Title:
Garment for protection from inclement weather
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides a garment for protecting a user's feet and legs from inclement weather, particular during activities such as hunting or attending an outdoor spectator sport in cold or wet conditions. The garment may comprise a blanket portion for covering the user's lower extremities, as well as a strap to secure the blanket portion to the user. The garment may further comprise a foot pad portion connected to the blanket portion on which the user may rest his feet. In one version, the garment may further comprise a hand warmer. In another aspect, the garment may also comprise a seat cushion.



Inventors:
Vianello, Steve (Terrace Park, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/446250
Publication Date:
01/04/2007
Filing Date:
06/02/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C31/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Frost Brown Todd LLC (201 E Fifth St. 2200 PNC Center, Cincinnati, OH, 45202, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A garment for protecting a user from inclement weather, comprising: (i) a blanket having an interior surface, an exterior surface, an upper portion and a lower portion, said blanket being adapted to cover the lower extremities of the user; (ii) a foot pad attached to said lower portion of said blanket; and (iii) a strap connected to said blanket, said strap adapted to secure said blanket to the user.

2. The garment of claim 1, further comprising a buckle to secure said strap to said blanket.

3. The garment of claim 1, wherein said blanket is water-resistant.

4. The garment of claim 1, wherein said blanket comprises insulating material.

5. The garment of claim 1, wherein said blanket further comprises a pocket.

6. The garment of claim 5, wherein said pocket is located on said exterior surface of said blanket.

7. The garment of claim 5, wherein said pocket is located on said interior surface of said blanket.

8. The garment of claim 1, wherein said strap is adapted to wrap around the user's waist to secure said garment.

9. The garment of claim 1, wherein a second strap is provided.

10. The garment of claim 9, wherein said straps are adapted to wrap over the user's shoulders to serve as suspenders.

11. The garment of claim 1, wherein said foot pad is water-resistant.

12. The garment of claim 1, wherein said foot pad is comprised of rubber.

13. The garment of claim 1, wherein said foot pad comprises an insulating material.

14. The garment of claim 1, wherein said foot pad comprises a rectangle and is attached to said blanket at three edges of said rectangle.

15. The garment of claim 1, wherein the garment can be rolled up and fits in said foot pad and wherein said rolled-up garment can be secured to said user's waist for transporting.

16. The garment of claim 15, wherein the rolled-up garment is secured in the foot pad by a strap with a hook and eye closure.

17. A garment providing protection to a user from inclement weather, comprising: (i) a blanket having an interior surface, an exterior surface, an upper portion and a lower portion, said blanket being adapted to cover the lower extremities of the user; (ii) a foot pad attached to said lower portion of said blanket; (iii) a strap connected to said blanket, said strap adapted to secure said blanket to the user; and (iv) a hand warmer attached to said blanket.

18. The garment of claim 17, wherein said hand warmer is adapted to receive both of the user's hands.

19. The garment of claim 18, wherein said hand warmer is a hand muff.

20. The garment of claim 17, wherein said hand warmer is insulated.

21. A garment providing protection to a user from inclement weather, comprising: (i) a blanket having an interior surface, an exterior surface, an upper portion and a lower portion, said blanket being adapted to cover the lower extremities of the user; (ii) a foot pad attached to said lower portion of said blanket; (iii) a strap connected to said blanket, said strap adapted to secure said blanket to the user; and (iv) a seat cushion detachably connected to said interior surface of said blanket.

22. The garment of claim 21, wherein said seat cushion comprises a water-resistant material.

23. The garment of claim 21, wherein said seat cushion comprises an insulating material.

24. The garment of claim 21, wherein said seat cushion further comprises cushion straps to connect said seat cushion to said blanket.

25. The garment of claim 24, further comprising a plurality of snaps for fastening said cushion straps to said blanket.

26. A garment providing protection to a user from inclement weather, comprising: (i) a blanket having an interior surface, an exterior surface, an upper portion and a lower portion, said blanket being adapted to cover the lower extremities of the user; (ii) a foot pad attached to said lower portion of said blanket; and (iii) a strap connected to said blanket, said strap adapted to secure said blanket to the user; wherein said garment is adapted to fold into a bundle providing a carrying handle.

