The 8 Best Outdoor Movie Screens for Backyard Entertainment

The Elite Screen Yard Master 2 is our top pick

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The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

While you can use a garage door or wall to show movies outdoors, an outdoor movie screen will give you a clearer, brighter picture with more vivid colors. When researching the best outdoor movie screens we evaluated products for their image quality, durability, and ease of assembly.

Our favorite outdoor movie screen, the Elite Screen Yard Master 2, provides a 15-minute setup and comes in various sizes for your movie night needs.

Here are the best outdoor movie screens.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Elite Screens OMS120H2 Yard Master 2 Outdoor Projection Screen

4.9
Elite Screens OMS120H2 Yard Master 2 Outdoor Projection Screen
Image courtesy Amazon.com
What We Like
  • Available in various sizes

  • Great picture quality

  • Solid stand

What We Don't Like
  • Prone to wrinkling

What do buyers say? 92% of 2,700+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

For a well-priced, sturdy outdoor movie screen, you can't go wrong with the Elite Screens Yard Master 2. This screen earned our best overall spot because it's durable, has an excellent screen, and offers top-notch picture quality. This screen provides a perfect surface to show movies, sporting events, and slideshows in your backyard.

It has a 120-inch viewing diagonal (the distance from corner to corner) with a 16:9 aspect ratio. It's also available in smaller and larger sizes, ranging from 55 inches to 135 inches, to best match your outdoor space. The lightweight aluminum frame holds the screen taught for a flat projection surface. The screen material is matte and rated for superb color accuracy and comes with a black backing to block light and keep image quality bright and detailed.

While the screen is weather-resistant, it shouldn't be left outside permanently. It takes around 15 minutes to set up. For easy installation and storage, it comes with a carrying bag, ground stakes, rigging cord, and support rigs, so you don't need another trip to the store. One downside is that the screen can be wrinkled, so we recommend hanging it the night before you need it, if weather and time permit. 

Dimensions: 110.6 x 36.7 x 89 inches | Screen Size: 120 inches | Aspect Ratio: 16:9, 4:3 | Viewing Angle: 180 degrees

Best Budget: Mdbebbron 120-inch Projection Screen

Mdbebbron 120-inch Projection Screen

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Wrinkle-resistant material

  • Easily foldable and portable

  • Machine-washable

What We Don't Like
  • Stand not included

  • Requires a space to hang from

If you don’t want to spend too much on an outdoor movie screen, the Mdbebbron Projection Screen offers an unbeatable value. This inexpensive screen has a 120-inch diagonal and a 16:9 aspect ratio and measures 104 x 58 x 0.2 inches.

This screen doesn’t come with a stand, but it features grommets around the edges that you can use to hang it up with hooks, ropes, or even nails. The durable polyester fabric doesn’t crease or wrinkle, making it easy to store. If the material gets dirty, you can put it in the washing machine for hassle-free maintenance.

Dimensions: 104 x 58 x 0.2 inches | Screen Size: 120 inches | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Viewing Angle: 160 degrees

Best Splurge: Vivohome 17ft Inflatable Mega Movie Projection Screen

Unbrand Inflatable Movie Screen

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Large screen surface area

  • Water-resistant material

  • Quiet and effective air blower

  • Ideal for larger audiences

What We Don't Like
  • Liable to sway in the wind

  • Requires inflating to set up

For a true movie-theater experience in your backyard, the Vivohome Inflatable Mega Movie Projection Screen is worth its high price. This blow-up screen comes in several sizes, but the 204-inch version stands 11.1 feet tall and 13.1 feet wide. It has an impressively large projection area, allowing you to show movies, sports, and more on the biggest possible screen. 

This inflatable screen is made of water-resistant cloth, and it includes a quiet 110-volt air blower that keeps the screen inflated for as long as needed. The screen also comes with tethers, yard stakes, and a storage bag, and everything is easy to set up. However, you may not want to use it when there are strong winds, as it will sway.

Dimensions: 157.2 x 4.9 x 133.2 inches | Screen Size: 204 inches | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Viewing Angle: Not listed

Best Mounted: Elite Screens Manual B 100-Inch Pull Down Projector Screen

Elite Screens Manual B 100-Inch Pull Down Projector Screen

Courtesy of Wayfair

What We Like
  • Retractable design

  • Adjustable screen height

  • Can hang from the ceiling

  • 3D-ready

What We Don't Like
  • Incompatible with short-throw/ ultra-short-throw projectors

  • Can suffer from some wrinkling

If you have room to mount an outdoor movie screen, the Elite Screen Manual B Pull-Down model is high-quality and well-priced. It has a 100-inch diagonal and a 16:9 aspect ratio, and it can easily be retracted back into its housing when not in use. 

