Recording what goes on in front of your car is very useful, especially for capturing weird road incidents and the unfortunate collision.
But being able to record what goes on behind your car is just as important, since rear end collisions are just as bad – and actually harder to avoid, since you aren’t always going to be looking into the rear view mirror.
Additionally, when you have two cameras, you’ll cover a lot more area around your car in terms of video capturing, since the rear view lens is also usually wide angled.
Dash cam manufacturers have catered to this need and there are many models available that come in two parts – a front camera, which also houses the main “brains” of the camera, and a rear camera which is much smaller and transmits the video across a coax cable to the front camera.
Both cameras usually record in 1080p HD, but sometimes, the front camera will be full 1080p and the rear camera will be 720p.
All of the recording and storage is done in the front camera itself – so you can use the front camera as a standalone unit, too.
If you operate a car with a camera in the front and rear (also called 2 channel or dual channel), you’ll be covered for almost every situation possible.
We suggest mounting in front of your rear view mirror. This is the best place to not distract the driver and also draw less attention from others who may be looking. Common mounts are suction cup or 3M tape. Either way, ensure the area is clear of any oil and debris.
The rear unit can be mounted anywhere on the frame of the rear windshield. It really is your preference. You can have the rear unit be on the middle top, next to the third brake light, or you can have it on the bottom left of the window.
Otherwise, there are some rear units that are made for external use. We find the most common area for mounting is above the license plate.
Take the extra few minutes to manage your cables especially if you have a front and rear unit. A little bit of cable management will make it so it doesn’t look like you’ve added anything to your car.
For the front, use the top headliner to hide the cables and as you get to the A-pillar either hide the cables in the panels or the weather stripping along the door. You can navigate your way down to under the glove compartment.
For the rear, you’ll need a cable that attaches the front unit and the rear unit. You can again utilize the headliner to hide the rear cable and we suggest using the weather stripping to hide the wires all the way to the back. You may have to remove a panel or two.
I’ll quickly go over some of the important features you may want to consider in dash cams. Think about how you will utilize the dash cam, now, and in the future when making a purchase. Remember a dash cam is a long term investment as it can save you thousands of dollars off of one accident.
Having a setup that includes a screen depends on how you want to utilize dash cams. If you are looking for a dash cam with backup camera, then a screen is a must. Otherwise, the screen is an extra cost that could have gone into another feature that makes sense for you. I would say that you should be looking for a screen around 2.5 inches. This is enough for quick playback and sufficient coverage for reversing your vehicle.
There are a couple reasons why you wouldn’t want or need a screen on your device. One reasons is because screens attract a lot of unwanted eyes and if they see a screen, they might try to steal it. Otherwise, personally, screens can be a little distracting when driving, especially if they are in your line of sight. Some cameras have the ability to turn the screen off while recording. If you opt out of a screen, your camera will have WiFi which will allow you to access settings and recordings on your smart phone.
There are a lot of buzz words when it comes to video quality. Product specifications are important, but seeing actual footage is crucial. All of the products here have been user tested and verified. If you decide to venture out of our recommendations, we suggest looking for products that are at least 1080p on both front and back. It needs to record in at least 30 fps simultaneously. Ideally having 4K resolution and 60 fps are the optimal settings.
Don’t expect great quality out of the rear unit. Unfortunately, not a lot of emphasis is put there and its purpose is to get a broad sense of the rear area.
Design is very subjective when it comes to dash cams, but there are several factors you should take in account. There will be certain cars that won’t fit with some of the common dual dash cam designs. For example, the Blackview DR750S is a heavyweight dash cam setup, typically for those who spend a lot of time in their vehicle or those who drive trucks. The rear dash cam is rather large, though it does record in high video quality, so trying to attach this in a small, compact car may not make the most sense. For a small car, something like the VAVA rear camera can easily be installed.
Switching over to the front unit, you’ll have to think about if the dash cam will obstruct your view. The last thing you want is to be pulled over by the police and say the dash cam, which should be protecting you, is actually in violation of the law. Windshield visibility should always be maintained.
The Blackview DR750S-2CH is a two channel dash camera that records full 1080p HD video from both cameras. The front camera has a beautiful lens and allows you to record at 60fps for buttery smooth playback. You can also use the companion Blackview app to view, edit, upload or even live stream to YouTube or Facebook. Your phone (Apple or Android) can connect to the camera through WiFi.
