Title:
Convertible outerwear garment with thermal insulation
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A garment for use by outdoors persons permits mobility and includes an integral foot and leg warming tubular bag section that is readily deployed without requiring removal of the garment. The garment including integral foot and leg warming tubular bag section may be carried initially in a bundle at the small of the back using straps in much the same manner as a fanny pack. The user unfastens and then drops the foot and leg warming tubular bag section of the garment to the floor, where a closure is provided to enable the bottom of the bag to be sealed around the legs and the feet. Once deployed and sealed, the bottom portion of the bag works much like a sleeping bag to conserve the body's heat.



Inventors:
Eisenhuth, David (Mifflinburg, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/414665
Publication Date:
03/08/2007
Filing Date:
04/28/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
QUINN, RICHALE LEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mcquaide, Blasko (811 UNIVERSITY DRIVE, STATE COLLEGE, PA, 16801, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A convertible outerwear garment, comprising: (a) a suit body having an upper collar opening for surrounding the neck of the wearer with the suit body extending downwardly from the collar opening to a generally horizontal open bottom or distal edge of the suit body for surrounding the legs of the wearer; (b) said suit body having left and right arm openings each on a respective side of the suit body below said collar opening and carrying left and right sleeves or suit arms sewn into said arm openings at seams each surrounding a respective one of the arm openings; (c) wherein said convertible garment is a one piece garment including an integral, unitary leg warming bag having an open distal end; said integral leg warming bag dimensioned to be extendable for surrounding and enveloping the feet and legs of a wearer; (d) said integral unitary leg warming bag's open distal end including a closure, fastener or zipper that is conveniently closed when the wearer's feet and legs are enveloped within said leg bag; (e) wherein said leg bag's closure is arranged such that the lower or distal end of the leg bag is closable or openable to define a distal tubular opening or flap with the bottom edge extending to a position depending from the bottom edge of garment, and (f) wherein said bag's opening is operable to permit the bag's bottom edge to be bunched or rolled and moved to a stored position around the wearer's waist.

2. The convertible outerwear garment of claim 1, further comprising an insulated hood, said hood being attached to and carried by said collar opening to be engageable over the head of a wearer.

3. The convertible outerwear garment of claim 2, wherein said suit body, suit arms and hood comprise an insulating fleece, down, or other high-loft fiber material.

4. The convertible outerwear garment of claim 3, wherein said suit body preferably has a front opening extending distally from the proximal collar opening toward the bottom edge; said front opening being closable by a manually operable closure member.

5. The convertible outerwear garment of claim 1, wherein said integral foot and leg warming tubular bag section is readily deployed without requiring removal of said garment's suit body.

6. The convertible outerwear garment of claim 1, wherein said integral foot and leg warming tubular bag section is carried initially in a bundle around the waist using straps in the same manner as a fanny pack.

7. The convertible outerwear garment of claim 1, wherein said suit body includes an opening in a rear portion thereof for receiving a harness, a strap or other apparatus.

8. The convertible outerwear garment of claim 1, further comprising a protective face shield, said face shield being attached to and carried by said collar opening to be engageable over the face, head and neck of a wearer.

9. The convertible outerwear garment of claim 1, wherein the distal end of said integral foot and leg warming tubular bag section comprises a planar configuration for allowing standing or movement thereon by a wearer.

10. The convertible outerwear garment of claim 1, wherein said left and right suit arms are flared or oversized for increasing circulation of warm air to a wearer's appendages.

11. The convertible outerwear garment of claim 1, wherein said garment is bunched or rolled and stored in a pocket proximate the bottom edge of said integral foot and leg warming tubular bag.

12. The convertible outerwear garment of claim 11, wherein said stored garment is carried in a bundle at the small of the back using straps in the same manner as a fanny pack.

13. The convertible outerwear garment of claim 1, wherein said integral foot and leg warming tubular bag section includes a drawstring, an elastic strap or other adjustable closure member adapted to be fitted over hips, knees, legs or feet of a wearer.

14. The convertible outerwear garment of claim 1, wherein said integral foot and leg warming tubular bag section includes a compartment having retractable material for adding length to the garment to provide a modified fit for a wearer.

