The 8 Best Outdoor Movie Screens To Enhance Your Backyard Setup

Grab some popcorn, and enjoy a movie on the Elite Screens Yard Master 2.

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Outdoor Movie Screens
Courtesy of Amazon

One of the best ways to spend a summer evening is to make some popcorn, throw on a sweater, and head outside to enjoy a good movie. With an outdoor movie screen, you can enjoy a flick from the comfort of your own backyard. Before purchasing one, however, make sure you do your research to determine the right outdoor movie screen for your needs.

The best outdoor movie screens "use the highest quality of projection screen surfaces to provide an indoor home theater quality with outdoor durability," says Jaime Abrego, product manager at the projection screen manufacturing company Elite Screens. In other words, you shouldn't have to sacrifice picture quality to enjoy your entertainment outdoors.

To help you choose the best outdoor movie screen for your home, we researched a variety of picks, keeping in mind each model's dimensions, screen size, and aspect ratio.

Overall, we recommend the Elite Screens Yard Master 2 due to its large viewing size, mid-range price, sturdy flat surface, and high-resolution picture quality.

Here are the best outdoor movie screens.

Best Overall

Elite Screens OMS120H2 Yard Master 2 Outdoor Folding-Frame Projection Screen

4.9
Elite Screens OMS120H2 Yard Master 2 Outdoor Projection Screen

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It's a reliable, high-quality screen that's offered in multiple sizes and aspect ratios.

Keep in Mind: The screen can't be used if there's more than a light breeze.

For a crowd-pleasing outdoor movie screen that'll surpass all your expectations, look no further than Elite Screens' Yard Master 2, our overall choice for the best outdoor movie screen. Made from a flexible and highly durable CineWhite material that's known for its image fidelity, crystal-clear color accuracy, and vivid brightness levels, the screen offers the kind of viewing quality—4K Ultra HD, 3D projection, and a 180-degree viewing angle—you'd typically only get in a movie theater.

While the 120-inch version of the screen is our favorite, you can buy it in sizes ranging from 58 to 135 inches to best match your backyard space. You can also choose from two aspect ratios (16:9 or 4:3). No matter which option you select, you'll end up with a movie screen that delivers a high-quality picture thanks to the screen's sturdy and flat projection surface, light-blocking black backing, and detailed image quality.

It's compatible with both short-throw and ultra-short-throw projectors as well. Assembly is quick, and no tools are required.

The weather-resistant screen is easy to care for, too. To clean the screen, just use soap water as necessary. Its lightweight aluminum construction makes transporting it in its included padded carrying bag a breeze, but you'll want to avoid using the screen on windy nights to avoid damaging the components. It also comes with detachable legs, ground stakes, a rigging cord, and support rigs, as well.

Price at time of publish: $234

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 53.1 x 1.3 x 56.3 inches
  • Screen Size: From 58 inches
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 or 4:3

Best Budget

Mdbebbron 120-inch Projection Screen

Mdbebbron 120-inch Projection Screen

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: The screen folds and is only one piece, so it's a portable option.

Keep in Mind: It doesn't come with a stand or frame and must be mounted with tools.

Looking for the best outdoor movie screen on a budget? This wall-mount screening option from Mdbebbron is less expensive than other options, but that doesn't mean it sacrifices quality. The screen is made from a lightweight, durable, and high-absorbance polyester material, and it produces a clear, bright image on its 120-inch viewing area.

It's also compact and foldable, so you can easily store it inside when it's not in use or take it to a friend's house for outdoor gatherings. Plus, the fabric is machine-washable and doesn't easily crease or wrinkle, even when folded up in a bag.

Although the one-piece screen doesn't come with a stand or frame, it can be hung up fairly easily with rope or nails thanks to the included eye bolts and hooks located around the edge of the screen. And if you want to put it up temporarily, just use removable hanging strips or double-sided tape for a quick and simple set-up.

