Summer is the season for camping and road trips for people all over the world. And that means you and your companions want entertainment that goes outdoors with you. Portable projectors are a superb cornerstone of fun on the move, delivering big screen viewing of movies, TV, games, and photos wherever you may be.
Portable projectors work best as part of a fun and rewarding campsite setup that’s not difficult to put together. And the best part is that really good portable projectors come packed with great features that reduce the number of items on your campsite movie night setup to-do list. So it’s important to pick the right portable projector, lest you end up with a cheapo that cuts corners and compels you to pile on extra cumbersome hardware when you set off on your adventure.
Modern portable projectors are compact, bright, light, and loaded with smart features. They form the core of your campsite and road trip entertainment contingent. There’s a ton of models available, many for confusingly low prices. Be warned, most of those will let you down with poor image quality, short battery life, no audio, and other issues. By way of contrast (no pun intended), good portable projectors provide for all of that and more. So, be on the lookout for powerful and bright projection, long battery life, embedded apps, and integrated audio. All of those not only contribute to better entertainment experiences, but save you the need to lug a bunch of devices like external speakers and even streaming boxes if you’ll be in areas with Wi-Fi. One trending technology among notable portables is DLP, which stands for digital light projection. As the name suggests, this tech does away with heavy traditional analog components and delivers bright, sharp, and consistent display using high fidelity digital processing that’s very close to pixel perfection. Remember DLP, and avoid basic LCD, which is used by many cheap portable projectors.
If you want to invest in a portable screen, then go for it, that’ll be best for your 100” or larger viewing. By getting a screen you’ll extend the versatility of your portable projector, because the same screen goes from campsites to your backyard for movie nights closer to home. But to be honest, any flat surface will do with a good portable projector and a screen isn’t mandatory. That flat surface could be the side of a van or that of a barn, or maybe your tent. Those won’t be as detailed as a proper screen designed for cinematic projection, but they’ll work just fine because at the campsite atmosphere makes up for image shortfalls.
Foldable screens for projection aren’t hard to come by or overly expensive, so they may be worth the investment. There are also support and reinforcement frames available that you can use to convert readily accessible items like canvass into movie screens. Definitely something to keep in mind if you want to take frequent camping trips with your projector.
Unless you’re partial to silent movies, then big screen entertainment should arrive matched by good sound. Cheap projectors either omit speakers or give you ones that aren’t very impressive, to put it mildly. Good portable projectors have a built-in, high powered speaker/subwoofer array with Bluetooth connectivity. That means more than just movie audio goes. You can stream sound from your phone to the projector, with the latter doubling as a Bluetooth speaker that’s a whole lot more powerful than the sound coming out of your smartphone. The GS2 has dual 2W speakers for resounding, meaning no need to bring separate speakers.
There’s more to a movie night setup for your campsite than just the projector, obviously. In addition to the people you’re with (don’t forget to bring them along), we’d recommend insect repellent and plenty of folding chairs, pillows, blankets, and sleeping bags for everyone. Take extra care to make the kids comfortable, as a campsite could be quite different from home, after all. Some easy to make popcorn always proves popular, as do sweet delights like s’mores, marshmallows, fruity candy, and even ice cream if you have an ice box or three.
We wish you a happy summer 2021 and safe travels whether camping or cruising. And if you do get a portable projector, we hope it brings you and yours lots of joy!