Title:
BOTTLE TOTE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bottle tote for a bottle having a mouth, and a neck ring of enlarged diameter. The tote includes a collar adapted to engage the neck ring; a handle with a finger hole operably connected to the collar; and a cap carried by the handle adapted to close off the mouth. The handle is moveable between an open position, and a closed position wherein the cap is pressed against the mouth. An apparatus for carrying a liquid includes a bottle having a mouth; a handle with a finger hole operably connected to the bottle; and a cap carried by the handle adapted to close off the mouth. The handle is moveable between an open position and a closed position wherein the cap is pressed against the opening. A belt clip includes at least one arm adapted to be suspended from a belt, and a hook extending outward from the arm.



Inventors:
Ott, Michael J. (Hickory, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/164763
Publication Date:
08/17/2006
Filing Date:
12/05/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
215/235, 215/305, 215/399, 220/751
International Classes:
B65D45/16; B65D23/12; B65D25/10; B65D39/00; B65D41/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20060278597INFANT FEEDING BOTTLE WITH FORMULA MONITOR SYSTEMDecember, 2006Daugherty et al.
20040069736Plastic water bottleApril, 2004Peronek et al.
20060060554Blow molded plastic aerosol containerMarch, 2006Garman
20080197135Beverage spout with safety tetherAugust, 2008Berman
20100072095BOTTLE AND BOTTLE PACKAGEMarch, 2010Salovaara
20080128381Pill bottle with indicator deviceJune, 2008Ramoundos
20020148800Heat resistant neck part of synthetic resin bottle bodyOctober, 2002Ozawa et al.
20070257004Plastic container having wavy vacuum panelsNovember, 2007Howell et al.



Primary Examiner:
WEAVER, SUE A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Adams, Evans P. A. (2180 TWO WACHOVIA CENTER, CHARLOTTE, NC, 28282, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bottle tote for carrying a bottle having a neck defining a mouth, and a neck ring of enlarged diameter, said bottle tote comprising: a collar adapted to engage said neck ring to retain said bottle tote thereto; a handle operably connected to said collar and including a finger hole therein; and a cap carried by said handle and adapted to close off said mouth; wherein said handle is moveable between an open position in which said mouth is exposed, and a closed position in which said cap is pressed against said mouth.

2. The bottle tote of claim 1 further including at least one swing arm having a first end pivotally connected to said collar and a second end pivotally connected to said handle, and said swing arm, said collar, and said handle are arranged such that said swing arm and said handle cooperatively define an over-center relationship when said handle is in said closed position.

3. The bottle tote of claim 2 further including means for limiting the movement of said swing arm to a predetermined range.

4. The bottle tote of claim 1 further comprising a release latch carried by said handle and moveable between a locked position in which it engages said cap to prevent motion of said handle relative to said collar, and a released position in which said handle is freely moveable relative to said collar.

5. The bottle tote of claim 4 further including a biasing element for urging said release latch into said locked position.

6. The bottle tote of claim 1 wherein said cap includes a resilient sealing ring for engaging said mouth.

7. The bottle tote of claim 1 wherein said collar comprises a pair of interconnected segments.

8. The bottle tote of claim 7 wherein said segments include mating interconnected tabs and slots.

9. The bottle tote of claim 1 wherein said collar is an arcuate member with a central opening adapted to receive said neck therethrough.

10. The bottle tote of claim 1 wherein said handle includes a hanger opening, separate from said finger hole, for suspending said bottle tote therefrom.

11. The bottle tote of claim 1 consisting essentially of a corrosion resistant material.

12. The bottle tote of claim 1 consisting essentially of non-metallic materials.

13. The bottle tote of claim 1 in combination with a belt clip which includes: at least one arm adapted to be suspended from a belt; and a hook extending laterally outward from said arm, said hook adapted to engage said handle.