Description:

REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/675,451 filed Apr. 28, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to clothing for use by outdoors persons and others needing protection from cold or inclement weather. More particularly, the invention relates to clothing for use by outdoors persons that permits mobility and protects the wearer's upper and lower extremities.

2. Background Art

Hunters, fishermen, military personnel and other outdoors persons often hike into remote locations in cold or inclement weather and then engage in an activity requiring little or no movement, such as sitting in and hunting from a tree stand or sitting while ice fishing or conducting surveillance. The sedentary portion of such activities can last for several hours, and if the weather is cold, discomfort or hypothermia can be a problem.

In the past, outdoors persons who hiked, climbed, fished or hunted required protective coverings to keep them dry and relatively warm. As such, these individuals usually wore weather protection covering at least part of the upper body, but their lower extremities usually remained exposed.

Outdoors persons have also relied on articles such as sleeping bags and blankets for enhanced cold weather protection. Such articles, however, are cumbersome and inconvenient to carry, stow and use. Moreover, these articles frequently impede and detract from the activity being engaged in, and are not suited for use while an individual is standing or in motion.

Prior art multi-purpose garments such as those described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,484,362 provide a single article which could be arranged in different modes to provide an anorak (short coat) covering the upper body and a backpack, a cagoule (long coat) protecting the legs in addition to the body while wearing a backpack, a tent for a single occupant, a summer shelter for a single person with a netted opening, as well as a hammock. Such garments have not found widespread acceptance in the marketplace, however, perhaps because they incorporate too many features which serve no purpose in most practical situations, and so add unnecessary weight.

A variety of articles styled as emergency garments have been proposed for avoiding hypothermia, but they are often packaged as temporary or single use “space blanket” type products, and so do not meet the needs of the outdoorsman seeking a durable, versatile garment that can be used day after day.

There is a need, therefore, for a garment for use by mobile outdoors persons which includes a feature that can protect the user's lower extremities and which may be repeatedly deployed as needed, preferably without requiring removal of the garment.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to overcome the shortcomings of the prior art by providing a durable garment permitting mobility and including a convenient facility to protect the user's lower extremities. Another object of the present invention is to provide an anorak or upper body section in conjunction with an imperforate garment extension to envelope the user's lower extremities, wherein the garment can be repeatedly deployed as needed, preferably without requiring removal thereof.

A garment for use by outdoorsmen permits mobility and includes an integral foot and leg warming tubular bag section that is readily deployed without requiring removal of the garment. In use, the garment may be slipped over the head (through a collar opening) or stepped into (via a leg opening). With the anorak or upper body section in place, the user deploys the leg warming tubular bag section of the garment by unfastening and then dropping the tubular bag section to the floor, where a closure is provided to enable the bottom of the bag to be sealed around the legs and the feet. Once deployed and sealed, the bottom portion of the bag works much like a sleeping bag to conserve the body's heat.

When not in use, the garment may be bunched or rolled and conveniently stored in a reversible pocket proximate the bottom edge of garment's integral leg warming tubular bag section for easy retrieval by the user. Once stowed, the garment may be carried in a bundle at the small of the back using straps in much the same manner as a fanny pack.

The multipurpose garment is well suited for use by military personnel, emergency management crews, disaster victims and relief teams, sports enthusiasts and active sportsmen such as hikers, hunters or fishermen when walking to remote locations, sleeping outdoors, conducting surveillance or observing sporting events, especially during cold or inclement weather. The garment is a full body enclosure that conserves the body heat of a wearer and simultaneously shields the wearer from the elements and environmental contaminants.

The garment includes an opening proximate the bottom edge of an elongated integral leg warming tubular bag section that is readily deployed without requiring that the outdoorsman remove the garment.

The garment may be carried initially in a bundle at the small (and bottom) of the back using straps in much the same manner as a fanny pack. Once partly unrolled, the garment is configured as a parka or anorak having hand warmer pockets and the integral leg warming tubular bag section defines the remainder of the garment.

