9 best projector for van life – review & buying guide

Are you considering hitting the road in your van and doing some traveling? If so, you’ll need a good projector to watch movies and TV shows on the go.

In this article, we’ll take a look at 10 of the best projectors for van life, based on our own personal experience and reviews from other travelers. We’ll also provide a buying guide to help you choose the right projector for van life according to your needs.

So whether you’re just starting to plan your trip or you’re already on the road, read on for information about some of the best projectors for vans!

Best projector for van life comparison

This is a quick overview of the top projectors i’ve tested.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Optoma LV130 Mini Projector
Optoma LV130 Mini Projector
  • Brightness: 300 Lumen
  • Resolution: 854 x 480
  • Battery : 4.5 hours
check price
ASUS S1 Portable Projector ASUS S1 Portable Projector
  • Brightness: 200 Lumen
  • Resolution: 854 x 480
  • Battery : 3 hours
check price
KODAK Luma 150 Mini Pico Projector KODAK Luma 150 Mini Pico Projector
  • Brightness: 360
  • Resolution: 854 x 480
  • Battery : 1.5 – 2 hours
check price
Missyee Portable Projector Missyee Portable Projector
  • Brightness: 360
  • Resolution: 854 x 480
  • Battery : 1.5 – 2 hours
check price

Top 4 premium van life Projectors

If you want flagship premium projector for your camping trip then check out these 4 budget segment projectors.

Optoma LV130 Mini Projector

This Optoma LV130 mini projector is perfect for travelers or anyone who wants a portable projector. It’s small and lightweight, and the 6,700 mAh battery provides up to 4.5 hours of use. It has a 300-lumen LED lamp. However, I believe this projector needs to be brighter. 

Furthermore, it has a lifespan of up to 30,000 hours. That’s 7 times longer than traditional lamps! So you can enjoy years of use without having to worry about replacing the lamp. And the 100,000:1 contrast ratio ensures deep black levels for an amazing image.

Additionally, This Optoma LV130 mini projector also has a 1.0-amp USB port, which can be used to charge mobile devices.  So you can stay connected even when you’re on the go.

 And it’s easy to connect to your mobile devices or gaming consoles with the HDMI input and MHL 2.2. 

The only downside is that it doesn’t have a lot of built-in storage. Overall with its versatile design and long battery life, this projector is perfect for any traveler.

What did we like

  • Small and lightweight
  • Long battery life
  • LED light source with long lifespan

What we did not like

  • Not very bright

 ASUS S1 Portable Projector 

Best portable projector for camping

The ASUS S1 portable projector is our 2nd top pick for van life and camping as it has a long-lasting rechargeable built-in battery and other premium features. Users can enjoy high-quality videos without worrying about running out of charge, or even charging their other mobile devices while connected to this projector!

ASUS has set out to create the best projector, and they’ve achieved it with this 854 x 480 resolution model. It supports HDMI as well as MHL for mobile devices- you can even use a USB flash drive!

It has excellent video quality but it’s not perfect because of its rainbow effect which is not adjustable. And one more disadvantage is its lack of color depth; colors are too light which may cause distractions while in the lighted area.

This ASUS projector is the perfect projector for outdoor activities, as it only weighs 0.8 pounds, makes it more portable and has small built-in speakers so you don’t need to look for any external power source for audio output.

Overall, the ASUS S1 projector could be in your shopping cart for your next van trip. It’s compact and lightweight, but still has a surprisingly long battery life of up to two hours on one charge at maximum brightness! The picture quality can be good in low-light conditions.

Advantages

  • Battery is rechargeable
  • Powerful, long-lasting battery
  • The price is reasonable.

Disadvantages

  • Display picture is not really impressive
  • Not suitable for daylight views.

KODAK Luma 150 Mini Pico Projector

Best portable projector for camping

Van and Camping life is a way to escape our everyday lives and spend time with the ones we love. One of the favorite things about vanlife is, always been sitting around and watching movies under the stars.

We are enlisting this projector that provides affordable entertainment for all! It’s small enough so it can go anywhere without being too bulky or heavy, but big enough for everyone in your group of friends get-together.

The majority of the projectors in our list were aimed at a particular audience especially campers, but this projector is for everyone. Not only does it work great in conference rooms, but also when you want to watch a movie on the big screen! This projection can support HD and 4K video quality- making sure that your presentation or movies are always of the highest clarity possible.

The in-built speakers were not as good when tested. It took a lot of effort to hear any sound coming from the speakers even in full sound.

The built-in battery of this small portable projector is not particularly impressive. It can last up to 2 hours, which is not enough for a typical camping and van trip.

Still thinking about this projector, I can’t help you with it but just think about this projector! It’s small and lightweight, it provides excellent video quality for the price. The sound isn’t perfect and battery life could be better; however, I’m still impressed by how good of a product it is given those limitations.