14. The bottle tote of claim 13 wherein said hook is adapted to engage said hanger opening.

15. The bottle tote of claim 13 wherein said belt clip further comprises: first and second spaced-apart, interconnected arms having lower ends defining a pair of jaws with a slot therebetween, and upper ends defining spaced-apart finger tabs, said arms being moveable in response to pressure on said finger tables between an open position and a closed position.

16. The bottle tote of claim 13 wherein: said hanger opening has a first shape; said hook has a second shape; and said hook includes an enlarged head at the end thereof, said head having a third shape, wherein said first, second, and third shapes are chosen such that said head blocks removal of said handle from said hook except when said hanger opening is disposed in a predetermined orientation relative to said hook.

17. A bottle tote for carrying a bottle having a neck defining a mouth, and a neck ring of enlarged diameter, said bottle tote comprising: a collar adapted to engage said neck ring to retain said bottle tote thereto; a handle including a finger hole therein and at least one cap arm extending therefrom; and a cap carried by said cap arm and adapted to close off said mouth; at least one swing arm having a first end pivotally connected to said collar and a second end pivotally connected to said handle, such that said handle is moveable between an open position in which said mouth is exposed and a closed position in which said cap is pressed against said mouth.

18. The bottle tote of claim 17 wherein said swing arm, said collar, and said handle are arranged such that said swing arm and said handle cooperatively define an over-center relationship when said handle is in said closed position.

19. The bottle tote of claim 17 further comprising a release latch carried by said handle and moveable between a locked position in which it engages said cap to prevent motion of said handle relative to said collar, and a released position in which said handle is freely moveable relative to said collar.

20. The bottle tote of claim 19 further including a biasing element for urging said release latch into said locked position.

21. The bottle tote of claim 20 wherein said release latch carries a locking pin which engages a cavity in said cap in said locked position.

22. The bottle tote of claim 21 wherein said cap includes a resilient sealing ring for engaging said mouth.

23. The bottle tote of claim 17 wherein said collar comprises a pair of interconnected segments.

24. The bottle tote of claim 23 wherein said segments include mating interconnected tabs and slots.

25. The bottle tote of claim 17 wherein said collar is an arcuate member with a central opening adapted to receive said neck therethrough.

26. The bottle tote of claim 17 further including means for limiting the movement of said swing arm to a predetermined range.

27. The bottle tote of claim 17 wherein said handle includes a hanger opening, separate from said finger hole, for suspending said bottle tote therefrom.

28. The bottle tote of claim 17 consisting essentially of a corrosion resistant material.

29. The bottle tote of claim 17 consisting essentially of non-metallic materials.

30. The bottle tote of claim 17 in combination with a belt clip which includes: at least one arm adapted to be suspended from a belt; and a hook extending laterally outward from said arm, said hook adapted to engage said handle.

31. The bottle tote of claim 30 wherein said hook is adapted to engage said hanger opening.

32. The bottle tote of claim 30 wherein said belt clip further comprises: first and second spaced-apart, interconnected arms having lower ends defining a pair of jaws with a slot therebetween, and upper ends defining spaced-apart finger tabs, said arms being moveable in response to pressure on said finger tables between an open position and a closed position.

33. The bottle tote of claim 30 wherein: said hanger opening has a first shape; said hook has a second shape; and said hook includes an enlarged head at the end thereof, said head having a third shape, wherein said first, second, and third shapes are chosen such that said head blocks removal of said handle from said hook except when said hanger opening is disposed in a predetermined orientation relative to said hook.

34. An apparatus for carrying a liquid, comprising: a bottle having a neck defining a mouth; a handle operably connected to said bottle and including a finger hole therein; and a cap carried by said handle and adapted to close off said mouth; wherein said handle is moveable between an open position in which said mouth is exposed and a closed position in which said cap is pressed against said mouth.

35. The apparatus of claim 34 further including at least one swing arm having a first end pivotally connected to said bottle and a second end pivotally connected to said handle, said swing arm and said handle arranged such that said swing arm and said handle cooperatively define an over-center relationship when said handle is in said closed position.

