Best Trail Camera Card Readers (2020 Buyer’s Guide)

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Do you want to have the ability to view pictures and videos of your game quickly and efficiently?

If so, then a trail camera card reader is for you. Pulling your laptop out can sometimes be a time-consuming chore for even the most experienced hunters and outdoorsmen, while many others prefer this method. The easiest way to combat these kinds of issues is to invest in the right trail camera card reader.

 This article will discuss the best types of card readers from ones compatible with iPhones and Androids to others that work with even off-brand laptops.

Comparison Chart of the Best Trail Camera Card Readers

PRODUCTDETAILS
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MOSPRO Card2 SD Card Reader Trail Camera Viewer

  • Works Everywhere: No Wireless Internet Connection Needed
  • Portable: Lightweight, Small Enough to Fit In Pocket
  • Switchable USB: Switch Between USB And Micro USB Interface
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Anker 8-in-1 USB 3.0 Portable Card Reader

  • Dual Card Processing: Read and Write Simultaneously
  • Easy to Use, Notifies User When Working
  • High Durability: Made of High-Grade Plastic
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SmartQ C307 USB 3.0 Portable Card Reader

  • Supports a Diverse Amount of SD Cards
  • Easy Use: No Computer Software Download Needed
  • Manages High Definition and High-Resolution Footage
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MOSPRO Trail Camera Viewer

  • Compatible With Most Popular Brands of Trail Cameras
  • Convenient For Use Whenever, No WiFi Needed
  • No Wait Time Needed: Real-Time Viewing
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BoneView SD Card Reader for Android

  • Best Trail Camera Card Reader Android
  • Compatible with many android phones
  • No phone service, Wi-Fi or internet required
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FA-STAR SD Card Reader

  • Best Trail Camera Card Reader for iPhone
  • No applications required for it to work
  • 14 to 16 MB/s transfer speed
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What is an SD Card Reader?

An SD card is a compact product that is used to get extra storage on your digital devices. It quickly conquered the market as people loved it for its small size, hot-swap, and speedy data transfer.

So, as the name suggests, an SD card reader is a device that is specifically designed to read the contents in an SD card. It has a conforming along with a USB interface; together, the two allow the user to access files on his/her SD card. One could restate that its primary function is to share the data on your product in a more convenient manner.

MOSPRO Card2 Sd Card Reader Trail Camera Viewer

Are All Card Readers The Same

Not all camera card readers are the same. Some card readers only work with laptops while others are more universal and can also be used with cell phones, Apple products, and other devices. More technological card readers have two-card processing abilities, while some only have one.

Not all card readers are made out of the same type of material, with some being made of high-grade plastic and others from low-grade plastic. A common trend in card readers is the slow speed that users experience. If this specific factor bothers you as a hunter, it is important to invest in a high-speed card reader.

If you do not feel capable or don’t want to view your footage on a computer, invest in a product that works with cell phones or other devices. The MOSPRO Card2 Sd Card Reader Trail Camera Viewer is similar but slightly different to the MOSPRO Trail Camera Viewer and the Campark Trail Camera SD Card, which are nearly identical. The SmartQ C307 USB 3.0 Portable Card Reader and the Anker 8-in-1 USB 3.0 Portable Card Reader are similar to each other as well. Overall, I would recommend the versatile MOSPRO Camera Card Reader.

What Makes a Great Card Reader?

Here are the main factors of all great card readers:

Speed

A great camera card reader should be quick and ready for when you want to view your media. Since hunting is an active sport, there isn’t always a lot of time to look at the footage. If you invest in a high processing camera card reader, less time will be wasted and more fun will be had.

Anker 8-in-1 USB 3.0 Portable Card Reader

Universal Compatibility

 Ideally, the card reader you choose to buy should able to process a diverse number of SD cards and not rely on WiFi for use, as many hunting terrains may not have wireless connections available. Being able to record and review your hunting territory on any device provides you with optimal knowledge of what game are in the area and when.

Size and Settings

The best card readers tend to be portable since hunting is a strategic sport. Because hunting footage can be quite interesting at times, it’s important to be able to share your media with the other hunters around you, as well as with friends and family on social media in a swift and reasonable way which can be accomplished directly through the right card reader. If you need to make any changes to your footage, some card readers even provide the options to zoom, edit, delete, and share.  

Quick Take | Best Trail Camera Card Readers

Review of the Best Trail Camera Card Readers

One factor that makes camera card readers so advantageous to hunters and outdoors people is that it is a quick and effortless way to review trail footage. Not all card readers work well with trail cameras. Because there are different types of trail card readers on the market, below we have reviewed five of the most popular products to help you make your decision.

