Best Outdoor Projector Screens — Our 2021 Reviews
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The Best Outdoor Projector Screens to Turn Your Backyard Into a Movie Theater

Outdoor theaters are surprisingly doable. All you need to watch a movie under the stars are some comfy seats, good food, a reliable projector, and a projection surface.

Outdoor projector screens are the unsung heroes of backyard cinemas. After all, what’s an amazing projector if its screen doesn’t match up? A good projector screen improves the clarity of the picture, shows vibrant colors, and makes it feel like an authentic theater experience.

We’ve compiled five of the best outdoor projector screens for you. We also help you pick the best one for your backyard by highlighting the features you should be aware of.

Backyard Boss Top 5 Outdoor Projector Screens for 2021

PRODUCT FEATURES
JiuBaDianZi Projection Screen - The Best Outdoor Projector Screens to Turn Your Backyard Into a Movie TheaterJiuBaDianZi Projection Screen
  • Screen Size: 120 Inches
  • Type: Wall-Mount
  • Weight: 1.72 Pounds
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Vamvo Outdoor Projector Screen - The Best Outdoor Projector Screens to Turn Your Backyard Into a Movie TheaterVamvo Outdoor Projector Screen
  • Screen Size: 80 Inches
  • Type: Standing
  • Weight: 5.36 Pounds
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Taotique 4K Movie Projector Screen - The Best Outdoor Projector Screens to Turn Your Backyard Into a Movie TheaterTaotique 4K Movie Projector Screen
  • Screen Size: 120 Inches
  • Type: Wall-Mount
  • Weight: 1.61 Pounds
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OUTTOY Inflatable Projection Screen - The Best Outdoor Projector Screens to Turn Your Backyard Into a Movie TheaterOUTTOY Inflatable Projection Screen
  • Screen Size: 125 Inches
  • Type: Inflatable Standing
  • Weight: 8.98 Pounds
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Pyle Portable Projector Screen - The Best Outdoor Projector Screens to Turn Your Backyard Into a Movie TheaterPyle Portable Projector Screen
  • Screen Size: 40 Inches
  • Type: Wall-Mount
  • Weight: 3.85 Pounds
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Why You Can Trust Us

From lugging around a white tarp and a projector for my dad to buying a portable projector to watch my favorite YouTube videos on a blank wall with some friends, to finally purchasing an indoor and outdoor projector screen specifically for movie nights under the stars, I know how much a good projector screen can change the game. When we’re out of backyard entertainment ideas, watching a movie is our go-to.

Backing up this personal experience is extensive research on the different kinds of screens— how they’re made, which features lead to the best experiences, and the most efficient designs for different purposes.

Projector screens are the unsung heroes of presentations, meetings, movies, and events. The right screen makes a huge difference in what we see but not many understand this. We feel that it’s time to share this hard-earned research with you while you decide on which outdoor projector screen is best for you and your needs.

Best for Daylight

JiuBaDianZi Projection Screen
    This screen has the big advantage of being equipped with light-resistant technology making it great for daytime viewing and brightly lit spaces. It resists the effect that ambient light has on what's being projected and can be installed both indoors and outdoors, or brought along during your travels.

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Why We Like It: The light-resistant technology included in the design helps reduce the effect that ambient light has on the picture, resulting in vivid and high-quality shots.

Who Should Buy It: Anyone who plans on watching during the day, whether as a marathon or during a daytime sports game, would have a much sweeter experience with this!

Best With a Stand

Vamvo Outdoor Projector Screen
    This screen comes with a three-legged stand that not only stabilizes the unit but also helps adjust the stretch of the screen. The stand also comes with its own carrier bag for traveling and spikes for windy days. Assembly can take less than three minutes and it’s easy to clean and pack up for when you’re done.

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Why We Like It: It comes with a stand design that gives it stability for outdoor viewing regardless of the weather.

Who Should Buy It: Anyone who’s often on the go with meetings or outdoor activities would benefit from this. The professional look comes in handy for formal settings while the practical features make it great for spontaneous outdoor movie marathons.

Best Budget Pick

Taotique 4K Movie Projector Screen
    This simple screen projector is everything you need from an outdoor screen— lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, washable, and compact! This kind of design makes set-up and storage an effortless process. It's a simple design that makes sure to have everything you would want without any fuss.

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Why We Like It: This versatile screen can be used indoors and outdoors, for front and rear projection, and it’s travel-friendly, too! Everything you need from an outdoor projector screen is right here, asking you for just a little more elbow grease.

Who Should Buy It: This would be the smart choice for those who don’t plan on regularly bringing out a screen. For the occasional viewing activity, this would be a great temporary setup.

Best Premium Pick

OUTTOY Inflatable Projection Screen
    Taking a different approach to the outdoor cinema experience, this is an inflatable projector screen built for fun. Surprisingly, this 16-foot screen is a travel-friendly design that comes with its compact storage bag. To set this up, simply plug it in and the built-in silent blower will take care of the rest. Using this projector screen levels up the movie experience to amazing heights and will make for great memories with the family, friends, and loved ones.

