The best outdoor projector screen is the perfect accompaniment to one of the best outdoor projectors and as a general good move to get your garden setup – or park-going setup – optimized for the summer of socializing we’ve been looking forward to for so long. We’re looking forward to seeing our friends and family again, and given that being outside is safer, it’s a great time to look at some outdoor entertainment equipment.
Whether you’re planning a family staycation or a special outdoor movie night with friends and neighbors, it’s easier than you might think to turn your back yard into an outdoor movie theater. All you need is a movie projector (you can get a great one for under $200), an outdoor movie screen for a projected image, and lots of buttery popcorn to create a movie night experience everyone will enjoy.
Your options aren’t limited to the back yard, either. The best outdoor projector screens are also great for camping, picnics, birthdays, and pool parties. And many of the top outdoor movie screens pack up and store easily, so they’re a cinch to bring on vacation if you’re staying at a rental property.
What to Consider
While an outdoor movie screen seems like a fairly straightforward purchase, there are a number of things to keep in mind before clicking “buy.”
Do you want to always watch movies in the same place? If so, buying a larger item with a built-in frame or one that is mounted is your best bet. But if you’re on the go, or want to be able to use the screen in multiple settings, a smaller or lighter option (inflatable, for example) may be preferable.
If you would like to reserve the option of using the screen indoors, in an office or classroom setting, there are several options, noted below, that are suitable for both indoor and outdoor viewings.
To optimize your viewing experience for crisp and bright colors, you’ll want to get a screen with black backing, which helps take care of light penetration that would dilute your picture quality. For the best possible quality, check to see if your screen is compatible with your projector’s specs, looking at whether it can be paired with 4K Ultra HD or Active 3D. Finally, a standard aspect ratio of 16:9 is ideal for serious movie watching.
Easy to Clean
All of the screens we included below can be cleaned with a damp cloth. An on-the-go viewing experience is sure to pick up a bit of dust and debris, but don’t worry. The screens are made with PVC, polyester, or a combination of the two, making them incredibly durable.
How We Selected
We reviewed hundreds of products, and kept a variety of logistical and space constraints in mind. We also wanted to offer movie screens that would suit a range of budgets. All of our final choices come from reputable companies with excellent reputations for customer service. The items themselves are also highly rated by professionals and consumers.
Best Outdoor Projector Screens For 2022
1. Visual Apex Projector Screen – Editor’s Choice
Designed for those who are looking for a portable projector screen that you can store away quickly and easily and set it up and take it down in just minutes, the Visual Apex Projector Screen is one of the best choices out there for those who want to use a projector in their backyard or in other outdoor location where hanging a projector screen is not possible. This projector screen comes with a storage bag, a frame for the screen, robes for increased stability, as well as optional legs that you can use to make the screen stand on its own.
While this projector screen is available in multiple sizes, we selected the 144 inches is our editor’s choice, which happens to be the largest size. What we like best about this screen is the quality of the image you get for both standard and widescreen movies. According to the manufacturer, the Visual Apex Projector Screen is made from mildew resistant materials that are also UV protected. It is also easy to wash the screen in the event it gets dirty, which is important to consider for outdoor projector screens.
The viewing angle of this outdoor projector screen is 160°, which means that everyone in your party will be able to watch the movie comfortably. Users liked that you can also use this screen indoors, and that is very easy to set up as all you need to do is unfold the sides.
2. Elite Screens Yard Master Plus Series – Best Outdoor Projector Screen with Detachable Legs
A portable outdoor folding frame screen that is also suitable for indoor use, the Elite Screens Yard Master Plus Series is easy to set up in just a couple of minutes. Because it features a durable lightweight aluminum frame, this screen is highly portable so you can be prepared for virtually any projection scenario, be it a movie night with friends and family in the garden or outdoors event such as a wedding.
Most of the users who tested this outdoor projector screen like the fact that it has 160° wide angles and that it features black material backing that eliminates light penetration make the most of the way your projector reproduces colors. The detachable T-legs of the Elite Screens Yard Master Plus Series made the entire set up very easy to handle, while the sealed edge detachable frame has corner pull-tabs for easy installation.
This projector screen comes with a caring bag that fits the entire product including the legs for enhanced portability and protection. We liked that the carrying bag is wheeled for extra easy transportation. The Elite Screens Yard Master Plus Series comes in multiple sizes up to 200 inches diagonal, which makes it suitable for just about any type of screening, for both personal and business purposes.