PROS

  • Camouflage Design
  • Works Great With Popular Trail Camera Brands 
  • Compatibility with Most SD Cards and Devices

CONS

  • Low Durability (Made of Plastic)
  • Reviews Say Some Bulkier iPhone Cases Are Incompatible

One thing that separates the MOSPRO Card SD Card Reader Trail Camera Viewer from all of the other card readers is the professional look of the camouflage design. The MOSPRO Card SD Card Reader supports iOS, Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android devices.

Not only does this camera card reader support SD memory cards, but also TF (micro-SD) memory cards. This card reader has the ability to work with a diverse amount of trail camera brands including Bushnell, Moultrie, Stealthcam, Reconyx, Browning, and Wild Game Innovations.

With its quick speed and processing, this card reader makes for a great way to store high capacity files and save media straight to your phone or device. Not only that, but this product is also a compact size. The small size makes it easy to locate and use at any time while hunting. The features extend from being able to zoom, edit, delete, and share all media footage.This product is designed specifically for hunters, not photographers. There is a 12-month warranty in case you decide the product is not for you, but that is unlikely.

Bottom Line

Weighing in at 3.2 ounces, this camera card reader is a great addition to your hunting tools. The MOSPRO Card SD Card Reader Trail Camera Viewer is quick, efficient, and doesn’t need an internet connection or batteries to work. If any problems arise, MOSPRO has a 24-hour quick response for any questions regarding the product. Beware that if you have a Lifeproof or OtterBox case on your phone, you more than likely will need to remove it. If you want to be able to collect and view larger files while hunting, this is the card reader for you.

PROS

  • High Speed
  • Pocket Sized
  • Two Card Processing Ability

CONS

  • Questionable Customer Service
  • Not Compatible With Cell Phones
  • Mini SD Card Requires an Adapter

The Anker 8-in-1 USB 3.0 Portable Card Reader makes reviewing footage incredibly easy by providing you with two slots for SD cards (one slot for a regular SD card and one slot for a mini SD card).

This Anker 8-in-1 USB 3.0 Portable Card Reader works incredibly fast to transfer media at 5Gbps from both SD cards, not just one. This product is compatible with memory cards such as SD-XC, SD, Micro SD, RS-MMC, SD-HC, MMC, and Mini SD.

It’s not uncommon for card readers to only work with laptops. Because this card reader does not work with cell phones, the general requirement for the system you must have are either a Windows 10/ 8/ 7/ Vista or Mac OS X 10.2 computer.

When you plug the product in, it will shine a blue LED light to let you know it has started working. With how fast this card reader works to transfer data, it won’t take up much of your time, also, it only weighs .48 ounces and fits directly into your pocket.

Bottom Line

With its dual functioning capacity, the Anker 8-in-1 USB 3.0 Portable Card Reader is one of the best card readers you can find if you plan to use two SD cards and your computer on your hunting trip. Not all hunters have time to pull out their computer while hunting.

If using your computer is a breaking point for you, or if you do not plan to run two SD cards at once, I would not recommend this product because it is far too technical and could become confusing. While this product is small, sleek, and durable, it might not hit all of the elements that you are looking for in your trail camera card reader.

PROS

  • High Speed
  • Easy to Manage Files
  • Two-Card Processing Ability
  • Attachment on Protective Sliding Cap

CONS

  • Smaller Than Expected
  • Not Compatible With Cell Phones

The all-in-one SmartQ C307 USB 3.0 Portable Card Reader provides easy use for any hunter as it is the size of a flash drive, provides a protective sliding cap, and weighs .32 ounces.

While the SmartQ C307 USB 3.0 Portable Card Reader may be too small for active people because of the high risk of losing it while hunting and moving around, the protective sliding cap provides an attachment at the end where the hunter can choose where to connect it. This product supports the following computers: Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit), 7 (32-bit and 64-bit), Vista (32-bit and 64-bit), and Windows XP/2000/ME and MAC OS x.

If you have a trail camera that is shooting high-definition or high-resolution footage, this product is for you and here’s why. At its full speed data transfer, 12Mbps, this card reader can handle relatively large files with no software, additional power source, or batteries needed. For non-hunters, this card reader works well for outdoorsmen who enjoy using GoPro or Drone products.

Bottom Line

The SmartQ C307 USB 3.0 Portable Card Reader is a discrete camera card reader for on the go adventures. With its high-speed data transfer and two-card processing ability, any hunter or outdoorsmen would be able to access their footage or media efficiently.

Diversity fuels this product. This product ranges from hunting to GoPro to Drone capabilities. If you plan to have a computer nearby and want high-speed data transfer while using up to two SD cards, I recommend this product for you. Keep in mind, however, that this product is small. Be ready to attach a lanyard or long string so you won’t lose it while having fun.

