Title:
Backpack-shaped wrist pack
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A wrist-pack constructed as a pack that resembles and is shaped like a backpack. The pack includes a pouch having spaced apart front and rear walls and an open top. A closure device is provided to secure the open top. A strap arrangement is attached to the rear wall of the pouch. The pouch and strap arrangement are shaped and dimensioned so that a user can insert a hand between the rear wall of the pouch and the strap arrangement to wear the pack snugly on the user's wrist.



Inventors:
Rogers, Linda R. (Greensboro, NC, US)
Application Number:
10/413992
Publication Date:
10/21/2004
Filing Date:
04/15/2003
Assignee:
ROGERS LINDA R.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/222
International Classes:
A44C5/00; A45F3/00; (IPC1-7): A45F3/14; A44C5/18; A45C13/30
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VANTERPOOL, LESTER L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WOMBLE BOND DICKINSON (US) LLP (ATTN: IP DOCKETING P.O. BOX 7037, ATLANTA, GA, 30357-0037, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A wrist-pack, comprising: (a) a pack shaped like a backpack, including: (i) a pouch having spaced apart front and rear walls and an open top, the pouch having a length of between about 3 inches and 6 inches, and a width of between about 2 inches and 4 inches; (ii) a closure device for securing the open top of the pouch; (b) a strap arrangement attached to the rear wall of the pouch; and (c) the pouch and strap arrangement are so shaped and dimensioned that a user can insert a hand between the rear wall of the pouch and the strap arrangement to wear the pack snugly on the user's wrist.

2. The wrist-pack of claim 1 further including a bottom wall and opposed side walls.

3. The wrist pack of claim 2 wherein the pouch has a thickness of between about 1 inch and 3 inches.

4. The wrist-pack of claim 3 wherein the pouch has a length of less than about 6 inches, a width of less than about 4 inches, and a thickness of less than about 3 inches.

5. The wrist-pack of claim 1 further including at least one pocket attached to one of the front wall and opposed side walls of the pouch.

6. The wrist-pack of claim 1 wherein the closure device comprises a flap attached to the rear wall of the pouch for folding over the open top of the pouch.

7. The wrist-pack of claim 1 wherein the closure device is selected from the group consisting of a zippers, buttons, and hook and loop material.

8. The wrist-pack of claim 1 wherein the pouch is formed from a woven material formed from the group consisting of nylon and canvas.

9. The wrist-pack of claim 1 wherein the pouch is water-repellent.

10. The wrist-pack of claim 1 wherein the strap arrangement comprises: (a) at least one strap having first and second end; and (b) the at least one strap is adjustable in length between the first and second ends.

11. The wrist-pack of claim 1 wherein the strap arrangement comprises: (a) a pair of straps, each one of the pair having first and second ends; and (b) each one of the pair of straps so attached to rear wall of the pouch that the straps are substantially parallel to one another.

12. The wrist-pack of claim 11 wherein: (a) each one of the pair of straps is substantially elastic along its length; and (b) at least one of the pair of straps is adjustable in length between the first and second ends.

13. The wrist-pack of claim 1 wherein the strap arrangement comprises: (a) a pair of straps, each one of the pair having first and second ends; and (b) the straps so attached to the rear wall of the pouch that the straps cross at some point along their lengths, wherein the user can wear the pack in more than one orientation about the user's wrist.

14. The wrist-pack pack of claim 13 wherein: (a) each one of the pair of straps is substantially elastic along its length; and (b) at least one of the pair of straps is adjustable in length between the first and second ends.

15. A wrist-pack, comprising: (a) a pack shaped like a backpack, including: (i) a pouch having spaced apart front and rear walls, opposed side walls, a bottom wall, and an open top, the pouch having a length of between about 3 inches and 6 inches, a width of between about 2 inches and 4 inches, and a thickness of between about 1 inch and 3 inches; (ii) a flap attached to the rear wall of the pouch for folding over the open top of the pouch; (iii) a liner disposed within the pouch, the liner having an upper edge adjacent the rear wall; (iv) a zipper for releasably closing the upper edge of the liner to the front wall; (b) a strap arrangement attached to the rear wall of the pouch, the strap arrangement comprising: (i) a pair of straps, each one of the pair having first and second ends so attached to the rear wall of the pouch that the straps cross at some point along their lengths; (ii) each one of the pair of straps is substantially elastic along its length; (iii) at least one of the pair of straps is adjustable in length between the first and second ends; and (c) the pouch and strap arrangement are so shaped and dimensioned that a user can insert a hand between the rear wall of the pouch and the strap arrangement, wherein the user can wear the pack in more than one orientation snugly on the user's wrist.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to the field of article carriers and purses, and, more particularly to a carrying pack that is shaped like a backpack, but that may be worn about the wrist or forearm.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Bags, pouches, and cases for carrying money and other valuables or personal necessaries have been known for some time. Purses that hang from the body, for instance, are still in wide use today, but have been around since the medieval period. Such purses normally hang from long straps that are slung across the shoulders of the wearer. These devices, however, are quite awkward and unwieldy and more suited for formal wear.

