WHO’S HAD A HAND IN YOUR GEAR? MEET VICTORIA RUDE
Name: Victoria Rude
Position at HMG: Director of R&D
Years with HMG: 7.5
Products you’ve worked on: Most things in some capacity in the last year and a half. The River Rescue Throw Bag was one of the first things I designed when I started here. Also The Shell.
What’s your background prior to working here?
I grew up in New England, not far from many state parks where I would do a lot of mountain biking and hiking with my family. We also spent a lot of time in New Hampshire hiking and generally spending time outside. I studied at the University of Vermont, where I spent any time away from my engineering work hiking, skiing, or paddling. After I graduated, I got a job in the R&D Department at Hyperlite. Since then, I’ve also worked on the manufacturing side for about four years. Now I’m back in R&D and excited to be here. Currently, I enjoy mountain biking, paddling, and trail running/hiking.
What’s your primary role in R&D?
As the Director of R&D, I oversee the new product timeline and get my hands into product design whenever possible.
What do you enjoy most about being in R&D?
I enjoy the creativity we are afforded and the team that I work with. It’s a fun and productive environment to come into every day. Everyone is excited about the activities we design for, whether we’re active in those activities or have obsessively learned about them through research and discussions with HMG athletes.
What design / design solution are you most proud of thus far?
I was part of the team that designed and developed the Shell when it first launched in 2017. It was such a challenging product to work on because apparel was completely new to us at that point, but it was also a really fun and rewarding project. It was awesome to get to re-release it and see how well received it was again.
Where do you see ultralight backpacking and multisport heading in terms of gear?
I think we’re going to continue to see new, innovative fabrics coming into the market and pushing lighter, more innovative designs.
What’s your number one tip for getting the most out of a piece of gear?
Take care of it. I don’t always follow that advice, but when I have to prematurely retire a piece of gear, I always look back and wish I hadn’t just haphazardly thrown it in the wash with a load of towels.
Favorite outdoors related quote?
“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” ― Edward Abbey