PROS

  • Compact Size
  • Easy to Navigate
  • Encompasses Major Interfaces

CONS

  • For iOS Devices, a Download and Installation is Required
  • Reviews Say Some Bulkier iPhone Cases Are Incompatible

The Campark Trail Camera SD card is easily one of the most versatile camera card readers on the market right now. This product is compatible with all of the following devices: Windows, IOS, Android, Linux, and Mac OS.

Not only that, but it also works well with devices such as iPhones, iPads, iPods, Androids, and USB devices. The Campark Trail Camera SD card runs at high speeds due to a built-in microprocessor for a quicker experience whether it be reviewing footage or sharing it. The types of trail cameras that work with this product are Campark, Apman, Bushnell, StealthCam, Victure, Moultrie, Distianert, Toguard, and Browning.

With no wireless connection, batteries, or driver required, this camera card provides its user with easy and simple usage, whether outdoors or not. Both SD memory cards and Micro SD cards (TF cards) are supported by this product with some memory cards having no capacity limit. With the ability to quickly change from USB to a MicroUSB interface, this makes for a smooth transaction.  

Bottom Line

This multifaceted camera card reader seems to hit a lot of important elements when it comes to card readers. Even though it does not have two-card processing abilities, it definitely makes up for it in other ways.

If you are looking for a card reader with high speeds and a built-in microprocessor, then this is the card reader for you. If you are planning to use this product, be prepared to remove your bulky phone case. Common phone cases that will need to be removed are from the brands Lifeproof and OtterBox. The Campark Trail Camera SD Card is one of the best camera card readers a hunter could invest in.  

PROS

  • Compact Size
  • Two-Card Processing Ability
  • Encompasses Major Interfaces
  • Good Customer Service From Company

CONS

  • Reviews Say Some Bulkier iPhone Cases Are Incompatible

The MOSPRO Trail Camera Viewer is made specifically for hunters and outdoorsmen, not photographers. This product has two card reading slots with one supporting a TF (micro-SD) and one supporting an SD memory card. This product requires one of the following computer systems: Windows XP/ Vista/Win 7/8/10, Mac OS 9.X and above, Linux2.4.x, iOS 7/8/9/10, and Andriod 5.1.

The product has a sufficient reading speed of ~20-27M/S and writing speed of ~11-15M/S. Most Apple and Android products are compatible with the MOSPRO Trail Camera Viewer along with other action cameras for different kinds of outdoorsmen. Some cell phone cases need to be removed in order to use this product.

Not only that, there is a free app download that comes with this product, but it is not specified as to whether or not it is required for use. The MOSPRO Trail Camera Viewer is compatible with the following trail camera brands: Moultrie, Bushnell, Browning, StealthCam, Wild Game Innovations, and Reconyx.

With its quick speed and processing, this camera card reader works to allow you to save and share footage to popular social media outlets. The smooth and uncomplicated style this product presents allows for easy packing as it takes up very little room. Lastly, this product comes with a 12-month warranty.

Bottom Line

Overall, this product has every feature present that makes up a fantastic card reader. This card reader is pocket-sized, with major interfaces and has reviews of warm customer service from the company that sells the product. Because this card reader is so different from others and has everything a hunter or outdoorsman could imagine, I would recommend this product to even the most experienced hunters.

Best Trail Camera Card Reader Android:
BoneView SD Card Reader for Android

BoneView SD Card Reader for Android - Smartphone Trail Camera Viewer Plays Deer Hunting Game Cam Photo & Video Memory Chips on Smartphone, Connects via Micro-USB, or Free Type-C OTG Adapter Included

PROS

  • Can work without any app
  • Doesn’t require any batteries to work
  • Has a company guarantee of lifetime backup
  • Works without a Wi-Fi or internet connection
  • Compatible with a wide variety of Android phones

CONS

  • Inefficient customer service
  • Some models have buffering issues

What Recent Buyers Report

Photography enthusiasts purchased this product or received it as a gift from spouses or loved ones. Whatever the case, they loved using this and claimed that it had made their photography passion a lot more fun and convenient. Furthermore, they were really impressed by how quickly it loads images and videos for viewing.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Although this item has numerous admirable features, one thing that we particularly love is how much convenience it provides to its users. Its compatibility, ability to work without an internet connection or batteries, doesn’t necessarily require an app; all of this just makes it a super-fun and easy-to-use product.

Bottom Line

The manufacturers at Boneview put great thought and effort into their products, which is evident by the lifetime backup they provide. This item does not fall short of that standard. Its high speed and excellent performance will make you confident that you spent your money in the right place.

