One would think that any SD card would work with your dash cam. While theoretically, any SD card will do, there are certain models built specifically to handle tasks such as recording video on your dash cam. Here’s what to look for when shopping for an SD card for your dash cam:
- Total Recording Time: Most SD cards designed for dash cameras will tell you how many hours it’s rated for before you can expect to replace it. Most cards record 20,000-40,000 hours on average. It’s not a hard number, of course; some cards might last well past their rated hour marking, and some might run less. It’s also worth noting that some dash cams rewrite over non-saved footage to preserve space.
- General Durability: Modern SD cards are built to last. For cards going into dash cams specifically, you’ll want to make sure they’re shock- and waterproof as well as able to withstand high temperatures, especially if you plan on leaving your car in the hot sun for hours at a time.
- Write Speeds: Depending on the quality of your dash cam (some can record up to 4K!), you’ll need to look at the write speeds available on your SD card. If you do have a 4K dash cam, you might want to find one with higher write speeds, otherwise, your SD card may be too slow and won’t actually record anything.
- Warranty: Cards designed for dash cams usually have long warranties. Companies understand that these cards are in constant use, sometimes for days at a time. These cards won’t last forever. Depending on the warranty, when they eventually wear out, you might be able to reach out and potentially get a free replacement.
- ✓ 43,800 hour recording time
- ✓ 100MB/s read speed
- ✓ Five-year warranty
- ✓ Water, temperature, x-ray, magnet, and shockproof
- ✗ Slow 30MB/s write speed
Endurance cards are built for constant reading and writing to the card. Combine that with Samsung’s history of high reliability when it comes to SD cards, and you get a perfect match.
The microSD card is rated for up to 43,800 hours of 4K or 1080p recording, and playback with up to 100MB/s read, and 30MBs write speeds. It’s also water, temperature, x-ray, magnet, and shockproof. And just in case anything goes wrong, Samsung has a five-year limited warranty.
Samsung PRO Endurance
While not the best bang for the buck, the Samsung PRO Endurance card is fast, reliable, and is rated for over 43,000 hours.
- ✓ 23,000 hour recording time
- ✓ 60MB/s write speed
- ✓ Three-year warranty
- ✓ Optimized for 4K recording
This heavy-duty card from Transcend is similar to the Samsung PRO Endurance. Really, the biggest difference here comes down to the price and this card’s shorter three-year warranty.
The Transcend High Endurance card also features a faster write speed of up to 60MB/s but has a smaller 23,000-hour rating versus the 43,800 of the Samsung PRO Endurance. It’s a great pick if your dash cam records in 4K or at a higher frame rate.
Transcend High Endurance
While not rated for the same amount of hours as the PRO Endurance card from Samsung, the Transcend card has higher write speeds. This is perfect if you have a higher resolution dash cam.
- ✓ Inexpensive
- ✓ Three-year warranty
- ✓ Temperature, shock, water, and x-ray proof
- ✗ Slow (in comparison) read and write of 20MB/s
- ✗ Smaller (in comparison) 10,000 hour recording time
Looking to save some money? SanDisk’s High Endurance Video card is your best bet. It’s not as fast as other cards on this list (20MB/s for both read and write), nor is it rated for as many hours as the others (10,000 hours). In terms of warranty, however, you’ll get the same three years as the Transcend High Endurance card.
But, if you’re looking to save some cash, and don’t mind having to potentially replace your card every half decade or so, this SanDisk card is a really good deal. Likewise, you still get the same temperature, shock, water, and x-ray proof features as the other cards on our list.
SanDisk High Endurance
Just getting started with dash cams? SanDisk’s high endurance card is a great, inexpensive way to get started.
- ✓ Up to 512GB storage
- ✓ Fast 100MB/s read, and 90MB/s write speeds
- ✓ 10-year warranty
- ✓ Temperature, x-ray, magnet, and waterproof
- ✗ Technically not designed to be used with dash cams
The EVO Plus from Samsung is the only non-endurance card on our list, but if you need a ton of storage, it doesn’t get much better. You’ll still get the basics such as temperature, x-ray, magnet, and waterproofing. And, you’ll get up to 100MB/s read speeds, and 90MB/s write speeds.
Unlike the endurance cards, you can get the EVO Plus with up to 512GB of storage (or two to three times more storage compared to your average endurance card). Sure, reliability might be a concern, but the EVO Plus has a 10-year warranty which, at minimum, doubles the warranty of all of our other cards on this list.
Best Storage Options
Samsung EVO Plus
While technically not designed for constant use scenarios such as dash cams, the EVO Plus is an excellent choice if you flat out need tons of storage.