Because of the lack of extra features, this may not be the best option for people looking for a permanent outdoor movie screen that gets frequent use in the summer. However, if you plan to take yours on-the-go or will only be using it infrequently, it could be a great choice for you.

Price at time of publish: $50

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 104 x 58 x 0.2 inches
  • Screen Size: 120 inches
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9

Best Splurge

Vivohome 17ft Inflatable Mega Movie Projection Screen

Unbrand Inflatable Movie Screen

Courtesy of Walmart

Why You Should Get It: It has a huge viewing area and a quiet, small fan pump for easy setup.

Keep in Mind: You'll have to inflate the frame as opposed to other screens, which may just have legs and other hanging accessories.

If you're looking for an extra-large outdoor movie screen that can provide top-quality entertainment for a giant backyard, consider Vivohome's Inflatable Mega Movie Projection Screen. The outdoor movie screen provides a true theater-like viewing experience thanks to its huge projection area and overall size. (We recommend the 17-foot model, but it's available in sizes from 14 to 24 feet.)

The easy-to-clean screen is made of durable, water- and weather-resistant cloth. To inflate it before a viewing, all you need to do is use the small (and quiet) 110-volt fan pump that's included in your purchase. This will keep the screen fully expanded for the duration of your film, so you can sit back and relax.

The screen also comes with a free-standing mount, tethers, yard stakes, and a handy, large storage bag. When you're done watching, you can simply collapse the screen and place it in its bag until the next use, or clean it by removing and wiping down the projection surface.

Just keep in mind that, despite its large size and higher cost, this isn't the sturdiest of screens on the market, so it might sway a bit in the wind—but that's where those tethers and stakes come in handy. And you can always move the portable screen indoors if needed or to a less windy outdoor location.

Price at time of publish: $180

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: From 10.7 x 3.9 x 8.4 feet
  • Screen Size: From 8.5 x 4.8 feet
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9

Best Inflatable

XHYCPY 20 Feet Inflatable Outdoor Movie Projector Screen

Projector Screen

XHYCPY

Why You Should Get It: It has a huge viewing area and requires only a few minutes to set up.

Keep in Mind: The picture quality is less precise than other, slightly smaller screens.

Available in both 20- and 21-foot versions, this large-scale, floor-mounted inflatable movie screen from XHYCPY has a huge viewing area, high-contrast and ultra-bright screen, clear color reproduction, and so much more. Best of all, it only takes about two minutes to inflate, making it a great choice especially for entertaining outdoors.

The outdoor movie screen is offered in two sizes and has a glossy screen surface. The screen includes a quiet internal fan that will inflate the screen once it's plugged in—no need to spend hours inflating and setting up the screen manually. The PVC screen has a white front for projecting movies onto, and the back is black to block light from soaking through.

The large viewing area is great for parties and big backyard gatherings that feature plenty of guests. Despite its huge size, though, the screen is lightweight and easily portable, coming with a helpful storage bag for on-the-go entertainment outings and storage after use. As for cleaning the screen, just wipe the black frame down with a cloth as needed, and detach the white screen from the hook-and-loop closures to give it a rinse.

Price at time of publish: $229

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 15.6 x 6.3 x 12.1 feet
  • Screen Size: From 12.6 x 7.1 feet
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9

Related: The Best Patio Furniture to Upgrade Your Outdoor Space This Summer

Best With Projector

TMY WiFi Projector with 120-Inch Screen

TMY WiFi Projector with 120-Inch Screen

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: In addition to getting a 120-inch screen, you also get a high-quality projector.

Keep in Mind: The screen isn't as large or durable as standalone models.

While the majority of outdoor movie screens don't come with projectors, those that do offer unparalleled convenience. Our choice for the best outdoor movie screen with a projector is the TMY HD Movie Projector with Screen.