The cloud capabilities in this phone is unparalleled to similarly priced dash cams. You have the ability to remotely view the dash cam at any point along with knowing its location and route. In order to do this, you’ll need to have constant power running to the unit.
This kit includes a hardwiring kit which allows you to hook it up to your car battery and can use it as a CCTV and record when your car is off. The rear camera is rather bulky and for the normal SUV or sedan, you’ll have to live with the rear camera on your rear window.
GPS is built into this camera, ensuring map and speed data is collected properly.
- Full HD Recording @ 60 FPS
- Resistant to temperatures up to 158 degrees
- Amazing app functionality
- No LCD Screen
VAVA Dual Front and Rear Dash Camera
The VAVA 2-channel dash cam is great for its price. You get a lot of the functionality of the BlackView camera, but at a lower price point. The video quality is really crystal clear on both cameras, but you only get 30fps. 30fps is still great for everyday drivers.
One cool feature about the VAVA is that it has a built-in battery that can record when the car is off and you don’t have it hard wired. That’s right, it has enough juice to be able to securely watch your car overnight. Many other cameras don’t have this ability and rely on external battery packs or hardwiring to obtain this feature.
What we like about this dash cam is its simplicity. It is really plug and play and the cameras are rather discrete, especially the rear camera. Since there is no screen, VAVA has included an exceptional app you can utilize with your mobile device. Playback, uploading to the internet, or taking quick screenshots are seamless. Included in the box are panel tools, so you can hide the wires around the car. No more swinging cables in the car, please! Additionally, there is a snapshot button where you can quickly capture a 20 second video or take a quick picture of something like a license plate. Is that redundant as the dash cam should already be recording? Kind of. When you click the snapshot button, it saves the file into its own separate folder and it is safe from being overwritten, where old files are erased to make room for the new files when the storage is low.
If you want GPS functionality to track the driving route, location and speed, you will have to purchase an extra GPS module which is easily install-able.
Unfortunately, VAVA is rather sensitive to temperature with its operating range between 14 degrees to 122 degrees.
- Full HD 1080p Front and Back
- Discrete design
- Great Customer Service
- Sensitive to high temperatures
The Rexing V1P is a really popular choice among dash cam enthusiasts. I personally like the design of this more than others as the design is compact. It also includes a 2.4 inch LCD screen for quick playback or WiFi to access footage through your phone.
If you have a wider car, you’ll appreciate this dash cam’s wide angle lens at 170 degrees. That’s close to a typical person’s field of vision.
The Rexing V1P is a dual camera, and since it has a screen, you can use it as a backup camera. Additionally, this camera kicks butt when it comes to temperature. It’s operable up to 176 degrees. The air vents and design make this possible.
- Withstands high temperature
- Includes WiFi Functionality
- Great Customer Service
- No Hardwiring Kit Included
Vantrue N4 Dual Dash Cam
The Vantrue N4 is a dual dash cam when it comes to the two separate modules, but the front unit actually has a cabin camera, making this a 3-channel dash camera. This is perfect for those who have to share the car with passengers on an ongoing basis whether that be ride share, taxi or carpool. The inside camera can rotate up or down, for fine-tuning.
The cabin camera is equipped with IR night vision sensors, allowing it to function with little to no light. If a customer gets rowdy, or decides to file a claim against you, you have the necessary protection in order to defend yourself. Besides the cabin camera, the front and rear lens are exceptional. If anyone is looking for superior night vision video quality, the N4 is the best. It features F1.4 aperture lens, allowing tons of light to hit the sensor. This allows you to use a microSD card up to 256gb which is a ton of space and can fill 40+ hours worth of footage.
Check out our full review of the N4 here.
- 3-Channel Camera 1080P
- Infrared Cabin Night Vision
- 24 Hours Parking Mode, Motion Detection
- No WiFi
Z-Edge Z3D Dual Dash Cam
The Z-Edge Z3D dash cam is a 2-channel setup. One camera in the rear near the trunk, the other mounted up front. We chose this dash cam because it’s great on a budget. It still packs a bunch of features into a package for a great price.
Like the others, this films front and back both in 1080p @ 30fps. A GPS module is included which is a big surprise at this price point. It still has loop recording and has parking monitor functionality.
