Title:
Anti-fogging hunter's camouflage veil
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hunter's camouflage veil extending from the bridge of the wearer's nose to approximately the shoulders has a barrier panel that confines exhalation to behind the barrier panel and is configured to seal substantially with the wearer's face across the bridge of the nose and under the wearer's eyes. The veil prevents fogging of eyeglasses or goggles. The main panel of the veil can be two ply, with an outer camouflage fabric and an inner barrier ply of tightly woven fabric or plastic sheet. The seal is made using a malleable metal strip to conform the top edge to the wearer's nose, etc., and a compressible fleece pad to fill any remaining gaps. The top strip can be held by an elastic band or other tie encircling the head, and the veil drapes loosely over the wearer's face below the eyes.



Inventors:
Lindaman, Glenn (Whitehall, PA, US)
Application Number:
10/760855
Publication Date:
08/05/2004
Filing Date:
01/20/2004
Assignee:
LINDAMAN GLENN
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/900
International Classes:
A42B1/06; A42B5/00; A61F9/04; G02C11/08; (IPC1-7): A42B5/00
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Primary Examiner:
QUINN, RICHALE LEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DUANE MORRIS LLP - Philadelphia (IP DEPARTMENT 30 SOUTH 17TH STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA, 19103-4196, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An anti-fogging veil to be worn over the face of a human wearer, comprising: a panel having a top edge, a bottom edge and lateral edges, the panel being sized to encompass an area below the wearer's eyes and to cover a nose and mouth of the wearer; wherein the top edge is configured for attachment to the wearer below the wearer's eyes and the panel drapes loosely downward from the top edge; and, wherein the panel comprises at least one ply that defines a barrier substantially confining air flow from exhalation to an area behind the panel.

2. The anti-fogging veil of claim 1, wherein the panel has a camouflage pattern on an outer side of the panel opposite from the wearer.

3. The anti-fogging veil of claim 2, wherein the camouflage pattern is provided on an outer ply that is substantially coextensive with said ply that defines the barrier.

4. The anti-fogging veil of claim 1, further comprising an attachment at the top edge of the panel for affixing the panel to the wearer.

5. The anti-fogging veil of claim 4, wherein the attachment comprises at least one of a band with affixable ends for tying around the wearer's head, an elastic cinch band for encircling the wearer's head, an adhesive element, and a component shaped for engagement with one or more of the wearer's nose, ears and eyewear.

6. The anti-fogging veil of claim 4, further comprising a compressible pad associated with the attachment at the top edge, for sealing along the top edge between the wearer and the ply that defines the barrier.

7. The anti-fogging veil of claim 6, wherein the pad comprises a fleece portion having a thickness, the fleece portion begin disposed along the top edge between the wearer and the ply that defines the barrier.

8. The anti-fogging veil of claim 4, wherein the attachment comprises a malleable bar along the top edge of the panel, the malleable bar being bendable for conforming to the wearer.

9. The anti-fogging veil of claim 8, wherein the malleable bar extends over a central pert of the top edge and is bendable for conforming with a bridge of the wearer's nose.

10. The anti-fogging veil of claim 8, wherein the malleable bar comprises a strip of aluminum.

11. The anti-fogging veil of claim 4, wherein the attachment comprises a hemmed tube along the top edge of the panel and the hemmed tube is stitched together with at least one of a malleable strip in the tube, a hanging band extending beyond the lateral edges, and a compressible pad for sealing with the wearer.

12. The anti-fogging veil of claim 1, wherein the at least one ply that defines the barrier substantially confining air flow from exhalation comprises at least one of a substantially impermeable plastic; a closely woven fabric; a non-woven fabric having closely spaced fibers; and, a composite of fiber and a filler.

13. The anti-fogging veil of claim 1, wherein the at least one ply that defines the barrier substantially confining air flow from exhalation comprises a closely woven nylon fabric.

14. The anti-fogging veil of claim 1, wherein the at least one ply that defines the barrier substantially confining air flow from exhalation comprises a polymer sheet.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the priority of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/444,892, filed Feb. 4, 2003.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The invention relates to clothing items, particularly camouflage coverings for hunting and other sporting events, and in particular provides a covering extending over the nose and below the eyes, such as a veil or mask, with aspects to minimize fogging of the eyeglasses.