In a preferred embodiment, the integral leg warming tubular bag section terminates at a lower or distal end in an opening that is held at waist or thigh level, when not deployed by buckles, hook and loop fasteners or Fastex™ style buckles. The leg warming tubular bag section opening is preferably closable using a zipper, drawstring or other closure to define a closed bag end, and the overall length of the garment is selected for a given size, such that a bag for a medium sized male user may extend six feet from the proximal or upper end of the hood to the distal or lower end of the closed bag end. When closed off using the zipper, drawstring or other closure, the bottom of the bag is sealed around the legs and the feet, and so insulates the user's lower extremities much like a sleeping bag to conserve the body's heat.

The anorak or upper body section preferably includes a thermally insulated hood and sleeves. In a preferred embodiment adapted for military personnel, emergency management crews, disaster relief teams, hunters using tree-stands or the like, the upper section includes a slot or hole in the back, between the shoulder blades, adapted to pass a safety harness, a strap or other apparatus to be carried.

When deploying the leg warming portion, the user unfastens the buckles, or hook and loop fasteners or Fastex™ style buckles and then drops the leg warming portion (or tubular bag section) of the bag to the floor, where the zipper is provided to enable the bottom of the bag to be sealed around the legs and the feet. Once deployed and sealed, the bottom portion of the bag works much like a sleeping bag to conserve the body's heat, especially when seated or reclined. In a further embodiment, the leg warming tubular bag section includes an elastic strap, drawstring or other adjustable closure member that permits the bottom of the bag to be fitted about the hips, the knees, the legs or the feet of the user. The adjustable closure is pulled taut to hold the tubular bag section in place at the position desired by the user.

The above and still further features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description of a specific embodiment thereof, particularly when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals in the various figures are utilized to designate like components.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side/rear view, in elevation, of a user wearing a convertible garment as an anorak, with the integral leg warming section rolled or bunched around the user's waist, in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side/rear view, in elevation, of a user carrying the convertible garment of FIG. 1 with the suit body and integral leg warming sections rolled or bunched behind the user's back, in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a front view, in elevation, of a user wearing the convertible garment of FIGS. 1 and 2 as an anorak, with the integral leg warming section rolled or bunched around the user's waist, in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a front view, in elevation, of a user wearing the convertible garment of FIGS. 1-3 as an anorak, with the integral leg warming section un-rolled and partially extended to partially cover the user's legs. In FIG. 4, user is also shown wearing the protective face shield in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a front view, in elevation, of a user wearing the convertible garment of FIGS. 14 as an anorak, with the integral leg warming section un-rolled and extended to cover the user's legs, in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a front view, in elevation, of a seated user wearing the convertible garment of FIGS. 1-4 as an anorak, with the integral leg warming section extended and closed to envelop the user's legs and feet, in accordance with the present invention.

FIGS. 7-12 are front and rear views, in elevation, of preferred embodiments of the convertible garment, in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 13 depicts front views, in elevation, of the integral leg warming section of convertible garment with a compartment having retractable material for adding length to the convertible garment, in accordance with the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIGS. 1-13, convertible outerwear garment 20 includes a suit body or anorak section 22 having an upper collar opening 24 for surrounding the neck of the wearer with the suit body extending downwardly from the collar opening 24 to a generally horizontal open bottom or distal edge 26 of the suit body for surrounding the legs of the wearer. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 7-12, an optional insulated hood 28 is attached to and carried by collar opening 24 so as to be engageable over the head of the wearer. The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4 depicts an optional face shield 54 attached to and supported by collar opening 24 so as to be engageable over the face, head and neck of the wearer for optimal protection. Convertible outerwear garment 20 with integral face shield 54 is a full body enclosure that conserves the body heat of the wearer, and simultaneously protects the wearer from inclement weather and environmental contaminants.