This screen has a textured matte white surface with a black border and backing, and the fabric is made from layers of PVC and polyester, making it mildew-resistant and less likely to curl on the sides. The screen retracts slowly back into its steel housing when the handle is released, and it also features an auto-lock mechanism for variable height settings. The only downside is that this screen isn’t recommended for use with short-throw and ultra-short-throw projectors, models that need to sit much closer to the projector screen.

Dimensions: 93.8 x 2.8 x 59.8 inches | Screen Size: 100 inches | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Viewing Angle: 180 degrees

Best Self-Supported: Vamvo Outdoor/Indoor Projector Screen with Stand

vamvo-projector

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Quick and easy setup

  • Foldable and portable stand

  • Includes stakes for greater sturdiness outdoors

  • Thick (less light floods through back)

What We Don't Like
  • May require ironing or steaming

  • Stand can be wobbly depending on surface

The Vamvo Projector Screen is a top-rated self-supported option, as it comes with a stand that’s quick and easy to set up. This movie screen has a 100-inch viewing diagonal, and with its stand assembled, it’s 66 inches tall and 90.5 inches wide. Plus, thanks to the stand’s unique tripod design, it takes less than five minutes to assemble the whole screen. 

This self-supported outdoor movie screen comes with ground stakes, tethers, and a storage bag, and reviewers confirm that it’s quick and easy to set up. The screen material is also thick and sturdy, preventing light from flooding in and impacting picture quality. However, this model can be prone to wobbling and the screen isn’t wrinkle- or crease-proof, so you may need to iron it before use if you want the clearest picture.

Dimensions: 90.5 x 66 inches | Screen Size: 100 inches | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Viewing Angle: 160 degrees

Best Inflatable: Insignia 114" Outdoor Projector Screen

Insignia Inflatable Projector Screen

Courtesy of Best Buy

What We Like
  • Quiet air blower

  • Inflates quickly

  • Big screen

  • Thick material provides less transparency

What We Don't Like
  • Requires air blower to be running while in use

  • Prone to creasing

Inflatable movie screens are nearly effortless to set up, and they give you a huge surface to project your movie. This top-rated outdoor projector screen from Insignia has a 114-inch diagonal screen, providing a vast viewing area that's large enough for a big group.

This Insignia screen inflates in a matter of minutes, thanks to the included air pump. Though the air blower needs to run at all times, the fan operates quietly, so it won't interrupt the audio of whatever you're watching. When set up, this blow-up screen is 83 inches tall and 115 inches wide and comes with tie-downs to keep it secure. You can fold it back up into its carrying case when you're finished with movie night. Just note that it can be prone to creasing in between uses.

Dimensions: 115 x 25 x 83 inches | Screen Size: 114 inches | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Viewing Angle: Not listed 

Best Lightweight: Khomo Gear White Portable Folding Frame Projection Screen

Khomo Gear White Portable Folding Frame Projection Screen

Courtesy of Wayfair

What We Like
  • Easy assembly

  • Stand tugs screen flat and stretches out wrinkles

  • Crisp picture quality

What We Don't Like
  • Stand may need to be tied or weighed down

If you’re looking for a movie screen that’s light enough to travel with, the Khomo Gear Portable Folding Frame Projection Screen weighs around 12 pounds and includes a unique stand that helps to pull the screen taught for a flat projection surface. This product has a 100-inch viewing diagonal, and it measures 84 inches tall with its stand assembled. 

The projection surface is 51 x 90 inches, and the fabric is made from Oxford nylon reflective material for high-resolution pictures and clear colors. The folding stand is made from lightweight materials, and the frame helps to stretch the projection surface as tightly as possible to prevent any wrinkles or creases. Overall, this screen is portable and convenient, though you may need to weigh it down with some sandbags if it’s a particularly windy day.

Dimensions: 92 x 5 x 84 inches | Screen Size: 100 inches | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Viewing Angle: Not listed 

Best with Projector: DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector with 100-Inch Projector Screen

DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector with 100-Inch Projector Screen

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Great contrast, picture, and sound quality

  • Projector is smartphone-compatible

  • Includes a remote control

  • Screen has grommets for easy hanging

What We Don't Like
  • HDMI adapter not included

  • Doesn’t include a stand

The DR. J Professional Mini Projector with 100-Inch Projector Screen combines two key pieces into one, giving you everything necessary to set up an outdoor theater. The Mini LED projector has a native resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, and it can project a picture as large as 170 inches from a distance of around 5 feet to 16 feet. The projector is compatible with all types of media input, so you can use a computer, smartphone, flash drive, gaming console, or streaming device to play your movie. However, you'll need your own HDMI cord to connect the projector with some entertainment equipment.