[0003] In more recent years, different types of purses have been developed that can be worn in more casual or outdoor environments. One common version of this purse has been referred to as the “fanny pack” and comprises a strap that is worn about the waist. The pack portion of the device, which typically includes an elongate zippered pouch, is thus worn adjacent the wearer's front or rear torso area. While freeing-up the hands and shoulders, these devices are uncomfortable, interfere with the normal activities of sitting and bending, and have proven irritating to the wearer's skin as the pouch and strap shift and pull.

[0004] Another type of purse that has long been known is the wallet. Wallets come in various styles and sizes, but are typically dimensioned for placement in a pocket of the wearer's garments. Carrying a conventional wallet, however, can be inconvenient and uncomfortable; e.g., when located in a user's back pocket during prolonged sitting, such as when driving. For people wearing sports attire or clothing without pockets, yet another problem arises. Users must resort to carrying wallets in their hands, or else try to secure the wallet in a position underneath their clothing. Frequently, however, this results in the wallet being lost or soiled by perspiration or water.

[0005] Over the last several decades, apparel and accessory designers have sought more convenient means for carrying small items. The art has seen the development of wrist-worn accessories, in addition to watches, such as small purses for carrying pills and coins. As evidenced by their limited use in public, the utility of these devices has been outweighed by the aggravation of strapping-on and removing these devices and the items stored therein. Foldable, strap-around wallets with hook and loop closures have been developed for carrying cash and flat keys, but these too have been found to lack sufficient storage space, to be uncomfortable, and to be unduly constraining. Again, the disadvantages have overshadowed the limited utility and convenience of these devices.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention is directed to a wrist-worn pack for carrying small and personal items that overcomes the problems of the purses and wallets of the prior art. Because the shoulders and hands of the user are free, and garment pockets are not required, the device of the present invention is not unwieldy, uncomfortable, and does not impede normal indoor or outdoor activities.

[0007] In a preferred embodiment, the wrist-worn pack includes a pack that is shaped like and resembles a “backpack” or “knapsack.” As used herein, the term “backpack” refers to a bag, case, or pouch designed for carrying items therein on one's back. A flap, drawstring, or other closure is typically included to secure articles within the pouch and to protect them from rain, debris, etc. In essence, the backpack-shaped pack of the present invention is a small-scale, or miniature, backpack. It includes, in one embodiment, a large main pouch having spaced apart front and rear walls and an open top. Constructed in this manner, the pouch forms an open volume which enables the wearer to store and remove items without having to lift and separate the walls to access the storage area, as is typical in a flat wallet-type construction. To prevent the pouch from being unwieldy or cumbersome, the pouch has a length dimension of between about 3 inches and 6 inches, and desirably less than about 6 inches. The width dimension of the pouch is between about 2 inches and 4 inches, and is desirably less than about 4 inches. In an alternative embodiment, the pack may comprise spaced-apart side walls to increase the open volume of the pouch. In such case, the thickness of the pouch is between about 1 inch and 3 inches, and is desirably less than about 3 inches. It has been found that when the pouch is dimensioned within these limitations, two benefits are realized: (1) the pouch is large enough to store the most common personal items, such as cash, keys, cards, etc.; and, (2) the pouch is dimensioned so that “one size fits all”; i.e., regardless of body build, wrist or arm size, the pouch is adaptable for wear by practically any person.