27. The garment of claim 26, wherein said strap serves as said carrying handle.

28. The garment of claim 27, wherein said foot pad comprises a first portion and a second portion, such that said first portion may be folded over said second portion in order to fold said garment into a smaller bundle.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This present invention is relted to and claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/686,597, entitled “Garment for Protection from Inclement Weather,” filed Jun. 2, 2005.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to protection from the elements. Specifically, the present invention relates to attire and/or gear providing protection from cold or wet weather.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Certain spectator sports and events, such as football and soccer, are held in seasons during which the weather may be quite cold. Further, wet conditions may plague outdoor events at any time of the year. Despite the harsh weather sometimes encountered at outdoor spectator events, millions of people brave the elements each year and suffer through the cold or wet conditions.

Similarly, other outdoor activities, such as deer hunting, take place during seasons in which the weather conditions may be adversely cool, yet countless hunters face the conditions no matter how fierce in order to take advantage of the often brief hunting seasons.

Accordingly, there is a large market for attire and gear that aids people who need or choose to spend time outdoors in cold or wet conditions. There are many types of such devices known in the art, including blankets, lap robes, sleeping bags and thermal pants, all of which provide some level of comfort to spectators and hunters, but each of which include significant drawbacks.

For instance, spectators at outdoor sporting events often use blankets to cover their laps and legs in cold weather conditions. However, many fans prefer not to simply sit on their hands during the game, and jump to their feet at key moments in the action. This renders the use of blankets difficult, because it forces the spectator to either hold onto the blanket, which may be difficult if the spectator is holding food or beverages, or to let the blanket fall to the ground, forcing him to pick the blanket up and rearrange it before he can sit back down. Further, since most blankets are not water-resistant, they become more of a problem than a solution in wet weather.

Thermal pants may provide warmth to the wearer's legs, if not his feet, but they are often bulky and uncomfortable for the user. In addition, they are rarely aesthetically attractive, and are therefore rarely worn at public events. It is also sometimes awkward to walk long distances while wearing thermal pants, which is often a requirement for hunters and spectators alike.

Sleeping bags and lap robes that encompass the user's feet and legs are well-equipped to provide warmth to the lower extremities, and some are also water-resistant, but mobility becomes very impractical when the legs are inserted into a sleeping bag or lap robe. These devices are therefore ill-suited to spectators and hunters alike. Spectators often make frequent trips to the concession stand or restrooms, forcing the user to disentangle his legs from the bag, while hunters are required to quickly move from a sitting to standing position while handling firearms. In each of these activities, constricted mobility is burdensome or even hazardous.

Accordingly, a significant need exists for a device that can be worn by a person to protect him from inclement weather that also allows an adequate range of motion and also provides for easy removal.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Various aspects of the present invention overcome one or more of the above-noted and other deficiencies of the prior art by providing a garment designed to be worn by an individual that provides protection from the elements to the legs and feet while also allowing the user to stand and even walk without removing the device.

In one aspect consistent with the present invention, the garment may comprise a foot pad providing the user with a platform for easy mobility as well as insulating his feet from the cold or wet surface beneath the pad. The foot pad may be attached to a blanket portion that may be adapted to cover the front of the user's legs. The garment may further comprise a fastening mechanism to secure the garment to the user. This garment advantageously provides protection to the user's legs and feet from inclement elements while allowing him to quickly move from a sitting to a standing position without removing or repositioning the garment.

In another version consistent with the present invention, the garment may comprise a foot pad attached to a blanket portion that is adapted to cover the front of the user's legs. The garment may further comprise a strap that fastens a top portion of the garment around the user's waist. The garment may also include a hand warmer in which the user may place his hands in order to protect them from the elements.

In another version, the garment may comprise a foot pad attached to a blanket, wherein a seat cushion is detachably connected to the blanket in order to provide the user with the option of using the cushion when appropriate and removing it when desired.

In yet another version, the garment may comprise a foot pad attached to a blanket for protecting the user from inclement weather. The garment may further be adapted to roll into an easily-carried package providing a handle for the user's convenience.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention shall be made apparent from the accompanying drawings and the description thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The teachings of the present invention can be readily understood by considering the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a garment consistent with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the garment of FIG. 1 partially converted into the storage/carrying position.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the garment of FIG. 2 converted into the storage/carrying position.

