying to create a movie theater experience at home? Want to watch your favorite movies in your backyard, enjoying the atmosphere under the stars? It’s possible — and it’s a lot easier to do than you’d think. You just need an outdoor projector screen. Setting up an outdoor projector screen is easy, and it gives you a whole new way to watch anything, from movies to TV shows to DIY slideshows. They’re the newest way to create an epic theater and viewing experience right at home, all without extensive special equipment. As long as you have a projector and an outdoor projection screen, you can sit back and take in your favorite films on a big screen in your own backyard. Available in different materials, sizes, and resolutions, there’s a bunch of cool screens to choose from. You can discover our picks for the best outdoor projector screens right here.
A highly versatile yet incredibly lightweight outdoor screen you can carry and use anywhere.
- Can mount, hang, or stand in many ways
- Quality resolution and picture
- Durable material
- Must be pulled taut to eliminate wrinkles
An affordable, high-quality screen that’s great for HD, UHD, and 4K resolutions.
- Wrinkle-free, no matter how it’s folded
- Bright, reflective, and crisp
- Easy setup
- Material is a bit see-through
A large standalone outdoor screen that makes for a true theater experience anywhere.
- Sets up in just 5 minutes
- Can project on front or back of screen
- Works even in the rain
- Wind can be a serious problem
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of an Outdoor Projector Screen
- Versatile. You can use an outdoor projector screen just about anywhere — in your backyard, by the pool, or even on your garage door. Many of these screens can also be used indoors, giving you total versatility in how and where you set up your movie nights.
- Great for guests and groups. When you’re entertaining, there’s no better way to show movies, TV shows, and other video clips or media than an outdoor projection screen. These screens offer large viewing angles that can be seen from just about anywhere, and they’re big enough to make group viewings easy.
- Portability. Outdoor projection screens are wonderfully portable. Most basic screens can fold down compactly and be carried and set up anywhere. Inflatable options are just as portable, giving you the ability to bring your entire screen setup with you.
- Simple setup. Convenience and ease is what outdoor projection screens are all about. Straightforward, simple setup makes any screen a great choice, as you can create a large movie viewing screen anywhere in just minutes with these handy products.
Types of Outdoor Projector Screens
Hanging Projector Screens
Hanging outdoor projector screens are one of the most popular types available. These simple screens are made from sheets of material, and they typically measure up to 120 inches in size. They’re lightweight and easy to set up anywhere — but you do need to have a way to hang the screen. Most hanging screens feature grommets that allow you to rig a viewing area on a stand, on a wall, or even from your garage door. These screens can easily be set up and taken down in no time, and they’re one of the most affordable choices.
Inflatable Projector Screens
Inflatable outdoor projector screens are another popular option, but they’re also one of the largest available. These screens are freestanding, which means you don’t need a frame or any extra equipment to get set up. They inflate with air in just a few minutes, and they can stand up to 30 feet in size. With no assembly and the ability to inflate and deflate easily, inflatable screens are convenient and portable. They’re a particularly great option for very large outdoor areas or groups of people. Just keep in mind that inflatable screens can be prone to holes or punctures.
Fixed Projector Screens
Fixed outdoor projector screens are similar to hanging screens; they’re lightweight sheets of material that can be placed anywhere. However, these specific screens are fixed, which means they’re not meant to be taken down and put away. Fixed screens feature frames or attach permanently to a wall, giving you one viewing area that’s always available. These outdoor projector screens are great for movie lovers who enjoy hosting frequent viewings. But they may not be the best choice for those who aren’t using their projectors often.
Based in Southern California, Elite Screens is a worldwide leader in different types of screens and screen-related products. All of the brand’s outdoor projection screens, like the Elite Screens Yard Master 2, are designed to offer cinema-level quality right in your backyard. Elite Screens is always innovating and offering bigger, better screen choices.
Khomo Gear is a brand that’s dedicated to outdoor furniture and accessories, which means its outdoor projector screens are perfectly suited for your backyard or other outdoor space. Since 2001, Khomo Gear has been perfecting its cool product line, offering items like the Khomo Gear Jumbo Inflatable Outdoor Projector Screen, a huge screen that’ll really bring films to life.
