The BougeRV Flash300
– Price: $399
– Capacity: 286 Wh
– Maximum Power Output: 600 W
– Charge time: 40 min (28 min for 90% charge)
– Dimensions: 11” x 8” x 7” (28cm x 20cm x 18cm)
– Weight: 12.1 lbs (5.5 kg)
– Warranty duration: 1 year
– Charge cycles: 700+ to 80% capacity
– Ports: 2x 600W AC outlets, 1x 100W USB-C port, 1x USB QC3.0, – 2x USB-A ports, 1x car socket, 2x DC ports, 1x wireless pad
The Wise Adventurer’s Verdict
This is The Wise Adventurer’s review of the BougeRV Flash300 portable power station.
While there are plenty of choices out there for smaller power stations, the Flash300 caught our attention for one reason: This is the fastest-charging power station money can buy, and BougeRV claims that a 0-90% charge takes just 30 minutes.
That’s more than double the speed of most stations this size, and over four times as fast as some. After living with the Flash300 for the last month, we can confirm that BougeRV absolutely delivers on this promise (it actually recharges in 28 minutes by our watch), but the Flash300 is no one-trick pony.
We’ve been taking the Flash300 out on camping trips, road trips, work trips, and everything inbetween to get a better idea of how it performs in day-to-day life. Power stations of this size are supposed to be the most versatile and portable of the bunch, so here’s our take on how the Flash300 stacks up after putting it to the test.
Detailed Evaluation: The BougeRV Flash300
We’re happy to report that after putting the Flash300 through its paces on a wide range of tests, this power station passes pretty much everything with flying colors. In our field testing we evaluated both technical details like capacity and charging as well as important livability concerns like user interface and durability to deliver a big-picture view of what owning a Flash300 is like. If you’re considering buying one yourself, here’s what you’ve got to look forward to.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is a definite highlight for the BougeRV Flash300, and we were taken with just how plug and play the whole system is: Simply open the box, charge it up, and put it to work. BougeRV includes a detailed instruction manual with the power station, but as of this writing we’ve had no need to consult it.
Pretty much everything you need to know is delivered via the bright two-tone LED display, which we found incredibly useful in the field. By consulting the estimated discharge readout, we immediately knew which devices the Flash300 could and couldn’t handle for extended periods, which kept us from overtaxing it and running out of power prematurely.
We’ll also give the Flash300 high marks here for its plug-and-play solar functionality. There’s an Anderson Powerpole connector on the front below the DC outputs, which makes running portable solar panels about as simple as it gets.
The only thing we don’t love about the Flash300 in terms of ease of use is the automatic timer on the display. In order to save energy, the power station switches off its LED display after 30 seconds. While we appreciate this feature from an efficiency standpoint, we’d rather be able to turn it on and leave it on when desired so we can monitor battery life and other details from a distance.
Battery Capacity and Power
Battery capacity is definitely one of the shortcomings of the Flash300, but if you’re shopping a unit this size, you know that comes with the territory. At 286Wh, this power station functions more like an expert level power bank than a proper solar generator system, but to be fair, not everyone needs a 1,000+Wh system. There’s enough juice here to recharge a smartphone about 20 times, a laptop 5-6 times, or a tablet about 9 times depending on the size of the battery.
Power is definitely a major highlight of the Flash300, and with 600W of maximum output, this little power station delivers excellent performance for its compact footprint. You won’t be running a hair dryer or a power drill off this little guy, but it’s nice to know you can keep a fridge or a fan going for a little while in a pinch as needed (your typical 50W travel fridge will last about 7 hours on a full charge).
The Flash300’s industry-leading 30 minute recharge time also expands it’s versatility, and if you’ve got the right setup, also makes it more viable as a full-time power source than any other power station of this size. BougeRV designed the Flash300 to support pass-through charging, which means you can keep devices running while also continuously recharging the station via solar when boondocking.
