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a. Field of Invention
The invention relates generally to beach towels and particularly to beach towels that address and solve many problems inherent with beach towels. Thus, conventional beach towels are rectangular and must be picked up and rotated to a sunbather to adjust to the movement of the sun. They are typically too narrow to accommodate two people and even double towels do not leave enough space for two people and accessories, beach bags, etc. Conventional towels are light and often blow around or even blow away in shore winds. The present invention is a weighted beach towel that is octagonal in shape to accommodate two people and beach accessories, the bathers can rotate through a number of positions as the sun moves without moving the present invention towel, and the present invention towel is weighted with rope or cord so it will not blow up or away in typical shore winds. In addition, the present invention towel has isolated, segmented sections of rope instead of a continuous tote bag type rope and hence can be easily folded and carried. Finally, the present invention beach towel is maintenance free and designed to be machine washable without the need to remove or tie up the rope, as the are fully enclosed in sealed pockets.
b. Description of Related Art
The following patents are representative of various types of octagonal rugs, bags and the like:
U.S. Pat. No. 6,260,219 B1 to Bartosik, describes an eight-sided beach blanket having integral pockets disclosed herein. The beach blanket has a main body section, elongated edges, top and bottom edges, and slanted edges. The beach blanket has pockets located at its slanted edges. The pockets may be sealed by a zipper or Velcro tape. The pockets may be formed by folding the corners of the beach blanket inward and sewing the perimeter of the corners to the surface of the main body section of the beach blanket.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,899,571 to Chalk, describes a combination beach towel, tote bag and beach umbrella system including a towel member, an umbrella member and an umbrella support. The towel member has a towel perimeter edge defining a towel shape, a drawstring sleeve provided adjacent to the towel perimeter, and a draw string having a first and second drawstring end positioned through the drawstring sleeve with the first and second drawstring ends extending out from the drawstring sleeve. The umbrella member has an umbrella perimeter defining an umbrella shape corresponding to the towel shape in a manner such that the umbrella perimeter and the towel shape in a manner such that the umbrella perimeter and the towel perimeter can be placed in registration and four elongated, tubular shaped, fabric, pole attachment sleeves open at both ends thereof, each pole attachment sleeve attached to a first side of the umbrella member and extending from the umbrella perimeter radially toward the center of the umbrella member. The umbrella member and the towel members are securable together along their perimeters. The sectional umbrella support includes a two part vertical support includes a two part vertical support pole including an umbrella spike having a diameter sized to pass through the umbrella spike aperture of the towel member, a central support having a first end adapted for connection with the vertical support pole and for horizontal support pole connecting members.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,895,118 to Hensley, describes the combination of a beach towel convertible to a bag for transporting items to and from the beach. The combination includes a uniquely constructed, circular mat having an inflatable peripheral bladder member that facilitates set-up of the mat, and ensures maintenance of the components thereof. The combination further includes a removably detachable towel for the mat, and a security pouch for personal items on the mat underlying the towel.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,482,374 to Buhyoff, describes a beach towel constructed with a polygonal center panel from which extend separate trapezoidal panels creating a towel with a substantially polygonal perimeter. The panels are sewn together to provide a strong reinforced structure, and a drawstring around the perimeter permits conversion of the towel into a bag-like structure.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,474,275 to Robertson et al, describes a beach towel holding device comprising a clip member to engage with a corner of a beach towel. A component is for weighing down the clip member onto the ground, so as to maintain the clip member in a stationary position to secure the beach towel in place upon the ground.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,429,541 to Landon, describes a portable sand blanket with associated toys including: a blanket formed in a flat circular configuration of a durable plastic material, the blanket having six holes therethrough located at essentially equally spaced locations adjacent to the periphery, grommets positioned through the holes of the blanket and a single rope in a circular configuration threaded sequentially through the holes and grommets, the rope extending on the upper and lower surfaces of the blanket alternatively. A container for said having upstanding side wall in a circular configuration, the container having a circular base, the side wall coupled at their lower edges to the base to define a container for sand, the lower surface of the container including its base being permanently secured to the blanket at a central extent thereof, the sand container having a lid formed with a circular upper extent and downwardly extending side wall in a circular configuration to fit over the upper edge of the side wall of the container. A tool adapted for use by a child when playing with sand, the tool having a handle end with a loop and also a functional end, the tool having in association with that a releasable clip permanently secured to the upper surface of the blanket and having a reception area adapted to releasably receive the loop of the tool.