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Trail camera set up on a tree. Credit: Getty Images

The Best Trail Cameras of 2022

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Trail camera set up on a tree. Credit: Getty Images

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Product image of Browning Strike Force Pro XD

Browning Strike Force Pro XD

The Browning Strike Force Pro XD is a solid trail camera offering thoughtful details like an angled mounting bracket and quick trigger speed. Read More

Pros

  • Clear nighttime pictures
  • 0.15-second trigger speed
  • Built-in angle bracket

Cons

  • Issues with battery life
Product image of Browning Defender Wireless Pro Scout

Browning Defender Wireless Pro Scout

The Browning Defender offers a great entry to their proprietary online system, with detailed ID-stamp information to help you keep track of your data. Read More

Pros

  • Bluetooth and cellular connectivity
  • Images stamped with ID info
  • Quick trigger speed

Cons

  • Proprietary photo access through Browning
  • Best for use with a PC
Product image of Vikeri A1

Vikeri A1

Vikeri makes it easy to review your images on the LCD panel, but it can be challenging to use the app on your phone or computer. Read More

Pros

  • Runs on either 4 or 8 AA batteries
  • Great value
  • LCD panel for quick viewing

Cons

  • Difficult to download videos
  • IR images aren't sharp
  • Poor motion detection
Product image of GardePro E6

GardePro E6

The GardePro E6 ticks off all the boxes: easy setup, Bluetooth support, Wi-Fi connectivity. Just remember to buy your own batteries and SD card. Read More

Pros

  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Responsive tech support
  • Easy setup

Cons

  • No SD card or batteries included
  • No alarm feature
  • Wi-Fi degrades over time
Product image of GardePro A3

GardePro A3

With a great bang-for-buck price, the GardePro A3 delivers great pictures and video—but the lack of wireless connectivity is a bummer. Read More

Pros

  • Crisp nighttime video
  • Great value
  • Responsive tech support

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi or Bluetooth support
  • Leaky case design
  • Frequent battery changes

Trail cameras have grown in popularity over the past couple of years, both for capturing movement in remote places and in our own backyards. For trail watching, capturing images in the wilderness allows people to understand animal behavior. In backyards, trail cameras can help with security issues or answer the question of what things go bump in the night. Whatever your reason, there’s a camera that’ll be well suited to your purpose.

Whether your cameras are set up watching natural scrape or in a feeder setup, you want to check your cameras without bothering any potential wildlife. Instead of stomping through your wilderness to fumble with memory cards, imagine checking those cameras in the comfort of your home. Friends, I introduce you to the easy life of cellular trail cameras. For the same price as some non-cellular trail cams, pictures from your cellular cameras can be sent to your personal phone, allowing for monitoring without muss.

For backyard or close-to-home monitoring, the cellular capability may be overkill. A cheaper cam might allow for two to fit your budget—well worth the tradeoff of physically visiting each camera. Often, these cameras are less weatherproof or might have fewer mounting options.

To help you choose the right trail camera, we dug through thousands of reviews for a variety of available options. These are the best trail cameras we found online.

Editor's Note

The recommendations in this guide are based on thorough product and market research by our team of expert product reviewers. The picks are based on examining user reviews, product specifications, and, in some limited cases, our experience with the specific products named.

Product image of Browning Strike Force Pro XD
Browning Strike Force Pro XD

For a straightforward camera, the Browning Strike Force Pro XD offers a reliable brand name at a great value. Checking on your pictures in this camera is easy with the built-in LCD—no fumbling with memory cards while wearing gloves here. Simply flip the protective cover open and click through your capture files. This kit comes with a sturdy Transcend 32 GB memory card, Energizer batteries, and a cloth to clean the screen and lens.

The resolution specifics aren’t anything to write home about; the real selling points here are the interval shooting and the movement-detection system. The time-lapse setting allows you to select the length of time and interval between shots. And if you find you’re taking pictures of the same three deer, simply adjust the interval and the length of time. There’s no flash, which helps to avoid spooking your game, and the night glow is red. As one reviewer noted, the tilting mount allows you to get some great angles.