Obviously charging is a major highlight of the Flash300, and its 30-minute 0-90% recharge time is hands down the best in the business. Our average recharge time came in right at 28 minutes for 90%, and a full 100% charge took just 40 minutes. Recharging this quickly means prepping the Flash300 for an impromptu trip takes little to no planning, and also means you can easily top it up at pretty much any rest stop as needed without undue inconvenience.
What’s even cooler is that AC charging at this rate is done with a simple AC to AC cord. There’s no “charging brick” required (all the electronic hardware is inside power station), which means backup cords are plentiful and you’ve probably already got a few laying around the house.
Solar charging is also a major perk here, and BougeRV designed the Flash300 to handle up to 600W of solar input for anyone with enough panels to deliver it. That means you can recharge the power bank just as quickly around camp as you can at home assuming you’ve got enough sunlight and the right equipment.
As we mentioned above, the Flash300 also supports pass-through charging, which comes in handy in a pinch when boondocking. If you’re not familiar with pass-through charging, this means you can charge the Flash300 while simultaneously using it to power or charge other devices. We will note that BougeRV says pass-through charging can shorten the life of the Flash300’s cells though, so we don’t recommend doing this regularly if you want to get the longest life possible out of the power station.
Another perk here is outright charging versatility: In addition to AC and solar charging, the Flash 300 also supports charging through the 100W USB-C port as well as DC charging from your car’s cigarette lighter. These methods won’t be nearly as fast as the 600W options, but its nice to have options when you want them.
Outlets and Connectors
The Flash300 gets high marks here as well, and for such a compact power station, it’s got an impressive variety of options. Dual AC outlets, a variety of USB ports including USB-C and USB fast charging, a cigarette DC outlet, and dual DC5521 outlets are up there with the best in the business, and the additional wireless charging pad on top is really icing on the cake.
As far as connectors go, the Flash300 ships with three total. You get a standard AC-AC cord for charging from any outlet, a cigarette adaptor for charging from the car, and an MC4-to-Anderson solar charging cable.
While a USB charging cable isn’t included, any USB-C can be used for either input or output as mentioned above. It’s also worth noting that the Flash300 allows for dual input charging from the Anderson connector and USB-C simultaneously, which allows you to speed up your recharge rates from the road if you’re really in a hurry.
Durability for the Flash300 is about on par with your typical portable power station. You wouldn’t want to stand on top of it, let it roll around loose in the back of your truck, or leave it sitting in a hot car, but overall it’s well-built and feels like a quality product.
Our only complaint with durability is the Flash300’s waterproofing, which is basically non-existent. BougeRV is very clear on this point: Moisture and the Flash300 don’t get along. That includes everything from light mists to heavy rain, and don’t even think about trying to submerge it.
Obviously we don’t expect to take our Flash300 swimming anytime soon, but an IP rating that was at least rain-worthy would be nice to see on future models. We did leave our test unit sitting out on a clear night, and although it was thoroughly covered in dew the following morning, we experienced no issues as a result.
Although the BougeRV Flash300 costs a bit more than the competition, value is actually a strong suit here. We say this for a few reasons.
First, the Flash300’s performance and versatility are tough to beat. It charges faster than anything else on the market, delivers an impressive 600 watt output, and includes outputs for pretty much any application from 12V car power to USB-C to standard AC outlets. You’ll also get the benefit of a wireless charging pad on the top of the Flash300, which usually comes with a significant price hike from the competition.
The second value-added highlight here is the Flash300’s lifespan. BougeRV rates this power bank for 700+ charging cycles at 80%. The overwhelming majority of the competition, from Jackery to Goal Zero, all rate their power stations for a standard 500+ cycles. 200 extra uses to 80% is no small feat, and when you crunch the numbers on a cost-per-charge basis, the Flash300 is a much smarter investment.
What We Like
The single most impressive aspect of the Flash300 is its recharge time, and when BougeRV says “fast charging” they mean it. We can confirm that the claimed 30 minute charge time from 0-90% is accurate (28 minutes according to our testing), and it typically took around 40 minutes to go from 0-100% using a standard AC outlet.