FIG. 4 is a left side view in elevation of a seated user wearing the garment of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a front view in elevation of the garment of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a left side view in elevation of a standing user wearing the garment of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

While the present invention will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which particular aspects and methods are shown, it is to be understood from the outset that persons of ordinary skill in the art may modify the invention herein described while achieving the functions and results of this invention. Accordingly, the descriptions which follow are to be understood as illustrative and exemplary of specific versions within the broad scope of the present invention and not as limiting the scope of the invention. In the following descriptions, like numbers refer to similar features or like elements throughout.

FIG. 1 shows one version consistent with the present invention. A garment 10 is provided. Garment 10 comprises a blanket portion 18. The blanket portion 18 has an interior surface 18a, an exterior surface 18b, an upper portion 18c, and a lower portion 18d. Blanket portion 18 may comprise an outer water-resistant material, including but not limited to materials known by the trade names Gore-Tex® or DryLoft®. Blanket portion 18 may also comprise an insulated material, including but not limited to down, and materials known by the trade names Hollofil®, Hollofil® II, Quallofil®, or Polarguard®. Blanket portion 18 may also comprise an inner liner, made from materials including but not limited to nylon, polyester, fleece, silk, or combinations thereof. In one aspect, blanket portion 18 may be adapted to cover a user's legs from the foot area to the waist, as shown in FIGS. 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9. Blanket portion 14 may be designed such that there is enough overlap of material to allow the user to tuck blanket portion 18 underneath and behind his legs.

Garment 10 may comprise a foot pad 12. Foot pad 12 may comprise a water-tight material to prevent water from soaking through garment 10 and reaching the feet of the user. In one aspect, foot pad 12 may comprise rubber. Foot pad 12 may also comprise an insulated material that minimizes the body heat lost from the user's foot area. In one aspect, foot pad 12 may comprise a combination of water-resistant and insulating materials. However, it is recognized that foot pad 12 may comprise various materials known in the art that provide protection to the feet from wet and/or cold ground. The foot pad 12 can be of a size sufficient to hold the user's feet. Preferably, it may be approximately 2.5 feet wide by 1.5 feet wide. In one aspect, foot pad 12 may be comprised of a first portion 14 and a second portion 16. As described in more detail below, forming foot pad 12 of separate portions may be advantageous in converting garment 10 to an easily transportable state.

In one version, first portion 14 and second portion 16 of foot pad 12 may be attached to a lower section of blanket portion 18 on three sides. In use, the user may fold foot pad 12 under his feet such that foot pad 12 is in contact with the ground and his feet are in contact with blanket portion 18.

Garment 10 may also include a strap 20 that is adapted to wrap around the user's waist. In one aspect, garment 10 may comprise a pair of straps 20. In one version, straps 20 may be fastened by a fastener 22. In one version, fastener 22 may comprise a buckle. However, it is recognized that there are numerous means of securing garment 10 to the user. In one version, there may be a single strap 20 that wraps entirely around the user. Strap 20 may terminate in a male portion of buckle 22 adapted to fasten to a female portion of buckle 22 connected to garment 10. Alternatively, straps 20 may comprise suspenders, attached at each end to garment 10 which are adapted to fit over the user's shoulders in order to secure garment 10 to the user. Straps 20 may be adjustable in order to allow users of various sizes to use the same garment 10.

Garment 10 may further comprise a hand warmer 24. Hand warmer 24 may be insulated for increased protection from cold external temperatures. In one version, hand warmer 24 may comprise a hand muff as known in the art and commonly used by hunters. Hand warmer 24 may be attached to garment 10 near the waist portion thereof so that it is in close proximity to the user's hands. Hand warmer 24 may be permanently attached to garment 10, such as by sewing. Alternatively, hand warmer 20 may be detachably connected to garment 10, such as with snaps, so that it may be separately washed or removed if the user finds it unnecessary.

In one embodiment, garment 10 may comprise a seat cushion 26. In certain situations, seat cushion 26 may be unnecessary or undesirable based on the user's activity. For example, hunters may want to remove seat cushion 26 when using garment 10 in conjunction with certain types of tree stands because it may impair the user's stability in the stand. Seat cushion 26 may be beneficial to users in other situations, however, such as when attending football games, as it provides insulation from a cold and/or wet bleacher seat. Therefore, in one aspect, seat cushion 26 may be easily removable from garment 10. Seat cushion 26 may comprise straps 28 that are adapted to connect with garment 10 by fasteners 30. In order to compensate for differently-sized users, straps 28 may be adjustable. In one aspect, fasteners 30 may comprise snaps or buckles. However, it is recognized that there are numerous means of attaching seat cushion 26 to garment 10 consistent with the present invention.

