A dash cam can help with insurance claims, monitor your vehicle while parked, or record video memories of a road trip. The best dash cam will capture clear video and is easy to install and operate. In this article, we’ll explain what to look for in a dash cam and recommend some of our favorite options for those in the market for a dash cam.

Our review team scrutinized hundreds of Amazon customer reviews and thoroughly tested each dash cam model. We rated our recommendations according to our review standards, which consider ease of installation, video quality, user interface, and camera features.

7 Best Dash Cams

Best Dash Cams

  1. Best Overall Dash Cam: Kingslim D5 4K Dash Cam
  2. Best Dash Cam for Night Use: Vantrue N2S
  3. Best Small Dash Cam: Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2
  4. Most User-Friendly: Nexar Pro Dual Dash Cam
  5. Best Budget Dash Cam: BlueSkySea B1W Mini
  6. Also Consider: Garmin Dash Cam Tandem
  7. Also Consider: Rexing Dash Cam V1

#1 Best Overall Dash Cam: Kingslim D5 4K Dash Cam

Kingslim D5 4K Dash Cam

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The Kingslim D5 is one of the highest-resolution dash cams you’ll find for under $100. It offers recording at 60 frames per second (fps) as well as an exceptionally-wide 170-degree view. This camera’s broad operating temperature (-4°F to 140°F) make it an appropriate dash cam for most any environment.

This dash cam is an excellent choice for those who want to record their surroundings in full 4K at a relatively low cost.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $90
  • Max recording resolution: 4K
  • Frame rate: 60 fps
  • Field of view: 170 degrees
  • Operating temperature: -4°F to 140°F
  • GPS: Yes
  • Mounting style: Adhesive

Our Experience

Kingslim D5 4K Dash Cam

The Kingslim D5 is low-profile and can easily tuck behind a rearview mirror. However, the installation system could be better. This camera uses an adhesive mount that only tilts up and down, making it more difficult to adjust than a swivel mount. It is also difficult to disconnect the camera from the mount for review.

Once installed, the camera has an easy-to-navigate interface. The D5 pairs with a free app that allows users to access footage and download files.

This camera does not easily connect to a computer. Like many newer dashcams, it seems designed primarily to be used with the accompanying app. Of course, if your PC has an SD card reader, you can still access files from the camera.

Image quality is where the Kingslim performs best, especially considering the cost. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a lower-priced camera that records at full 4K resolution. That said, the nighttime recording quality could be better. In low-light situations, the camera records well enough to make out what is happening but does not capture license plate information with much clarity.

Overall Rating4.5 out of 5
Ease of Installation4
Video Quality5
User Interface (UI)4.5
Extra Features4.5

What Customers Are Saying

Most are satisfied with the image quality of this camera. Reports on longevity are mostly positive, with several claiming multiple years of reliable service. There are a couple of reports of the camera failing after a year, and no longer charging. While this may occur with some cameras, note that the D5 does include a two-year warranty.

#2 Best Dash Cam For Night Use: Vantrue N2S

Vantrue N2S

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The Vantrue N2S is an excellent all-around dash cam with high recording resolution. The camera mounts on your front windshield and features a rear-facing camera that looks into the cabin. It even features a parking mode that can detect collisions and start recording while your car is parked.

We recommend the Vantrue N2S if you often drive at night or in dark areas. It’s especially helpful if you drive in a rural community with fewer streetlights. The camera records the highest-quality nighttime video of all the products we tested, and you can use the infrared function to get even better images in especially dark situations.

The cabin-facing camera can also be useful for Uber or Lyft drivers.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $210 to $220
  • Max recording resolution: 4K
  • Frame rate: 30 fps
  • Field of view: 155 degrees
  • Operating temperature: 14°F to 158°F
  • GPS: Yes
  • Mounting style: Suction cup

Our Experience

Vantrue N2S

There’s a lot to love about the Vantrue N2S, and we found it offers similar video quality to the Kingslim. The camera also looks great, and the horizontal design makes it easy to hide behind your rearview mirror.

The Vantrue is as easy to install as a dash cam could be. The camera attaches to your interior windshield via a suction mount, which is much easier to install and adjust than an adhesive mount.

What makes the Vantrue further stand out is the infrared night vision mode, which is extremely useful when driving at night in an area that is not well lit.

While the Vantrue lacks an app and a touch screen, the camera’s other features make up for this. However, if smartphone integration is important to you, you may want to consider a different product.

Overall Rating4.5 out of 5
Ease of Installation4.5
Video Quality5
User Interface (UI)4
Extra Features4.5

What Customers Are Saying

Users of this dash cam really like the cabin recording feature, and many satisfied reviewers are rideshare drivers. There are some reports of defective units shipping, but those that work seem to hold up for several years.