[0003] Facial coverings are known for various purposes including warmth, protection of the wearer from pathogens, protection of others from pathogens of the wearer, etc. Facial coverings such as ski masks are disposed over the whole face, but for openings for the eyes and perhaps also for the nose and/or mouth. Other sorts of facial coverings extend below the eyes and over the nose and mouth, such as a surgical mask. In the case of camouflage masks for hunters, a loose veil can be worn to extend from a line below the eyes, to below the chin. The objects in the case of a hunter's mask include avoiding any obstruction of vision, and breaking up the visual outline of the wearer.

[0004] An exemplary camouflage mask is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,065,833—Tiano, wherein a camouflage veil depends from the lower edge of goggles that are disposed over the eyes. As discussed in Tiano, there is a problem with the fact that a camouflage veil tends to confine warm exhaled breath and contributes to fogging of the goggles, namely condensation of warm breath on the cold surface of the goggles. Tiano deals with this problem by providing openings in the frame of the goggles to improve air circulation. Improved air circulation can be expected to evaporate condensation and also tend to maintain the goggles at a lower temperature than they might be in the absence of circulation, and thus less subject to condensation.

[0005] The extent to which a veil or mask confines warm exhaled breath is partly a matter of the porosity of the material of the mask. A more open material obviously is less prone to confine breath and lead to condensation. This approach has some limits. A camouflage mask needs to be sufficiently opaque to conceal the wearer. Other sorts of facial coverings, such as surgical masks, need to have a tight weave or small pore size, to confine pathogens that may be carried on airborne particles or droplets. Such masks are intended to pass the user's breath through the material. Surgical masks also may seal to the user's face so as to eliminate or reduce the size of unobstructed passages. Free routing of the breath through the mask material reduces confinement of warm breath and for that reason may prevent eyeglass fogging in some situations. However in the case of outdoor use in cold weather, condensation occurs in the material, which is cold. The mask can become wet and uncomfortable or can stiffen from freezing or can become rimed.

[0006] An improved mask or veil is desired, with a structure that is particularly apt for use by hunters and sportsmen. The improved mask is preferably provided with a suitable camouflage outer layer and has a structure that is comfortable and minimizes or eliminates eyeglass condensation by routing the breath as well as confining warm breath in an area away from the eyeglasses.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] It is an object of the invention to provide an item of apparel that functions as a mask or veil and is optimized for cold weather use. The mask is particularly intended for a facial camouflage covering for hunters, i.e., to break up the visual outline of the hunter with a pattern that is not easily distinguished from the background.

[0008] It is another object to provide such an item that is comfortable to wear and use.

[0009] It is a further object to facilitate use of a camouflage mask together with eyeglasses or goggles, and in particular to divert exhalations of the wearer from the area of the wearer's glasses or goggles and thus prevent fogging in cold weather.

[0010] These and other objects are met according to the invention, wherein an outer layer of camouflage fabric is superimposed on an inner layer of relatively closely woven fabric, forming a two ply mask panel dimensioned to extend vertically from the bridge of the wearer's nose to approximately the shoulders. This basic mask panel is provided with an elastic band along a top edge, and flexibly encloses the wearer's head below the eyes, extending around at least the front and sides of the face. The elastic band can be enclosed in a tubular hem along the edge of the two ply mask panel, or can be sewn to the lateral edges so as to complete a circumference with the mask panel for elastic placement over the user's face. The remaining free edges of the mask panel can be over-edge stitched against fraying and to provide a substantially unitary panel having a relatively tight internal fabric structure for blocking air currents and an appropriately printed or otherwise depicted camouflage outer appearance.

[0011] According to an inventive aspect, the top edge of the two ply mask is provided with additional structures intended to improve the seal of the mask to the wearer's face, by use of a bendable supporting strip incorporated in the fabric at the top edge, which can be formed to complement the topography of the wearer's face. The strip is formable to form closely over the bridge of the nose and insofar as possible to eliminate gaps that would pass air currents, most notable warm, moist exhalation of breath that could fog the wearer's glasses or goggles.

[0012] According to another inventive aspect, the mask is further effectively sealed against passage of exhalation at the top edge, by attachment to the mask of a depending flap of compressible fleece fabric. The compressible fleece effectively forms a packing that plugs any remaining gaps between the upper edge of the mask and the wearer's face. In cold weather, the fleece also tends somewhat to condense and wick away moisture in the wearer's exhaled breath.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] A number of additional objects and aspects are apparent from the appended description and the associated illustrations of preferred embodiments, wherein:

[0014] FIG. 1 is a schematic elevation view of a hunter's camouflage veil with protection from fogging of eyeglasses, according to the invention, and shown worn by a person with eyeglasses.