Seat cushion 26 may comprise padding to provide comfort to the user, who may be sitting for long periods of time. Seat cushion 26 may also comprise an insulating material to prevent the user from radiating body heat to a cold seat. Seat cushion 26 may also comprise a water-resistant material to protect the user from damp or wet conditions, as well as to protect the padding or insulating material of seat cushion 26 from damage. Seat cushion 26 may also comprise an outer surface of a water-resistant material filled with an insulating material and/or padding material. In one aspect, the same material may serve as both padding and insulation.

In one aspect, garment 10 may comprise one or more pockets 32. Pockets 32 may be formed on the exterior surface or the interior surface of garment 10, or both. Pockets 32 may be used for hand warming or for storage or for both functions.

Whether using the device in conjunction with a spectator sports event, hunting or some other activity, the user may have to carry garment 10 a significant distance. In order to relieve the burden on the user in transporting garment 10, as well as storing it when not in use, in one version, garment 10 may be adapted to roll up to a relatively compact bundle. FIG. 2 depicts garment 10 in a partially rolled state. Straps 20 may be used to secure garment 10 in the rolled position. Straps 20 may also serve as a convenient handle for carrying rolled-up garment 10. In one aspect, garment 10 may be rolled to the carrying position by folding first foot pad portion 14 over second foot pad portion 16, thereby causing blanket portion 18 to fold in half along its longitudinal axis. Hand warmer 24 may be folded inside blanket portion 18. Blanket portion 18 may then be folded over foot pad 12 as many times as necessary in order to form a tightly compressed bundle, as shown in FIG. 3. If seat cushion 26 is attached to garment 10, it may also be folded inside the bundle. Straps 20 may be fastened around garment 10 in order to secure it in the rolled position.

FIGS. 4 and 9 depict a side view of an exemplary user 34 wearing garment 10 while in a sitting position, while FIG. 5 depicts a front view of the same sitting user 34. The feet 36 of user 34 are shown resting on foot pad 12, protecting user 34 from the cold or wet ground 38. User 34 is also shown sitting on seat cushion 26, protecting him from the cold or wet seat 40. Hands 42 of user 34 are shown in hand warmer 24.

FIGS. 6 and 8 depicts user 34 wearing garment 10 while in a standing position. Straps 20 are shown fastened around the waist 44 of user 34, holding garment 10 in place against the force of gravity. In FIG. 6, feet 36 of user 34 are also shown in a stance for firing a rifle 46, demonstrating the mobility allowed by garment 10. A degree of mobility is very important to hunters. Of further advantage to hunters is the fact that garment 10 is easily removable in the event of emergency. For instance, it is known for hunters to occasionally fall asleep and slip out of tree stands. While a safety strap on the stand usually prevents the hunter from falling all the way to the ground, he may awaken to find himself dangling a dangerous distance above the ground. In that case, the present invention is advantageous in that garment 10 would either slip off the user or dangle harmlessly from his waist while leaving his arms and legs free to maneuver to extricate himself from his predicament. See FIG. 10.

In another embodiment of the invention, the user 34 can transport garment 10 by securing it about user's waist via a belt or strap(s) 50. See FIG. 7. This belt or strap(s) 50 can be the same belt or strap(s) used to secure the garment 10 to the body, or it can be an additional belt or strap. In this embodiment, the garment 10 may be rolled up so that it can be held at least in part by the foot pad 12. A hand warmer 24, if present, it may be rolled up inside the garment 10. The seat cushion 26, if present, may be also rolled with the garment 10 or it may be stored separately between the rolled garment 10 and the foot pad 12. After rolling the garment 10, a strap 52, preferably a strap 52 with a hook and eye closure mechanism, can be used to secure the garment 10 to the foot pad 12. The rolled garment can then be strapped to the user's waist using belt or strap(s) 50.

While there have been described and illustrated particular versions of a novel garment for providing protection from inclement weather, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that variations and modifications are possible without deviating from the broad spirit and principle of the present invention, which shall be limited solely by the scope of the claims appended hereto.





 
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