With Coronavirus continuing to limit our international travel options, it’s fair to say we’ve been on a few road trips. Whether you’re going cross-country or just visiting relatives in the next state, we’re spending more time behind the wheel than ever.
And are you getting sick of the radio yet?
Or have the kids finished off the Harry Potter audiobooks – and you’re not ready for round two?
There’s another option for in-car entertainment, something that keeps the kids quiet and the adults entertained. Portable DVD players offer endless action on long drives. You can mesmerize the kids with the latest Disney films, or put on their favorite series to while away the hours.
No more “are we there yet”s!
And no more squabbling, not with dual-screen displays mounted to the headrests!
The backseat turns into a home cinema when you fix these screens up. And flip-out swivel screen variants bring the action to your lap.
From all your favorite blockbusters to eBooks and NES games, portable DVD players are the upgrade your backseat needs.
You might think bringing movie magic into your motor would cost a fortune, but actually portable DVD players can be acquired on a budget. And when the kids quiet down, they’re worth their weight in gold!
So let’s take the road less travelled – there’s a portable DVD player for you just round the bend!
The Best Portable DVD Player for Cars in 2022
For ultimate entertainment on the road, you need a portable DVD player that turns the backseat into a blockbuster arena.
- Dual HD 1024 x 800p displays
- Excellent five hours battery life with one screen
- Remote control
- SD slot + USB ports
- 6 hours long-life battery
- USB and SD cards supports DVD formats, CDs, JPEGS, and AVI/MPEGs
- Exceptionally easy to use
- Swivel screen for extra viewing angle
- 15.6” screen swivels 270 degrees
- Offers remote control, chargers and earbuds
- 2.5 hours of battery
- HD 1024 x 800p display
- 5-hour long battery time
- Reads multiple formats (AVI, MPEG files, JPEGS and more)
- Full-package for in-car entertainment
- HD screen (1366 x 768 pixel resolution)
- 2 hours battery time
- Includes remote control
- Fold-out swivel screen DVD player
- Reads multiple formats
- 5 hours battery timing
- HD 180-degree flippable screen
- Impressive 5 hours battery timing
- Affordable price tag
- Supports many NES games
- 5 hours battery time
- Top quality sound
- 6 hours long battery life
- Easily connects to other TV / DVD player
- 15.6” screen for in-car family entertainment
- Offers premium video quality across a 1024 x 600 display
- Decent quality sound for on-the-road usage
- Built to last
Here are the best portable DVD players for cars.
1. FANGOR U1011A – Best Secure Mounting System
For in-car entertainment, a dual-screen system is the only way to keep all the passengers happy. No more squabbling over a single screen!
FANGOR’s 10.5” system offers just that. With one DVD player and a second screen, both headrest mountable, nobody needs to crane their neck.
The two screens are identical HD 1024 x 800p displays, and although picture quality looks adequate for on-the-road viewing. It’s region-free, meaning you can play DVDs from anywhere across the globe as well as CDs and a range of other formats.
The SD slot and USB port give you access to a world of media, from MPEG1 to AVI files up to 32 gigabytes (GB) in size. As the world moves on from DVDs, you won’t be left behind with this unit.
As well as coming with multiple adaptors for charging in the U.S, Europe, and the UK outlets, FANGOR has also included a 12V car charger. It also features a rechargeable battery – boasting five hours battery life with one screen and around 2.5 hours with dual screens. For long car journeys, you’ll want to remember the charger!
Mounting the screens on your car headrests is a slightly fiddly job – the only downside of this robust system – and in fact, the screws included are too short for certain car’s headrests meaning you could be in for a trip to the hardware store.
Once installed, however, the screens are firmly held in place making for an easy viewing experience even on the bumpiest roads.
2. BOIFUN BFN-161 – Best All-Purpose Travel Player
This flip-out portable DVD player can come anywhere – but it’s a perfect companion on the road as well as when you’re traveling by other means.
The 17.5” casing houses a good-sized 15.6” HD screen. Those added inches mean it works great for screening movies amongst families and friends, but in the car, it’s almost in your face.
The swivel screen gives you extra viewing angles, turning 270 degrees vertically and 180 degrees horizontally. And a headphone jack lets you hook up your headphones, or hook the kids up so you can play your road trippin’ tunes.
Supporting DVD formats as well as CDs, JPEGS, and AVI/MPEGs which can be played from USB or SD cards, you’ll never run out of entertainment options. It’s also region-free, playing DVDs from anywhere in the world.
The AV to RCA cable is a nice bonus allowing you to hook the unit up to TVs – you get added functionality once you’ve reached your destination. And whilst the player comes with a car charger, the six hours of battery life will get you through most trips. Save the charger for a backup.
