We’ve all been there before. Whether it’s camping or at home during a power outage, something nearby needs power. Fortunately, there are plenty of portable power stations out there and they’re only getting bigger and better with more outputs, more features, and larger battery capacities.
Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
In our Monster Power Grid 300 review, we look at a portable 296Wh power station that allows you to plug in and power or charge your devices (and even trickle charge your vehicle’s battery) anywhere you may be. Read on to see why it earned a Highly Rated badge here at Techaeris.
Table of contents
The Quick Take
There are plenty of larger-capacity power stations on the market these days. With the Monster Power Grid 300, you’re getting a 296Wh capacity portable power station that not only lets you charge and power up to 9 devices at once but comes with a number of extra features. These include a built-in flashlight, the ability to recharge it with solar panels, and even trickle-charge your vehicle’s battery if it’s dead.
It’s also not overly large, has a convenient handle, and is pretty reasonably priced when you compare it to other options available on the market.
The Monster Power Grid 300 we reviewed has the following features and specifications (configurable when ordering):
- Power Up To 9 Devices at Once
- Ultra-High-Capacity Battery
- 2 AC Outlets, a DC Port, and Car Port
- USB-C with Power Delivery and Fast Charge USB-A Ports
- High-Speed Qi Wireless Charging Pad
|Power Grid 300
|4 lithium-ion cells in serial (x2 packs)
|30W (Pure Sine Wave)
|US plug outlets (AC 110V/60HZ) x2 (shared 300W)
|USB-A output port
|3x USB-A: 5V/2.4A
|USB-C input & output
|Type-C PD 60W x1
|Wireless Charging output
|• The two DC ports shared a total of 120W (MAX)
• DC output port: 12V/10A
• 12V Cigarette socket (output): 12V/10A
|Fully charge time
|• AC Adapter (18V/3A): 8 hours
• PD60W Charger: 7 hours
• Car Adapter (12V/3A): 12 hours
• Solar Panel (100W – not included): 4.2 hours
|Car battery through the DC Port
|Short-circuit protection, Over-current protection, Over-voltage protection, Low-voltage protection, Over-load protection, High- or Low-Temperature protection
|265 x 141 x 141 mm (10.08 x 5.55 x 5.55″)
What’s in the box
- Monster Power Grid 300
- AC Adapter
- Car Adapter
- User Manual
Many portable power stations have a taller footprint as opposed to a wider one. The Monster Power Grid 300 has a more speaker-style shape, which is a rectangular block that sits on one of the longer sides. Roughly 5 1/2″ in depth and height, this power station is just over 10″ in length. Our review unit is mostly black in colour, with rugged end caps that are fluorescent yellow-green around the edges. The end caps are joined together with an equally bright handle that is angled off to one of the sides. Around the end caps are eight bolts, with two at each end of the handle to add to the rugged look. On the edge opposite the handle, the Monster logo is embossed in the same colour as the end caps.
On one of the short ends of the power station, you’ll find an LED light covering the top third of the panel. Below this in the middle third is a LED switch button, a master switch button, and a roughly 1 3/4″ by 3/4″ LCD display. The LCD display is pretty basic and shows the remaining battery life and if you have AC, DC, USB-C, USB-A, or wireless charging turned on. If there is an issue with the power station (like overloading), a warning icon (triangle with an ! in the middle) shows up here as well. Below this, in the bottom third, is where you’ll find the DC input port as well as the internal cooling fan vent.
On the opposite side is where you’ll find the majority of your power and charging ports. Again, it is split into thirds. The top third is where you’ll see the covered cigarette lighter socket (to charge DC devices) on the left with the DC output port on the right. Sandwiched between these is the DC output switch button. In the middle row, on the left, is where you’ll find the USB-C port with 60W power delivery and one USB-A port. Two more USB-A ports are on the right side and in the middle is the USB switch button. Finally, in the bottom section are two AC ports with the AC switch button in between.
On the top of the Power Grid 300 is where you’ll find the rather sizeable wireless charging pad and wireless charging switch button. Flipping it over, I expected to find some sort of rubber feet on the bottom for protecting your table or even the bottom of the unit when set down outdoors. Unfortunately, none exist and, while a minor omission, an omission nonetheless.
While our review unit was a pretty funky and visible black with fluorescent yellow-green accents, you can also get the Power Grid 300 in all-white or all-black.
