If you’re serious about road safety and protecting your car, you need to account for every eventuality. A good radar detector covers you from things like speed traps and red-light cameras, but it does nothing to help you in the case of an accident.
A high-quality dash camera can record the details if anybody bumps into your car or worse, tries to do a hit and run. Each one compliments the other, which is why they’re so commonly sold as a package deal.
Affiliate disclosure: Automoblog and its partners may be compensated when you purchase the products below.
It’s also important to consider that buying a radar detector and a dash camera separately will be more expensive. Getting them as a bundle will save you money in the long run. With that in mind, here are the top three radar detector with dash camera bundles on the market.
Here is a more detailed look at each bundle on this list and why we picked it. At the end, we have included a helpful FAQ section and some general tips and advice when shopping for a high-quality radar detector and dash camera.
Best Overall: Escort MAX 360c & M1 Camera Bundle
There’s a reason Escort is known for making some of the best radar detectors on the market. The Max 360c has full 360-degree coverage and absolute protection against all radar bandwidths as well as laser detectors. When it finds a signal, the detector itself also has a little directional arrow pointing to the source of the radar, so you know whether you’re heading for it, and how you need to react.
It’s packed with all the latest gear, including up to date detection protocols that give it massive range and auto-learning technology that remembers your routes and cuts down on false alerts.
The M1 dash camera shares the same power source and mount, and records in full HD 1080p resolution with an automatic night vision mode. The 16GB micro SD Card gives you nearly three hours of recording time, but it auto loops so it’s never not recording. In the case of a crash, the camera has G-sensors that save the last few minutes of driving, so you’re never going to lose important data.
Real-time updates are provided by the Escort Live App, which is based on data collected from around three million users. One of the biggest assets of the Escort Live App is the database of red light and speed cameras. Escort also offers a full one-year guarantee, and they’ll also refund you any radar or laser trap tickets you get in this time, which is an offer you’re basically not going to find anywhere else.
The Escort Max 360c with M1 Bundle comes with everything you need to protect yourself and your vehicle in one bundle. The Max 360c itself is one of the best radar and laser detectors on the market today.
The budget-friendly little brother to the 360c, the Escort iXc balances price against features, without really compromising on either. With full band radar detection alongside laser detection protocols, you’re covered against any type of speed trap in your local area. Auto-learning tech and filtering systems cut down on false alerts, and local hotspots are covered and updated by Escort’s app, linked to your Wi-Fi.
The iXc comes with Escort’s standard M1 camera, which boasts full HD 1080p clarity with automatic night vision and g-shock crash capture to save the footage in the case of an accident. Both run from the same power source, cutting down on cables in your car and making setup much simpler.
Part of the reason why it’s less money than the 360c is directional coverage. The iXc only detects in the front arc, rather than having the all-round coverage of more expensive models. If that’s something that matters to you, you need to look at one of our other choices. If not, the iXc is an exceptional little radar detector and dash cam bundle at a reasonable price.
Best Budget Pick: Cobra Road Scout Elite 2-In-1 Radar Detector & Camera
For ease of use, the Cobra Road Scout is hard to beat. Basically, plug and play out of the box, you can have this radar detector and dash cam combo up and running in minutes after purchase. The Cobra Road Scout has near-equivalent detection to our top pick, with only slightly less range. It has a decent list of detection protocols too, and won’t constantly flag non-detector sources or have issues with other false alerts.
The 1080p HD dash cam with night vision has a slightly narrower 154-degree field of vision. It comes with G-shock sensors that automatically save the last few minutes of driving in the case of a bump or scrape. Although the video quality is good, one small issue is that you can’t upgrade the internal SD card to larger than the provided 16GB, but that’s only a problem if you’re constantly driving long distances.
Alerts are kept up to date via Wi-Fi, but unfortunately, some of the in-app options require the paid-for subscription service, which is a shame as Escort doesn’t require you to pay for their app. But when you’re paying less money up-front, the costs will even out.
There’s a big difference between a cheap radar detector and an up-to-date model with all the latest features. Here’s what you should be looking for when you’re buying a detector:
Always Consider Range Detection
Modern radar guns use one of four general bands of frequencies (K, Ka, Ku, X), and a good radar detector needs to be able to pick up on all of them. Detection ranges also vary, with cheaper models having very short detection ranges that mean you’re almost on top of the squad car before you’re alerted of their presence. A longer-range radar detector is always your best option, so make sure you always research which ones cover the most distance.
Finally, the best radar detectors will also have the capacity to also detect modern LiDAR guns, as well.
Alert Filtering: Reducing False Positives
Detection is made more complicated by the fact that these same radar bands are used by lots of different things in the modern world, including cruise control systems, parking sensors, and even garage door openers. Higher quality radar detectors have systems that can identify what a signal is likely to be, and might have settings like city and highway modes, which adjust the sensitivity of the detector.