It’s also worth pointing out that it’s exceptionally easy to use – whilst AV to RCA and SD slot functionality are all great bonuses, as a DVD player, it’s intuitive to operate, meaning your kids or older relatives have no barrier to entry.
3. Sylvania SDVD1566 – Best For Kids’ And Seniors’ Use
Sylvania’s fold-out style portable DVD player features an ample screen and just about every extra you could ask for – but it comes at a price.
The 15.6” screen swivels 270 degrees, giving you the perfect angle no matter how you’re setting it up. The picture is clear and sharp, and integrated anti-shock playback means your DVD will play smoothly on even the bumpiest roads.
It features a rechargeable battery, but 2.5 hours of battery lets this portable DVD player down. Okay, you’ll get through most kids’ films, but for a movie marathon on a long drive don’t forget the charger! Power adaptors for household outlets as well as 12V car outlets are included.
As well as DVD, CD, CD-R and other formats are supported, so you have a range of entertainment options. The USB port and SD card reader open the door to a number of file formats including DIVX and MPEG, but AVI is missing from the list. Take care to convert your files before you hit the road.
It’s an intuitive product, with controls on the main pad of the device as well as a full-function remote control. It’s a great option for the elderly who typically don’t want hundreds of complicated controls to learn, and your kids will instantly grasp the function of it too, keeping them quiet in the back seat!
With just one headphone jack, you’ll be relying on the in-built speakers if you’ve got a full car – and sound quality struggles at the higher volumes. You’ll be compromising rich sound for volume to beat the sound of the car.
4. WONNIE US1012F – Best Value Dual Screen DVD Player
Dual screens keep every passenger happy, and WONNIE’s dual 10.5” setup is perfect for the backseat.
With the main player and a second “slave” screen connectable through the AV cabling (connecting the picture) and DC line (providing power). Fortunately, both cables are ample in length giving you flexibility in set-up across your vehicle, but it can create a mess of wires that need careful management in the car.
WONNIE has included headrest mounts which provide a firm and stable resting place for the dual screens. They’re easy to install and, once in place, make backseat viewing a breeze.
And you can separately disconnect the screens whilst leaving the brackets in place, protecting your electronics from would-be thieves when you leave your vehicle overnight.
The 10.5” screen is smaller than many fold-out designs but thanks to the short distance between the viewer and the screen in the backseat, the display with its HD 1024 x 800p display looks great. Each screen has its own headphone jack, the kids will be lost in their own world once you hook ‘em up, letting you get on with the driving.
The USB port and SD card reader support additional inputs, and the device reads AVI and MPEG files as well as JPEGS and more. You can also bring the main player into your hotel room at your destination and hook it up to the TV.
The added battery will power the main screen for around five hours, but once you hook up your second screen you can expect that to halve. Don’t forget the adaptor on a long drive!
With a remote control and car charging adaptor included, this is the full package for your in-car entertainment. Bon voyage!
5. Pyle PDV156BK – Best Swivel Screen Picture Quality
Pyle’s flip-out swivel-screen portable DVD player comes with a near-18” housing, making it one of the larger devices on the market. Despite the sizable case, the screen itself is 15”, slightly smaller than other models.
But size isn’t everything. The HD screen has a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution and looks great for all the action. It’s also exceptionally adjustable, spinning 270 degrees on one axis, and can fold into a tablet mode making it comfortable to watch hand-held.
Playing CDs as well as DVDs and a host of other formats (VCD, CD-RW, and MPEG4), the added USB port and SD reader let you play all your digital files up to 32GB in size.
The 2400mAh battery can keep you going for a couple of hours without plugging in – but with many of today’s blockbusters stretching beyond the 120-minute mark, you’d better keep the adaptor handy.
It comes with remote control as well as AC adaptors and a 12V car outlet adaptor. With the limited battery life, chances are you’ll be keeping it wired for longer road trips.
Although the inbuilt speaker quality is low, the 3.5mm jack lets you hook up headphones or an external speaker. Unfortunately, there’s just one 3.5mm output – you might end up with the backseat brood squabbling over the speaker.
6. HDJUNTUNKOR HDPDVD-01 – Best Compact Swivel Screen
HDJUNTUNKOR’s bijoux portable DVD player offers superb functionality.
At its core, it’s a fold-out swivel screen DVD player suited to all forms of travel, from road trips to long-haul flights.
But whilst most fold-out players are designed for laptop use or best placed on a hard surface, HDJUNTUNKOR has cleverly designed a headrest mount bag turning this into an optimized in-car viewing device.
The 10.5” screen might seem small compared to other fold-out devices, and this certainly won’t be ideal for home viewing. But when mounted on the headrest it’s at an optimal distance for immersive viewing. The 1024 x 600p resolution isn’t the best on the market but it’s a worthy compromise for what this little unit can do.
