The BougeRV Flash-300 power station strikes the right balance between battery capacity, inverter power, and size. It is rugged enough to be moved casually without any damage. Moreover, it features a fast internal battery charger that can top the battery in half an hour. It can serve a limited amount of power for a short time since it integrates a 286Wh battery with a 600W AC inverter.
The Flash-300 uses an NMC-type Lithium-Ion battery with at least 700 charge cycles before dropping to 80% capacity. The cooling fan has strange activity patterns, humming from low to medium with only a laptop connected to the Type-C and the AC plugged in. It is equipped with a wireless charger on the top and supports nine outlets, including two for AC.
Finally, a bright multi-purpose flashlight is available at the back.
Is the Flash-300 one of the best portable power stations? Let's find out below.
BougeRV Flash-300: Pricing and availability
The BougeRV has an MSRP of $399, bringing it to almost $1.4 per Wh. Considering that it ships with low-endurance Li-NMC cells, this is a high price for a power station. The one-year warranty period is also less than what the competition offers.
BougeRV Flash-300: Design
The BougeRV Flash-300 power station can be mistaken for a fancy lunch box measuring 28cm x 18cm x 20cm and weighing 6.6kg. Three yellow handles with built-in rubber grips ensure moving the station around is as painless as possible. The black plastic case feels solid. Accessories include an AC cord, a user manual, and a 12V car adapter. A large fan placed on the right provides adequate airflow but can be noisy while in use.
The front panel is home to a segmented LCD. Input and output power are shown clearly on the side, while the remaining battery capacity is in the center. The display’s backlight activates whenever a button is pressed and automatically turns off after thirty seconds to save power. Pressing any button on the front panel generates a beep, which cannot be disabled.
The station combines three power units capable of supplying a total of 600W. A push-button at the top of each section allows turning them on and off with a long press. The first DC section includes three 13.5V ports, a cigarette port, and two DC5525 barrel-type sockets, which combine to give 135W. Four USB sockets are included, with two 15W and one 18W fast-charge Type-A and a single 100W Type-C. A wireless charging surface conveniently located at the top provides 15W of power.
The 600W AC section sports two output sockets. These are concealed with rubber covers to prevent water and dust from entering the unit. Outputs are protected against short circuits, while over-power protection triggers if the total consumption exceeds 605W for more than one minute. The inverter can output 900W for short durations. A large LED flashlight at the back supports a soft light mode, a focused beam, and an emergency mode.
BougeRV Flash-300: In use
We recommend doing a full charge before using the station for the first time. A fuse-protected AC connector on the right side provides the main power inlet, taking less than an hour to charge the unit. Charging can also be done with the supplied car extension cord through a dedicated 12V input, taking two hours to complete.
The Flash 300 supports charging through solar panels and uses MTTP technology to achieve the best efficiency. Solar charging offers the same input power rating as AC charging, taking an hour to charge. Like other compact battery stations, the Flash 300 has a fourth charging method through its USB Type-C port. It is the slowest and will take three hours to top the battery to 90%.
The BougeRV portable power station includes many safety features to guard against common misuse. The device will turn off and display an error code when subjected to extreme operating temperatures. The same applies when charging using solar panels. Any abnormal condition, such as cell over-voltage, triggers an error code and requires addressing the issue before reusing the station.
The Flash-300 automatically detects the grid’s frequency on the first power-up. This setting is saved but can be changed by pressing the AC and DC buttons simultaneously. Another helpful feature is its ability to turn off unused outputs after one hour. A UPS mode is also built-in but not recommended since the battery will deplete and recharge, thus eating up the limited number of charge cycles.
BougeRV Flash-300: Competition
The BougeRV Flash-300 is in a class of its own, with a battery capacity different from the inverter output power. The station’s prohibitive cost of $1.4 per Wh is compensated by its versatility, which makes it helpful in an office or as a universal USB charging station.
The Jackery Explorer 500 features similar specifications as what BougeRV offers. With a bigger battery but a smaller AC inverter, the Explorer 500 has only one AC socket and no USB Type-C. The power adapter is external, hence preventing any kind of fast charging.
BougeRV Flash-300: Final verdict
Equipped with a 600W inverter, the BougeRV power station has enough juice to power most medium-sized home appliances. Excellent features such as a built-in fast charger, a multifunctional flashlight, and an array of protections make it safe and indispensable at home.
A price tag of $400 makes the Flash-300 one of the most expensive power stations per Wh. The Li-NMC 286Wh battery feels underwhelmed, and an under-par UPS mode will eat up the battery charge cycles when in use. The BougeRV remains a good compact power station that can help during an emergency or provide a solar-based battery backup.