You can turn off the camera’s LCD screen while driving, but there is a blinking red light that some drivers have found distracting. However, it’s easy to place this camera in such a way that this light is out of view.

#3 Best Small Dash Cam: Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2

Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2

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Garmin offers a line of dash cameras, each with different features, price points, and sizes. The Mini 2 is designed to be small and easy to use. While it doesn’t include some extra features like 60 fps recording or a GPS, it offers good video quality and an excellent interface.

We recommend the Mini 2 for those who want low-profile dash cams for multiple vehicles. The Garmin dash cam app is designed to sync across multiple cameras, meaning you can manage all of your dash cam footage from one convenient source.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $130
  • Max recording resolution: 1080p
  • Frame rate: 30 fps
  • Field of view: 140 degrees
  • Operating temperature: -4°F to 140°F
  • GPS: No
  • Mounting style: Adhesive

Our Experience

Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2

Garmin products are very user-friendly. This camera is small and attaches to a swivel mount that makes it easy to position. However, this camera does use an adhesive mount, which can come unglued in especially hot temperatures. Given the light weight of the Mini 2, however, this isn’t especially likely.

It’s very easy to mount and unmount the camera from the sticky base – simply pull it off.

Image quality is decent, but the recording resolution is only 1080p, which can sometimes fail to capture clear license plate information, especially at night. We found the app easy to use, though you’ll need to create an account if you want to sync multiple dash cams to the same smartphone.

Overall Rating3.9 out of 5
Ease of Installation4
Video Quality3.5
User Interface (UI)4.5
Extra Features3.5

What Customers Are Saying

Happy Garmin customers appreciate that while this dash cam doesn’t have a lot of extra features, it reliably performs a dash cam’s most vital function – records and stores videos of your drive.

#4 Most User-Friendly: Nexar Pro Dual Dash Cam

Nexar Pro Dual Dash Cam

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Nexar produces a line of dash cams designed with smartphone integration in mind. The Pro is Nexar’s mid-level camera offering front and interior recording at 1080p resolution.

What makes this camera stand out is how easy it is to set up and manage. We recommend the Nexar Pro for those who want to use a dash cam with as little hassle as possible.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $150
  • Max recording resolution: 1080p
  • Frame rate: 30 fps
  • Field of view: 135 degrees
  • Operating temperature: -4°F to 158°F
  • GPS: Yes
  • Mounting style: Suction

Our Experience

Nexar Pro Dual Dash Cam

Out of the box, the Nexar stands above other dash cams. Everything is packaged and labeled for as painless a setup as possible. The instructions are the most straightforward and pared down of any dash cam that we tested. This camera even comes with a microSD card, which isn’t typically included with a dash cam.

The forward-facing camera has a suction mount, though the interior camera has an adhesive mount. The recording quality is OK. If you want to record at a higher resolution, you could upgrade to the Nexar One.

You can access the Nexar through an app that allows you to review and download footage. The camera records location and speed data as well. You can also control the camera with your voice and even use it to send video messages.

Overall Rating4.4 out of 5
Ease of Installation5
Video Quality3.5
User Interface (UI)4.5
Extra Features4.5

What Customers Are Saying

Most Amazon reviews for the Nexar are positive. Users appreciate that the camera works and is easy to use. Several people claim to have gotten years of reliable recording from this camera.

There are a few comments that the Nexar app doesn’t work well with Android devices. We tested the Nexar on an Android phone and it worked fine. The app is originally designed for iOS, so it may be buggier on some Android phones.

#5 Best Budget Dash Cam: BlueSkySea B1W Mini

BlueSkySea B1W Mini

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The BlueSkySea B1W Mini is a low-profile, inexpensive dash cam with a few standout features. This camera uses a supercapacitor instead of a battery, which allows for a broader operating temperature. Another thing that makes this camera unique is that the swivel design allows you to record inside or outside of your car.

This dash cam is a good choice for those looking for as inexpensive an option as possible that will still reliably record.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $55
  • Max recording resolution: 1080p
  • Frame rate: 30 fps
  • Field of view: 150 degrees
  • Operating temperature: -4°F to 158°F
  • GPS: No
  • Mounting style: Adhesive

Our Experience

BlueSkySea B1W Mini

This camera is a standard dash cam in most respects. It is not difficult to install but uses an adhesive mount. The mount does not swivel, so it’s difficult to adjust the camera from left to right after the adhesive is applied. The camera does move up and down and can even be turned all the way around to point into the cabin.

Video quality is serviceable, but not especially great. For the price, however, it gets the job done. You should be able to make out license plate information during the day. Footage can be accessed through an app that is simple but works. There is only one button on the camera for saving and locking video.