The headrest mount bag easily straps to the seat in front and lets you fold the player into a tablet-style shape, which then fits seamlessly into the bag. The mount bag can be removed when not in use, giving you complete adaptability.
It also supports an impressive diversity of media types – as well as the disc reader supporting CD, DVD, and CD-R/RW, DVD-R/+R, DVD+RW/-RW there’s a USB port and SD card reader for your digital files. Notably, DIVX formats are supported. The device is region-free, ensuring you can buy DVDs on holiday free from concern!
It comes with AC adaptors for home charging as well as a car power adaptor. But with five hours of battery life, you’ll get to binge without reaching for the charger.
It comes with a remote control, but realistically the screen is too small for you to ever be more than an arm’s length from the unit. And one 3.5mm jack will let you hook up headphones or a speaker – but a second socket would have been a nice touch for when you have multiple passengers.
7. DBPOWER MK101 – Best Fold-Out DVD Player For Multiple Screen Options
This compact portable DVD player is fold-out designed and features a swivel screen for multiple angles of viewing.
The screen also flips 180 degrees around to convert to a tablet-style mode – and by including convenient headrest mounts, this portable DVD player converts nicely into an in-car entertainment option.
The 10.5” screen is ideal for backseat blockbusters. The resolution is an HD 1024 x 600p resolution and looks great when it’s in your face – but 10.5” is a little small for use outside the car.
The AV In/Out port also gives you the option of hooking up an extra screen. That adds another layer of functionality to this portable DVD player for cars, as we all know that kids struggle to share on long car journeys!
The unit itself is surprisingly affordable, meaning that you can invest in a second player at any time for dual-screen action.
The USB port and SD reader allow for an array of other formats to be played, but the resolution on your digital files is locked at 720 x 576 pixels. On a screen of this size, however, that should be adequate for in-car viewing.
The five-hour battery life impresses, and a 12V adaptor is included for in-car charging. Of course, things could get complicated if you opt for another screen. The second screen will need independent power, and you could end up juggling power supplies.
And while the unit only supports one 3.5mm jack, the speaker quality isn’t great – pack an external speaker if you want big sound.
There’s an included remote control, but the controls themselves are slightly convoluted. “Okay” means “Play” and “STOP” means “Pause”, which is a recipe for confusion.
8. JEKERO 1703 16.9″ – Best Portable DVD Player For Gaming
This fold-out portable DVD player is a slimmed-down version of many competitors, with a 14.1” screen offering 1280 x 800 resolution. The 14.1” screen is a great compromise between size and portability if you’re not drawn to larger or smaller models on the market.
The player is region-free and supports multiple disc types – including CD – and comes with a USB port and SD reader, allowing you to play a multitude of media types.
What’s more, the player can read many NES games, turning this little unit into a game station and media player combo that will keep anyone entertained for hours on end.
Jekero has even included a wired gamepad. Ready, player one? Simply hook it up through the USB port to play.
Boasting of up to five hours of battery life, this is a reliable unit even without the car adaptor, but a car charger has been included so you’re safe on longer drives.
There’s a headphone jack for hooking into – but unfortunately only one, so if you’ve got a full backseat you’ll rely on either an external sound system or the inbuilt speakers. The speaker sound quality is decent though and the volume seems ample.
The swivel screen folds into tablet mode, but there are no headrest mounts included. The unit itself is affordable so you’ll have some spare change to find a fitting accessory but it’s a shame it doesn’t come as standard.
9. WONNIE W-US-1589B – Best Portable DVD Player For Battery Life
WONNIE’s dual-screen DVD player was a great option, but if you want a flip-out portable DVD from this reliable brand then here you go!
The 15.6” screen is a great size for gathering the family round and the TFT (thin-film-transistor) LCD screen looks great.
The region free player supports a range of formats including CD and DVD as well as CD-R/RW, DVD -R/+R, DVD+RW/-RW, VCD, SVCD (RW), CD-R (RW), an extensive list! It comes with a USB port and an SD card reader so you can bring all your file types to life.
There’s a headphone jack, albeit just one, and the speakers are a little underpowered. You can fix this by hooking it up to an external speaker or your car’s sound system through an aux cable.
With AV In/Out you can connect it to another TV or a second DVD player which is a great option for long drives – each passenger can get their screen – no stiff necks or arguments over screen time.
WONNIE is a reliable brand in the portable DVD player business and this unit comes with added shock resistance, pre-reading, and break point reload to ensure smooth functionality on any road less traveled.
Whilst the player comes bundled with a car charging adaptor meaning you’re never far from a power source, the rechargeable battery stands out for its longevity. With up to six hours of power, it’s good to go for movie marathons.
10. UEME PD-1020 – Best Value Swivel Screen
UEME has produced one of the best value portable DVD players on the market making this a great option on a budget.