The 1080-pixel HD projector has an 8,600 Lux LED light source that provides a clear, bright viewing experience that'll give your movie night a major boost. Plus, the color contrast is vibrant and intricate, so you'll always be viewing your films in the kind of sharp resolution they deserve.

The 120-inch projection screen is quick to set up and portable, foldable, and not easily wrinkled, so you can set it up right before your outdoor entertainment night gets underway. It's simple to clean, too, requiring just a quick rinse with a cloth after use.

The projector itself is wireless and equipped with WiFi, and you can use the included USB charging cable to synchronize it to your smart device. There are also ports for HDMI, AV interface, and more, so you can connect the projector to your smartphones, laptops, TV sticks, speakers, and game consoles with ease. Lastly, there's an efficient, quiet fan cooling system included as well as a built-in speaker system that offers sound that's loud and clear enough that you likely won't need an external speaker.

Price at time of publish: $140

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: Not listed
  • Screen Size: 120 inches
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9

Best Portable

Vamvo 100 inch Portable Foldable Projection Screen

Vamvo 100 inch Portable Foldable Projection Screen

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It's great for on-the-go entertainment and has a simple setup.

Keep in Mind: It's not as wrinkle- or crease-proof, unlike many other screens.

For an outdoor movie screen that requires a tool-free setup and can be easily stored and taken on the go, check out this screen from Vamvo. The large 120-inch screen is self-supported, needing just its included foldable stand, ground stakes, internal elastic cord, and tethers for setup. It also has a sturdy tripod design that keeps it standing upright, even in a breeze.

When you want to take your outdoor movie screen to another location, just fold it up and place it into its matching carrying bag, which is spacious enough to also fit the stand and accessories. Plus, it's fairly light to carry, so you won't have to strain yourself when transporting it.

As for the screen itself, it's made from a thick polyester and aluminum material that produces sharp picture quality and reduces light flooding in. There's a 160-degree viewing angle so you can see the screen from a variety of spots, with high-resolution imagery and rich, vibrant colors.

Just keep in mind that the screen may wrinkle and crease a bit, especially if it's been folded up in storage for a while, so you might want to iron it before use to ensure that the picture quality is as clear as possible. As for cleanup, simply take a damp cloth and wipe down any stains or dust that may have accumulated over time.

Price at time of publish: $101

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 90.5 x 66 inches
  • Screen Size: From 80 inches
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9

Related: The 8 Best Picnic Blankets for Parks, Beaches, and Camping Trips, According to Lab Testing

Best Without Stand

P-Jing Foldable Anti-Crease Projection Screen

P-Jing Foldable Anti-Crease Projection Screen

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It can be set up anywhere and doesn't wrinkle easily.

Keep in Mind: It will be more difficult to get this screen to lay flat without a stand.

While a stand is often a helpful accessory for an outdoor movie screen, it's not always an essential, especially if you plan to place your screen on the side of a shed or wall. In addition to being less expensive than other options, the P-Jing Foldable Anti-Crease Projection Screen is foldable, portable, and anti-wrinkle, so there's no need to spend extra time ironing it.

Since it doesn't include a stand, all you need is a place to hang it, like a wall, garage door, or even between two trees. The screen comes with 12 metal grommets that you can use with a rope or the included hooks to hang it. However, keep in mind that it will be more difficult to get this screen to lay flat without a stand.

The ultra-thick screen is made from polyester that's lightweight and compact when folded. When in use, it produces a bright, smooth picture quality with high contrast and clear resolution.

As for caring for this screen, just wipe off any dust with a wet cloth and store it in the included pouch when putting it away for the season or transporting it to a new location.

Price at time of publish: $50

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 131 x 74 inches
  • Screen Size: 150 inches
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9

Related: The 10 Best Hammocks for Lounging, Camping, and Everything in Between

Best Retractable

Elite Screens M100H Manual Pull-Down Projector Screen

Elite Screens Manual B 100-Inch Pull Down Projector Screen

Wayfair

Why You Should Get It: It retracts into itself when not in use and has a helpful auto-lock feature.