[0008] The pouch is desirably formed from a woven fabric. The fabric is woven from yarns of a durable textile material. In a preferred embodiment, the pieces of fabric forming the pouch are woven from a high-tenacity, abrasion-resistant nylon, available from E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company under the trademark CORDURA®. Other suitable fabrics, however, may include canvas, corduroy, duck, or other “pack cloth” type materials, as they are referred to in the textile arts. Further, other durable fabrics such as woven polyesters may alternatively be used. For use in inclement weather, such as rain, or in outdoor activities, the fabric comprising the pouch is water-repellent. This water-repellency is accomplished by applying any of the known formulations to the yarn or fabric, such as urethane, SCOTCHGARD®, or the like.

[0009] To prevent items from falling out of the pouch and becoming lost, and to protect the items from the elements, a flap is optionally provided for folding over the open top of the pouch. The flap is either attached to the rear wall of the pouch or formed integrally with the rear wall. The flap may be sized to cover only the open top, or may be sized to cover a portion or all of the front wall of the pouch. As an additional, but optional, means for securing the open top of the pouch, a zipper, snap, button, or hook and loop material may be attached adjacent the upper edges of the front or back walls of the pouch.

[0010] In addition to the large main pouch, the pack may include one or more small pockets or pouches attached to the front, opposed side walls, or bottom of the pouch. In one preferred embodiment, a small pocket is affixed to the central portion of the front wall and is formed of a rectangular or square piece of fabric that is stitched or bonded to the front wall. A hook and loop material, button, snap, or zipper may be affixed at the upper periphery of the pocket for closure purposes. Other pockets for holding keys and the like may also be attached to the pouch.

[0011] For securing the pack on the wrist or forearm of the wearer, a strap arrangement is attached to the rear wall of the pouch. While a single strap would be sufficient for wear of the pack on the wrist, the strap arrangement is desirably comprised of one or more pairs of attached straps. In one embodiment, the strap arrangement consists of a pair of straps that are attached to the rear wall of the pouch so that the straps are substantially parallel to one another. Alternatively, a second parallel pair of straps are attached to the rear wall at substantially a right angle to the first parallel pair of straps. Preferably, each of the straps is elastic and adjustable along its length. In a second embodiment, the pair of straps is attached to the rear wall so that the two straps cross at their mid-lengths. When attached in this manner, or where two parallel pairs are attached as described above, the user may wear the pack in at least two different orientations; i.e., the user may insert his hand so that the length of the pack is parallel with the forearm, or so that the width of the pack is parallel with the forearm.

[0012] Regardless of the pouch and strap arrangement, the pouch and straps are both shaped and dimensioned so that the user can insert a hand beneath the straps to wear the pack snugly against the wrist. Further, with elastic and adjustable straps, the user can don and remove the pack easily and safely.

[0013] These and other aspects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art after a reading of the following description of the preferred embodiments when considered in conjunction with the drawings. It should be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] FIG. 1 is a right front perspective view of the wrist-pack of the present invention;

[0015] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of FIG. 1 with the flap of the pack in the open position;

[0016] FIG. 3 is a left front perspective view of the wrist-pack of FIG. 1;

[0017] FIG. 4 is a rear perspective view of the wrist-pack of FIG. 1, illustrating one orientation in which the wrist-pack may be worn;

[0018] FIG. 4A is a rear perspective view of the wrist-pack of FIG. 1, illustrating an alternate orientation in which the wrist-pack may be worn; and

[0019] FIG. 5 is an alternative strap arrangement for the wrist-pack of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0020] Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the present invention is directed to a wrist-worn pack for carrying small and personal items. Shown generally as 100, the wrist-worn pack is shaped overall to resemble a miniature backpack, or knapsack. As used herein, “backpack” or “knapsack” refer to a pouch or sack having an open top and a flap, drawstring, or zipper for securing the open top. Such a device is conventionally worn by individuals via one or more straps. Pack 100 includes a main pouch 110. In one preferred embodiment, the pouch 100 comprises spaced apart front 112 and rear 114 walls and an open top 121. As used herein, the front wall 112 refers to the surfaces that face outward when worn and the rear wall 114 comprises the surfaces that are in contact with the wearer's wrist. Optionally, the pack 100 may include opposed side walls 115, 116.