Outdoor Projector Screen Pricing
- Under $50: For less than $50, you can find plenty of simple and sleek hanging frames at different levels of quality and in many sizes.
- $50 to $150: Many different types of outdoor projection screens fall within this price range. From hanging screens made of high-quality materials to smaller inflatable models, they are all available in this extensive range.
- $150 and up: The most expensive outdoor projection screens tend to be inflatable models meant to suit crowds. For $150 or more, you can get high-quality inflatable screens that’ll cover every angle.
Screen size directly impacts your viewing experience — but you need to choose a screen size that suits both your available space and your projector. A larger screen can be great, but only if you have the room and the right projector to handle its size. Aim to choose an outdoor projector screen that’s around 120 inches. This size should fit just about anywhere, and it works perfectly with 1080p HD projectors. Larger screens may distort the picture quality.
Because you’re going to be using your outdoor projector screen outside, it’s important to choose one that can withstand all of the wear and tear that comes with weather. Your screen should be durable — it should be able to handle moisture, wind, and sunlight. While white projector fabrics can all look the same, you want material that’s made to be used outdoors in any conditions without getting damaged.
High Viewing Angle
A high viewing angle will improve your movie-watching experience, so make sure to choose a screen that offers just the right angle for excellent picture quality. The viewing angle is the maximum angle from the center of the screen that still provides a high-quality image and viewing experience. A high viewing angle is great for allowing neighbors, friends, and groups to see whatever you’re showing from all angles.
- Inflatable Screens Are Very Large. Before you decide which type of outdoor projector screen to buy, keep in mind that inflatable models are typically very, very big. These screens are often big enough to be used at concerts and outdoor festivals, so double check your available space before investing in one yourself and discovering it’s far too large.
- Keep Your Projector in Mind While Shopping. While the size of your projector screen is critically important, you don’t want to forget about your actual projector. The screen you use and your projector should be a good pair; so, look for a screen that’s suited to the resolution and picture quality of your projector. The two should sync seamlessly in terms of their capabilities.
- Don’t Forget About Viewing Space. The size of the screen you choose directly affects how much viewing space — or room for an audience — you’ll need. You’ll need about 1.5 times the screen size in minimum viewing distance. For example, a 120-inch outdoor projector screen will require viewers to sit at least 180 inches away from the screen itself.
Best Outdoor Projector Screen Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Aspect ratio may sound complicated, but it’s an important detail when you’re picking out a projector screen. Look for screens that offer a 16:9 aspect ratio for watching films in Blu-ray, HD, and 4K formats.
- Any outdoor projector screen should be able to be used day or night without issue. If you’re worried about sunlight, check out your projector instead of your chosen screen — the projector is more likely the problem.
- An outdoor projector screen with black backing (or black material behind the white screen itself) tends to offer better pictures and colors that pop.
Q: What can I use for an outdoor projector screen?
Blackout cloths, tarps, and even sheaths of outdoor fabrics can all work well to create a DIY outdoor projector screen in a pinch. However, for the best results, it’s a good idea to invest in an affordable outdoor projection screen made specifically for videos and screenings.
Q: What color screen is best for outdoor projector?
White screens are a great choice for outdoor projects. However, to get vivid picture quality and bright colors, the best choice is a white screen that’s backed by black fabric.
Q: How much does an outdoor movie screen cost?
An outdoor projector screen can run anywhere from $20 to more than $200. The cost depends on the type of screen, the materials, and size.
Q: Can you leave a projector screen outside?
To err on the safe side, it’s good to take your projector screen down and put it away when you’re finished using it. Leaving the screen outdoors year-round or for long periods of time can lead to unnecessary wear and damage, especially from the sun’s UV rays.
Q: What is a good projector for outdoor movies?
This depends on what you’re looking to do with your projector. Different projectors offer different results — picture quality, resolution, and compatibility with different formats. So, it’s a good idea to shop around for the best outdoor projector.
We like the Mdbebbron 120-Inch Projection Screen because it offers excellent versatility and convenience. Another great choice is the Keenstone 120-Inch 4K Projection Screen, which is affordably priced and provides good bang for your buck. Which outdoor projector screens are your top choices?