The most advanced detectors have GPS-based, AI programs that learn your regular driving routes and remember what signals are commonly found and where, so it can build up a database and reduce false alerts. When shopping for a radar detector, you will want to make sure it has the capability to tell the difference between real threats and false alarms.
Speed & Red Light Cameras
Some units have built-in Wi-Fi capability, which means drivers can receive alerts in real-time via a downloadable smartphone app. Through these apps, drivers have access to navigation, traffic updates, and a database of red light and speed cameras.
How To Pick The Best Dash Camera
Like a radar detector, you want to avoid buying a dash cam solely based on price. Instead, look for something that includes an SD Dard and has high video quality. Not every dash cam is created equal. Here are some things to look for.
A modern dash cam will use a 1080p or HD resolution camera. Higher resolutions mean higher clarity and a better chance of picking out the important details in what the camera has recorded. Anything less than 1080p probably isn’t worth considering, as the video quality will be poor, and could compromise the recording.
The field of view of the dash camera also plays a role. While a larger field of view is good means more of the road and its surroundings are captured, it can compromise the video quality.
Most dash cams use an SD card for their storage, meaning you can upgrade your memory needs. If you know that you’re driving all day, having enough memory for the whole trip is preferable. Some cameras also have internal memory storage, or the option to save the last few minutes of recorded footage letting you guarantee that important videos are saved.
The best units, for the best value, come with an SD Card already from the dash cam manufacturer. If you decide you need to purchase an additional SD Card, do you research and be aware that counterfeit ones are sold on the market.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are radar detectors legal?
In almost all of the USA, you can freely use a radar detector without issue. Currently, radar detectors are only illegal in Virginia, Washington D.C., and while your vehicle is on a military base. Radar detectors are also illegal if you’re driving commercial vehicles 10,000 lbs. and heavier.
If you’re crossing the northern border, it’s worth noting that radar detectors are illegal in most Canadian provinces, so make sure you disable or remove your detector if you’re driving on Canadian roads.
How can you mount your radar detector?
There are multiple ways to mount a radar detector in your car, including:
Windshield-mounted with power cord: Your radar detector will come with a power cord that plugs straight into your car’s 12V power outlet. As long as your car is running and you are driving, you will have full power. However, corded detectors can be irritating to install, as the wire can be bulky, or long and hard to situate and tie-down.
Windshield-mounted, cordless battery: Cordless detectors are simpler to install, as all you need to do is install the detector mount, usually on your windshield. Downsides are the battery needing to be charged and remembering to turn it off when you leave your vehicle so you won’t come back to a dead and useless unit.
Permanently mounted: Some detectors have the option for permanent installation. Detectors like this tend to be far less visible and simple to control, but the installation is more be difficult.
Can you hardwire a radar detector into your car?
Yes. Instead of powering a radar detector through a 12V adapter, it’s possible to wire it straight into your car’s fuse box. This sort of install generally requires a professional installer but means the detector kicks in as soon as the engine turns on. Cables are generally run through the interior trim, saving space and keeping your car looking as if nothing has been installed at all.
While we recommend paying for professional installation if you choose to hard-wire your radar detector, if you prefer to do things on your own, you can. If you opt for professional installation, our advice is to ask if they offer a warranty on the install.
Where should you mount a radar detector?
There are two good places to mount a radar detector; behind the rear-view mirror and in front of the steering column. There are advantages and disadvantages to both locations, although you generally want your radar detector up as high as possible.
Mounting a radar detector behind your rear-view mirror means it will be higher, which gives them a better detection range. This can give you more of an early warning and increases the chances that your radar detector will pick up an alert from further away, especially if it’s behind something (like a patient squad car!).
Why didn’t my radar detector go off when I drove past a speed trap?
A radar detector can detect the waves emitted by the radar guns used by police. However, these guns only emit radar waves when the trigger is pulled. That means if the police aren’t using their radar guns, for example, if they didn’t see you coming, or they’re taking a break, there’s nothing for your detector to, well, detect.
It’s also possible that you’re using a cheap or outdated radar e detector. Radar technology is advancing all the time, and older models don’t detect the full range of radar frequencies used by modern guns.
What are radar jammers and are they legal to use?
Radar jammers don’t just detect incoming radar signals, they’re designed to broadcast their own signal which overpowers the incoming signal, and prevents the police radar guns from accurately reading your speed. Sounds useful, right? But are they legal?
Short answer. No.
Radar jammers are currently illegal in all 50 U.S. states under federal law. It’s also very easy for police to tell that you’re using a radar jammer, and if they pull you over and find that you’re using a jamming device, the penalty can be up to $50,000, or potentially five years in jail.
Where should I buy my radar detector & dash cam bundle?
Like most technology today, the easiest and most convenient place to buy is online. Most manufacturers will have the option to purchase directly from their website, but Amazon and other online retailers also carry a healthy stock.
While you can purchase in brick and mortar stores, we’d recommend searching online first. You’re far more likely to find the model you want for less. And installation of a modern radar detector is so easy, you can do it in a few minutes.