Whether you’re living off grid and want to make sure you have the best security camera possible, or you’re a hunter needing to watch out for animal movements, investing in a trail camera is an excellent move.
Knowing what’s going on around you is essential for survivalists, preppers and hunters. You want to feel secure and aware of exactly what’s taking place in your outdoor surroundings – whether that means fixing a camera for intruders or wildlife.
You never want to feel unprepared when it comes to hunting as this can be the difference between having food to eat and going hungry. You also need to prioritize your safety at all times – both from human and animal threats. Sometimes a standard camera just won’t cut it so you need to get up to speed with the best trail cameras on the market.
We’ve researched the top reviewed game cameras out there to ensure you get the most reliable camera for all your security and hunting needs. Being able to monitor the outdoors and your immediate surroundings will bring you and your family the peace of mind to live comfortably in your home.
Field of View & Range
The majority of trail cameras come with a fixed focal length lens which means you have a fixed field of view. This is usually 120 degrees.
The range of trail cameras can vary from 40 feet to 120feet so there are lots of options on the market to suit different needs.
Recently WIFI trail cameras have become a very popular option, especially for home security where you have a reliable network. You can also opt for cellular options which will allow you to get information straight to your cell phone.
The image quality you require will depend on what you want to use your trail camera for. You may want higher resolution if you’re using it for security and need to detect facial features. If it’s for hunting or motion purposes you can go for a lower image quality.
Trail cameras are built to endure tough conditions. They’re generally designed to function outside so most of them are able to withstand extreme weather. You should expect a trail camera to be fully waterproof.
Battery Life & Power Source
Many trail cameras use alkaline batteries. You can boost this with an additional power source such as solar power if you’re using your camera primarily in a warm climate.
You can expect tens of thousands of photos from one batch of batteries on a trail cam but the overall battery life depends a lot on how you use it and the model of camera you buy.
The Best Trail Cameras In 2023
Let’s jump into discovering the best trail cameras available for you in 2023.
1. Best Trail Camera Under $100
This Viceri High Resolution trail camera is one of the best of its kind under $100. It’s incredibly durable and has an IP66 Waterproof rating, as well as being drop proof and dust proof.
For under $100, you can confidently use this device in environments such as rainforests or deserts.
It has a fast 0.2s trigger speed with a trigger distance of up to 80 feet during the day. The camera gives you an excellent broad view with its 120° detecting range.
Best Trail Camera Under $100
Field of View
120°Wide Angle Lens
2. Best No Glow Trail Camera
If you’re after a no glow camera that has super night vision, you’ll want to try the Hawkray No Glow Trail Camera.
It can capture photos quickly and accurately with 3 continuous shots on a 0.2 trigger speed. You can expect high quality full HD videos from this camera by day and night.
The built in screen allows you to view current footage whilst the camera is recording and the set up is easy and simple to understand and use.
Best No Glow Trail Camera
Field of View
Solar or Battery
detection range of 65ft.
3. Most Reliable Trail Camera
If you’re after a trail camera that will be there for you time and time again, the EcoVox Trail Camera is a reliable model that won’t let you down.
This camouflage patterned Bluetooth camera consistently delivers 4k videos and vibrant 32MP images. It has a built-in LCD screen and speaker as well as 3 PIR sensors which detect movement.
The EcoVox trail camera has a plastic case and silicone sealing rings to protect it even in the wettest conditions.
Most Reliable Trail Camera
Field of View
Wifi & Cellular
4. Best Night Vision Trail Camera
This Dsoon 32MP trail camera is excellent value for money and quick and easy to set up.
The infrared LED has a 65-feet Night Vision range allowing you to use this for night hunting or alternatively as a security device within your home.
With an excellent waterproof rating and strong performance in tough conditions, it’s the ideal camera to take you with you on a night expedition or when hunting in the dark.
Best Night Vision Trail Camera
Field of View
1 year standby
5. Best Long Range Trail Camera
When you’re looking for a long range trail camera you should head for the sleek designed Alpha Cam Premium Hunting Trail Camera.
Alpha Cam has an impressive record when it comes to everything from a long lasting battery life, reliable night vision, fast trigger speed, fast recovery rate and overall reliability.
Their Dual Lens model has a detection distance of 90 feet and their premium camera goes up to 100 feet. The camera also has a long distance motion sensor so you never miss anything.
Best Long Range Trail Camera
Field of View
6. Best Trail Camera Package
If you’re looking for a trail camera that comes ready to use with all the equipment you should try the Moultrie A900i. You’ll get a 16GB SD card, plus 8 AA batteries and a heavy-duty 8’ strap which will be useful for strapping the camera to trees or fencing.
It has an effective motion sensor as well as night vision. The invisible flash will help to illuminate animals at a distance of 60ft.