Suit body 22 has left and right arm openings 30, 32 each on a respective side of the suit body below collar opening 24 and left and right sleeves or suit arms 34, 36 are sewn into arm openings 30, 32 at seams each surrounding a respective one of the arm openings. In a preferred embodiment, suit body 22 and left and right suit arms 34, 36 are flared or slightly oversized in design, increasing the circulation of warm air to the wearer's appendages. In the illustrated embodiment, suit body 22, suit arms 34, 36, hood 28 and leg bag 40 are lined with or comprise an insulating material such as polyester fleece, down, PrimaLoft®, Thinsulate™ or other high-loft fiber component. It will be appreciated that the material selected for insulating convertible outerwear garment 20 may be varied in accordance with the needs of a particular application or user preference.

Suit body 22 preferably has a front opening 38 extending distally from the proximal collar opening toward the bottom edge; front opening is preferably closable by a manually operable closure member such as a zipper or buttons.

Convertible garment 20 is a self contained, one piece garment including an integral or unitary leg warming section or leg bag 40 having a sewn or attached upper end and which is open at bottom 41 proximate distal end 26 so that the only opening is at the lower end for surrounding and enveloping the feet and legs of the wearer (as shown in FIGS. 4-6). Leg bag 40 has a closure, fastener or zipper 42 that is conveniently configured to close opening 41 when the wearer's feet and legs are enveloped within leg bag 40. Leg bag closure or zipper 42 is arranged such that the lower or distal end of the leg bag is closable or openable to define a distal tubular opening flap with the bottom edge extending to a position depending from the bottom edge 26 of garment 20. Leg bag zipper 42 is arranged and also operable to permit the bottom edge 26 to be bunched or rolled and moved to a stored position around the wearer's waist, as best seen in FIG. 1.

Advantageously, the bottom of the tubular bag section 40 is durable and flattened or planar in configuration to allow the wearer to stand or move about thereon. When not in use, the garment 20 including integral leg warming tubular bag section 40 may be bunched or rolled and conveniently stored in a reversible pocket 58 proximate the rear, bottom edge of garment's tubular bag section 22 for easy retrieval by the wearer. Once stowed within the reversible pocket 58, garment 20 may be carried in a bundle at the small of the back using straps in much the same manner as a fanny pack.

Garment 20 includes integral foot and leg warming tubular bag section 40 that is readily deployed without requiring removal of garment's anorak section 22. Foot and leg warming tubular bag section 40 may be carried initially in a bundle around the wearer's waist using straps in much the same manner as a fanny pack, as best seen in FIG. 2.

Garment 20 preferably includes left and right pockets as well as hand warmer pockets 50. The left and right pockets preferably comprise mesh or other perforate material that permits the circulation of warm air from body warming, air activated (optional) heat packs contained within the pockets. In extreme cold, the heat packs can be placed in garment's 20 left and/or right pockets to conserve the wearer's body heat. Likewise, body cooling, air activated cold packs may be placed in garment's 20 left and/or right pockets to reduce the wearer's body temperature in temperate conditions.

In use, garment 20 may be slipped over the head (through collar opening 24) or stepped into (via leg opening 41). The user or wearer deploys the leg warming section 40 by unfastening and then dropping the foot and leg warming tubular bag section 40 of garment 20 to the floor, where closure 42 enables the bottom of the bag 26 to be sealed around the user's legs and the feet, as best seen in FIG. 6. Once deployed and sealed, the garment 20 works much like a sleeping bag to conserve the body's heat.

Garment 20 is well suited for use by military personnel, emergency management crews, disaster victims or relief teams, or active sportsmen such as hikers, hunters or fishermen when walking to remote locations, sleeping outdoors, or conducting surveillance, especially during cold or inclement weather. Thus, garment 20 includes a closable opening 41 proximate the bottom edge 26 of elongated integral leg warming tubular bag section 40, and that extension is readily deployed without requiring that the outdoorsman remove the garment.

The convertible outerwear garment 20 may be carried initially in a bundle at the small of the back using straps in much the same manner as a fanny pack, as shown in FIG. 2. Once partly unrolled, the garment 20 is configured as a parka or anorak having hand warmer pockets 50, and the integral leg warming tubular bag section 40 defines the remainder of the garment 20. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 7, the furled leg warming tubular bag section 40 may be conveniently carried around the wearer's waist.

