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The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/578,149 filed Jun. 9, 2004.
The present invention relates generally to underwater devices and, more specifically, to hair containment devices for underwater activity.
Anyone who has tried to scuba dive or snorkel with long hair has discovered that uncontained long hair can be a problem. While most of the time uncontained long hair is merely bothersome, uncontained long hair can become dangerous if it becomes tangled with diving gear or terrain. In addition, because long hair is usually floating above, below or behind the divers scope of vision, uncontained long hair often gets tangled before the diver can recognize or actively prevent the problem.
Typical devices that are typically employed to secure hair in non-underwater situations, such as braids, rubbers bands, ponytails or similar devices, routinely fail when used underwater. Examples of other hair containment devices have been disclosed in the following United States patents: U.S. Pat. No. 2,508,631 (M J Woodside), U.S. Pat. No. 2,884,645 (Berg), U.S. Pat. No. 3,173,147 (J Gross), U.S. Pat. No. 3,179,954 (D M Weitzner), U.S. Pat. No. 3,710,393 (D J Douglas), U.S. Pat. No. 3,755,819 (D J Douglas), U.S. Pat. No. 4,998,544 (S D Obergfell), U.S. Pat. No. 5,069,205 (T Urso), U.S. Pat. No. 5,590,422 (D J Henderson), U.S. Pat. No. 5,816,243 (P Georgiou), U.S. Pat. No. 5,878,756 (B E Bilodeau), U.S. Pat. No. 6,085,359 (B J Viola), U.S. Pat. No. 6,428,167 (P F Leonardi), U.S. Pat. No. D344,167 (G D Lawrence), and U.S. Pat. No. D385658 (T L Brandenburg). None, however, disclose the aspects of the current invention.
The invention is summarized below only for purposes of introducing embodiments of the invention. The ultimate scope of the invention is to be limited only to the claims that follow the specification.
The invention is summarized as an underwater hair containment system (referred to herein as the “underwater hair containment system”) comprising a dive mask, a mask strap connected to the dive mask, and a pliable pocket for storing hair connected to the mask strap, wherein hair from a person wearing the dive mask can be tucked into the pliable pocket. The underwater hair containment system prevents long hair from getting tangled in scuba gear and underwater terrain. The underwater hair containment system allows a swimmer or diver to quickly and easily contain long hair during underwater activity. The underwater hair containment system also reduces exposure to the elements and keeps hair in place.
FIG. 1 illustrates a dive mask having an elastic strap.
FIG. 2 illustrates a dive mask having an elastic strap and an elastic fabric comfort strap.
FIG. 2A illustrates a dive mask having an elastic strap, an elastic fabric comfort strap and an embodiment of the hair containment device.
FIG. 2B illustrates a rear view of the dive mask having an elastic strap, an elastic fabric comfort strap and an embodiment of the hair containment device shown in FIG. 2A.
FIG. 3 illustrates a dive mask having an elastic strap, an elastic fabric comfort strap and an alternative embodiment of the hair containment device.
FIG. 4 illustrates a user wearing the dive mask having an elastic strap, an elastic fabric comfort strap and an alternative embodiment of the hair containment device.
The descriptions that follow are intended to aid in the understanding but not limit the actual scope of the invention. It is to be understood that the descriptions below are merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the detail of construction or design herein shown other than as defined in the appended claims. The descriptions that follow describe the intended and preferred use of each embodiment of the underwater hair containment system.
Broadly, the preferred embodiment of the underwater hair containment system comprises a dive mask 10, a mask strap 20 connected to the dive mask 10, and a pliable pocket 30 connected to the mask strap 20, wherein hair from a person wearing the dive mask 10 can be tucked into the pliable pocket 30. As used in this specification, “dive mask” includes dive masks, dive hoods, swimming goggles, or similar devices used for underwater activity.
The mask strap 20 can be made of most any material currently used for mask straps, including rubber and nylon. It is preferred, however, to use a mask strap having an elastic fabric comfort strap as shown in FIG. 2. FIG. 2 shows a mask strap 20, having nylon ends 22 connected to the dive mask 10 and an elastic fabric-covered strap 24 connected between the nylon ends 22. The elastic fabric-covered strap 24 can be made from neoprene or similar material. An example of an elastic fabric comfort strap can be found on the website published by Island Scuba Corporation at www.island-scuba.com under the trademark EZ Adjust Comfort Mask Strap™.
The pliable pocket 30 can be made with a variety of materials including nylon mesh, lycra, neoprene and other materials known in the art. It is preferred, to make the pliable pocket 30 from neoprene. It is preferred that the pliable pocket 30 be lune-like in shape shape, having a top edge 32 and a bottom edge 34 as shown in FIGS. 2A and 3.
The top edge 32 is sewn to the bottom of the mask strap 20. A seam 36 enclosing an elastic band 38 is sewn into the bottom edge 34 of the pliable pocket 30. It is preferred to make the pliable pocket 30 double-ply. Starting with a semi-circle shaped fabric and sewing the top edge 32 to the bottom of the mask strap 20 and sewing an elastic band 38 into the seam 36 at the bottom edge 34 of the pliable pocket 30 can make a lune-like shape of the pliable pocket 30.
It is preferred to connect the pliable pocket 30 to the mask strap 20 by sewing the pliable pocket 30 to the mask strap with heavy-duty thread. Other means of connecting the pliable pocket 30 to the mask strap 20 such as grommets or glues can be used. Methods of removably connecting the pliable pocket 30 to the mask strap 20 include zippers, hook and pile (e.g., velcro), snaps and buttons and can also be used.
To use the system, a person would perform the following steps,
Although the invention has been described in detail with reference to one or more particular preferred embodiments, persons possessing ordinary skill in the art to which this invention pertains will appreciate that various modifications and enhancements may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the claims that follow.