If you’re looking to enjoy movies outdoors, there is no better way than with an outdoor projection screen. When combined with one of the outdoor projectors we’ve recommended, these screens recreate the experience of a theater in your own backyard.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of these systems is cost.
You might think that an outdoor projection system costs an arm and a leg, but you’ll soon find out that they are very affordable. The hardest part is choosing the one that’s right for you.
We’ve gone through and found the best outdoor projection screens on the market, so you don’t have to. Depending on your needs, there are a few different categories you can look at. First, let’s take a look at our favorite projector screens. Then, we’ll cover everything you need to know before buying.
If you do not like comparison tables, you can skip the one I have published below by clicking here.
Comparison Table for Outdoor Projector Screens
|NAME||SCREEN SIZE||BEST DEALS||FRAME||SCREEN|
|Airblown 39121-32||123″x77″||Check Amazon||Inflatable||White Vinyl|
|LOCH IWS140||122″x68.5″||Check Amazon||Inflatable||Matte White Vinyl|
|Huge Airblown||125″x75″||Check Amazon||Inflatable||White Vinyl|
|Camp Chef OS132||115″x65″||Check Amazon||Steel||Oxford Nylon|
|Elite Screens Yard Master 2||104″x59″||Check Amazon||Aluminium||CineWhite PVC|
|LOCH 200”||174″x86.2″||Check Amazon||Inflatable||Matte White Vinyl|
|ProjectoScreen144HD||125″x71″||Check Amazon||Aluminium||Matte White Elastic PVC|
|Camp Chef 120″||104″x59″||Check Amazon||Steel||Oxford Nylon|
|Yard Master 2 (100″)||87.1″x49.1″||Check Amazon||Aluminium||CineWhite PVC|
|Yard Master Series (200″)||174.3″x98.1″||Check Amazon||Steel||DynaWhite Nylon|
|Open Air Cinema Screen (16-feet)||192″x108″||Check Amazon||Inflatable||Matte White Nylon|
|Yard Master Series (180″)||156.9″x88.3″||Check Amazon||Steel||DynaWhite Nylon|
Consumebly´s Choice #1 - Airblown 39121-32
If you’re looking for an easy to use inflatable projection screen, this Airblown model should be one of the first ones you look at. The screen is massive, measuring 123×77 inches. Setting it up is incredibly simple.
Just take a few of the included stakes and tethers, placing them in the general area you’d like to screen to sit. Then, flick the switch on the back to activate the pump. In a matter of minutes, the screen will be fully inflated – all on its own!
Its size is perfect for most general-purpose use. It’s large enough to give the full cinema experience but compact enough that you’re not going to be struggling to find a place to put it.
Consumebly´s Choice #2 - LOCH IWS140
For some people, bigger is always better. In that case, you’ll certainly want to check out the Loch IWS140 Inflatable Projection Screen. This model has a unique design. Both the stand and the face are all a single unit, so set up is just a matter of turning on the included industrial-grade blower.
Because the stand is inflatable, it can even be used in the water! The best part of all? Despite its huge size, the powerful blower can inflate it in only 30 seconds!
Consumebly´s Choice #3 - Huge Airblown
This ten-foot inflatable movie screen is similar in design to the LOCH model, but has a few key features. For starters, it’s a little more compact. When deflated, it can easily be carried around by one person. But don’t let the numbers fool you, this is still one large screen.
For groups of up to 20 people, the experience will be just like having the best seats in the movie theater. You might not want to be setting it up and taking it down all the time.
Lucky, unlike other models which are all one piece, the white screen actually unzips from the front. This makes it easy to wash at the end of the year, so you can keep your movies looking great.
Consumebly´s Choice #1 - Camp Chef OS132
The Camp Chef OS132 rear projection screen is perfect for the family that wants to enjoy outdoor movies together. Its rigid frame is made up of several strong metal poles that easily snap together. There is no need to deal with annoying tethers, as the metal feet hold it perfectly in place.