Keep in Mind: It doesn't work with all projectors and isn't totally weather-resistant.

If you're looking for a high-quality outdoor movie screen that can be placed against a backyard wall or other flat surface, consider the Elite Screens Pull-Down Manual Projector Screen. It's a pull-down projector screen, so it can be hung on a wall without a stand.

When you're done using it, just retract the screen into its steel housing unit for subtle and convenient storage. And while the movie is actually playing, you can activate the auto-lock mechanism if you want to set the height to a certain level, so you won't have to continually adjust the settings.

The screen comes in multiple sizes and two different aspect ratios, so you can pick the model that's right for your specific space and viewing needs. It has a 180-degree viewing angle and provides a high-resolution viewing experience, so you don't need to sit directly in front of the screen.

It's made from PVC and polyester material that has a matte white surface and black border to prevent too much light from coming in.

While the screen is not totally weather-resistant, it can handle the elements fairly well and doesn't wrinkle easily. Make note, though, that the screen doesn't pair well with all types of projectors.

If you have a short-throw or ultra-short-throw projector, you may want to pursue a different option for your outdoor entertainment experience since those projectors require a flat, tensioned surface to avoid distortion.

Price at time of publish: $80

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 93.8 x 2.8 x 59.8 inches
  • Screen Size: 100 inches
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9

The Bottom Line

Overall, we recommend the Elite Screens Yard Master 2 because of the sharp picture quality and variety of size and aspect ratio options. For a less-expensive option, consider the Mdbebbron Projection Screen. The outdoor movie screen is a wall-mount style and folds easily for storage.

What to Know About Outdoor Movie Screens Before Shopping

Material

The best outdoor movie screens are usually made of synthetic polyester (PVC), due to it being relatively non-reflective and allowing viewers to see the picture clearly from a variety of angles. Inflatable screens are also great options when choosing materials, as they're easy to clean, non-reflective, and fairly durable.

Size

While outdoor movie screens come in many different sizes, many people opt for screens ranging from 100 inches to 150 inches (with 120 being the most common), in order to provide a proper viewing experience for all backyard attendees. The larger the screen, the more stretched out the image might be, so be careful not to go too large unless you're willing to pay a higher price for higher quality.

Care

Before buying an outdoor movie screen, think about how often you plan to use it and where you plan to place it, as the care a screen needs can depend largely on those factors. Screens that will live mostly or totally outdoors often require more frequent washing and can rust more easily, so look for screens that specifically offer protection against outdoor elements in their descriptions. Otherwise, most outdoor movie screens can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.

Your Questions, Answered

How do outdoor movie screens work?

Outdoor movie screens offer a white, flat surface for optimal movie viewing when paired with a projector. The back of the screen is usually black to prevent light from coming through and diminishing the picture quality.

Though outdoor movie screens help bring the theater to your home, they have some key differences that make them suitable for your backyard.

"Outdoor projection screens work just like indoor screens with the exception that they will use certain components to provide protection against water and rust-resistant parts," Abrego says.

This may include materials that are known to hold strong against wind and harsh weather, as well as accessories to keep the screens sturdy like stands, mounts, tethers, and yard stakes.

Can outdoor movie screens be paired with any projector?

"In general, most projectors can be paired with outdoor movie screens," Abrego says. Still, "certain projection screen materials are not compatible with all projectors," he adds, noting that a screen without a tension system, for instance, "would not work with an ultra or short throw projector" and may result in "waves or ripples which would distort the image."

Who We Are

Rachel Simon is a writer for Better Homes & Gardens, The New York Times, Real Simple, and many other publications. She frequently covers home products. To create this list of the best outdoor movie screens, she did significant research, keeping in mind each pick's dimensions, screen size, and aspect ratio. She also consulted Jaime Abrego of Elite Screens.

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