MARK SIREK Administrator Posts: 296
edited November 2023 in THE GEAR LAB

Name: Josh Stein

Position at HMG: R&D Research Coordinator

Years with HMG: Three

Products you’ve worked on: Headwall 55, Unbound 40, Mid 1 & Mid 1 Tarp, Crux 40, Elevate 22, Vice Versa

What’s your background prior to working here?

Born in Maine. I took a less-than-conventional route into the outdoor industry. I started making backpacks in the winter of ‘19/’20 while working a desk job out of college. I ultimately quit that job to hike the Vermont Long Trail. I later did a complete career 180 and joined HMG as a production sewer. I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2021 and then joined the R&D team when I returned.

Favorite activities include skiing, walking for long periods of time while carrying an old heavy camera and running out of film for said camera, and thinking going super ultralight is a good idea and then regretting it. 

What’s your primary role in R&D?

I research new materials, pattern, sew prototypes, and make a point to go out of my way to ruin my day by browsing the ultralight subreddit.

What do you enjoy most about being in R&D?

Making things with my hands and constantly being surrounded by something I’m passionate about. I also really enjoy the dynamic we have on the R&D team.

What design / design solution are you most proud of thus far?

The Mid 1 was a project that we all worked on. I personally used a version of it on the Colorado Trail in 2022 and seeing it come to market was great. I also enjoyed working on the Crux with the Team and Cody.

Where do you see ultralight backpacking and multisport heading in terms of gear?

Lighter and stronger materials and an increased emphasis on more sustainable fabrics.

What’s your number one tip for getting the most out of a piece of gear?

Take it outside.


  • jamesdmarco
    jamesdmarco Member Posts: 1

    Yeah, I have been through SUL and pretty much gave up for more than summer camping. Here in the NE corner, it just gets TOO COLD for SUL. I really like getting out, though.

    The Mid1 is a nice looking tent, but the concept is thousands of years old. Goes back at least to the ancient Greeks.