Once you’ve got the frame up, clipping the screen into place is just as easy. Just unroll it from its self-contained case, clip the bands onto the poles, and you’ve got yourself a large, 132” screen in a matter of minutes!
Consumebly´s Choice #2 - Elite Screens Yard Master 2
The yard master 2 is the rear projection screen designed for serious movie buffs who are concerned about quality. Like other compact screens, it’s assembled with a number of easy to use metal poles. Then you slip the high quality tensioned PVC screen right on top, and you’re ready to go!
What separates this screen from others is the quality of the PVC. It’s got an accurate gain of 2.2, and a large viewing angle ensuring that movies look just as good on the big screen as they do on your TV.
Consumebly´s Choice #3 - LOCH 200” Inflatable Projection Screen
We had mentioned that rear projection screens were popular with large groups. If you’re bringing the entire neighborhood over for a movie night, then the Loch 200” inflatable projector screen is the one you want.
This is among the biggest in the market, and yet it can still be set up in as little as 50 seconds. Due to its soft design, it’s possible to put it virtually anywhere. The lake, the backyard, or even the park!
Consumebly´s Choice #1 - Visual Apex ProjectoScreen144HD
The Visual Apex projection screen is one of the most dynamic and adaptable models on the market. The first key feature is its simple locking mechanisms that make for quick assembly. Just remove the folded unit from the bag, extend it to full size, and place the screen on top. It only takes a matter of minutes!
This screen can be used easily with inexpensive projectors due to the black backing. This prevents light from being lost, so your picture is always clear. It can also be used in hanging applications, by removing the legs.
Consumebly´s Choice #2 - Camp Chef 120-Inch
This 120” screen is suitable for use both indoors and out. The nylon material is a little stretchier than most, ensuring that it won’t warp or distort with age. The screen comes in a simple, easy to carry case that is both durable and compact, making it easy to take on the go.
Consumebly´s Choice #3 - Elite Screens Yard Master 2 (100-inch)
This outdoor projection screen by Elite screens combines quality with size, so you don’t have to make any sacrifices. This is one of the few screens that uses a high quality textured PVC material suitable for 4k projectors, with viewing angles of up to 160 inches. It’s available in both a rear and front projection model, so it can be adapted to any purpose.
Consumebly´s Choice #1 - Elite Screens Yard Master Series, 200-in
When it comes to outdoor cinema, the Yard Master is one of the ultimate projector screens on the market. It uses the same Dynawhite projection material that’s found in the highest quality indoor screens, but in a size which is literally larger than life.
Consumebly´s Choice #2 - Open Air Cinema 16-feet Outdoor Home Projector Screen
This 220” screen is one of the largest on the market. They’ve taken the best design elements from inflatable screens, and combined it with a rope tether system to find the perfect balance between compact size and ease of use. Because there are no metal structural elements, it only weighs 17 pounds when disassembled!
Consumebly´s Choice #3 - Elite Screens Yard Master (180-inch)
There are a few key differences between this screen and the 200-inch yard master. The stand is much more compact than the large model, requiring only two stands rather than three.
Even though you lose 20 inches of display size, it makes it much easier to set up. But you still get the high-quality DynaWhite material, which offers a 1.1 Gain and durable design.
Shoppers Guide: Choosing The Best Screen for Outdoor Projectors
Now that you’ve seen the best outdoor projector screens on the market, let’s take a look and see how you choose them. There are a few different factors you need to keep in mind.
Factor #1: Size
Outdoor projector screens are available in sizes ranging from 100 inches to 220 inches. Which size is right for you will depend on the size of your group, the quality of your projector, and where you’ll be seated. If it’s just you and the family huddled up around the screen, a 100-inch display is plenty.
But for groups of 50 or more, you’ll want to go towards the other end of the spectrum. That being said, the price is also going to be a large factor. Smaller screens can be bought for only a few hundred dollars, but high-quality large screens are often over $500.