Overall Rating3.6 out of 5
Ease of Installation4
Video Quality3.5
User Interface (UI)3.5
Extra Features3.5

What Customers Are Saying

One thing that many reviewers appreciate about the BlueSkySea B1W is its low profile. The thin design makes this camera easy to tuck behind a rearview mirror. Even from the outside of a car, it can be hard to see this tiny dash cam.

There are a couple of reports of people using this camera for two and three years without issues.

#6 Garmin Dash Cam Tandem

Garmin Dash Cam Tandem

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The Garmin Tandem shares many of the same benefits as the Garmin Mini 2 – it has excellent app integration, is reliable, and records at a good resolution. In fact, the Tandem records at a slightly higher resolution than the Mini 2.

The features that make this dash cam stand out are its wide field of view, high operating temperature, and inclusion of an interior camera. Purchase this camera if you want to record the cabin and get as broad a view of the road as possible. Few other dash cams cover this much space. This is impressive considering the Tandem’s especially small size.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $280
  • Max recording resolution: 1440p
  • Frame rate: 30 fps
  • Field of view: 180 degrees
  • Operating temperature: -4°F to 172°F
  • GPS: Yes
  • Mounting style: Adhesive

Our Experience

Garmin Dash Cam Tandem

Installing the Tandem is as easy as installing the Mini 2. This camera isn’t even much larger than the Mini. We still don’t like that it uses an adhesive mount, but again, the light weight of this camera makes it unlikely the mount will fail. The magnetic design makes it easy to attach and reattach the camera to the windshield.

Video quality is 1440p, which is not as good as 4K, but a noticeable improvement from 1080p. What stands out about the recording quality of this camera is the exceptionally wide field of view at 180 degrees.

Overall Rating4.1 out of 5
Ease of Installation4
Video Quality4
User Interface (UI)4.5
Extra Features4

What Customers Are Saying

Reviewers like the wide field of view and the reliability of Garmin products. The interior camera only records at 720p, which is not ideal, but it does include an infrared recording mode. This interior camera is more for monitoring passengers than seeing license plates out of the back window, so the lower resolution isn’t that big of a drawback.

As with most Garmin cameras, the Tandem has served many reliably for several years.

#7 Rexing Dash Cam V1

Rexing Dash Cam V1

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The Rexing Dash Cam V1 rounds out our list. While the camera lacks some of the extra features others include, it’s hard to find many cameras with better picture quality for the price.

We like this camera for those who want something with an easy-to-use interface built into the camera. It does not have smartphone app integration like other cameras on this list but is easy to operate on the camera itself, especially given the large screen.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $160
  • Max recording resolution: 1440p
  • Frame rate: 30 fps
  • Field of view: 140 degrees
  • Operating temperature: -4°F to 131°F
  • GPS: Requires GPS extension, sold separately for around $25
  • Mounting style: Adhesive

Our Experience

Rexing Dash Cam V1

The Rexing Dash Cam V1 features a unique design and excellent image quality. It has a larger screen than most models, giving it a higher profile but making reviewing footage on the camera itself easier.

The Rexing’s picture quality is high, but not quite as crisp as the Kingslim. The Rexing rivals the Vantrue during the day (at night, the Vantrue is the champ). We managed to see license plate details of cars we passed by in the footage, even with a moderate glare on the windshield.

The buttons on the Rexing are a little easier to use than those on other dash cams. They are larger and more clearly labeled, which makes operating the device more straightforward. You can use the menu to adjust recording settings, take pictures, and play recorded videos.

Overall Rating3.9 out of 5
Ease of Installation4
Video Quality4
User Interface (UI)4
Extra Features3.5

What Customers Are Saying

Reviewers on Amazon give the Rexing Dash Cam V1 an average score of 4.1 out of 5 based on over 4,000 reviews. It earns 4 stars or higher from 78 percent of reviewers. Several customers highlight the helpfulness of the Rexing after an insurance incident. While the camera is a little bulkier than other models, many users say it’s still easily hidden behind the rearview mirror.

Some customers complain about the camera failing to record at critical moments. There is a light that indicates when the camera is recording, so it may be best to double-check that it’s on before heading out. Other negative reviews mention the Wi-Fi capabilities being slow or not connecting. We didn’t experience any issues with the camera’s Wi-Fi connectivity.

Dash Cam Testing Process

We installed each dash cam into a vehicle and took it for a test drive. We tried each feature offered by the dash cam, including motion detection and smartphone app functionality.

What is important in a dash cam is that you can easily set it up and record and download video. We recorded short drives both during the day and at night and reviewed the footage, paying attention to details such as license plate legibility. Using the dash cams in this way also gave us a feel for how easy the cameras are to operate.