[0015] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the mask from the rear, showing aspects of its construction.

[0016] FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view showing the respective parts of the mask and illustrating steps in construction of the mask.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0017] Camouflage facial coverings are used by hunters to break up the visual outline of the human face using a covering having light/dark and/or colored patterns that appear more prominently than the outline of the facial covering. There are various camouflage patterns including patterns of distinct blotch shapes characteristic of military camouflage, and patterns of leaves and tree trunks or branches simulating brush or woods, which are increasingly popular with hunters. Camouflage fabrics are available, for example, under the trademarks Mossy Oak (Haas Outdoors, Inc., West Point, Miss.), Realtree (Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, Ltd., Columbus, Ga.), and from other sources. FIG. 1 depicts a generally blotch shape sort of camouflage, but such other and perhaps more realistic patterns are also advantageous.

[0018] As shown in FIG. 1, the camouflage mask 22 of the invention generally encloses around the front and sides of the face or head of the wearer 30. An elastic strap 42, shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, is provided to permit the mask 22 to be stretched to pass over the head and pulled down to a position at which the top edge of the mask extends over the bridge of the nose.

[0019] An elastic band 42 is preferred as the operative attachment structure. However it is also possible to provide a similar arrangement with other specific forms of attachment such as a clip or button fastener, zipper, etc. It is also possible to integrally form the edge of the mask fabric as an elastic, using gathers and stretch thread at least for a limited length of the circumference. In the preferred arrangement shown, however, an elastic band is provided to bridge across the span between the ends 44 of the mask fabric at the rear, the fabric being substantially a rectangular hanging veil shape.

[0020] The elastic band 42 could simply be sewn at its ends to the respective parts of the mask. However in the preferred arrangement, the elastic band 42 extends for approximately 180 degrees of the circumference between attachment points 46 at the lateral sides. The ends of the elastic band 42 are sewn at laterally opposite places on the mask and the elastic band extends loosely through a tubular hem 52 that extends along the top edge of the mask 22 from the attachment points 46 to the rear ends 44 of the mask panel. In this way the mask panel fabric can be gathered or bunched freely along the length of the elastic toward the rear of the elastic attachment points, like a curtain on a curtain rod.

[0021] The mask panel is preferably at least two plies. In the preferred arrangement, the outer layer or ply 62 comprises camouflage material, namely a printed 100% cotton knit or weave fabric that is substantially porous. Lightweight camouflage fabrics such as the Mossy Oak or Realtree varieties, as mentioned above, are preferred.

[0022] A second ply 64 is coextensive with the camouflage outerply. This second or inner ply comprises a closely woven or knitted material, or an impervious plastic sheet, so as to block currents of air. The preferred inner ply comprises 100% nylon closely woven fabric, such as “ripstop” nylon or another close weave of the type used in windbreakers, parachute fabric and the like. The nylon layer is provided as a barrier to air currents specifically in the form of the user's breath, which if passed through the mask could form a visible plume of condensation. As a result of the barrier, the user's breath is generally confined to an area behind the mask.

[0023] Confining the user's breath is advantageous for avoiding or breaking up a visible vapor plume otherwise occurring due to exhalation by the wearer, thus improving the effectiveness of the camouflage. However confining the breath in that way presents a problem in that warm, moist air rising from convection behind the mask tends to fog the wearer's eyeglasses or goggles 72.

[0024] According to an inventive aspect, this problem is addressed by certain improvements to the seal formed between the mask and the wearer's face along the top edge 82 of the mask in the area of the tubular hem 52. In particular, a formable malleable strip is incorporated into the top edge of the mask construction. The strip can be a formable plastic or resin or other material, and in the preferred embodiment comprises a malleable aluminum strip about 1.0 by 10 by 0.1 cm. The strip is captured in the tubular hemmed portion at the top edge of the mask, at the front and center part of the mask panel corresponding to the point over the bridge of the wearer's nose. Furthermore, the strip can specifically be captured in the tubular hem 52 between the attachment points 46 at which the elastic band 42 is affixed by stitching across the lumen of the tubular hem and through the ends of the elastic band. Machine stitching is advantageously used, across the tubular hem, for capturing the aluminum strip as well as affixing the elastic band.