Best Trail Camera Package
In Depth Trail Camera Buyers Guide
When you buy a trail camera you’re going to want to know as much as possible about what’s on offer.
Let’s take an in depth look at some of the key factors you’ll need to consider when it comes to buying your new trail camera
Recently WIFI trail cameras have become a very popular option, especially for home security where you have a reliable network.
A WiFi trail camera is a trail camera that offers you the option to connect to an existing WIFI network. The users can then view pictures and control the camera from a different location.
Increasingly, trail cameras have cellular connectivity to connect directly to your cell phone and allow you to instantly access the latest data.
The power source you choose will depend on where you’re using your trail camera. If it’s in your home and you have a direct power source nearby you could simply wire it up and plug it in.
Most trail cameras are generally used outdoors and often in remote locations however. In these situations alkaline batteries are the most popular power source for trail cameras. Some trail and game cameras do take rechargeable batteries but it’s not common.
If you’re worried about batteries running out, you may want to also use a backup power source for your trail camera. Options for this could include:
- Solar panels
- 12V batteries
- External battery packs
Once you’ve got your power source figured out, you’ll want to think about how to maximise the battery life of your trail or game camera. There are a few simple things you can do to reduce the amount of battery being drained with each usage.
- Opt for lower camera settings – the less hi tech your camera, the less battery it will use. Go for the simplest model that still suits your needs.
- Consider the difference with night time photos– These require a flash which can mean an extra draw on the batteries or power source. The average life-span of batteries is much higher if you’re solely taking day time photos than if you’re using it extensively in the dark.
- Reduce your video usage – just 20 seconds of a standard video can use up to 60MB of memory whilst a photo (in the daytime) requires only 800KB. This shows you how drastically using video instead of photos will affect your battery life.
- Reduce the resolution of your images: lower quality images require a lot less memory and battery power than higher resolution images.
- Be aware of cellular cameras: cellular cameras are the ideal option for many people but you need to be aware that they will drain batteries extremely quickly. If you do opt for a cellular camera you’ll definitely want to have an external power supply as a backup.
Obviously the image quality that you require from your trail camera will depend on how you want to use it. For hunters, it may be simply important to know that there is an imminent threat nearby and that you need to be on alert. For survivalists living off grid and using a trail camera for their security you may require more detailed pictures in a higher resolution.
Most trail cameras generally have a native resolution of only around 5 megapixels. Adding extra pixels can have a detrimental effect to the quality of the picture. You’ll also want to consider the extra storage that higher resolution images require.
Where to Set Up Your Trail Camera
Obviously this will depend on your individual circumstances and where you’re using your trail camera, but there are some useful tips you can consider.
If you’re using your trail camera to monitor animal behavior, have a look at the tips below:
- Find a place that attracts the wildlife and then focus on the area within that space where the animals usually gather. This could be at the edge, or close to water.
- Use multiple cameras so that you get different viewpoints and cover different areas
- Adapt and move your cameras as you learn more about animal habits and movements
If you’re using your trail camera for security purposes whilst living off grid:
- Make sure your camera is well hidden from view – either amongst vegetation or in a secluded spot
- Put your camera in an elevated location so that intruders can not cover it or damage it in any way if they do trespass on your property
What’s The Difference Between Cellular and Wifi Trail Cameras?
With advances in technology, you can now retrieve all the data you need remotely from your trail camera. The best options here are cellular and wireless cameras – let’s take a look at the differences between them.
WIFI trail cameras require a steady WIFI signal in order to send images to you.
This is not always possible in remote areas and is often a better option when the trail camera is used for security reasons in a home environment.
Often when hunting for wireless networks, a wifi trail camera can drain precious battery supplies.
Cellular cameras use 4G cellular networks and your personal data plans in order to transmit the images from the camera to your cell phone. 3G and 4G networks can be located even in remote areas such as rainforests or mountain regions making them a good option for some usage.
The cellular networks are generally more stable than Wi-Fi networks which can mean cellular cameras are more reliable.
Are Trail Cameras Suitable For Home Security?
Yes, it’s absolutely possible to use trail cameras for home security whether you live on or off the grid.
Trail cameras have several features that make them suitable for home security including:
- Easy to set up
- Easy to move and adapt according to needs
- Inexpensive compared to CCTV systems
- Waterproof and Weatherproof
- Wireless or Cellular Operated
The best trail camera for you will depend on how you want to use it and what you’re trying to capture. There are so many great options on the market to keep you and your family safe from either animal predators or human intruders.
We understand that you want to feel as secure as possible in your home surroundings so investing in a trail camera to monitor what’s going on is a really sensible decision.
Here’s a list of all the products we’ve mentioned: