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The present invention relates generally to beverage bottle holders, and more particularly, to an insulated beverage bottle holder adapted for receiving bottles with tapered or straight necks and for retaining contents of the bottle at a desired temperature for a discreet period of time.
Many beverage containers, whether bottles or cans, are specifically designed to retain beverages that are preferably dispensed in a cold condition. However, when the beverage and bottle are cooled and then held by a warm hand, the condensation forms on the outside of the container, making the exterior surface of the container slippery and uncomfortable to hold. Additionally, the user may desire to retain the beverage inside the container cold as long as possible, but holding the container gradually warms up the liquid. In some cases, the users prefer to use a paper napkin wrapped around the container that to some degree insulates the container from the exterior temperature. However, the napkin may become soggy from the condensation and tends to slip making the napkin unusable in a short period of time.
Another problem that is associated with cold beverages is that users tend to place the bottles or cans directly on polished furniture, resulting in unsightly stains created by condensation. Some users prefer placing a coaster under the container, thereby creating a physical barrier between the bottle and the furniture.
To solve the problem with canned beverages, the industry developed an insulated tubular holder that has a generally cylindrical opening, where a user inserts the can. However, such holders are not easily adaptable for use with bottles, which have a narrow neck and sometimes an irregular bottom. There exists, therefore, a need for a bottle holder that can be used for retaining bottles in an insulated condition while the user drinks the contents of the bottle.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide an insulated bottle holder that can be used with bottles containing soda drinks or beer while retaining the bottle within the container.
It is another object of the present invention to provide an insulated bottle holder that forms a resting surface and allows the bottle to be retained upright when the bottle is placed on a horizontal surface.
These and other objects of the present invention are achieved through a provision of through a provision of an insulated holder for beverage bottles, which is contoured to surround and conform to the shape of the bottle and the bottle neck. The holder carries a cap on the lower end thereof for forming a resting surface for the holder and for preventing contact of the bottle bottom with furniture. A support ring extends inside the cap; the ring has flexible resilient tabs separated by notches, allowing the bottle to be inserted from the bottom of the sleeve.
The upper part of the sleeve has a slimmer diameter opening for receiving a portion of the bottle neck. The opening is defined in part by a wall, which is provided with ridges and grooves to allow for flexible engagement of the bottle neck by the sleeve.
Reference will now be made to the drawings, wherein like parts are designed by like numerals, and wherein FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the insulated holder in accordance with the present invention showing a step-by-step process of positioning the bottle inside the holder.
FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the bottle holder of the present invention.
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view of the bottle holder taken alone lines A-A of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a temperature profile for bottled beer comparing the temperature of the bottle contents when using the holder of the instant invention with a standard cylindrical thin foam holder and without any holder.
FIG. 5 is differential temperature profile for bottled beer comparing the temperature of the bottle contents when using the holder of the instant invention with a standard cylindrical thin foam holder and without any holder.
Turning now to the drawings in more detail, numeral 10 designates the bottle holder of the present invention. The bottle holder 10 comprises a main body portion 12 having an open top 14 and an open bottom 16. The body 12 has a central opening, which forms an interior cavity 18. The central opening 18 has a lower portion 20, a middle portion 22, and an upper portion 24. The lower portion 20 is defined by substantially cylindrical wall configured for frictional engagement of cylindrical portion 26 of a bottle 30. The middle portion 22 of the opening 18 is configured to fit over a rounded wall 27 of the bottle 30.
The upper portion 24 of the opening 18 is configured to engage at least a lower portion of a neck 32 of the bottle 30. The internal wall of the body 12 defining the opening portion 24 has grooves and ridges, which are designed to confirm to various shapes and sizes of the necks 32 of beverage containers. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the upper portion 24 of the central chamber 18 is formed with a pair of grooves 34 and 36 and a ridge 38 formed between the grooves 34 and 36. The uppermost edge 40 of the holder 10 is configured to tightly fit over at least a portion of the neck 32 of the beverage container 30. The neck 32 of the bottle 30 may be straight or tapered. The upper portion 24, by snugly fitting over the bottle neck, facilitates retention of the bottle content in a desired cool condition, preventing escape of the cool air and introduction of warm ambient air into the interior of the holder 10.
The main body 12 is provided with a bottom cap 42, which engages the bottom circumferential edge of the body 12. The cap 42 has a vertical wall 44 which engages a bottom of an outside wall 46 of the main body 12, and a horizontal portion 48, which extends around the bottom edge of the main body 12. A vertical inner portion 52 extends transversely to the horizontal portion 48 and contacts the bottom internal wall of the body 12. The horizontal portion 48 is integrally formed with the outside vertical portion 44 and the inner vertical portion 52.
A flexible resilient support member 50 extends into the opening 18 from the inner vertical portion 48. The support member 50 defines the opening 16 in the bottom of the holder 10. The support member 50 is formed as a transversely expanding member, providing support for the bottom 54 of the bottle 30. The support member 50 comprises a plurality of flexible resilient tabs 58 divided by notches 56. The notches provide substantial flexibility for the tabs 58 to bend inwardly when the bottle 30 is positioned in the holder 16.
The holder 10 is constructed of a flexible expandable, resilient material, for instance neoprene, resin or porous insulating material, such as closed cell foam. The body 12 is allowed to flex and expand when the bottle 30 is inserted into the opening 18 even if the bottle is slightly larger in diameter than the opening 18. Resiliency of the body 12 allows the holder 10 to frictionally engage the bottle 30 and retain the bottle 30 without slipping.
The cap 42 forms a steady, non-slippery support for the bottle 30 and prevents condensation from the bottle from touching a piece of furniture and forming a wet stain. At the same time, the bottle 30 is prevented from slipping outside of the holder 10 by the support member 50.
The longitudinal dimensions of the body 12 are less than the length of the bottle 30 allowing the top of the bottle neck to be seen by the user for easy identification of the contents of the bottle. The bottle 30 is supported in a generally upright orientation when resting on the cap 42 while not substantially increasing the width of the bottle 30, such that the user can comfortably grasp the holder when drinking from the bottle 30.
In operation, the user inserts the neck 32 of the bottle 30 into the bottom opening 16 of the holder 10. The user pushes the bottle towards the open end 14, forcing the neck 32 to extend outwardly from the body 12. During the insertion process, the tabs 56 tend to bend inwardly into the opening 18 when the widest cylindrical portion 26 of the bottle 30 passes into the opening 18. Once the bottom 54 of the bottle 30 clears the tabs 58, the tabs return to their transverse orientation in relation to the longitudinal axis of the bottle 30. The tabs 58 resiliently spring back to their original position forming a ring about the bottom 54 of the bottle 30. The support member 50 facilitates retention of the bottle 30 within the holder 10.
FIGS. 4 and 5 compare the temperature of the contents of the bottle, in this case bottled beer, when using the holder 10 of the present invention, when using a standard cylindrical thin-walled foam holder, and when no insulating holder is used. The slow increase in temperature when using the holder 10 is shown in the graphs of FIGS. 4 and 5 by a graph line 70; the temperature line of a thin-walled insulating holder is shown by a graph line 72, and the temperature of the contents of the bottle when no insulating holder is used is shown by a graph line 74.
As can be seen in the graphs, the temperature of the bottle content using the holder 10 rises much slower in the first 10 minutes when the starting temperature of cooled beverage is below 35 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of the contents remains substantially unchanged for the first 10 minutes, and then gradually increases. The same tests demonstrated that the contents of the bottle heat up during that time much faster when conventional cylindrical holder effect or no holder effect is evaluated.
The material for which the holder 10 is manufactured can be selected from a number of conventional available insulating materials, such as a resin, neoprene, closed cell foam, and the like. The exterior of the holder 10 can be imprinted with colorable indicia, advertising indicia, or clearly ornamental design. The holder 10 may be used for holding baby bottles, if desired. In such case, the holder 10 will retain the bottle contents warm, while the baby drinks from the bottle.
Many changes and modifications may be made in the design of the present invention without departing from the spirit thereof. I therefore pray that my rights to the present invention be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.