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,245,715 to Dinkins, describes a blanket member as is typically utilized as a covering for a beach and the like includes a plurality of clip fasteners arranged for securement about a periphery of the blanket, with each of the clip members including a tether line secured at one end to an associated clip member and at an opposed end to a conical anchor plug. The anchor plug is arranged with concentric rings spaced along the anchor plug to maintain securement of the anchor structure relative to a beach environment. A modification of the invention includes rack structure to accommodate further webs for drying and for purposes of shade and the like.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,207,508 to Koutsis, Jr., describes a convertible sack is provided which alternatively functions as a sack or tote for carrying objects and as a surface useable for a variety of functions. The sack is formed of a sheet of a flat, subtle material with a hollow circular section, access opening and a cord secured therein. The sack is converted from a flat surface into a sack by pulling the cord through the access openings. The convertible sack has various applications including use as a combination beach tote/blanket, combination diaper bag/changing pad, combination meal tote/seat and combination sack/tent.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,195,828 to Bush-Rodriguez, describes a convertible cover-tote apparatus that is positionable between a ground covering position and a tote or carrying position. The cover-tote apparatus includes a cover or blanket that is formed from a sheet of nylon, polycotton, cotton or other synthetic fabric. The cover has a plurality of eyelets fixed to the cover at a position approximately midway between the cover's center and outer border. A drawstring is interweaved through the eyelets and encircles the center of the cover at a location approximately midway between the cover's center and outer border. The drawstring defines the border between a center and outer section of the cover. In the ground covering position, the cover is extended over a surface that a user can sit or lie thereon. The cover-tote apparatus is positionable from the covering position to the tote position by drawing the eyelets together with the drawstring. When in the tote position, the cover-tote apparatus includes a bag formed from the center section of the cover and a skirt formed from the outer section of the cover. The bag is used to carry articles such as towels, books, and other articles typically used during activities requiring a ground cover. The skirt extends over the bag and protects the user from soil, dirt, or moisture that may have adhered to the underside of the cover while the cover was in the ground covering position. In addition, the formation of a skirt limits the size of the bad and results in the cover-tote apparatus having a more manageable tote position.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,176,354 to Feigenbaum, Jr., describes a portable device for anchoring a blanket in sand or soft earth. In other aspect of the invention, the blanket anchor includes an adapter plug for receivably supporting a dispenser for a useful product (e.g., suntan lotion).
U.S. Pat. No. 5,150,485 to Maguire, describes a beach blanket flexible web including an anchor member mounted for selective securement adjacent each corner of the web, to include a support base and a support base floor, with a clamping plate arranged for pivotal and biased engagement relative to the floor to secure an associated corner of the blanket web thereto. The base includes an externally threaded upper end oriented at an acute angle relative to the base floor, with a removable cap including a hollow cavity and a leverage appendage directed laterally of the cap and orthogonally relative to the hinge to receive a ballast weight therewithin. The invention further is arranged to include telescoping members mounted to each leveraged appendage portion of the cap for receiving a sun screen blanket to an upper terminal end thereof, wherein each extension leg is arranged to receive an extension leg cap at an upper terminal end thereof for mounting the sun screen web relative to the extension leg. A housing is arranged for mounting to a pair of the anchor members for supporting expansion storage components of the organization.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,101,525 to Ippolito, is a sake assembly that when used in conjunction with a properly equipped blanket fitted with eyelets will anchor the blanket to either a beach surface or a lawn surface.
The skate assembly includes a short member for use on a lawn and a sleeve member which is added to the short member for use on a beach.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,059,463 to Peters, is a circular mat having an outer rim that is reinforced by a steel ribbon that keeps its shape while laid out and also allows for ready folding and storage. Tent stakes serve to hold the mat in place and a central hole allows the insertion of an umbrella. A shelter is capable of being erected over the mat using flexible, curved tent poles that inset into a pair of three way hinged tent steaks. This shelter serves to keep out the elements when the weather turns for the worse.