It’s difficult to overstate just how ahead of the game BougeRV is in that regard. We consider the main competitors at this point to be the Jackery Explorer 300 and the EcoFlow River Portable Power Station, both of which deliver the same 300-ish Wh of capacity. For comparison, it takes the EcoFlow roughly twice as long to hit 80% power, while the Explorer takes four times as long to do the same.
We also appreciate the BougeRV Flash300’s above-average 600 watt output, which allows it to power multiple devices simultaneously (up to 10) without breaking a sweat. We regularly had all four USB ports and one AC port occupied, and were still nowhere near hitting peak output.
We’re also huge fans of the Flash300’s bright and detailed LED display. This two-color screen is super clear, and delivers information on remaining battery percentage, power input levels, safety warnings, and estimated recharge/discharge times.
Finally, we love that BougeRV’s cutting-edge tech promises a considerably longer product life than the competition. The Flash300 is rated for an impressive 700+ charging cycles at 80%, while Jackery’s Explorer 300, EcoFlow’s River and River Max, and even Goal Zero’s leading Yeti line of power stations only promise 500+ cycles at 80%. You’ll pay a few dollars more than the competition in most cases, but you’ll save money over the life of the product if you use it regularly.
What We Don’t Like
While the BougeRV Flash300 is impressively powerful and compact, it’s important to keep in mind that at the end of the day, it’s a relatively low capacity power station. Most folks who bring along a powerstation are using it for multiple days of boondocking, so you’ll need to be mindful of the power draw of whatever devices you’re looking to power.
We found the Flash 300 to be the ideal solution for keeping all our smaller electronics charged for a weekend camp trip. Its 286 Wh of capacity was plenty to keep six people’s phones fully charged, a wireless speaker playing music, and we even managed to top off our camera battery to boot.
When we tried running larger devices off the Flash300, however, it started showing it’s limitations. Plugging in a 60W refrigerator cut the battery life down to roughly 4 hours, and the same happened when we tried running a set of standard plug-in string lights from home.
That means the Flash300’s “overlanding” applications are particularly limited, and users who want to charge or power anything bigger than a laptop will need a recharging strategy of some kind. The Flash300 is equipped with plug-and-play solar connectors for just that purpose, but you’ll have to cough up the cash for portable panels if you want to go that route.
- BougeRV 1100Wh Power Station: The Flash300’s big brother. Same premium build quality, but with three times the capacity. Expensive, but delivers enough juice to power your typical travel refrigerator for a full 20 hours.
- Bluetti EB3A Power Station: Lower price, same capacity, but with slower charging and lower performance. Delivers best-in-class product life with 2,500+ cycles to 80%.
- EcoFlow River Pro Portable Power Station: Similarly premium option that comes with extra capacity (720Wh) and higher maximum output. Costs a bit more, but is better suited to powering higher draw tools and appliances for short trips.
- Jackery Explorer 300: Delivers the same capacity for $100 less. You’ll only get half of the output wattage and charging takes significantly longer (2 hours minimum), but for casual users who only need to keep the basics charged, it’s a solid budget alternative.
The Bottom Line
If you’re shopping for a smaller capacity power station to keep your electronic devices going off the grid, the BougeRV Flash300 is a strong contender. This is hands-down the fastest charging power station on the market, and at just 30 minutes for a 90% charge, the competition isn’t even close.
As stated above, the Flash300’s limited capacity won’t make it your first pick for powering larger appliances for longer periods, but with 600W of output, it’s more than capable of handling the occasional coffee maker or travel refrigerator for short bursts when called upon.
The fact that the Flash300 recharges just as quickly out in the field as it does at home (thanks to a full 600W max of solar input) gives it a considerable edge over the competition for campers, travelers, or digital nomads of all kinds. We wouldn’t mind seeing a smartphone app for monitoring in the future, but if the Flash300 is any sign of what’s to come from BougeRV, these folks are definitely worth keeping on your radar.