Ease of Use
The Monster Power Grid 300 power station is super easy to use. First off, you should charge it fully just to get the maximum battery life out of it. The easiest way to charge it is with the included AC adapter, which takes about 8 hours for a full charge from empty.
Once charged, press the Master switch button on the Power Grid 300 to turn it on. Next, press the appropriate AC, USB, or DC button on the opposite end, plug in your device, and you should be good to go. You can easily tell which switches are on as there is a tiny LED in the corner that lights up. The LCD display also displays AC, DC, USB C, USB A, or a wireless symbol to let you know which charging ports are currently enabled.
To turn off the power station, hold the Master switch button down for about two seconds.
Overall, the Monster Power Grid 300 power station is simple to use.
Overall, I had no issues with the performance of the Power Grid 300. This power station charged or powered everything I plugged into it from smartphones to laptops with up to 300W adapters. Of course, depending on what I had plugged in at the same time, the power did fluctuate a bit, but that’s common with almost all power stations and you just have to keep in mind what grouping you are plugging multiple items in. For example, I had no problems powering a laptop with a 300W power brick from the AC port, another from the USB-C 60W PD port, and wirelessly charging a smartphone.
The flashlight is pretty bright, especially inside a dark room or outside at night. While the room was decently lit, the brightness does fall off pretty close outside, but it is still suitable to see where you are going. The light also has three functions: solid, morse-code SOS, and rapid flash.
A neat feature of the Monster Power Grid 300 is the ability to trickle charge your vehicle battery. In most cases, you have to connect a trickle charger to your battery and plug in the charger. With the Power Grid 300, all you have to do is press the DC ON/OFF button, make sure your vehicle is off (including lights, stereo, etc), and plug the car adapter into the DC output port on the end of the Power Grid and the other into a 12V socket in your vehicle. After about 30 minutes, you should be able to get enough charge to start the vehicle. I was able to test out this feature, and after about 20 minutes, I was able to start a vehicle that had a dead battery in it with little effort.
Depending on what you have plugged in, the fan can get a bit noisy but it’s nothing that’s overly annoying. The fan worked well, keeping the unit cool while powering a laptop through the AC port.
The Power Grid 300 also comes with plenty of protections, and they work. For example, when I plugged in a 300W laptop charger and a 65W laptop charger, the overload protection kicked in and shut the power station off.
While primary testing consisted of seeing exactly what the Monster Power Grid 300 was capable of powering, I did run a battery life test using a laptop with a 300W power adapter. Keep in mind, this is pretty much maxing out the power station. While running my laptop off the Power Grid 300, I was losing about 20% of life on the power station every 30 minutes I was plugged in. After about an hour, there were 3 out of 5 bars left on the power station. As such, you should be able to get about 2 1/2 hours of power in this scenario. As one can extrapolate, if you are using it to charge devices with lesser power requirements, you will get much more use out of it. A 60W laptop, for example, should get you 5 times the runtime (12 1/2 hours) before draining the power station.
According to Monster, a fully charged Power Grid 300 will give you up to 30 charges for your smartphone, up to 8 charges for a laptop, up to 40 hours for a handheld game console, up to 15 chargers for a camera, and up to 5 hours of power for a mini-fridge. Of course, your mileage will vary depending on the power requirements of your smartphone, laptop, or other devices, but based on my testing, I don’t think Monster’s estimates are that far out.
Depending on what method you use, it can take between 4.5 and 12 hours to fully recharge the power station when depleted. With the included AC adapter, you’re looking at about 8 hours for a full charge.
Portable power stations are all over the map when it comes to pricing. As best as I can tell, the Monster Power Grid 300 at $399.99 is about the middle of the road when it comes to pricing. However, you do have a well-known name behind it with many built-in protections. With plenty of additional features like a built-in flashlight, the ability to charge it via solar panels, and even able to use it to trickle charge your vehicle’s battery, there’s a lot of value you get here.
According to the specifications in the user guide, the Power Grid 300 is only rated for 500 cycles. This means that it’s only guaranteed to hold a charge for up to 500 charges. I was unable to test this out during our limited time with the unit, but for my needs, this would last for more than a few years between camping and emergency power outages around the house. Still, it is worth mentioning in case you’re after a portable power source that you will be using frequently.
It’s never a bad idea to have a portable power station handy. Whether you’re an avid camper, away from home a lot, or even just to have around in case of a power outage, the Monster Power Grid 300 is compact enough not to take up a lot of space while storing it and offers up some pretty decent power output to keep most of your devices running and/or charged up.