Mountain Tested Mondays: L.L. Bean Women’s Cistern 10 Hydration Pack

The perfect pack for short day hikes or bike rides, the L.L. Bean Cistern Hydration Pack has all the organization of their traditional backpacks with less heavyweight components to hold you down.

It was the day after Christmas and it was a winter wonderland in Upstate New York. It also was the day that started the coldest few weeks in the northeast this season (we’re talking REALLY cold). Perfect timing to go hike up a mountain, right?

I don’t think I really appreciated my hometown area for all the great outdoor spaces it has when I was a kid. Growing up, I remember really looking forward to getting out of my small, rural area and into a big city. Now, I find I’m the opposite…the grass is always greener, I suppose.

With a nice, short mountain only 25 minutes away from my parents’ house, I decided to test out the L.L. Bean Cistern Hydration Pack for a small day hike.

The Spruce Mountain Fire Tower trail is a newer installment to the local area but a great addition. Being only 3.1 miles round-trip, its perfect for a quick morning time leg burning session to wake you up.

My Take on the L.L. Bean Cistern 10

Everyone (that I know of) that lives in the Northeast loves L.L. Bean. How could you not? They have the comfiest boots and slippers, they’re a family run business and they sell things at a reasonable price. Oh, and they have one hell of a return policy. I haven’t really considered them for a mountain pack until this series – but here is my take on the pack!


I appreciate when any gear is made with a woman in mind, and this pack, is gender-specific. Meaning there is a Male and Female version. It sat correctly on my lady body and felt like it was fit specifically to my shoulders and chest.


The inside of the pack has a large amount of smaller, zip and Velcro pockets. I find this incredibly helpful when I’m looking for something in my bag and don’t have to dig through 10,000 other pieces of gear I carry to find my darn headlamp. This keeps all of your snacks, your headlamp, your batteries, etc., perfectly streamlined and accessible.

Hydration Pack

This pack comes with its own bladder from HydraPak that fits perfect into the clear back compartment. The clear window into this compartment allows you to see what your water level is during your outing. Additionally, having the bladder come with the pack is super handy so that you don’t have to spend more money or order that separately.

Overall Rating

On a scale of ice cream treats, 1 being one scoop of vanilla ice cream on its own, and 5 being one of those Ben & Jerry’s creations with a few different types of brownies, cookies, sprinkles, hot fudge, and ice creams in it, I would give this pack a 3. Like a light and delicious frozen yogurt treat.

This pack has enough space for all the things you need for a one-day activity and still remains nice and light, even with two liters of water in it, similar to a cup of frozen yogurt (with a few toppings of course).

Keep following Explore Inspired’s #MountainTestedMondays series for more as I test this season’s best trail running packs and dig into the top outdoor gear for 2018!

Get The L.L. Bean Cistern 10 Pack Here

Emily Holland
Emily Holland

Co-Host, The Stokecast

Lover of all things outside. My life is mountains, rocks, running, dogs, fitness, & music. NY born, Boulder-based.

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