[0021] The pouch 110 is desirably formed from a woven fabric of durable textile material. By “durable” is meant the resistance of a material to a loss of physical properties or appearance as a result of wear or dynamic operation/use. In one preferred embodiment, the pouch material is a woven fabric formed from a high tenacity, abrasion-resistant nylon. One such suitable nylon material is available from E.I. du Pont de Nemours under the trademark CORDURA®, although the material is not limited thereto. In one embodiment, the woven fabric is formed from 1000 denier CORDURA® yarns in a simple weave pattern. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the denier of the yarns, and the resulting fabric formed therefrom, may be varied to obtain a certain desired appearance; e.g., higher denier yarns will yield a fabric that is more coarse and durable looking, while smaller denier yarns will yield a fabric with a smoother, finer appearance. In any regard, the denier size, fabric type, weave pattern, and aesthetic appearance of the pouch are not critical to the present invention.

[0022] While there are numerous ways that the pouch may be constructed, the front wall 112 and rear wall 114 each may be formed from a single panel of similar, or different, materials. The opposed side walls 115, 116, and closed bottom 118 may together be formed from a single band of material that is attached along seams to the front 112 and rear 114 walls. In the preferred embodiment, the seams are formed by sewing the pieces of the pouch together with a high tenacity thread such as CORDURA®, DYNEEMA® (available from DSM High Performance Fibers), or the like.

[0023] Regardless of the number of pieces or panels used, when sewn together, the pieces or panels that comprise the pack 100 form a pouch that is shaped like a miniature backpack or knapsack. As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the pouch desirably has a closed button 118 that is slightly wider than the open top 121; i.e. the opposed sides 115,116 taper inward from the bottom 118 to the top 121. While the rear wall 114 may be substantially rectangular for stability when worn about the wrist, the front wall 112 is slightly narrower at the top than at the bottom. The resulting shape is not functionally important, but does yield more of a “backpack”, pear-shaped, or teardrop-shaped look.

[0024] For use in inclement weather, or where the pack 100 is susceptible to exposure to water, the woven fabric forming the pouch 110 is water-resistant or water repellant. Water-repellency/resistance may be accomplished by treating the woven fabric with a chemical treatment such as a urethane coating or by applying a commercially available treatment such as SCOTCHGARD® to the fabric.

[0025] As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, in one preferred embodiment, pack 100 further includes a closure flap 122. Flap 122 is formed from the same material as the pouch 110 and may be integrally formed with the rear wall 114. Alternatively, the flap 122 may be a separate panel that is attached to rear wall 114, or other rear portion, along an upper edge. Flap 122 is shown in FIGS. 1 through 3 with an arcuate shaped free edge 122a, but may well be rectangular, triangular, etc., so long as flap 122 may be folded over to substantially cover the open top 121. Flap 122 may further be sized to cover only the open top, or may be sized to cover some portion, or all, of the front wall 112. For securing the flap 122 to the front of pouch 110, a metallic or plastic snap 123 (123a, 123b) is provided. Hook and loop material and zippers can also be suitably used for this purpose.

[0026] If formed as shown and described herein, the completed pouch 110 defines an enclosed volume that enables a user to store, carry, and remove items that are larger and “thicker” than items that can be carried in conventional wallets. For aesthetic reasons, or to provide an added level of protection for items carried in the pouch 110, an optional liner 119 may be disposed within the inner volume of the pouch 110. The liner 119 may be stitched in or adhered in some fashion to the inner volume, and may be formed from a broad spectrum of materials, to include fabrics, plastics, papers, etc. The upper rear edge 119a of the liner forms a free edge that desirably projects upwardly adjacent the rear wall. Also, as best shown in FIG. 3, an additional, but optional, means for closing the open top 121, a zipper 117 is affixed to the upper edge of the front wall 112 and the upper rear edge 119a of the liner 119.

[0027] To prevent the pouch from being unwieldy or obstructive, it has been found that the pouch should have a dimension in the length direction of between about 3 inches and 6 inches, and desirably less than about 6 inches. The pouch is between about 2 inches and 4 inches wide, and desirably less than about 4 inches. Lastly the pouch is between about 1 inch and 3 inches thick, and desirably less than about 3 inches.

[0028] In addition to the main pouch 110, one or more smaller pouches or pockets may be formed on the front 112, opposed side walls 115, 116, or bottom 118 of the pouch 110. As shown in FIG. 2, a small pocket 126 overlies a portion of the front wall 112. The pocket is desirably formed of the same woven material as used in the pouch 110. The small pocket 126 is formed of a front panel 126a with opposed sides 126b, c, and a closed bottom 126d. As should be apparent, the sides 126b, c and bottom 126d can be dimensioned to form a second enclosed volume, as desired. Again, pocket 126 is attached to the front wall 112 by conventional sewing techniques, or bonding. The open end 126e of pocket 126 may be releasably opened and closed with a hook and loop fastener 127, or other suitable closure material; however, such a closure is optional, depending upon the desire use of the pocket 126. Also, in the preferred embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, an additional small key pocket 128 formed on one side 116 of pouch 110. As will be apparent, the pocket 128 is dimensional so some portion of a key 125 may be slid into the pocket 128. A small closure flap 130 is optionally included to further secure the key 125 in the pocket 128 so that it does not loosen and pull out of the pocket 128 during normal or anticipated activities. The small closure flap 130 is sized in width and length so that it may be inserted through a chain 129, or the like, fastened to the key 125. A metallic or plastic snap 131 (131a, 131b), or other suitable closure material, secures the free end of flap 130 to the bottom portion of the pocket 128, or to the side wall 115.

[0029] Turning now to FIG. 4, a strap arrangement 150 is provided for securing the pack 100 about the wrist or forearm 200 of the wearer. While the pack 100 is so dimensional that a single strap or band would be “sufficient” for securing the pack on the wrist, the strap arrangement 150 is preferably comprised of one or more pairs of straps. In one preferred embodiment, the strap arrangement 150 consists of a pair of straps 152, 154 that are connected to, or affixed to, the rear wall 114, or to the upper and lower portions of the pouch. The straps are placed so that they cross one another at some point along their lengths. Desirably, each of the straps 152, 154, is both elastic and adjustable along its length. As shown in FIG. 4, each strap 152, 154 has an adjustable portion 152a, 154a, and a fixed portion 152b, 154b. By “fixed” is meant that portions 152b, 154b are fixed at one end to the lower portion 161 rear wall by stitching or bonding. Alternatively, the ends could be fixed at to the upper portion of pouch 110. As shown in FIG. 4, strap portions 152a, 154a are continuous, adjustable loops that are looped through rings or hoops 151 at the upper portion of the pouch 110. Straps 152, 154 are each singular lengths of material, but may be formed of two or more attached strap portions. At least some portion of each strap 152, 154 is desirably elastic so that (1) the straps will not loosen during wear, and so that (2) the pouch may be quickly and safely donned and removed without having to first adjust the straps. Rings 151 may be permanently connected to the pouch 110 by straps 151a of material, or the like, in any fashion well known in the industry for such attachment. Intermediate the lengths of straps 152, 154 are adjusting buckles 152c, 154c, which may be metallic or plastic. Buckles 152c, 154c may be used in conventional fashion to fit the pack 100 snugly, but comfortably about a wearers wrist, by selectively adjusting the lengths of the free ends of strap portions 152a, 154a.

[0030] When straps 152 and 154 are arranged as described hereinabove, in a crossing type configuration, the pack 100 may be worn in four possible orientations about the wrist or forearm. As shown in FIG. 4A, the wearer may insert his hand beneath straps 152 and 154 so that the long axis of the pack 100 is at right angles to the wearer's forearm. The wearer can, however, just as easily insert his hand from the opposite direction for a second orientation. More importantly, the wearer can insert a hand beneath straps 152, 154 so that the long axis of the pack 100 is parallel to the wearer's forearm. Again, the wearer can insert his hand from the opposite end, as well, to obtain a fourth orientation. Thus, the arrangement of the straps enables the user to wear the pack 100 in a user-selected orientation for convenience in accessing the main pouch and smaller pouches of the pack

[0031] Turning lastly to FIG. 5, an alternative strap arrangement is shown. Strap arrangement 550 comprises two pairs of straps, each pair comprising parallel straps 552a, 552b and 554a, 554b. The two opposed pairs 552, 554 are attached to the rear wall 514 so that one pair is substantially at right angles to the other pair. This configuration also permits a wearer to wear the pack 500 in four different orientations about the wrist or forearm.

[0032] As those skilled in the art will appreciate, there are numerous other strap arrangements would enable a user to wear the pouch in multiple orientations. For example, other alternative strap arrangements could comprise an odd number of straps; e.g., three or more straps could coverage on a centrally-positioned, adjustable buckle.

[0033] Although the present invention has been described with exemplary constructions, it is to be understood that modifications and variations may be utilized without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, as those skilled in the art will readily understand. Such modifications and variations are considered to be within the purview and scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.