The best reversing cameras

Aftermarket car kit isn't just big spoilers and purple floodlights, there are useful options too - such as reversing cameras.

The best reversing cameras

by Chris Williams |
Updated on

Why should looking for the best aftermarket reversing cameras be on our minds? No one is foolish enough to tell someone else they aren’t good at parking. You’d be wiser swiftly changing the topic of conversation to discussing the best dash cams. Or going into a Porsche dealership trying to convince the sales staff to sell you one of the new 911 GT3s and wearing your Mercedes polo shirt. All you can do is hope people have the grace to admit it to themselves and seek the assistance of a reversing camera.

Alongside dual dash cams, reversing cameras are genuinely useful aftermarket options you can fit to your car - particularly if you have a tendency to park by feel. But the important question is: what are the worthwhile reversing cameras to invest in?

The best aftermarket reversing cameras at a glance:

Editor's choice: Auto-Vox Solar 1 - buy from Amazon
Best value wireless reversing camera: Auto-Vox TD-2 Reversing Camera - buy from Amazon
The most versatile: Nextbase Rear Window Camera - buy from Amazon

There are more reversing cameras on the market than there are leaves on an old oak tree. Much like high tech dash cams, really. That's why we've put together our recommended reversing cameras in order to help you make an informed decision. Our picks are all different but share the fact that they are from brands that are reputable and have been around for years.

The best aftermarket reversing cameras

Editor's choice

Auto-Vox solar reversing cameraVia Auto-Vox

For convenience, look no further. The Solar 1 set from Auto-Vox is the easiest reversing camera to fit. The camera is solar-powered, so you don't have to wire it to the reversing light for power. Furthermore, the connection between the camera and dashboard display screen is wireless.

The solar panel is perfectly adequate for charging the 2.8Ah battery, which, in turn, powers the camera. Auto-Vox says that if the solar panel gets 30 minutes of sunlight per day on average, you need only top up the battery (via USB) once a year. The screen needs to be powered by plugging it into the 12V plug in your car, but the charger has a USB port so you can still use it for phones or other devices.

One of the reasons we like the Solar 1, beyond the easy setup, is the strong and uninterrupted signal. In many cheaper wireless units, the transmission can be sketchy. But not here.

Pros

  • Easy set up
  • Solar panel is very effective

Cons

  • Video quality not the best

Best rear view mirror reversing camera

In Phase Rear View Reversing CameraVia In phase

A lot of people don't want yet another screen on their car's dashboard. Fair enough, and this reversing camera kit alleviates this concern.

Like the Auto-Vox Solar 1, the In Phase DINY603B-W uses a strong, reliable wireless signal to transmit the image; the difference, of course, being that the image appears on the supplied replacement rear-view mirror. It’s a slightly more fiddly setup because the camera needs to be wired up (you can get it professionally installed if you don’t want to do this yourself), but still a straightforward process.

The image quality is fine - it could be better, but we prefer a smooth transmission to remain the priority – which it has.

Pros

  • Great adjustability
  • No extra screen required

Cons

  • Not the easiest to set up

Best value wireless reversing camera

Auto-Vox TD2Via Auto-Vox

The Auto-Vox TD-2 gives you wireless value. Installation is essentially the same as the In Phase DINY603B-W; all you need to do is get a power source to the camera and you are away. Attaching the camera is easy, just use the 3M adhesive pad provided to plaster it to your car's bumper and don't scoff, it really stays in place.

The 110-degree field of view is good for giving enough of a wide view, plus you can actually change the parking lines on the 4.3-inch monitor to whichever suits you best. We like this kit because it’s simple and it works as it should. Like the other Auto-Vox kit above, the car charger for the monitor has a USB socket too.

Pros

  • Stable wireless transmission
  • Easy to install
  • Suitable screen

Cons

  • Image quality not the best

The most versatile reversing camera

Nextbase Rear Window Camera
Price: $99.99
Alternative retailers
Walmart$99.99View offer
Best Buy$99.99View offer

In contrast to the plug-in, the wired Rear Camera module goes on the back window. It's also compatible with 322, 422, 522, and 622GW dash cams like its plug-in brother.

It uses a 6m long cable, which Nextbase say can be hidden underneath the roof lining. However, this can be a faff depending on the vehicle you drive, and the option of simply plugging in a reversing camera seems all the more tempting.

With that said, both the Nextbase camera modules aren’t as good as the proper reversing cameras. But they certainly help in today’s cars that have a love affair with hatchbacks and small, tinted rear windows.

Pros

  • Simple to install
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Wiring isn't ideal

Best rear camera for Nextbase dash cams

Nextbase Click-in Rear View Camera

Rrp: $99.99

Price: $93.02
Alternative retailers
Best Buy$97.99View offer
Walmart$99.99View offer

This is perhaps the most compatible option if you're looking for an add-on. If you already own a Nextbase 322GW, 422GW, 522GW, or 622GW dashcam, consider buying a rear view module instead.

The Click-in Rear View plugs directly into the side of the dashcam, facing backwards through the car and out the back. This sounds silly, but it actually works rather well, as we discovered when testing the 522GW and 622GW.

Pros

  • Simple to install and use
  • Compatible with Nextbase dashcams

Cons

  • The method isn't for everyone

Why should I consider an aftermarket reversing camera?

You will be familiar with the fact that most modern cars have them built into the infotainment system. There are even factory versions of mirror dash cams now. However, not everybody has or can afford to get into a new car with all its swanky tech. This is where the purpose of a reversing camera comes in.

There is an enormous gap in the market for owners with modern cars that are both hard to see out of, and simply aren't equipped with the latest gadgetry. Not even on the level of a budget dash cam. With bigger pillars and smaller windows than most retro and classic cars, the ability to see out for yourself is becoming trickier.

Therefore, if you're driving around in a 5-10-year-old Golf or BMW 3-Series, the case for an aftermarket reversing camera is pretty solid. But if you are considering a dash cam at the same time, you can read our review of the Nextbase and Vantrue systems to form your own opinion.

What is the hardest car to see out of?

It's tempting to say a mid-engined Lambo. But for some bizarre reason, Polestar has launched a vehicle without a rear window.

Okay, what about the easiest?

Anything old and open-top, to be honest - like an Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite. And those are a fab drive as a bonus.

Chris Williams is a Senior Product Writer for CAR, also working for Live For The Outdoors. An expert in camping and muscle cars, he spends most of his time up a mountain or laying rubber.

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