What did we like

  • In-built powerful speaker
  • easy connectivity option
  • Automatic vertical keystone correction

What we did not like

  • Not compatible with copyrighted content from Hulu, Netflix, and similar services

ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector

Best portable projector for camping

ViewSonic is known for creating high-quality projectors, so when I saw the M1 portable projector by ViewSonic my expectations were pretty high and it really does fit the bill. The compact size and lightweight of this projector make it perfect for traveling since you can take it with you wherever life takes you!

The brightness of the M1 is a little disappointing. It is rated at up to 300 lumens, but it is pretty good for a portable projector,

The M1 has a screen size of up to 100 inches which is fantastic. This is the ideal screen size for tent camping, even when you are in a caravan or tent. You don’t need to get a screen bigger than this.

One of the few advantages you’ll find in this projector is its battery life. Do you know most of the projector’s battery dies after watching even one or two videos? With up to 6 hours, this makes it perfect for those who want to long movies with friends on van trips.

This M1 Projector is a small and lightweight projector that weighs only 1.65 pounds, yet manages to have all of the connectivity ports; including one HDMI slot, one MicroSD card slot, one USB Type-A port, and one USB Type-C port.

Furthermore, It comes with Harman Kardon built-in speakers which are pretty good, and the speakers are loud, but the bass is not very strong.

 The ViewSonic M1 Projector has 16 GB of internal storage and Harman Kardon stereo speakers. So even if you forget to bring the MicroSD card or don’t want to bring a separate speaker on your van trips, it’s still possible for you to watch movies right away without having to plug anything in!

The M1+ has a lot of good points about it. However, it’s not without its drawbacks. The first is that the projector Screen Mirroring/Streaming doesn’t work. Nothing can be streamed, except for YouTube.

Advantages

  • 6 hours of playback time 
  • 16GB of internal storage
  • lightweight and compact

Disadvantages

  • 250 lumens brightness
  • Images can only be projected on a small scale

Overall – We were impressed with the Viewsonic M1. It’s a great projector for the price. It offers portability and other wired connections and SD/USB storage. but if you absolutely can’t live without streaming then hold off until the issue is fixed or check out other projectors.

Top 4 Featureful van life Projectors

If you want more features in your projector on less budget then check out these 3 budget bestsellers for camping and van life.

Apeman Mini M4 Portable Pocket Projector

The Apeman Mini M4 projector is one of the smallest and lightest camping projectors on the market other than kodak luma 150, making it perfect for those who want to enjoy their favorite movies and TV shows while on the go.

This pocket-sized projector weighs in at just 200g and measures 9.8 x 9.8 x 2.2 cm, making it easy to take with you wherever you go.

While the Apeman Mini M4 projector may not feature the highest resolution on the market, it still produces a clear and enjoyable picture. 

This projector is perfect for watching films and TV shows in a campervan or caravan while on the go, as the 100 lumens of light intensity create a great viewing experience even in low-light conditions. The projector also features a manual focus, which allows you to easily adjust the picture.

Additionally, the sound quality of the Apeman Mini M4 projector is quite good for its size. This projector comes equipped with dual speakers that provide clear and audible sound. 

However, if you want to increase the volume, you can always plug in headphones or an external speaker into the headphone jack.

 Overall, the Apeman Mini M4 projector is a great choice for those looking for a portable and affordable option.

Advantages

  • Affordable
  • Great picture and sound quality
  • Light weight and portable

Disadvantages

  • Manual focus can be a bit fiddly

 VANKYO LEISURE 3

Best portable projector for camping

VANKYO Leisure 3 projector is a perfect home entertainment solution for those who want to enjoy their favorite movies and shows. It comes with 2400 lumens brightness, 1080p resolution, and 3000:1 contrast ratio which makes it a great choice for watching your favorite content on the big screen.

This VANKYO Mini Projector is perfectly designed for all your basic needs. It only weighs 2.1 pounds which makes it lightweight and portable, so you can carry it wherever you want.

The projector was surprisingly clear, crisp, and colorful. The only drawback is that it may not be appropriate for business meetings or rooms with a lot of ambient light due to its low brightness level.

One of the most disappointing features of this computer is its poor audio quality. The two 2W built-in speakers are completely useless and there have been many complaints about it in reviews.

So you’re wondering if it’s worth the price? Well, that depends on what your priorities are. If you want our suggestion on it then Simply yes it is very affordable and usually comes in the $70 to $100 range. There are a lot of other projectors available with this range but they might not be as reputable brands like vankyo.

