Whether you hunt, enjoy tracking wildlife, or just need some added security around your property, having quality trail cameras gives you another way to experience and monitor the great outdoors. You might already have the right camping gear for the hunt, but trail cameras (different from security cameras for your home) come in handy by showing you the spots you can't see from your current location. However you use them, you can choose one that's simple and just gives you shots of certain areas, or you can choose one with more features like video with sound, infrared capabilities for night vision, and several other features.
Trail cameras can be affordable, but it's all about what features you need. The more tech you have in a given camera is likely to make it more expensive. Most let you control them through an associated hunting app on your phone, but it's important to note that the cameras use cellular data and that you'll need to set up an account with a provider — much like you would when adding a new phone. So it's not just the initial cost you should think about, it's how much you'll be paying per month on top of the price.
We searched out the highest-rated Trail Cameras at Bass Pro Shop so you know which ones previous buyers are raving about.
Muddy Matrix Cellular Trail Camera
The Muddy Matrix Cellular Trail Camera, which is the highest-rated trail camera on Bass Pro Shop, will get you high-resolution 36MP images and 1080p video with sound. What's more, you can use the Stealth Cam Command Pro app on your phone to take images or video at any time so you know what's currently happening on your property. With the app, you'll also be able to download images and videos and share them with other Stealth Cam Command Pro users. For night monitoring, it has an 80-foot detection radius and can snap a burst of photos with a flash.
The Muddy Matrix camera comes with SIM cards pre-installed, which will automatically find the best carrier based on signal strength, but you'll need to pay a per-month subscription to use this camera. What's especially cool is all the extra information you'll receive through the app. You'll always know which camera has taken which photo, and every image is marked with information like the time of the shot, the temperature outside, the specific camera's identifying information, and even what moon phase the particular area is in.
Muddy Matrix Cellular Trail Camera costs $119.99 at Bass Pro Shop – but keep in mind that you'll also need to pay an additional subscription for its cellular connection.
Reconyx HyperFire 2 Cellular Trail Camera
The second highest-rated trail cam on Bass Pro Shop is the Reconyx HyperFire 2 Cellular Trail Camera, which is one of the more advanced systems for monitoring wildlife. It offers a 150' no-flash infrared HD camera that won't scare wildlife in the vicinity. Photos and videos at night come out in smooth greyscale, while during the day, you'll get full-color HD video and photos. It transfers the info wirelessly to your phone or computer via an LTE connection. It also works with SD cards up to 512GB.
What's especially cool about the HyperFire 2 is you don't need to connect with an external cellular provider. Simply download the Reconyx Connect mobile app and you'll have access directly through the app, which also lets you access your HD photos, videos, and billing information. The camera also has a useful photo trigger that goes off at two-tenths of a second after detection of movement, which means you won't miss a thing.
The Reconyx HyperFire 2 Cellular Trail Camera costs $599.99 at Bass Pro Shop.
Tactacam Reveal X Pro Trail Camera
In third place is the Tactacam Reveal X Pro Trail Camera, which is not overly expensive, is easy to use, takes good-looking photos during the day or night, and allows you to transfer media using an app for your phone. The 16MP camera takes clear shots in color during the day, and at night, an infrared light gets you clear night shots without spooking the animals nearby. It also has integrated GPS tracking.
The Reveal X Pro is not as advanced as other trail cameras on the market today, and there will be a wait time for photos to get to your phone, but the motion sensor will be sure to get the capture so you don't have to worry.
For this more basic yet reliable trail camera, your initial cost will be $149.99 on Bass Pro Shop, but keep in mind you'll need to pay a cellular provider to move the data. It is compatible with both Verizon and AT&T cellular networks.
Wildgame Innovations Encounter 2.0 Cellular Trail Camera
Next up is the Wildgame Innovations Encounter 2.0 Cellular Trail Camera, which brings speed, flexibility, and plenty of extra useful features to the table. The camera itself takes 26MP images and 720p video that you can check out in real-time using the downloadable Huntsmart app. The camera also has only a half-second delay on the trigger, so you won't miss any of the action.
What's especially useful is that it has what it calls an Artificial Intelligence Management (AIM) system that can detect the type of wildlife you're tracking, and it can organize the images to put the same types of wildlife together for easy viewing. It also offers four powerful 850nm infrared LEDs that can capture movement up to 80 feet away.
For $129.99 at Bass Pro Shop you'll get the camera, strap, and two SIM cards for cellular connectivity, although you'll need to subscribe for a plan on your own. It also has an SD card slot, but you'll need to buy that separately.
Reconyx HyperFire 2 Covert IR Game Camera
Rounding out the top five is the Reconyx HyperFire 2 Covert IR Game Camera, which offers more features than many trail cameras in its category, although you'll have to pay a little extra for the convenience. It has advanced motion-sensing technology that can snap photos in bursts up to 150 feet out and it takes full-color images during the day and monochrome images at night. It's important to note that this camera leans heavily towards nighttime shots because its daytime camera is only 3MP.
This trail camera, while good for tracking game, probably has the best argument for using it for security purposes. It has time-lapse features so you can follow the action over the course of time and scrub to the parts you want to see most. It can be adjusted to 1, 5, 15, 30, or 60-minute intervals so you'll automatically have an overview of the action during day or nighttime use. This one is also water-resistant, so you won't have to worry about the rain.
The Reconyx HyperFire 2 Covert IR Camera and its specialized features will cost you $399.99 at Bass Pro Shop initially, with the associated expenses of SD cards and cellular plans on top of that.