Pros

  • Clear nighttime pictures

  • 0.15-second trigger speed

  • Built-in angle bracket

Cons

  • Issues with battery life

Product image of Browning Defender Wireless Pro Scout
Browning Defender Wireless Pro Scout

Another great entry-level selection to plunge you into cellular-access cameras: the Browning Defender Wireless Scout. It offers both Bluetooth and cellular capabilities at a reasonable price. The camera covers a 120-foot flash area, with a field of view of approximately 30 inches at ten yards. The photos are stamped with detailed information, including time, date, moon phase, temperature, barometric pressure, and camera ID.

Reviewers have said that the Browning system encourages users to have multiple cameras, with reasonable pricing for access to photos on their website or having photos emailed on a scheduled upload. As one user noted, checking the service area for your particular cell phone company is important because signal strength can drop quickly. A couple of reviewers said the system was easy to set up; one also noted that having the cell phone system saved them considerable gas and time driving.

Pros

  • Bluetooth and cellular connectivity

  • Images stamped with ID info

  • Quick trigger speed

Cons

  • Proprietary photo access through Browning

  • Best for use with a PC

Product image of Vikeri A1
Vikeri A1

Many shoppers have been impressed with the value in this camera. While there are a range of user reviews, the overwhelming majority say they’re impressed with the quality of the photos as well as the battery life in this affordable trail cam. Some reviewers expressed frustration over poor motion sensors, noting that even with the camera close to a moving object, there were no pictures being taken. Several other users felt the battery life didn’t meet their expectations.

Reviewers also noted that the unit shipped with only four of the eight batteries; the camera will work with four AAs but can accept up to eight for extended use. Finally, while the camera ships with an SD card, at least one buyer noted they were happier with the camera’s performance when swapping it out for a higher-end card. Folks seem pleased with the customer service from Vikeri, so if there are any issues, you can expect support.

Pros

  • Runs on either 4 or 8 AA batteries

  • Great value

  • LCD panel for quick viewing

Cons

  • Difficult to download videos

  • IR images aren't sharp

  • Poor motion detection

Product image of GardePro E6
GardePro E6

A nicely priced trail cam with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, the GardePro E6 offers decent pictures and video in a good-quality case. Reviewers like the motion-triggered video, observing that the sensor was timed well to capture at least some clear photos of whatever is causing the movement.

Both setup and app installation is reportedly pretty easy and straightforward, while any users who needed support said GardePro’s tech support was excellent. Battery life is fairly reasonable, but at least one buyer upgraded to lithium batteries and found that they were happier with those.

Pros

  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity

  • Responsive tech support

  • Easy setup

Cons

  • No SD card or batteries included

  • No alarm feature

  • Wi-Fi degrades over time

Product image of GardePro A3
GardePro A3

With no Wi-Fi, no cellular wizardry, and no Bluetooth, the GardePro A3 will only surrender your captures if you use a micro-USB cable. After you’ve managed to (shudder) connect via cable to get your data, the A3 really shines. The nighttime video is crisp—with sound. The photos are reasonable, and the battery usage generally meets shoppers’ expectations. In cases where folks experienced quick battery drain, technical support helped them resolve the issue.

Reviewers were impressed with the motion-sensor range; the camera is said to react to movement over 100 feet away. For answering any burning questions you might have about what’s making those strange noises in your backyard at night, this reasonably priced camera will reveal all. If your camera’s placed in a remote area, less direct connections—like a cellular unit—will probably serve you best.

Pros

  • Crisp nighttime video

  • Great value

  • Responsive tech support

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi or Bluetooth support

  • Leaky case design

  • Frequent battery changes

Meet the tester

Rebecca Boniface

Rebecca Boniface

Contributor

Rebecca Boniface is a certified PADI dive instructor, full-time nomad, and DIY enthusiast.

See all of Rebecca Boniface's reviews

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