While free stuff is always good, you usually end up getting what you pay for.

That’s why I was delighted when my free Monster Energy backpack arrived in the mail last month. It wasn’t completely free — save up 100 pull tabs from Monster cans and send them in with a small amount (under $10) for shipping. As it was a free promotional item, I expected to wait forever to get something cheap with the Monster log screenprinted in flakey ink, but this arrived within a week and was a quality piece.

The day pack has two main comparments, a laptop/tablet pocket and several smaller internal and externals pouches, heavy-duty straps and a sternum buckle. The back has a mesh setup for ventilation; there is also a headphone cord hole. During the first few days I wore it (after letting it off gas), I got a lot of comments. Everyone noticed the clawed “M” logo and wanted to know where to get one. Note to self: Snag a stack of offer flyers from the store and bring them along.

I had noticed the backpack offer during last year’s promotion just a week before the cutoff date. Even though the pack was only going for only 70 tabs at that point, there was no way I could collect enough tabs, so I started saving and was glad to see the company renewed the offer.

How could it be better? A caribiner or snap ring loop would be a nice addition, and it wouldn’t hurt to a dd a port for a hydration bladder.

More info on the offer here.