Portable DVD Players to Make Long Car Trips a Blast

This is screen time that’s worth it—mile for mile!

There are four words that parents long to avoid hearing on road trips: “Are we there yet?” And while smartphones and tablets provide entertainment, they often need the internet or charge via the front seat—when kids are typically in the back. That’s where a portable DVD player saves the day. Most run on battery and guarantee a few movie’s worth of quiet time. Still, there are many factors to consider—here’s what to look for when adding this gadget to your arsenal of road trip must-haves.

Plays videos for up to five hours without needing to be recharged and supports multiple media formats besides discs, including USB and SD cards. HDJUNTUNKOR

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In the digital age, your DVD collection may have made its way over to a USB drive, perhaps an SD card or even got burned onto a DVD-RW. No matter how your collection lives, you want a portable DVD player that can handle a variety of multimedia formats. And pro tip: avoid melt-downs with a built-in, break-point memory function. Basically when you have to turn off the DVD player for a potty break or naptime—the DVD automatically begins where you left off.

Rotates 180° around and backwards to fit over the back of a car seat. APEMAN

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If you have more than one kiddo vying to watch from the backseat, a swivel display screen that rotates and flips is mandatory. The last thing you need is to finally settle on a movie and then fights erupt because no one can see! Bonus: look for a player that easily attaches to the car headrest and still swivels from there.

When using just one monitor, the battery lasts for 4-5 hours. When using both, they’ll play for about 2-3 hours. WONNIE

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If you have two kids in car seats or booster seats, one monitor offers a tough vantage point for both. In that case, a dual DVD player is essential for road trip survival. One player connects to two monitors and plays the same movie at once. Look for one that also comes with two brackets and straps for mounting the monitors to the car back seats.