For portable entertainment without breaking the bank, this fold-out DVD player with a fully swiveling screen is a no-brainer.
The 10.1” screen is perfect for backseat use and the TFT LCD screen offers premium video quality across a 1024 x 600p resolution display.
And you won’t miss out on a thing, with CDs, DVDs, and digital files, through the USB or SD reader inputs, all supported. However, the SD reader is limited to cards of up to 32GB, small change in today’s world so pair your card to the player.
The in-built speakers are powered at 1.5 watts and offer adequate sound for on-the-road usage. In fact, for such a small unit the sound quality is surprisingly decent.
There’s a rechargeable battery but it quickly loses charge – fortunately, UEME has included a car adaptor for charging on the go. Keep this close at hand if you don’t want to cut the movie on a cliffhanger!
It’s a durable and affordable little player, perfect for keeping the kids happy on the road.
Before You Buy: The Buyer’s Guide To Choosing Right Portable DVD Player for Cars
DVDs may be becoming old technology but in 2021 portable DVD players certainly aren’t skimping on innovation. Here’s everything you need to know about portable DVD players – it’s time to hit the road.
The first thing that stands out on any portable DVD player is the screen. Okay, you’re not going to get the 50” screen that sits at the center of your home media hub, but you don’t need to compromise on screen quality completely.
Large screens up to 18” bring the action to life, but watch out for bold headlines of vast dimensions as often manufacturers advertise the size of the whole DVD player, and the screen can turn out to be substantially smaller.
And large screens can, in fact, become unwieldy in the car and often these portable devices end up being held on your lap – leading to fights amongst the kids about whose turn it is to hold the screen! Smaller screens can be mounted on headrests, making them perfect for long road trips.
In the world of DVDs, not all discs are created equal. There is a range of DVD formats that might prevent your portable DVD player of choice from playing the full spectrum of your DVD collection.
To protect copyrights, many DVDs are locked to be playable only in certain regions. To ensure that your portable DVD player’s compatibility is maximized, look out for region-free DVD players.
Nowadays we’re as likely to house our movie collection on a hard drive, and with USB ports your portable DVD player can bring you thousands of hours of entertainment and keep you packing light. AVI and MPEG files are usually recognized, DIVX files are sometimes supported, and MP4 files are rarely supported except at the top end of Blu-Ray Players.
SD card reader slots on a portable DVD player give you access to even more media types. They’re also handy for checking out your camera’s pictures on a larger screen – perfect for the holiday snaps slideshow.
Portable DVD players for cars are generally powered two ways, either by plugging into your 12v outlet or through an independent power source that can be charged for power on the go.
Having an independent power source gives you more flexibility about where your portable DVD player is placed as short power cables limit you to outlet proximity. But the battery life of these devices maxes out around 5-6 hours, so if you’ve got a long drive ahead don’t forget the charger.
Some portable DVD players can sit on your lap or the dash, and don’t require any installation whatsoever. But for a more comfortable viewing experience, mounting your screen to the headrest turns the back seat into a home cinema.
Finding a portable DVD player that comes with brackets, tools, and clear instructions makes installation a breeze – you can even recruit the kids to help. Most of the time you’ll need nothing more than a screwdriver to get set up, and there’s no need for professional installation.
Unless you’re driving some futuristic electric vehicle, the rumble of the road makes a bit of noise. We’re all used to cranking the radio so we can hear it over the sound of the engine.
Portable DVD players have built-in speakers and some will fare better than others. Sound quality might be an afterthought for what’s basically a big screen, but shop around for the best sound you can buy – or prepare to pay extra for an external speaker.
Added features are a great bonus, so read the small print to see what you get. From remote controls to multiple headphone jacks, they can turn a little player into a multipurpose tool.
An AV port lets you hook the player up to other units, from a second in-car screen to the hotel TV. They offer a great deal of added functionality to your player and you might find yourself relying on it throughout your trip. Cables for AV input are often, but not always, bundled in with these units.
A headphone jack gives the watcher an opportunity for an immersive experience, and it’s an absolute essential if you’re going to have more than one screen running at a time. Portable DVD player speakers are often underpowered, but with headphones, you’ll be able to hear every word over the sound of the road.
A remote control makes life easy – it can even give you veto power over volume or continued watching from the driving seat! Some remotes offer full functionality while others will be a glorified pause button, so it pays to check what you’re paying for.
For in-car entertainment that really keeps the kids subdued, there’s only one way to go.
Portable DVD players don’t just offer movie marathons – they can play CDs, photo slideshows, and even play NES games for interactive action!
And with just a few extra cables, many portable players can hook up to the TV at any destination. Perfect for a post-drive wind down in boring hotel rooms.
Often with no installation time whatsoever, or just a few turns of a screw, you can turn the back seat into a miniature cinema. Kids are happy, driver’s happy. It’s time to cruise.