36. The apparatus of claim 34 further including means for limiting the movement of said swing arm to a predetermined range.

37. The apparatus of claim 34 further comprising a release latch carried by said handle and moveable between a locked position in which it engages said cap to prevent motion of said handle relative to said bottle, and a released position in which said handle is freely moveable relative to said bottle.

38. The apparatus of claim 37 further including a biasing element for urging said release latch into said locked position.

39. The bottle tote of claim 37 wherein said release latch carries a locking pin which engages a cavity in said cap in said locked position.

40. The apparatus of claim 34 wherein said cap includes a resilient sealing ring for engaging said mouth.

41. The apparatus of claim 34 wherein said handle includes a hanger opening, separate from said finger hole, for suspending said bottle tote therefrom.

42. The apparatus of claim 34 consisting essentially of a corrosion resistant material.

43. The apparatus of claim 34 consisting essentially of non-metallic materials.

44. The apparatus of claim 34 further comprising a belt clip which includes: at least one arm adapted to be suspended from a belt; and a hook extending laterally outward from said arm, said hook adapted to engage said handle.

45. The apparatus of claim 44 wherein said hook is adapted to engage said hanger opening.

46. The apparatus of claim 44 wherein said hook further comprises: first and second spaced-apart, interconnected arms having lower ends defining a pair of jaws with a slot therebetween, and upper ends defining spaced-apart finger tabs, said arms being moveable in response to pressure on said finger tables between an open position and a closed position.

47. The apparatus of claim 45 wherein: said hanger opening has a first shape; said hook has a second shape; and said hook includes an enlarged head at the end thereof, said head having a third shape, wherein said first, second, and third shapes are chosen such that said head blocks removal of said handle from said hook except when said hanger opening is disposed in a predetermined orientation relative to said hook.

48. A belt clip comprising: at least one arm adapted to be suspended from a belt; and a hook extending laterally outward from said arm.

49. The belt clip of claim 48 further comprising: first and second spaced-apart, interconnected arms having lower ends defining a pair of jaws with a slot therebetween, and upper ends defining spaced-apart finger tabs, said arms being moveable in response to pressure on said finger tables between an open position and a closed position.

50. The belt clip of claim 48 wherein said hook includes an enlarged head at a distal end thereof.

51. The belt clip of claim 50 wherein: said hook has a first shape; and said head has a second shape, said first, and second shapes being selected such that said head blocks removal of a handle with a hanger opening having a complementary third shape from said hook except when said hanger opening is disposed in a predetermined orientation relative to said hook.

52. The belt clip of claim 50 wherein said arms are interconnected by a live hinge.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to sealing of liquid containers and more particularly to a bottle tote which provides a combination bottle handle and seal.

Liquids are often packaged in bottles for consumer consumption. One especially common type of bottle is molded from plastic and has a “screw-top” structure which includes an upright threaded neck, an annular neck ring, and an internally threaded cap.

The provision of a screw-top allows for incremental consumption of the beverage while keeping the beverage sealed to avoid loss of freshness and spillage. Such beverages are often consumed in places such as parties, picnics, sporting events, homes, parks, churches, airports, shopping malls, and wilderness trails. In these locations, the consumer's hands are often filled with objects like baggage, supplies, and the like, making it inconvenient to carry and consume the beverage in the screw-top bottle.

The prior art provides numerous types of sealing devices which are intended to prevent leakage of gas or liquid from bottles, and which can be operated with one hand. The prior art also describes carrying handles which may be attached to bottles. However, these devices do not combine the sealing and carrying function.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, it is an object of the invention to provide a bottle tote which allows carrying and selective sealing of a bottle.

It is another object of the invention to provide a bottle tote for sealing a bottle which may be opened and closed with one hand.