Dash Cam Buyers Guide

Most dash cams are designed to continuously record your surroundings while driving. This is useful if you get into an accident or if your car is damaged or burgled in a parking lot. Which dash cam is best for you will depend on your needs and your budget. Generally, you’ll want to consider:

  • Recording quality
  • Temperature range
  • Accessibility
  • Usage

Recording Quality

These days, even relatively inexpensive cameras can record in ultra high definition. A clear image is crucial for identifying important details when reviewing dash cam footage. When shopping for a dash cam, consider the following:

  • Camera resolution: The highest-quality dash cams can record in full HD 4K resolution. 4K is ideal, but not always necessary. At the very least, you’ll want a camera that records at 1080p minimum. Anything below 1080p can be very grainy. Reviewing low-resolution footage can still be useful for insurance claims, but it can be difficult to identify plate information from 1080p footage.
  • Frame rate: Most dash cams record at 30 frames per second (fps) or more. Anything below 30 fps is not advisable. If you’re trying to shoot professional-looking video, you may want something that can shoot 60 fps. For the majority of dash cam users, 30 fps is enough.
  • Night vision: How well the camera performs in the dark can be important, especially if you frequently drive at night or in the countryside where there is less light. A camera that has infrared or night vision may be desirable in these cases.

Temperature Range

Because they are mounted on your windshield, dash cams can get very hot. Not all cameras work well in the heat. If you live somewhere with extreme temperatures, make sure to look for a camera that is rated to operate in that range.

Accessibility

Even the best dash cam is not useful if you can’t figure out how to operate it. These days, many dash cams are integrated into apps that allow users to easily review and download dash cam footage.

The downside to modern dash cams is that some don’t have an easy way to interact with a computer. Downloading high quality video files through Wi-Fi or a Bluetooth® connection can take a long time. The fastest way to collect and review dash cam footage is often to attach your dash cam to a computer. However, if you don’t have a computer or are uninterested in certain advanced features, this won’t be a useful feature for you.

Usage

Before choosing a dash cam, consider how you will use it. Most people use a dash cam for surveillance while parked, insurance purposes, personal videos, or trips as a rideshare driver. Your needs may be different.

Rideshare drivers may want a camera like the Vantrue N2S because it features a cabin camera. If you are recording your trip for insurance, you may want a cheaper model that is low profile. If you want to put cameras in multiple vehicles, consider the Garmin 56, as several Garmins can be connected and managed in the same app.

If you’re recording a video for personal or creative reasons, you may want a camera with a higher resolution and frame rate.

There are also dash cam accessories – such as car chargers and various types of mounts – that you might consider with your purchase.

Dash Cam Installation Tips

Dash cams should not obstruct your view of the road. For this reason, it is best to install them behind your rearview mirror and to tuck the cables into the upholstery. Many dash cams then plug into your car’s 12.0-volt lighter socket, though some can be wired directly to your car battery.

Tucking dash cam cables into the upholstery is a fairly easy, if time-consuming process. Attaching your dash cam to your car battery is much more involved and best left to a professional.

There are two common means to mount a dash cam to your vehicle: adhesive mounts and suction mounts.

  • Adhesive mounts attach to your windshield using some sort of glue. These are easy to attach but can detach in extreme heat. Cameras mounted this way will eventually need to be remounted with new adhesive applied.
  • Suction mounts are easier to apply and remove and less likely to fall off during operation. Generally, this is a superior (though less common) method for mounting a dash cam.

Our Review Standards

The dash cams in this article went through two rounds of reviews. We started by searching Amazon for top products, considering factors like customer ratings, Amazon superlatives, and prices. We also selected products that meet a range of uses and budgets.

The dash cams we selected were tested for:

  • Ease of Installation: You can have a professional install your dash cam, but it is less expensive to install the dash cam yourself. We set up each dash cam in a car according to the instructions included with the product. Dash cams with clear, concise instructions and an easy setup process score best in this category. Note that while ease of installation matters, we gave this score the least weight in our overall rating since we think other categories are slightly more important.
  • Video Quality: Video quality is perhaps a dash cam’s most important feature. We considered resolution, frame rate, and field of view for this category. We took each camera for a brief test drive both during the day and at night. Afterward, we uploaded and reviewed the footage to evaluate how easily (if at all) we could read license plates and make out important details.
  • User Interface (UI): To get the most from a dash cam, it should be easy to operate the camera and retrieve saved video. Some dash cams have an intuitive touch screen design, while others have clunky menus that are difficult to navigate.
  • Extra Features: We considered each dash cam’s features beyond simple recording. Those with tools that can improve the utility of your dash cam such as GPS, voice control, and event detection scored well in this category.

In addition to the categories mentioned above, we also considered online customer reviews. While we were able to test all dash cams in person, our time with these products was limited. Therefore, we look to user experiences to get an idea of how well these cameras continue to function over time.

Dash Cams FAQ

*Data accurate at time of publication.