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Built Your Own Drive

Nov 01, 2023Nov 01, 2023

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There's nothing like enjoying a great film on the big screen—but, unless you have a particularly large TV at home, it's hard to get that movie theater experience. Thankfully, at-home projectors can project a huge movie image against any flat, blank surface—think walls or garage doors—but projection screens, and specifically outdoor movie screens, provide the best backdrop for your movie viewing.

Outdoor projectors are specially designed to handle to shifting light and more unpredictable environments, but projection screens are what take you from blurry focus and muddled colors to a true outdoor movie theater experience. Outdoor movie screens provide a backdrop built to enhance picture quality and give you a truer depiction of the movie's brightness, color grading, and design.

Anyone with an outdoor space can try one of these outdoor movie screens to create a private screening experience—just add some zero-gravity lounge chairs or an outdoor sectional and you’ve got the best seat in the house.

For more great backyard upgrades, check out our picks for the best projectors, outdoor TVs, and outdoor speakers.

Do you want to always watch movies in the same place? If so, buying a large screen with a built-in frame, or a mounted option, is your best bet. These more static options have the advantage of added stability and sometimes a flatter, crisper projection surface.

If you’re on the go, or want to be able to use your screen in multiple settings, a smaller and/or lighter option (like an inflatable model, for example) may be preferable. Portable screens often fold or roll up for easy transfer in the back of a car.

Many screens, like our top choice, the Elite Screens Yard Master Plus, come with collapsible or foldable frames for a completely portable experience.

If you would like to reserve the option to use the screen indoors, like in an office or classroom setting, there are several options that are suitable for both indoor and outdoor viewings. Most outdoor projection screens are designed with sturdier material and some weather resistance, but outside of size and convenience, there should be no obstacle when it comes to using it indoors as well.

To optimize your viewing experience for crisp and bright colors, get a screen with black backing, which helps take care of light penetration that could dilute your picture quality. For the best possible quality, check to see if your screen is compatible with your projector's specs, including looking at whether or not it can be paired with 4K Ultra HD or Active 3D. Finally, a standard aspect ratio of 16:9 is ideal for the best theater-like experience.

All of the screens we recommend can be cleaned with a damp cloth. Any outdoor screen 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.

We researched hundreds of products, keeping a variety of logistical features and space constraints in mind. All of our recommendations come from reliable companies with excellent reputations for customer service. The items themselves are also highly rated by professionals and have high ratings from customers. Furthermore, we relied on our expertise on water-resistant materials and technology.

This is one of the best screens on the market, providing professional-grade clarity. The size of the viewing window is 59 by 104.7 inches, and it comes framed in silver-toned aluminum.

The aspect ratio is 16:9, and it can be paired with 4K Ultra HD and Active 3D. It is also compatible with standard, short throw, and UHD/HD projectors. The screen features a 160-degree viewing angle, with a black-backed projection screen. The frame is lightweight and collapsible, but strong, and the T-legs are detachable.

The screen comes with a two-year manufacturer's warranty. Reviewers appreciate how easy it is to set up and store when not in use.

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Yard Master Plus Indoor/Outdoor Movie Screen


This compact, one-piece, lightweight, and foldable movie screen can be stashed in a backpack for on-the-go viewing. It works indoors and outdoors, making it ideal for movie night, but meaning it's also useful in classroom and office settings.

The screen is made of natural polyester and produces a sharp and bright image. The screen does not come with a separate frame or mount, however, and must be attached via double-sided adhesive to a wall, which may not work for every space.

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Foldable Projection Screen


Outdoor movie screens don't get much easier to set up than this one. The inflatable design means all you need to do is pump up the frrame using the electric blower, and it's ready to go.

The projection screen's back is black with a PVC coating, while the front is a PVC-coated white material. The surface creates a fine palette for high-contrast images and offers good color reproduction. The screen also comes with a storage bag, allowing you to bring it on the go.

The screen inflates in just two minutes simply by plugging it in (an internal fan inflates it), and it comes with a one-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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20-ft. Inflatable Outdoor Movie Screen


This easy-to-set-up movie screen goes up in a few minutes. The portable frame has metal snaps that quickly fasten the screen to the frame, and the detachable legs don't require any tools for assembly.

The projection display is compatible with 3D and 4K Ultra HD and is built to provide sharp, high-res images and enriched colors with a unique three-layer screen design. The black backing prevents light penetration, delivering a clear-as-day display.