These and other objects are met by the present invention, which according to one aspect provides a bottle tote for carrying a bottle having a neck defining a mouth, and a neck ring of enlarged diameter. The bottle tote includes: a collar adapted to engage the neck ring to retain the bottle tote thereto; a handle operably connected to the collar and including a finger hole therein; a cap carried by the handle and adapted to close off the mouth; wherein the handle is moveable between an open position in which the mouth is exposed, and a closed position in which the cap is pressed against the mouth.

According to another aspect of the invention, the bottle tote further includes at least one swing arm having a first end pivotally connected to the collar and a second end pivotally connected to the handle, and the swing arm, the collar, and the handle are arranged such that the swing arm and the handle cooperatively define an over-center relationship when the handle is in the closed position.

According to another aspect of the invention, the bottle tote further includes structure for limiting the movement of the swing arm to a predetermined range.

According to another aspect of the invention, the bottle tote further includes a release latch carried by the handle and moveable between a locked position in which it engages the cap to prevent motion of the handle relative to the collar, and a released position in which the handle is freely moveable relative to the collar.

According to another aspect of the invention, the bottle tote further includes a biasing element for urging the release latch into the locked position.

According to another aspect of the invention, the cap includes a resilient sealing ring for engaging the mouth.

According to another aspect of the invention, the collar comprises a pair of interconnected segments.

According to another aspect of the invention, the segments include mating interconnected tabs and slots.

According to another aspect of the invention, the collar is an arcuate member with a central opening adapted to receive the neck therethrough.

According to another aspect of the invention, the handle includes a hanger opening, separate from the finger hole, for suspending the bottle tote therefrom.

According to another aspect of the invention, the bottle tote consists essentially of a corrosion resistant material.

According to another aspect of the invention, the bottle tote consists essentially of non-metallic materials.

According to another aspect of the invention, the bottle tote further includes a belt clip which has: at least one arm adapted to be suspended from a belt; and a hook extending laterally outward from the arm, the hook adapted to engage the handle.

According to another aspect of the invention, the hook is adapted to engage the hanger opening.

According to another aspect of the invention, the belt clip further includes: first and second spaced-apart, interconnected arms having lower ends defining a pair of jaws with a slot therebetween, and upper ends defining spaced-apart finger tabs, the arms being moveable in response to pressure on the finger tables between an open position and a closed position.

According to another aspect of the invention, the hanger opening has a first shape; the hook has a second shape; and the hook includes an enlarged head at the end thereof, the head having a third shape, wherein the first, second, and third shapes are chosen such that the head blocks removal of the handle from the hook except when the hanger opening is disposed in a predetermined orientation relative to the hook.

According to another aspect of the invention, a bottle tote is provided for carrying a bottle having a neck defining a mouth, and a neck ring of enlarged diameter. The bottle tote includes: a collar adapted to engage the neck ring to retain the bottle tote thereto; a handle including a finger hole therein and at least one cap arm extending therefrom; a cap carried by the cap arm and adapted to close off the mouth; and at least one swing arm having a first end pivotally connected to the collar and a second end pivotally connected to the handle, such that the handle is moveable between an open position in which the mouth is exposed and a closed position in which the cap is pressed against the mouth.

According to another aspect of the invention, an apparatus for carrying a liquid includes: a bottle having a neck defining a mouth; a handle operably connected to the bottle and including a finger hole therein; and a cap carried by the handle and adapted to close off the mouth. The handle is moveable between an open position in which the mouth is exposed and a closed position in which the cap is pressed against the mouth.