In a preferred embodiment, the integral leg warming tubular bag section 40 terminates at a lower or distal end 26 in an opening that is held at waist or thigh level, when not deployed by buckles, hook and loop fasteners or Fastex™ style buckles 52. The leg warming tubular bag section's distal opening 41 is preferably closable using a zipper or other closure to define a closed bag end, and the overall length of the garment 20 is selected for a given size, such that a bag for a medium sized male user may extend six feet from the proximal or upper end of the hood to the distal or lower end 26 of the closed bag end. A smaller child's size may be scaled to fit a child of smaller size, extending, for example, approximately 42 inches from hood 28 to distal edge for a garment 20 intended for a young child. It will be appreciated that the convertible outerwear garment 20 may be suitably sized and scaled to accommodate persons of varying height and girth.

When closed off using the zipper or other closure, the bottom of the bag 26 is sealed around the legs and the feet, and so insulates the user's lower extremities to conserve the user's body heat. In another embodiment, the leg warming tubular bag section 40 includes an elastic strap, drawstring or other adjustable closure member that permits the bottom of the bag 26 to be fitted about the hips, the knees, the legs or the feet of the user. The adjustable closure is pulled taut to hold the tubular bag section 40 in place at the position selected by the user.

The anorak or upper body section 22 preferably includes a thermally insulated hood 28 and thermally insulated sleeves 34, 36 terminating in knit cuffs. In a preferred embodiment adapted for military personnel, emergency management crews, disaster victims or relief teams, or hunters using tree-stands and the like, suit body or upper section 22 includes a slot or hole in the back, between the sleeves 34, 36, adapted to pass a safety harness, a strap or other apparatus to be carried.

In use, when deploying the leg warming portion 40, the user unfastens the buckles, or hook and loop fasteners or Fastex™ style buckles 52 and then drops the leg warming portion (or tubular bag section) of the bag to the floor (as best seen in FIGS. 4 and 5), where the zipper 42 is provided to enable the bottom of the bag 26 to be sealed around the legs and the feet. Once deployed and sealed, the bottom portion of the bag 26 insulates and conserves the user's body's heat when seated or reclined (as shown in FIG. 6).

It will be appreciated by those of skill in the art that the present invention provides a durable, convertible garment 20, permitting mobility and including a convenient extendable leg covering 40 to protect the user's lower extremities. Convertible garment 20 also provides a convenient and durable garment extension 40 to envelope and insulate the user's lower extremities, and which is readily deployed over and over again, without requiring removal of the garment 20.

As an option, the integral foot and leg warming tubular bag section 40 of garment may include a closable pouch, compartment or other means for stowing, in a retracted position, auxiliary extendable material 56 (e.g., four inches or greater) for adding length to the garment 20 to provide a customized fit for persons of exceptional height. As shown in FIG. 13, when it is desired to utilize auxiliary, retractable material, the material 56 is retrieved from the interior of closable compartment, sewn to leg bag 40, and is extended to its full operational length. Once the compartment is vacated, the auxiliary material 56 assumes its fully extended position for providing full body coverage to a person of greater than average size. When not in use, retractable material 56 is compressed and returned to its compartment, where it is secured by a manually operable closure member such as a zipper, preferably configured to facilitate ease of storage.

It will be appreciated by those of skill in the art that the multipurpose, self-contained, convertible outerwear garment 20 has myriad uses. The garment 20 conserves the body heat of the wearer and simultaneously provides the wearer with full body protection from environmental contaminants, cold weather and other unfavorable conditions. The convertible garment 20 is particularly suited for use by outdoors persons such as military personnel, emergency management crews, disaster victims or relief teams, and sportsmen when walking to remote locations, sleeping outdoors or conducting surveillance, especially during inclement weather. Convertible garment 20 is also useful to persons who are unanticipatedly exposed to extreme weather (e.g., stranding due to vehicular failure), persons observing outdoor sporting events or persons simply enjoying the beauty of a clear, crisp winter's night.

Having described preferred embodiments of a new and improved method, it is believed that other modifications, variations and changes will be suggested to those skilled in the art in view of the teachings set forth herein. It is therefore to be understood that all such variations, modifications and changes are believed to fall within the scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.