What this setup doesn’t have are things like a super wide field of view. This setup only goes to 150 degrees. Users also report the suction cup included doesn’t work well and the night vision could be better. This is a great dash cam if you need to have that front and back coverage but need to sacrifice on some of the extra features.
- Great budget choice
- GPS included
- Parking Mode, Emergency Save
- Field of Vision is shallow
APEMAN 1440P&1080P Dual Dash Cam
The APEMAN Dual Dash Cam films in 1440p/1080p for the front and rear unit. If you decide to use just the front unit, it can film up to 1520p. The feature that stands out for this camera is that both front and rear units have a 170 degree field of view. You can be sure that you are covering the entire road without many blind spots. Both lens come with a F/1.8 aperture which is very respectable. One tip is to lock the exposure to 0.0 and turn on WDR for the best performance.
Parking Mode is an available feature in the APEMAN which will monitor your car when you are away. Throughout the manual and the title keeps referencing motion detection or motion sensor. This does not detect motion if a person was walking past it. It detects car motion or more specifically, vibration from an accident.
Otherwise, this is a solid dash cam choice as everything feels very intuitive. We like the nice touch of including a panel remover in the box.
- 1440p + 1080p Resolution
- Both lens at 170 degree field of view
- Great night time video quality
- Some reviewers were compensated
CHORTAU Dual Dash Cam
The CHORTAU Dual Dash Cam is a best dash cam choice for those on a budget. This is a great front and rear dash cam because of how many features is packed into one device. For one, you’ll immediately notice the 6 infrared lights on the front of the dash cam. This helps illuminate distances of about 20 feet with infrared to help with night vision. Don’t expect this to be like an episode of Ghosthunters where cameras has total night vision, but it does help.
The rear unit is unique in the sense that it is supposed to be mounted on the exterior of the car. It is waterproof and also comes with infrared lights. This is perfect for those who want a backup camera, we suggest mounting this on the top of your license plate.
In terms of specs, it films in 1080p resolution with the front unit having a massive wide angle of 170 degrees. The rear is just 130 degrees, but that doesn’t both us too much.
Besides that, it has all of the other standard features such as Parking Mode and G-Sensor for accident protection. If your vehicle needs to have a backup camera, consider getting the CHORTAU to take care of both needs.
- Infrared Night Vision Lights
- Waterproof Rear Unit
- Budget Choice
- Rear Unit may not be compatible with your vehicle
Vantrue S1 4K Dash Cam
The Vantrue S1 4K Front and Rear Dash Cam excels in the design department. I love how it contours to the windshield in a small form factor and is accompanied by that massive lens. Speaking of that, the lens has the ability to be manipulated to angle it however you need. You can either film using the front unit up to 4K at 24 frames per second but it would have to scale down to 1080p if you wanted to use both units.
The specs on this one are crazy awesome! First off, the field of view is top notch with the front having 170 degrees, with the rear at 160 degrees. That is near 360 degree coverage.
Night vision is phenomenal as the front lens boasts a F/1.47 aperture, one of the highest I’ve seen in this class. This means it can take in more light and process the scene more accurately.
On top of this, it also has built-in GPS for speed and location data. The one downside at this price point is that it does not have WiFi which means you’ll have to view the footage on the screen provided, or remove the memory card and use a computer.
- Great form factor
- GPS included standard
- F/1.47 aperture for night vision
- No WiFi
TOGUARD 12″ 2.5K Mirror Dash Cam
The TOGUARD Mirror Dash Cam is a great addition to your car if you are feel like the traditional dash cams stick out too much. A mirror dash cam hooks onto your existing rear view mirror and overlays it. This is an alternative to sticking a unit onto your windshield which may draw attention to your car.
We like this option if you don’t like the look of a dash cam on your windshield and want something a bit more integrated with the car.
This massive 12 inch mirror is touchscreen and the front is filming in 1440p and the rear in 1080p. Blind spots are severely cut down with the large mirror.
This is a front and rear dash cam with the rear unit being a waterproof camera, made for external use. We suggest using this as a backup camera and is easy to do if you can hook up the rear unit with the reverse lights. One thing that is unique to this setup is the voice commands. You don’t necessarily have to splice the rear unit into the reverse lights, you can just use voice commands when backing up. Other commands include start/stop recording, turn off screen or save footage.
Beyond that, this mirror cam comes with GPS which will track your speed and location that you can review.
- Blends in with car
- Voice Commands provide ease of use
- Reduces blind spots
- No WiFi