[0025] The aluminum strip 84 is readily formed to shape the mask panel so as to complement and to follow closely over the bridge of the nose, holding the top edge 82 of the mask 22 back against the wearer's cheeks on either side of the nose. This reduces any gap that otherwise would be provided on the sides of the nose by the elastic band pulling the edge of the mask panel taut between the bridge of the nose and the cheeks. The aluminum strip is malleable but resists deformation sufficiently that the pull from the elastic does not straighten the aluminum strip.

[0026] According to another aspect, the mask 22 is further sealed relative to the wearer's face by a relatively thick fleece strip 86 that forms a packing between the top edge of the mask panel and the wearer's face. As shown in FIG. 2, a fleece strip extends between the laterally spaced attachment points of the elastic strip and depends loosely about 10 cm down from the top edge of the mask panel. The fleece is sewn at the top edge 82 of the mask, but the bottom edge of the fleece hangs freely.

[0027] The fleece can be a nonwoven cotton batt material, for example about 3 mm in thickness, and readily compressible. Due to its thickness, the fleece tends to plug any remaining gaps between the wearer's skin and the edge of the mask at the top edge 82 and up to where the relatively impermeable nylon material extends. Insofar as any gap is formed between the mask and the cheeks and/or nose, the fleece either occupies the gap or otherwise forms a depending barrier through which the wearer's breath must pass to exit the area encompassed by the mask.

[0028] FIG. 3 illustrates the respective parts laid out in order, namely the two plies forming the mask panel, the outer ply 62 being decorated with camouflage and the inner ply 64 being tightly woven to form a partial air barrier. The short strip of fleece 86 is disposed on the inside surface. The fleece (and also the other layers of the two ply panel are folded over to form a tubular hem in which the aluminum strip is encased. The ends of the enclosure thereby formed are closed by attachment points for the ends of the elastic band.

[0029] As thus embodied, the invention is an anti-fogging veil 22 to be worn over the face 30 of a human wearer, comprising a panel 62, 64 having a top edge 82, a bottom edge and lateral edges, the panel being sized to encompass an area below the wearer's eyes and to cover a nose and mouth of the wearer. The top edge 82 is configured for attachment to the wearer below the wearer's eyes and the panel drapes loosely downward from the top edge. The panel comprises at least one ply 64 that defines a barrier substantially confining air flow from exhalation to an area behind the panel.

[0030] The panel advantageously has a camouflage pattern, on an outer side of the panel, opposite from the wearer. In the embodiment described, the camouflage pattern is on an outer 62 ply that is substantially coextensive with the ply 64 that defines the barrier.

[0031] An attachment structure at the top edge 82 of the panel affixes the panel to the wearer. The attachment can comprise one or more of a band with affixable ends for tying around the wearer's head, an elastic cinch band for encircling the wearer's head. An adhesive element can affix the band. A component can be shaped for engagement with one or more of the wearer's nose, ears and eyewear.

[0032] According to another aspect, a compressible pad is associated with the attachment at the top edge, for sealing along the top edge between the wearer and the ply that defines the barrier. In the exemplary embodiment, the compressible pad comprises a fleece portion having a thickness, disposed along the top edge between the wearer and the ply that defines the barrier. Affixing the top edge 82 compresses the pad between the top edge of the barrier ply and prevents exhaled air from rising behind the mask to fog the wearer's glasses or goggles.

[0033] The attachment can comprise a malleable bar, for example of a strip of aluminum, sewn into the top edge of the panel. The malleable bar is bendable for conforming to the wearer, particularly for conforming with a bridge of the wearer's nose.

[0034] The attachment at the top edge can involve a hemmed tube stitched together with at least one of the malleable strip in the tube, a hanging band extending beyond the lateral edges (which can be elastic or inelastic and may bear temple bows and ear hooks or the like), and a compressible pad for sealing with the wearer.

[0035] The ply that defines the barrier against exhalation vapor, i.e., substantially confining air flow from exhalation, comprises a substantially impermeable plastic, a closely woven fabric, a non-woven fabric having closely spaced fibers, and/or a composite of fiber and filler. In one embodiment, the barrier comprises a closely woven nylon fabric. In another embodiment, the barrier comprises a polymer sheet.

[0036] The invention having been disclosed in connection with the foregoing preferred arrangements, variations will now be apparent, and should be considered encompassed within the scope and spirit of the invention.





 
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