U.S. Pat. No. Des. 418,355 to DeCet, describes a combination beach towel and tote bag that has a continuous loop pull rope and rope guide near its center.
U.S. Pat. No. Des. 414,643 to Phua, describes a hexagonal mat having arrow-head type bottom grips
Notwithstanding the prior art, the present invention is neither taught nor rendered obvious thereby.
The invention solves the problems and overcomes the drawbacks and deficiencies of prior art towels by providing carefree, maintenance free, duet accommodating, weighted, multi-position beach towels.
The present invention, a weighted octagonal beach towel, includes a flexible base made of towel material, having a generally octagonal periphery with eight major sides and each of the eight major sides having an elongated sealed pocket adjacent its periphery. It also includes eight separate rope segments, one of each being contained within one of each of the elongated sealed pockets.
The eight major sides are preferably equal in length to one another. In many preferred embodiments, the weighted octagonal beach towel has an imaginary center point and the distance between opposite major sides is within the range of about 5.5 feet to about 7.5 feet.
The towel may preferably have an imaginary center point and the distance between opposite major sides is within the range of about 6 feet to about 7 feet so as to comfortably accommodate a couple and have side areas around the bathers on which to place clothes and other items.
The rope segments are preferably of equal length. Each rope segment may have a length equal to about 75% to about 90% of the length of each major side at its periphery, i.e., the length of the pocket. Each of the major sides, in some preferred embodiments, has a length of about 28 to about 36 inches.
The rope segments are selected from the group consisting of synthetic cord, woven synthetic cord, woven natural cord and combinations thereof. The synthetic cord, woven or unwoven, may be selected from the group consisting of nylon, polyester, vinyl, and combinations thereof. The rope may have a diameter in the range of about 0.5 inches to about 1.5 inches, and, in some embodiments, a 1 inch to 1¼ inches diameter rope is preferred.
The flexible base may include a scenic print or it may be of any single or multiple colors and may or may not include other patterns or prints.
The present invention towels are, in some embodiments, fabricated from an extended towel material that has been notched at each major side corner, folded over and sealed to create the sealed pockets.
In some embodiments, the weighted octagonal beach towel further includes an elongated tote bag having a length equal to at least ⅓ of the distance between opposite major sides so that the towel may be folded in half and in quarters and then rolled and placed into the tote bag.
The tote bag may include an adjustable shoulder strap and an exterior compartment adapted to hold beach accessories selected from the group consisting of tanning lotion, sunglasses, cell phone and combinations thereof.
The weighted octagonal beach towel, in some preferred embodiments, includes a flexible base made of towel material, the flexible base having a generally octagonal periphery with eight major sides, each of the eight major sides having an elongated sealed pocket adjacent its periphery, each of the elongated sealed pockets being a folded and sealed trapezoidal section of the flexible base and eight separate rope segments, one of each being contained within one of each of the elongated sealed pockets. Each of the eight major sides are preferably equal in length to one another. The elongated sealed pockets generally have a height of about 1.5 inches to 4 inches, and about 3 inches is preferred.
Additional features, advantages, and embodiments of the invention may be set forth or apparent from consideration of the following detailed description, drawings, and claims. Moreover, it is to be understood that both the foregoing summary of the invention and the following detailed description are exemplary and intended to provide further explanation without limiting the scope of the invention as claimed.
The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate preferred embodiments of the invention and together with the detail description serve to explain the principles of the invention. In the drawings:
FIG. 1 illustrates a bottom view of a present invention weighted octagonal beach towel;
FIG. 2 shows the weighted octagonal beach towel shown in FIG. 1, in a cut, unfilled fabrication step;
FIGS. 3 and 4 show partial bottom views illustrating folded and unfolded trap pockets;
FIG. 5 shows a partial bottom view of another embodiment of the present invention weighted octagonal beach towel;
FIG. 6 shows a top view of a present invention weighted octagonal beach towel with a children's seahorse design illustration;
FIG. 7 shows a top view of a present invention weighted octagonal beach towel with a sunset design illustration;
FIG. 8 shows a top view of a present invention weighted octagonal beach towel with a water reflection design illustration;
FIG. 9 shows a top view of a present invention weighted octagonal beach towel with an underwater seascape design illustration;
FIGS. 10A, 10B, and 10C show a present invention weighted octagonal beach towel that has been folded once, twice and three times, respectively, for the first three steps of maximum compactness for either carrying or storage;
FIG. 11 shows the folded present invention weighted octagonal beach towel from FIG. 10C that has subsequently been rolled like a crescent bread roll, along with its tote bag.
Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views, the present invention is exemplified by the following:
FIG. 1 illustrates a bottom view of one embodiment of a present invention weighted octagonal beach towel 1. It has a flexible base 3 made of towel material, in this case terrycloth. Flexible base 3 has a general octagonal periphery with eight major sides 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17 and 19. Each of the forgoing eight sides has an elongated sealed pocket adjacent to its periphery. These are sealed pockets 21, 23, 24, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, and 35. Within each sealed pocket is a seperate rope segment (not shown, see figures below). The elongated sealed pockets are trapezoidal in shape for ease of fabrication, but could be any other workable shape, such as rectangle, curved, or even irregular e.g. sinusoidal to simulate waves.
FIG. 2 shows the weighted octagonal beach towel 1 shown in FIG. 1, in a top view of a cut, unfilled fabrication step. Thus, it is made of a continuous open flexible base 3. The dimensions of one preferred embodiment of a present invention weighted octagonal beach towel are shown and identical parts from the previous figure are identically numbered. As can be seen in FIG. 2, the pockets are made of flaps that have been cut into trapezoidal shapes and the dotted lines, such as dotted line 37, show the fold lines that create the periphery after the rope segments (see FIGS. 3 and 4 below) are placed inside the fold lines, the pockets are folded over and sealed.
The dimensions shown for the present invention towel 1 of FIGS. 1 and 2 are preferred and include a 72 inch height from side to opposing side after the pockets are filled and folded, a 3 inch high, 26 inch wide pocket and 30 inch long major equal sides at the periphery.
FIGS. 3 and 4 show partial bottom views of the present invention weighted octagonal beach towel, shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 above, illustrating folded and unfolded trap pockets. Here, rope segments 41, 43 and 45 are shown in place, prior to folding and sealing the pockets, in FIG. 3, and after folding and sealing, FIG. 4. (For illustration purposes, the pockets are shown as transparent, but actual products will be colored, and with or without designs, patterns or prints.) The pockets are sealed by any available method, such as stitching, gluing, heat sealing or welding, etc. For illustration, stitch lines are shown. Stitching is one preferred method of closing the ropes with their respective pockets.
FIG. 5 shows a partial bottom view of another embodiment of the present invention weighted octagonal beach towel 51, with its main octagonal base 53. In this embodiment, the pockets such as pockets 55 and 59 are fabricated (cut) separately from the main base 51 and then each is sewn or otherwise attached to the main base with the cord or rope in place.
FIG. 6 shows a top view of a present invention weighted octagonal beach towel 61 with a children's seahorse design illustration 65 on its base 63.
FIG. 7 shows a top view of a present invention weighted octagonal beach towel 71 with a sunset design illustration 75 on its base 73.
FIG. 8 shows a top view of a present invention weighted octagonal beach towel 81 with a water reflection design illustration 85 on its base 83.
FIG. 9 shows a top view of a present invention weighted octagonal beach towel 91 with an underwater seascape design illustration 95 on its base 93.
FIGS. 10A, 10B, and 10C show a present invention weighted octagonal beach towel 1 that has been folded once, twice and three times, respectively, for the first three steps of maximum compactness for either carrying or storage. In each of these Figures, the exposed sides are enumerated.
FIG. 11 shows the folded present invention weighted octagonal beach towel 1 from FIG. 10C that has subsequently been rolled like a crescent bread roll. Also shown is its tote bag 100. Tote bag 100 has a top opening 101, shoulder strap 105 and length adjustment mechanism 107. There is also a pouch 103 that is an integral feature of the tote bag.
Although particular embodiments of the invention have been described in detail herein with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to those particular embodiments, and that various changes and modifications may be effected therein by one skilled in the art without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention as defined in the appended claims.