According to another aspect of the invention, a belt clip includes: at least one arm adapted to be suspended from a belt; and a hook extending laterally outward from the arm.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention may be best understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing figures in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a bottle tote constructed according to the present invention, attached to the top of a bottle;

FIG. 2 is a top view of the bottle tote of FIG. 1 attached to a bottle in a closed position;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the bottle tote of FIG. 1 in an open position;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the bottle tote of FIG. 1 in an unlocked or partially opened position;

FIG. 5 is a side view of a bottle tote attached to a bottle in a closed position;

FIG. 6 is a side view of the bottle tote attached to a bottle in a fully opened position;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a release latch of the bottle tote;

FIG. 8 is a front view of an alternative release latch;

FIG. 9 is a side view of an alternative bottle tote attached to a bottle in a fully opened position;

FIG. 10 is a top view of the collar of the bottle tote of FIG. 9:

FIG. 11 is a side view of the collar of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a side view of a swing arm of the bottle tote of FIG. 9;

FIG. 13 is a top view of an alternative collar for use with a bottle tote;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the bottle tote of FIG. 9 in a folded position for storage;

FIG. 15 is a front elevational view of a belt clip for use with the bottle tote;

FIG. 16 is a side elevational view of the belt clip of FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is a rear view of the belt clip of FIG. 15; and

FIG. 18 is a bottom view of the belt clip of FIG. 16.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the drawings wherein identical reference numerals denote the same elements throughout the various views, FIGS. 1-4 illustrate a bottle tote 10 constructed according to the present invention, attached to a representative bottle 12 of a known type. As best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, the bottle 12 includes a body 14 and a neck structure having a threaded neck 16 with a mouth 18 and an annular neck ring 20. The bottle tote 10 has a collar 22 comprising opposed segments 24. The segments 24 have mating keys 26 and slots 28 which are adapted to secure the two segments 24 together. As shown in FIG. 2, the keys 26 and slots 28 function in a manner similar to the interconnection between jigsaw puzzle pieces. In the illustrated example, one or more tabs 27 extend outward adjacent the keys 26 to facilitate connecting or disconnecting the segments 24 as described below.

The dimensions of the collar 22 are chosen so that its inside diameter is approximately the same as the bottle neck 16 but less than that of the neck ring 20. The term “approximately the same as” as used herein relative to the collar 22 contemplates that the exact inside diameter of the collar 22 may be selected to achieve a desired fit with the bottle neck 16. For example, if the inside diameter is slightly larger than the bottle neck 16, it will slip on and off easily. On the other hand, if the inside diameter is the same size as the bottle neck 16 or slightly smaller, this will result in a friction fit with the bottle neck 16. This will increase the force required to install or remove the collar 22, but will prevent slippage between the collar 22 and the neck 16. In practice, a neck structure having standardized dimensions of the neck 16, neck ring 20, and mouth 18 is commonly found in beverage bottles produced by many different manufacturers in a variety of sizes from a fraction of a Liter to several Liters. Accordingly, a single size of bottle tote 10 may be used with a great number of different containers ranging from small soda bottles intended for individual consumption all the way to large containers intended for home use. The bottle tote 10 may also be scaled up or down in size to accommodate different sizes of bottle neck structures, and may be used with any type of bottle having a neck ring or similar structure which provides sufficient purchase for the collar 22, regardless of whether the bottle neck is threaded or not.

A swing arm 30 is pivotally connected to each of the segments 24, and a handle 32 having a finger hole 34 and hanger opening 35 is pivotally connected to the distal ends of the swing arms 30. In the illustrated example the pivoting connections are made by providing snap-together pins and recesses on the mating parts. A representative example of this type of connection is shown in FIG. 7, where the swing arm 30 has a barbed pin 37 and the handle 32 has a complementary socket 39. Of course, the positions of the pins and sockets could be reversed, or other types of joints or fasteners could be used to creating pivoting connections. The finger hole 34 can be of any size and shape which allows a user to carry the bottle tote 10 and bottle 12. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the finger hole 34 is oval and has a width large enough to allow an adult of average size to place several fingers therethrough. The bottle tote 10 can also be transported using a lanyard, belt clip, or other similar device that is attached to the finger hole 34, the hanger opening 35, or one of the swing arms 30. The handle 32 includes at least one downwardly extending cap arm 36 with a cap pivot 38 disposed at a lower end thereof.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, a cap 40 is carried by the cap pivots 38. The cap 40 includes a center plug 42 which is surrounded by a resilient sealing ring 44. Alternatively, the separate plug 42 and sealing ring 44 could be replaced by a solid plug, or other suitable structure that would form a liquid tight seal. A rib 46 having a centrally disposed cavity 48 is positioned on top of the cap 40, as shown in FIG. 4.

