For those looking to install one, these six highly rated dash cams range from a basic plug-in to high-def front and rear cameras with wifi. Some simply record video on a loop, while others have voice commands, driver alerts for lane drifting, a parking monitor function to detect bumps, and time-lapse video to catch all the action during a morning commute or summer road trip.
The basic dash cam
Who it's ideal for: For a one-and-done dash cam, this Amazon option is easy-to-install and has the basic features like night vision, parking monitor, loop recording (which overrides the oldest files), audio and suction cup windshield holder.
Why we're endorsing it: Price, user reviews, includes SD card.
Where it could use improvements: Unclear on charging port capabilities for USB.
Dimensions/price: 1080p video, 3” screen; $59 at Amazon.
The HD pro gear
Who it's ideal for: The myGEKOgear Orbit 956 is ideal for drivers who want maximum coverage. The front camera is 4K 25fps video the rear camera is Full HD 1080p; there’s also a GPS sensor for speed and lane drifting and a time-lapse function. With 150° viewing angle, audio, WiFi connectivity, USB port and 32GB MicroSD card, it’s the complete package.
Why we're endorsing it: Quality, reviews, functionality.
Where it could use improvements: Higher price point than other options.
Dimensions/price: Exclusive at Best Buy ($199.99).
The dash cam with cloud storage
Who it's ideal for: For those who want to split the difference between basic and expert, this Nextbase 122 720P HD Dash Camera is reliable and has the necessary functions, like 120° viewing angle, Click&Go Pro Mount, parking monitor (detects bumps) and the ability to view and share footage in the MyNextBase cloud.
Why we're endorsing it: Quality, cloud function.
Where it could use improvements: Does not include an SD card.
Dimensions/price: $129.99 at The Source.
Three more dash cams to consider
This 4K dash cam has a 64GB memory card, parking monitor, WiFi, an emergency digital lock that is activated if there is a crash, time/date/location stamps, two kinds of mounting brackets and two-year warranty. $229.99 at Amazon.
The Garmin Dash Cam 56 is at the top end of the price range for this kind of gadget. It has a 140° view, voice command capabilities, Bluetooth, wireless app pairing, motion detector and driver alerts like lane departure. Does not include an SD card. $269.99 at Staples.