3. Khomo Gear Inflatable Projector Screen: A truly giant outdoor projector screen
The Khomo Gear jumbo screen may look like a bouncy castle, but it’s a serious bit of kit. With a huge screen area of almost five metres diagonally, this can give you a gigantic picture worthy of the top projectors. The screen is fully detachable to allow for cleaning, and the guy ropes and stakes fix it to the ground meaning you can watch Up without replicating the scenario with your screen by having your screen gets blown up into the sky by a gust of wind. It’s also really simple to set up, just attach the pump and it’s inflated in five minutes, so no fiddling around with putting a stand together.
However, it may not be the most mobile. The pump requires constant mains power, so it’s one for the garden or the use of a generator rather than one which can pop up anywhere with a portable projector (which may not be able to fill the screen size either). While the fan isn’t particularly loud and will be far away from you, having it constantly running might mean that you need to use external speakers rather than the ones built into the projector, which are usually only 5-10 watts, especially if using rear projection. Packing this away small can be a little tricky, but manageable with a bit of practice, and deflating is just as quick as inflating.
It’s definitely one of the best projector screens going on that sheer awesome size alone (almost), and one that promises family fun every bit as much as a bounce house, and huge enough to create an amazing outdoor cinema.
4. Pyle Portable Projector Screen: Lightweight, and instant
The great outdoors doesn’t always mean out in the grass. We’ve all spent camping trips stuck inside tents or an outdoor wedding sat in a marquee as the rain hammers down, particularly on the British side of the Atlantic. But with the Pyle portable projector screen, you can still get great images even if you can’t venture out for your barbecue or to sit around the fire – ideal if you’ve got kids to keep entertained. It’ll still work well outdoors, although it lacks fixings that would stop it from being blown over.
There’s no frame to worry about, it’s simply a cylinder that rolls out a 40-inch projection surface that can rest on any stable base – a table or even just the floor. It’s one of the easiest setups you could imagine! It offers a 4:3 ratio, so is more suited for TV than cinema, although of course, you can still use it for 16:9 images with bars at top and bottom. The screen is heavy-duty and both stain and mildew-resistant.
Maybe it’s not the big outdoor cinema experience, but for truly portable entertainment which everyone can gather around this is a really handy entrant on this best outdoor projector screen list.
5. EasyGo Inflatable Outdoor Screen: Easy and simple
For people who love the outdoors and movies, this is a perfect choice. It’s specially made for outdoor use and travel. You’re not limited to watching movies in your living room or backyard, you can even take it camping and to the beach!
It’s easy and quick to set up and takedown because the blower will do all the work for you. Use the ground stakes to hold it down and to secure it.
Being made from polyester, this is completely waterproof. No more rushing with the takedown when the weather gets bad. The screen is also detachable, making it easy to clean and store.
Depending on what you’re looking for, you can choose from sizes 14 ft or 17 ft. I appreciate that they made the blower quiet so that it doesn’t distract the viewers.
6. Versatile favorite: Abdtech Portable Outdoor Screen
I’m thoroughly impressed with this versatile projector screen because it’s perfect for anyone on a budget. With its flexibility and features, you get your money’s worth!
The frame is lightweight, wear-resistant, corrosion-proof, and sturdy. Best of all, it only takes about 5 minutes to set up and pack up. You don’t even need tools.
The screen comes in the standard 100” size, 1.1 gain, and 16:9 aspect ratio, which is perfect for a backyard movie screen. Get ready to be blown away by the 4k Ultra HD quality!
What sets this apart is that you can use it indoors and outdoors. Even more impressive is that it’s good for rear and front projection! I’m sure you can maximize the use of this projector screen.
Gemmy Industries brings forth our next model on the list, which is also our favorite thanks to its cozy-looking shape that provides plenty of space to project on, more specifically a 12-foot diagonal. There are also three other sizes available, all in different shapes, but the most attractive one has to be the Mickey Mouse shape with which you can delight adults and children alike. The rip-stop nylon and PVC materials used are durable and easy to clean in case they pick up dust.
Having mentioned the size, we can move on to saying that its PVC sheet can sustain front projection, has a ratio of 16:9, and is detachable thanks to the buckle system that you can adjust to your liking, to keep the sheet as tense as you need. With all these details, you can enjoy an HD display whenever you want, right in the comfort of your own yard.
Thanks to the two built-in fans, inflating this piece will be a matter of seconds, and all you need to take care of afterward is tying it in place with the tethers and stakes included in the package. The structure as a whole might not mind a few drops of rain, but we wouldn’t recommend leaving it outside in a downpour, especially seeing as the inflation equipment is not waterproof.