A release latch 50 carrying a locking pin 52 (best seen in FIG. 7) is disposed between the handle 32 and the cap 40, and moves along guide rods 41 which also serve to retain the cap 40 to the handle 32. A biasing member such as a compression spring 54 is disposed between the release latch 50 and the handle 32. Alternatively, any other structure which serves to urge the locking pin 52 downwards, but allows the locking pin 52 to be selectively retracted, may be substituted for the spring 54. For example, an alternative release latch 50′ (shown in FIG. 8) includes one or more integral resilient biasing members 54′ molded therein.

The bottle tote 10 and its components may be made from any material which can support the weight of the bottle 12 and the required clamping loads. Examples of suitable materials include plastic, composites, and metals. If a non-metallic material is used, it allows a user to transport the bottle tote 10 through a metal detector at airports or other secured facilities without causing false alarms.

The bottle tote 10 is attached to the bottle 12 as follows. First, any existing screw cap or other seal is removed from the bottle neck 16. The segments 24 of the collar 22 are disconnected by exerting opposing vertical forces on the adjacent tabs 27 which causes the keys 26 to separate from the slots 28. When the keys 26 are separated, the segments 24 are spread apart and placed beneath the neck ring 20 and the keys 26 and slots 28 are returned to the interlocked position. The cap 40 is securely locked in place by rotating the handle 32 towards the longitudinal axis of the bottle 12 which causes the swing arm 30 to move towards the mouth 18 and pivot the cap 40 and sealing ring 42 into contact with the mouth 18. When the handle 32 is vertically aligned or in an “over-center” position, the tension forces exerted by deflection of the swing arms 30, or compression of the sealing ring 42, or a combination thereof, will hold the cap 40 firmly in place and form a liquid tight seal around the mouth 18 of the bottle 12, as shown in FIG. 5. The same tension force also forces the collar 22 against the underside of the neck ring 20 and thus prevents the segments 24 of the collar 22 from separating. The release latch 50 and locking pin 52 are urged downward by the spring 54, causing the locking pin 52 to enter the cavity 48 to achieve a locked position (see FIG. 7). In this condition, the bottle 12 can be freely carried without concern for the bottle tote 10 separating from the bottle 12, as any lateral motion of the handle 32 will be prevented by the engaged locking pin 52.

To open the bottle tote 10, the release latch 50 is raised to a released position, thereby overcoming the spring 54 to clear the locking pin 52 from the cavity 48. Once the locking pin 52 is free, a slight wrist motion will pivot the handle 32 away from the longitudinal axis of the bottle 12 and release the cap 40 from the mouth 18 of the bottle 12. Further motion of the handle 32 swings the cap 40 to the side of the bottle 12, as shown in FIG. 6, which clears the mouth 18 and allows for drinking or pouring of the contents.

After the contents have been partially consumed or poured out, the cap 40 may be closed and re-locked as described above. The opening and closing process can easily be repeated as frequently as desired.

When the bottle 12 is finally empty, the bottle tote 10 can be removed by unlocking it as described above and then separating the collar segments 24 so they can clear the neck ring 20. The bottle tote 10 is then ready for use with another bottle.

FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate an alternative bottle tote 110. The bottle tote 110 is substantially identical to the bottle tote 10 described above and includes a collar 122, swing arms 130, a handle 132 with a hanger opening 135, and a cap 40. The principal difference between the bottle tote 110 and the bottle tote 10 is found in the collar 122. As shown in FIG. 10, the collar 122 is a generally arcuate one-piece component. The dimensions of the collar 122 are chosen so that its inside diameter “D” is selected as described for the collar 22 described above so that it is approximately the same as the outside diameter of a bottle neck but less than that of the neck ring 20. The collar 112 has an opening 114 in one side. The opening 114 has a width “W” which is selected in conjunction with the material, dimensions, and shape of the collar 112 so that the collar 122 can deflect to snap directly on or off a bottle neck, but will remain attached to the bottle 12 in normal use once installed. In all other aspects the use and operation of the bottle tote 110 is the same as that of the bottle tote 10. The bottle tote 122 may be folded into a flat condition for storage by swinging the collar 122 against the handle 132, as shown in FIG. 14. Although not shown in the Figures, the bottle tote 10 may be stored in a similar fashion.

In some instances, a pulling force applied to the handle 132 could have a lateral component that would tend to detach the collar 122 from the bottle 12. While this may be prevented by appropriate design of the collar 122 to ensure adequate gripping force, the bottle tote 110 may also include appropriate means to limit the motion of the handle 132. In the example illustrated in FIGS. 10-12, the collar 122 includes a pair of swing arm pivots 133 for receiving the swing arms 130, which have arcuate grooves 134 formed around the pivot axes. The swing arms 130 include protruding stops 135, which ride in the respective grooves 134. The interaction of the grooves 134 and the stops 135 limits the motion of the swing arms 130 so that they are stopped at a position generally parallel to the longitudinal axis “A” of the bottle 12, or not much further beyond, when a user attempts to move them away from the opening 114.

As shown in FIG. 9, the swing arms 130 are allowed to move freely in a direction towards the opening 114. In this position, the handle 132 protrudes upward, and can be used to hold the bottle 14 in horizontal or near-horizontal position while liquid is poured therefrom.

FIG. 13 shows a slightly different collar 122′ which includes cap pivots 133′. In this variation, laterally-extending external stops 137′ are provided which bear against the exterior of the swing arms 130 to limit their motion as described above. In this variation, no grooves 134 are required.

It is noted that the collars 22 and 122 described above may be permanently attached to, or integral with, the bottle 12. It is also possible to attach the swing arms 30 or 130 directly to the bottle 12 without the use of a collar.

FIGS. 15-18 illustrate a belt clip 200 adapted for use with the bottle totes 10 and 100 described above. The belt clip 200 includes spaced-apart front and back arms 202 and 204, which are interconnected by a live hinge 206 or other similar structure which will allow them to pivot relative to each other. The upper ends of the arms 202 and 204 extend past the live hinge 206 to define finger tabs 208 and 210. The lower ends of the arms 202 and 204 are curved to define a pair of opposed jaws 212 and 214 with a slot 216 disposed therebetween. a hook 218 extends away from the front arm 202 and has an enlarged head 220 disposed at its upturned distal end. in the illustrated example, the head 220 is of a similar shape to the hanger opening 35 and its external dimensions are slight smaller. The entire belt clip 200 may be integrally molded from plastic or a similar material.

The jaws 212 and 214 may be opened by squeezing the finger tabs 208 and 210 to together, causing the arms 202 and 204 to pivot about the live hinge 206. This opens the slot 216 to a sufficient degree that the belt clip 200 can be placed on a belt, luggage strap, or similar commonly used strap (not shown). The finger tabs 208 and 210 are then released, allowing the jaws 212 and 214 to spring back to their neutral position.

The bottle tote 10 or 110 can be hung on the belt clip by placing any of their openings over the hook 218. In particular, the hanger opening 35 or 135 may be placed over the enlarged head 220 and then down onto the body of the hook 218. In this position, the bottle tote 10 or 100 can swing freely with a user's movements, but will not easily come off the hook 218 until is it intentionally removed by aligning the hanger opening 35 with the head 220.

The foregoing has described a reusable bottle tote and a method for its use. While specific embodiments of the present invention have been described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications thereto can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the foregoing description of the preferred embodiment of the invention and the best mode for practicing the invention are provided for the purpose of illustration only and not for the purpose of limitation.