We predict within five years, the majority of cars on the road will be equipped with a video recording unit – commonly known as a dash cam.
While dash cams have been a bit slower to catch on in the United States, that’s changing quickly as more-and-more American drivers see the value in documenting their daily driving activities on video.
(To learn more about dash cam usage growth statistics as well as most everything else you’d want to know about dash cams, check out our 2017 Ultimate Dash Cam Guide.)
With the growth in popularity, comes growth in buying options – the number of manufacturers and units they offer has skyrocketed. Amazon alone lists over 200 pages of dash cams – many of them imported from manufacturers you’ve likely never heard of.
As you look to purchase your first, or replacement, dash cam you may be overwhelmed with the options.
That’s where we come in. We’ve taken the time to sift through the hundreds of options to bring you the very best!
For 2017, we grouped our reviews into three price categories:
- Budget – units costing under $50
- Mid-Range – units costing from $50 to $100
- High-End – units costing more than $100
And, we used the following rating criteria within each category:
- Price – compared to others within the same category
- Recording Length
- Field of View
- Manufacturer & Warranty
- User Reviews
(To learn more detail about each rating criteria, check out our 2017 Ultimate Dash Cam guide here.)
Budget Dash Cams – Under $50
Just a couple years ago, if you wanted to spend less than $50 on a dash cam, you would have been very limited in quality and features.
However, with the inevitable march of progress, dash cam prices continue to drop while their features continue to improve.
For 2017, we’ve found two solid units that we can recommend in the less-than $50 price range. They may not have every bell and whistle that you’ll find in spendier units, but they could be perfect for your need.
However, keep in mind – at this price point, you’ll also find that you’ve probably never heard of any of these manufacturers. Most of these cams are outsourced to low-cost overseas manufacturers.
Because of this, user reviews are particularly important when evaluating units in this price range (which includes weeding out spammy, fake reviews).
Here are our picks for best dash cams under $50:
Mid-Range Dash Cams – $50 to $100
As you step up in price to our mid-range units, you’ll find an increase in features and quality. 1080p HD recording and 170-degree field of view are among the features you’ll find standard at this price level.
Here are our top two picks for mid-range cams:
High-End Dash Cams – Over $100
In this price division, higher-end features become fairly standard – wide-angle field of vision, GPS tracking, dual cameras, etc. However, even though we reviewed cameras costing more than $500, our two favorites in this division are great units that don’t cost much more than their mid-priced competitors.
Here are our two favorite high-end dash cams:
As the popularity of dash cams continues to grow, we can expect to see more competition on price and features. We can also expect to see the marketplace become even more crowded and confusing.
We continually evaluate the latest products so you can count on us to help make sense of it all!
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Note: Safety Prepping may be paid a commission if you purchase items we recommend (see our Affiliate Disclaimer here). However, we never let that influence our reviews. We are dedicated to bringing you honest and unbiased information.