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Why We Like It: This large inflatable screen assembles itself and displays projections with great clarity, which is fantastic for big gatherings.

Who Should Buy It: Those interested in a more effortless and luxurious outdoor movie experience would love this giant screen! This screen will most definitely complement your wooden deck!

Best for Indoor and Outdoor

Pyle Portable Projector Screen
    Although this is the smallest unit on this list, it’s a strong contender! It’s built for fast and easy setup and storage, making use of a simple pull-out design that uses lightweight materials. It’s extremely travel-friendly and can be stored in the smallest spaces, be it the trunk of your car or a tiny shoe closet.

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Why We Like It: This screen uses a pull-out design and can stand on its own, making for easy transportation and low-effort assembly.

Who Should Buy It: It’s a fantastic choice for those who need temporary cinema set-ups for a limited space.

What to Look for in an Outdoor Projection Screen

Outdoor projector screen set up next to a tent with a backdrop of mountains and a starry night sky.
Image credits: Vamvo via Amazon

Outdoor projector screens come in all shapes and sizes. Different designs suit different purposes, and it all depends on what you intend to do with it. Here are some questions that you need to ask yourself while looking for an outdoor projector screen.

What Aspect Ratio Are You Looking For?

Aspect ratios refer to the dimensions of the screen. Professional and formal settings usually use a 4:3 or 16:10 ratio for meetings and presentations. For movies, the wide 16:9 ratio is the standard for cinematic pieces, with some TV shows also following this dimension.

What Size Are You Looking For?

Most outdoor projector screens are designed to create a cinema experience in your backyard, meaning many of these screens are large and can span 120 feet long. The best size is one that fits your space at a good eye level.

With a Stand vs. A Wall-Mounted Screen?

Wall-mounted pieces are great for large walls as long as you use heavy-duty mounting tools and are ready to punch a few holes through your wall. If sacrificing your walls is not an option, a screen with a stand might be better.

Front vs. Rear Projection

Projecting anything onto a screen can be done through the front or rear projection. This depends on your preference and your purpose, and some screens are compatible with only one kind of projection.

Front projection is great for meetings, compact spaces, and darkrooms since it’s easier to form a clear picture with less space and ambient light to battle. Rear projection is great for bright spaces since it helps strike a higher contrast on screen and is ideal if you expect a lot of foot traffic and want to avoid distractions.

Best Outdoor Projector Screen Material

Outdoor projection Feature image

Many materials can be used for projector screens, including nylon, acrylic, polyester, and similar fabrics. The quality of a projector screen doesn’t rely on the material but on the different characteristics of the screen itself, including screen texture, color, gain, treatments, and special features.

Screen Texture

Most screens already come with a very smooth surface. The less texture on the screen, the higher quality of the picture. This doesn’t just refer to the texture of the material itself but also to whatever folds or wrinkles can occur during storage and while it’s being used.

Screen Color

Screens come in white, gray, and black. White screens are the industry standard and great for increasing the brightness and vibrancy of a picture. Gray screens are useful for lower quality projectors. The deeper color helps display a higher contrast and crisp picture without negatively affecting the quality of the colors. Black screens are useful in locations with lots of light. The black provides a better picture contrast in bright locations but might sacrifice color vibrance for deeper black levels.

Screen Gain

Screen gain refers to the amount of light that a screen reflects on the audience. High-gain screens show higher quality and contrast but tend to lose more quality on the edges while a lower-gain screen provides a wider viewing angle. While high-gain screens show brighter pictures, lower-gain screens project a more true color contrast and display black points better.

Material Treatments

Screen materials will always be treated with solutions to help it show more high-quality projections, but outdoor screens have to meet additional requirements. Dirt and wind can mess with the screen when in your backyard, meaning they need occasional cleaning. Also, having mildew or stain-resistant screens would mean fewer problems when installing it outside. Some screens even come fireproof, making them safe to use during a barbecue.

Special Features

Some special features in screens include ambient light rejection, sound transmission, and short throw. These are features that, while not necessary, can enhance the viewing experience and make it more cinematic and professional-looking.

How We Picked

After extensively scouring through the options and backing them up with loads of research and personal experiences, we can confidently say that the outdoor projector screens mentioned in this list are some of the best you’ll find on the market. We chose our top five outdoor projector screens based on the highest customer ratings, to make sure that these screens have been tried, tested, and approved by people just like us. After this, we narrowed down our list based on the uniqueness of the design, the ease of assembly, the quality of the materials, available warranties, and even the versatility of the screen.

Our Final Outdoor Screen Verdict

While all five in the list are great for so many different purposes, our top pick would have to be the Vamvo Foldable 80-foot 16:9 Outdoor Projector Screen.

Not only is setting this up super simple, but the stand also helps keep the screen stable and great for outdoor viewing. It’s incredibly versatile in the ways it can be used, for camping movie nights, indoor TV marathons, and important presentations in different locations. There is so much to love with this since it has the design and features that everyone wants in a screen without getting something too large, flimsy, or difficult to manage.

Regardless of how we believe the Vamvo screen is the best in general, each screen on this list satisfies different purposes and contributes to many amazing nights to remember.

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