In addition to the mini projector, you’ll also get a 100-inch movie screen, which has grommets around the edges for easy hanging. If you prefer to position the screen on a stand, you'll have to supply your own. According to buyers, this bundle is amazing for the reasonable price—many note that the projector delivers a clear, bright image that’s ideal for movies or sporting events.

Dimensions: Not listed | Screen Size: 100 inches | Aspect Ratio: 16:9, 4:3 | Viewing Angle: Not listed

What to Look for When Buying Outdoor Movie Screens

Image Quality

For a crisp, detailed, and bright picture, look for a screen with thick, smooth, and opaque fabric (and black backing) to properly absorb ambient and projector light. Wrinkle-resistant materials and stands can prevent creases, but some screens require ironing or steaming for the best viewing experience. Viewing angle also matters for image quality and seating. A 180-degree angle looks the same head-on or at any angle, but a 160-degree range provides great coverage too. Finally, a screen's aspect ratio is worth noting to prevent unfilled screen space or overflowing. Most projector screens (and projectors and content) have a 16:9 aspect ratio (the width and height of an image or display), so that's the ideal format for backyard movie nights.

Durability

Any outdoor item should be durable enough to withstand the elements—namely, wind, water, and dirt. To deal with wind, look for a screen that’s made from a strong material (like PVC or polyester) and that boasts a sturdy structure (like an aluminum frame). To deal with water, favor options that are either water- or weather-resistant. And to deal with dirt, look for screens that are easy to clean. If a screen can be wiped down with a wet cloth or tossed in the washing machine, dirt should be pretty easy to deal with.

Ease of Assembly

Many outdoor movie screens require some at-home assembly, but some involve more set-up than others. When considering a movie screen, pay attention to what’s involved in the set-up process and how long the set-up process usually takes. Then, double-check what ships with the movie screen. Does the screen come with all the tools you need to assemble it, or will you have to make a trip to the hardware store after your screen arrives? An easier set-up process won’t always mean a better movie screen, so be sure to weigh ease of assembly against other key features—like image quality and durability. 

FAQ
  • Can outdoor movie screens be paired with any projector?

    Most outdoor movie screens are compatible with most projectors. But some combinations will give you a clearer picture than others. To get the best possible viewing experience, divide the brightness of your projector (measured in Lumens) by the area of your movie screen (length by width, measured in square feet). Then, multiply the number you get by your movie screen’s gain. After all that calculating, you’ll have the total number of foot-lamberts provided by your projector/screen combination. Experts recommend a foot-lamberts total of 16–26 for a dark space, 27–39 for low ambient light, 40–59 for medium ambient light, and 60+ for high ambient light. If the number you get is too low for your movie-viewing environment, you may want to switch out your screen or projector.

  • How big of an outdoor movie screen should I get?

    To figure out how big your outdoor movie screen should be, you’ll need to do a little math. First, consider how bright your outdoor movie-viewing environment is—this will give you the total number of foot-lamberts you need to get a clear picture on your movie screen. (Don’t worry about what foot-lamberts are. Just know that you’ll need 16–26 total foot-lamberts for a dark space, 27–39 for low ambient light, 40–59 for medium ambient light, and 60+ for high ambient light.) Then, divide your projector screen’s brightness (in Lumens) by that foot-lamberts total. 

    This calculation will give you an idea of how big your movie screen needs to be to give you an optimal viewing experience. If a movie screen’s area (length by width, measured in square feet) is smaller than the number you just got, the movie screen may not give you a clear picture. If the number is larger than or equal to the number you just got, you should be good to go.

  • How do you assemble an outdoor movie screen?

    There are a few different kinds of outdoor movie screens, and each boasts a different set-up process. Some outdoor movie screens are designed to be mounted on a stand. Others are lined with grommets, which you can loop rope through to fasten your screen to a study object. Some others are drop-down screens, which can be mounted on a wall via nails and brackets. And there are even inflatable outdoor movie screens, which can stand on their own once they’ve been blown up.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer, product tester, and expert on all things home. Her writing can also be found on MyDomaine. Additional reporting was done by Lindsey Lanquist, who has spent years covering home and lifestyle products for a range of publications including The Spruce and MyDomaine.

Updated by
Lindsey Lanquist
Lindsey Lanquist The Spruce
Lindsey Lanquist is a Nashville-based writer and product reviewer for The Spruce who covers health, fitness, food, and lifestyle. She has written for MyDomaine since August 2019. And her work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, SELF, Byrdie, Verywell, StyleCaster, SheKnows, and NYLON.
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  1. The Complete Guide to Outdoor Projectors and Screens. ProjectorScreen.com.