Advantages

  • The design is compact and lightweight
  • Having an effective and silent cooling fan
  • Available in an affordable price range

Disadvantages

  • Adjustment of vertical angle is manual
  • Not very bright

Missyee Portable Projector 300 link added

The ANXONIT Mini Projector is new in the projector market but tried their best to make an excellent choice projector to use while traveling in a van as It has all of the features that you would want as a moving home theater, including built-in speakers, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity, and a 150-lumen brightness rating.

It has a 480p resolution, which is lower than what is available on the market today, but it should still be good enough for watching films and television shows while on the road. 

As mentioned before, it has a 150-lumen brightness rating, which is plenty for dark rooms, but it might not work well with very bright environments.

 Furthermore, it features an automatic keystone so that the image is always in focus, regardless of the angle at which it is being projected.

The sound quality from the built-in speakers is also excellent, and you can also connect a wireless Bluetooth speaker if you want better audio quality.

Finally, the projector has a built-in Android operating system, which allows you to access streaming content from providers like Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime.

Overall, we were impressed with the ANXONIT Projector. It offers a lot of features for a very reasonable price, and it should be more than adequate for most people’s needs while traveling in a van. If you can accept the lower 480p resolution, then we would recommend this projector without hesitation.

Advantages

  • It has a built-in Android operating system
  • It has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Well priced projector

Disadvantages

  • The projector only has a 480p resolution

XGIMI MoGo Pro Mini Portable Projector 500 link added

The XGimi Mogo Pro is an excellent mini projector that offers great performance and features. It’s easy to set up and use, and the picture quality is superb.

The only downside is the size of the unit, which can make it a bit difficult to pack away in a small space. still great to consider it because of its other excellent features.

The Mogo Pro’s 300 lumen projector produces an impressive picture quality that can compete with some of the best TVs out there. The 1080p resolution ensures that there is no pixilation even at larger display sizes, and the 3D support is a nice bonus.

The unit is also able to auto-focus and keystone itself to adjust for different surfaces, which is very handy in a campervan.

The Mogo Pro has an impressive battery life, lasting up to 3.5 hours in projector mode while streaming. When used as a Bluetooth speaker, it can play music for over 24 hours.

The sound quality is excellent thanks to the Harmon Kardon speakers, and the touch buttons on top of the unit make it easy to control your music. The included remote control is also very handy.

Advantages

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Auto-focus and keystone adjustment
  • Impressive battery life
  • Excellent picture and sound quality

Disadvantages

  • No built-in Wi-Fi or screen mirroring
  • Large size can be difficult to pack away in a small space

Buying guide for the best portable projector for van life

you’re looking for outdoor projectors, here are some important factors to consider before you purchase one. Since there are hundreds of options available on the market, it can be difficult to find what’s right for your needs.

Portability

You don’t want something too bulky that is hard to carry with you on the road that is why an ideal camping projector needs to be compact and lightweight. It should be portable enough so that you can take it anywhere with you. It should also be easy to fold and store in your bag.

Lumens

If you want to watch movies outside or during the day, a projector with at least 1000-1500 lumens of brightness is necessary. However, if you plan on watching your movie in mostly dark conditions such as nighttime or evening time then an average level of 400 lumens will do just fine.

Battery pack

The battery life of any device must be considered before purchasing, especially if you are looking for portable outdoor projectors.

5000 mAh batteries which will last up to 3 hours with continuous use in a single charge are recommended.

wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity

If you’re planning to use your projector for watching movies and TV shows, then you’ll want one that has wifi and Bluetooth connectivity. This will allow you to easily connect to your devices and stream content without having to mess with cables.

It’s also a good idea to choose a projector that has a long wireless range that will cost some extra bucks but it is worth it, so you don’t have to worry about being too close to the device you’re trying to connect to.

FAQ’s | best projector for van life

Are mini projectors worth it?

Most of the time, mini projectors are worth it. They offer good image quality and portability, which can be ideal for travel. However, there are some exceptions; for example, if you need a high-resolution projector for business presentations, a mini projector may not be up to the task.

How to focus projector properly while in moving van ?

Focusing a projector while in a moving van can be a challenge. One trick is to use a piece of paper or cardboard to create a makeshift “screen” on the window. This will help you to focus the image more easily.

short-throw projector vs mini projector for van life?

There is no definitive answer to this question. It depends on your specific needs and preferences. Some people prefer mini projectors because they are more portable, while others prefer short throw projectors because they offer better image quality. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which type of projector is best for van life.

Bringing It All Together

If you are looking for the best projector to use in your van life, we have provided a review of 10 projectors that would be perfect for this purpose. We have also included a buying guide to help you make the best purchase decision possible.

All of the projectors on our list would be a great addition to your home on wheels. What do you think? Have you tried any of these projectors or do you have another recommendation? Let us know in the comments below!

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