At just over 20 pounds, the 100-inch screen and frame are also easily transportable. The screen comes with ground stakes, rigging cords, and support rings, ensuring stability even in breezy conditions, and it also boasts a one-year warranty and lifetime tech support.

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Projector Screen with Stand


If you have a good place to mount a movie screen, this pull-down model is a great option. Not only is it wallet-friendly, but comes in multiple sizes and aspect ratios.

The black-backed screen takes care of light penetration, ensuring crisp, bright images and colors. The textured matte white screen is made from layers of PVC and polyester, making it weather-resistant and less liable to curl on the edges. When not in use, the screen can be easily stowed away in its steel frame.

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Pull-Down Projector Screen


This projection screen is user-friendly and built with a low-maintenance design. The screen itself is sturdy, set in a rust-resistant metal and glass-fiber rod frame for extra longevity. The screen quickly snaps into the one-piece frame, and the detachable legs can be put together without tools.

The screen is ideal for outdoor use, but works well in homes and in classroom settings, as well due to its lightweight frame and portability. It can be carried around in its black storage bag and is easy to take on trips or new locations.

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Double-Sided Projector Screen with Stand


For an affordable choice that you can take with you everywhere, the Vamvo projector screen is a worthy pick. The outdoor movie screen is made of sturdy polyester material designed to resist wrinkles. Even if it does wrinkle, you can easily iron or steam the screen back to its former glory.

What makes the screen special is the collapsible tripods and frames. Built like camping gear with collapsible poles and internal elastic ropes, the frame easily opens and closes within minutes. Each tripod easily folds down and you can bring the screen and frame with you anywhere in a small carrying case.

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Projector Screen with Stand


This projector screen works just as well for movie screenings as it does for office or classroom uses. It's ideal for small spaces too, with a viewing area that measures 41.2 x 73.2 inches. The roll-up style also makes it easier to pack up and store when not in use.

The projector screen is made with wrinkle-free matte PVC material in a light aluminum frame, and is mounted on a light aluminum tripod that's secured with straps. It has excellent resolution, is easily transportable, and can be assembled in three simple steps.

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Projector Screen with Stand


This easy-to-set-up self-supported screen comes with a stand, and perhaps most uniquely, its own outdoor projector. This outdoor movie screen also comes with ground stakes, tethers, and a bag to store it in when not in use.

The projector itself is compatible with nearly any streaming devices, Chromebooks, PCs, DVD players, laptops, smartphones, and more. With a Lightning HDMI/USB adapter, your iOS device can be connected to the projector, so you can even turn home movie into full cinematic productions.

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HI-04 Mini Projector and Screen


Perhaps the easiest to set up and take down, the Elite Screens Pop-up projector screen is built for speed and convenience. Instead of a traditional roll-up screen or collapsible frame, the outdoor movie screen has a pop-up foldout design, similar to a car shade.

As a result, you can set up or pack up your screen in a fraction of the time as many other options—and you don't need perfectly flat ground to keep it stable, so it's a great pick for camping. The white screen and high contrast black also provide a solid projection color balance, however some users have complained about its susceptibility to wrinkles.

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Pop-up Cinema Fast Folding Projector Screen


Key Specs

Screen Size (diagonal, in inches): 360

Aspect Ratio: 16:9

Setup: Inflatable via powered blower, tie-downs

This mega projection screen is ideal for large spaces, with a viewing area that measures 27.7 x 11.6 feet. To set it up, just plug it in, and it inflates itself. The screen comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Reviewers praise the clarity of the picture, overall quality, and impressive size, saying it's great for communal events or outdoor workouts, but warn that breezy conditions can bring it down.

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30-Foot Inflatable Projector Movie Screen


Key Specs

Screen Size (diagonal, in inches): 40

Aspect Ratio: 4:3 (16:9 compatible)

Setup: All-in-one stand and pull-out screen

This highly portable projection screen is lightweight and designed for quick and easy setup. It's great for small spaces, and despite its relatively micro (19.6 x 34.9 inch) size, it is designed to be weather-resistant and offer premium viewing quality. The screen stands up by itself on any flat surface, and can also be hung. Several reviewers recommend taking it on the road and hanging it on the side of an RV or truck with Command hooks.

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Portable Projector Screen


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For more great backyard upgrades, check out our picks for the best projectors, outdoor TVs, and outdoor speakers. Portability Flexibility Viewing Quality Ease of Cleaning Key Specs Screen Size (diagonal, in inches): Aspect Ratio: Setup: Key Specs Screen Size (diagonal, in inches): Aspect Ratio: Setup: You Might Also Like