Best outdoor projector: liven up your garden parties with these top buys

The best outdoor projectors to take your sports nights and movie marathons outside

best outdoor projector: Anker Nebula Apollo Projector
(Image credit: Anker)

We might not all enjoy the good weather required to have outdoor gatherings all-year-round, but something we've learned recently is that getting together with friends in the garden can be as great as any house party or gathering at the pub. And why not make your parties this upcoming summer even better with an outdoor projector?

All you’ll need to achieve the ultimate garden or rooftop movie marathon is a blank wall (or projector screen) and you’re set. Still, there are a few things to consider before you purchase your chosen outdoor projector.

The most important thing to pay attention to with outdoor projectors is the lumen number, which we have outlined for each of the entries below. Generally speaking, the higher the lumens, the more versatile the projector, as a low number will only be visible when it’s dark. 

We’ve chosen five of the best outdoor projectors available right now, so scroll down to see what we thought.

 The best outdoor projectors 2021 

best outdoor projector: Anker Nebula Apollo Projector

(Image credit: Anker )

1. Anker Nebula Apollo Projector

Best compact outdoor projector: small but feature-packed wireless projector

Specifications
Lumens: 200
Speaker?: Yes
Dimensions: 66 x 66 x 132cm
Weight: 1.6kg
Reasons to buy
+6-watt speaker built-in+Wireless+Small and easily portable
Reasons to avoid
-Low lumens

Buy the Anker Nebula Apollo Projector if you're after something compact and easy to use. This outdoor projector is suitable for screens up to 100-inches in size while it plays at just 200 lumens, so you'll have to wait until it's completely dark outside to use it. It's also wireless and one charge gives it four hours of playtime. 

You can download and stream YouTube, Netflix, BBC iPlayer and more straight to this projector and browse more entertainment with its touch sensor control.

The projector has a transparent touch panel that's easy to use and, with a built-in six-watt speaker, the audio certainly packs a punch. It also has a HDMI port and is super compact in size, making this mini projector perfect for staycations, at a friend's house or popped in a handbag.

best outdoor projector: BenQ W1080ST 3D Projector

(Image credit: BenQ )

2. BenQ W1080ST 3D Projector

Best 3D outdoor projector: for the full experience

Specifications
Lumens: 2000
Speaker?: Yes
Dimensions: 31.2 x 24.4 x 10.4cm
Weight: 2.85kg
Reasons to buy
+Eco mode+Quiet fan+3D mode
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

If you're after the full experience – we're talking 3D and all – we'd recommend the BenQ W1080ST 3D Projector. It's HDTV compatible and offers a range of picture modes from dynamic to standard, cinema, 3D and more. 

It projects in Full HD, 1080p and has a SmartEco mode to adjust lamp power to maximise power saving, also benefitting from several easy to use buttons and two HDMI ports. It also comes with a remote so you can control it from afar. 

best outdoor projector: Elephas Video Projector

(Image credit: Elephas )

3. ELEPHAS Video Projector

Best budget outdoor projector: wallet-friendly and 4,500 lumens

Specifications
Lumens: 4500
Speaker: Yes
Dimensions: 20 x 14 x 7cm
Weight: 1.53kg
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight+Portable +Quiet+Lifetime warranty
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best sound quality

The ELEPHAS Video Projector is a great budget-friendly option. This outdoor projector claims to be 80% brighter than other projectors at similar sizes and, as well as supporting 1080p, it boasts a whopping 4,500 lumens. 

This Elephas projector also works with TV sticks, laptops, tablets, DVD players, game consoles, smartphones and more so you won't be short of things to watch.

It also has a HDMI port. Watch content from 30-inches to 200-inches big and from 3.9 feet to 8.2 feet away for best results. Sporting built-in speakers for ease of use – though you may want to plug in your own – it's lightweight at just 2.25 pounds. Also, its updated cooling system cuts the fan noise in half for a better experience.

best outdoor projector: Apeman Portable Mini Projector

(Image credit: Apeman)

4. Apeman Portable Mini Projector

Best connected outdoor projector: an inexpensive option that ticks almost every box

Specifications
Lumens: 4500
Speaker?: Yes
Dimensions: 19.7 x 16.6 x 6cm
Weight: 1.51kg
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Inexpensive+Built-in speakers+1 year warranty
Reasons to avoid
-Not the highest quality-Doesn't work with Netflix

The Apeman Portable Mini Projector is our best pick and for good reason. It's budget-friendly and easy to use. It's also 80 per cent brighter than other projectors – great for outside watching.

This 1080p full HD projector works with over 10 devices from smartphones to laptops, game consoles and TV sticks.

It has HDMI, VGA, USB, Micro SD, RCA and AV ports. With built-in speakers, it offers great sound quality especially when you consider the low price tag. It's easy to use with a range of buttons at hand and an easy-to-adjust focus. It also comes with a remote control so you can adjust the volume from afar.

best outdoor projector: Epson EB-E01

(Image credit: Epson)

5. Epson EB-E01 Projector

Best outdoor projector for life-span: impressive image quality that will last you 18-years

Specifications
Lumens: 3300
Speaker?: Yes
Dimensions: 40 x 40 x 30cm
Weight: 2.4kg
Reasons to buy
+Durable+Built-in speaker+2 year warranty
Reasons to avoid
-Large-Expensive

The Epson EB-E10 Projector is a great pick if you want something that will last you years. It has a light output of 3,300 lumens and offers up to three times more colour brightness. Not only that, but it's incredibly long lamp life means the mid-range device will be with you for a long time.

This outdoor projector also provides an impressive 300-inch display once set up and it's also incredibly easy to use. 

Simply position the image with keystone correction and pick what you want to watch – via HDMI or from a smart device – use the iProjection app to share content. With a built-in two-watt speaker, this outdoor projector can also be plugged into other speakers for better quality. In the box comes a carry case and a keystone slider for easy setup and transport.

 Read next: the best Bluetooth speakers for garden music 

best outdoor projector: Anker Nebula Apollo

(Image credit: Anker)

How to choose the best outdoor projector

Lumens

Consider how many lumens an outdoor projector gives off before buying it. The lower the number, the darker it'll need to be when you use the projector. Some picks that are in the thousands can be used during the daytime.

Size

If you're after something compact and easy to store, bear in mind the size of the outdoor projector you're buying. Some are very small and handbag-friendly, while others are bulky.

Built-in speaker

It's important for us to note that not all outdoor projectors have built-in speakers. Some are designed to be used with external speakers. If you're after something easy to use once a week in the summer, definitely opt for a model with built-in speakers. Otherwise, if it's sound quality you're after and you'll be using it as a permanent set-up, definitely invest in some great speakers for the best experience.