With an aspect ratio of 16:9, this PVC sheet is ready and able to deliver sharp and high-resolution images that have enriched colors.
Furthermore, it has a viewing angle of 160-degrees so it can provide an easy watch for everyone, ensuring a superior viewing at all times. For an effortless upright position, it comes with a stainless steel structure that is not hard to maneuver and has the added security of right-angle brackets.
The screen is much thicker than the other models found in its price range, too, and it has the added quality of being environmentally friendly, therefore safe for the environment and safe for you.
If you want the best possible picture quality from your projector screen, this BaoChen Motorized Projector Screen is one you’ll want to consider. Its three-layer construction prevents light from penetrating, maximizing the brightness, color, and contrast of the image.
You can also enjoy that great picture quality from anywhere in front of the screen. It offers a full 180° viewing angle, wider than you’ll get from any inflatable screen. Versatility is another point in its favor. It has a 4:3 aspect ratio when fully lowered, and you can raise it slightly for a 16:9 ratio, letting you watch any content the way it’s meant to be viewed.
Now keep in mind there’s no stand with this BaoChen screen. It’s designed to be mounted onto a wall or ceiling. That can be a problem if you want a screen that can travel. This screen is also on the heavier side compared to other options. For both of these reasons, we consider this a great option for backyard movie nights, but not the best choice for RVers, campers, and others who want to take their show on the road.
With the big screen in the backyard, enjoy your favorite movies anytime; A great addition to resorts, outdoor parties, and special events. It is made of durable, high-quality 210D Oxford cloth, which is long-lasting weather-resistant and allows continuous use indoors and outdoors.
This movie screen can be inflated instantly with the pump, and it keeps inflated for the entire show when plugged in, so you don’t have to set it up for hours before the show.
If you purchase it, remember to always zip up the zipper before inflating. The projector is designed with a 16:9 aspect ratio; tethers, yard stakes, an air blower that is 85W, and a convenient bag are included for easy setup. With the blow-up screen, after your event is over, you can collapse and store it for easy cleaning. The removable projection surface makes cleaning and maintaining your screen simple.
Who this is for
If you want the best and brightest picture quality possible for your outdoor home cinema, you should use an outdoor movie screen. Yes, it’s easy—and free—to just shine a projector against a wall or garage door, but the problem with that approach is that you end up seeing the texture of whatever surface the projector shines against. Whether your wall is made of stucco or clapboards, that stucco or those clapboards become an added “feature” of your projected image. And that can be distracting.
A good outdoor projector screen has a particularly smooth surface, so you see only the movie image. It also offers a color-neutral surface that is likely much more reflective than a wall, so your image is brighter and more accurate.
How we picked and tested
You can find two major types of outdoor movie screens: rigid and inflatable. They both have their strengths and weaknesses.
Rigid screens are two-piece designs with a frame and a screen material that usually attaches via snaps or hooks. This type of screen:
- is more stable and less affected by wind
- has a tighter surface, with less chance of wrinkles in the screen
- can work well indoors, depending on the size
- doesn’t produce fan noise
- requires setup and teardown, which at the larger screen sizes can be challenging for one person
- is typically more expensive
Inflatable screens require less assembly. You just plug in the base, inflate it, and attach the screen. This type of screen:
- offers fast, easy setup
- has a less taut surface that may show some wrinkles
- is more susceptible to wind
- produces fan noise
You can find both rigid and inflatable screens in a rear-projection configuration, in which you place the projector behind the screen. For certain yards this design could solve placement issues, but we think most people prefer to set up the more common projector-in-front-of-the-screen layout.
Both screen types usually come with ground stakes or other supplies to tether the screen in place, and we suggest that you use them (especially with an inflatable screen) because you never know which way the wind will blow. No screen is designed to handle any serious wind, however. For that matter, no outdoor screen is designed to stay outdoors: A metal frame can rust in places, and the electronics in an inflatable screen can corrode and short out when plugged in. These screens are designed to be set up on movie night and then stored indoors until next time.
Tips For Using Your Projector Screen
- Pay attention to the projector’s native resolution that you have. This is so you know which aspect ratio to select for your screen.
- Measure any and all doorways, hallways, stairwells, and more that your screen package is going to have to go through to get into your home. They often come in very long packages and can be difficult to put through a door or around corners.
- The closer you can place your projector to the screen, the better.