Factor #2: Overall Portability
Are you going to be moving the screen around a lot? If so, you have two options to get a nice portable model. At the lowest end of the price range is an inflatable model. These tend to be a little larger, but can be reduced to an easy-to-carry size. You can pick these up for around $200 and up.
You can pick these up for around $200 and up. Alternately, you’ll want to look at the frame-based models under 144.” These are a little more expensive but are generally a little higher quality.
Factor #3: Screen Color
Most screens will be white, but you will also come across a few models that are black on the rear. This coating helps to reflect additional light, making your screen seem a little brighter. The other thing you can look for is a gain. 1.2 gain is a little brighter, lightening up your image.
Factor #4: Screen Material
Most screens are going to be vinyl or PVC. Vinyl screens are as low as $150 in some cases but provide the worse image quality. PVC is much better and starts at $250.
If you want the best quality possible, you’re going to want a brand-name DynaWhite screen. These are usually priced upwards of $750, but they provide the best possible image quality.
Factor #5: Frame Material
When portability is a concern, an aluminum frame is your best choice. They’re very lightweight and easy to carry around. For large displays, steel is a great option. Steel is heavier but much stronger.
This is good for large screens as it prevents them from toppling over if there is a gust of wind. Steel does come at a higher price, though, as it’s rare to find a steel-frame screen for under $300
Factor #6: Inflatability & Ease of Assembly
Inflatable screens can cost as little as $150 but are very easy to set up. If you spend a little extra, you can get one with a high-speed pump that can inflate a screen in under a minute. Aluminum frames take much longer to set up unless you find a model with a bracketed frame that clicks into place.
Factor #7: Possibility of Rear Projection
One of the biggest choices you’ll have to make is whether you’d prefer a rear projection, or a front projection screen. Front projection screens are the most reflective. They tend to have a high gain and are the easiest to set up.
But the disadvantage is that the projector needs to be mounted right where everyone is sitting. If you upgrade to a rear projection screen, you’ve got a few additional benefits. You can place the projector on the opposite side, where it will be out of the way.
Rear projection screens also tend to have higher contrast ratios and a little better image quality. For this to work, however, you need a brighter projector. You also want to make sure that the sun isn’t setting behind the screen, or your image will be washed out.
Factor #8: Brand & Manufacturer
The brand is another important thing to consider when selecting a projector screen. Currently, the best on the market is Elite Screens. They tend to make high quality, cinema-grade screens. If you have a high-end projector, these will blow most out of the water.
The downside is that most of them are priced starting at $600 and up. You can save a lot of money going with a cheaper screen, but you’ll want to do your research and make sure it’s been recommended.
Factor #9: Customer Reviews
At a glance, customer reviews are one of the best ways to tell how good a projection screen is. You’ll get to see firsthand what actual buyers thought of it, and can often discover small usability issues that you would never have thought of.
Remember, customers are much more likely to leave a comment if they were unhappy with a product. If you see lots of positive reviews, that’s a really good sign!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
FAQ#1: What size screen should I get?
Medium sized groups of 5 to 15 people will do well with a screen sized between 120” and 160.” If you’re going to have a very large group sitting far away from a screen, then you might want to consider one of the few 200” screens available.
FAQ#2: How should I store the projector screen?
Most screens are designed to be rolled up and included clips or ties to do so. You don’t want to crumple or crease a screen, as this can leave unsightly marks.
FAQ#3: Can I use projector screen in windy locations?
FAQ#4: What does gain mean?
FAQ#5: What color and aspect ratio should my screen have?
White screens are the most popular, and our main recommendation for color. If you are using it while the sun is up, you may want to purchase a screen that has a black rear side.
FAQ#6: What should I use for cleaning my screen?
FAQ#7: Should I consider sunset direction when placing my screen?
If it’s in front of the projector, the sun will shine through the display unless you have one with a light-blocking back. Remember, unless you have a very high-end projector it’s generally advisable to wait until the sun is setting before you start watching movies.