Best Trail Camera Card Reader for iPhone:
FA-STAR SD Card Reader

FA-STAR SD Card Reader, TF & SD Card Dual Slot Camera Reader Adapter, Trail Game Camera Viewer Compatible with iPhone 11 Pro Max Xs XR X 8 7 Plus and iPad Mini Air Pro, Plug and Play - White

PROS

  • Supports a variety of images and video formats
  • Works well without downloading a dedicated app
  • 45 days money-back guarantee and a two-year warranty
  • Can download photos and videos from your camera to an iPhone or iPad
  • Compatible with Secure Digital memory card and Mini and Micro SD cards

CONS

  • Lacks an informative instruction manual
  • A few people reported malfunctioning after some use

What Recent Buyers Report

Customers generally have had a great time with this product as it worked marvelously and didn’t fall heavy on the pocket. In fact, quite a few of them pointed out how they saved precious dollars by ditching the Wi-Fi feature on the camera they were looking to buy. Moreover, its fast speed and stellar quality managed to impress most.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We chose this product to be on this exclusive list for several reasons. Firstly, it allows you to share your clicked shots on your social network with relative ease. Furthermore, you can copy pictures and videos from the card to your iPhone or iPad and can then easily edit them on your glorious Apple devices. Lastly, importing photos from this is very easy and can be handled adequately by beginners as well.

Bottom Line

Apple users are generally reluctant to buy products that don’t pop out of the parent company. However, this item is a terrific exception. It allows you to view the photos you took instantly and then even tweak them to your preference almost immediately. All in all, it’s a phenomenal product!

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Trail Camera Card Reader

Nervous about spending a little more than you planned? Here's why you should:

Strength

Before you decide to invest in a camera card reader, you need to make sure that it is durable. The reason for this is because hunting and outdoor activities are active and you cannot take the risk of breaking or damaging any part of your hunting equipment.

Processing

By investing in a card reader that has two-card processing abilities, consequentially you will have more footage to work with, edit, and share with friends and family. You will also have the ability to save lengthier footage. With high processing card readers, data transfer of videos, pictures, and music has never been faster.

Computer and Phone Adaptability

 If you want to use a computer to review media, it’s recommended to buy a compact camera card reader, but not one you could easily lose track of. Most camera card readers will work with most computers. If you want a handheld experience, invest in a card reader that works with your cell phone. Keep in mind, however, that not all phone cases will work with these products. Like many outdoor activities, hunting is strategic and quick.

SmartQ C307 USB 3.0 Portable Card Reader

How to Use an SD Card Reader

The next question that comes to mind after discussing how awesome SD card readers are and which ones are worth considering is, how do you actually use one? Well, don’t worry for we have you covered here as well. Below are step-by-step instructions for you to use your product without any difficulty.

1. Insert the SD card inside the slot in the SD card reader.

2. Connect the card reader into the USB jack of your computer

3. The computer will show a prompted window, select view in new folder

4. Select DCIM by clicking on it twice

5. Choose the files you want to transfer to your computer

6. Right-click and choose the option ‘Send to’ to send those selected files to your desired folder. Alternatively, you could also right-click and select cut if you want to empty your SD card or select copy if you just want to copy those files on your computer.

7. Open the folder you want to paste the files to, right-click and select paste.

8. Eject the card reader from the computer or click on the ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ sign at the bottommost right side of the monitor.

If you are still confused or want some visual presentation of the steps above, we have attached a video that will explain and show how each step is performed.

Conclusion

We hope that you have learned something new from this article review. Going forward, this article should give you insight into which camera card reader is the best for your hunting or outdoor experience. Camera card readers come with many different functions. Remember that the key qualities in a good camera card reader are durability, processing speed, and compatibility with different cards and devices. Overall, each of the reviewed products is a great addition for a good hunting trip. Have fun! 

People Also Ask

Although we have tried to cover this topic from all angles, we figured you might have some extra questions. Therefore, in this section, we will cover common concerns or questions that you guys might have had.

How Does a Card Reader Work?

An SD card reader employs very simple technology, but due to its utility, it is loved by people around the world. When an SD card is inserted into the reader, it reads its files, and upon being connected to a computer or a phone, it projects those files on to the screen, allowing you to edit them or view them or transfer them.

What Does a Card Reader Do?

It is a compact and small USB plug-and-play device that is used to read or copy data from flash memory cards, for example, MicroSD, SD, or MiniSD cards. It allows you to access the files on your memory card and cut, copy, and paste them on your own computer.

How Much is a Card Reader?

Although they have great utility, these products are generally not very expensive. That is one of the reasons why people all around the world love to use it. Typically, the more storage capacity a card reader has, the more it will cost. However, you should be able to find a decent card reader within $10 to $15.