Title:
Holder for Scuba Diving Equipment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention provides a holder (10) for scuba diving equipment. The holder (10) is attachable to a back pack for a buoyancy compensation device, and includes a back sheet (12) and a front sheet (14) connected to the back sheet (12) to define a pouch with an upper access opening (18). The holder (10) includes an elastic member which extends across an upper region (22) of the front sheet (14) so that the access opening (18) is expandable during insertion of scuba diving equipment into the pouch and subsequently contractible to retain the scuba diving equipment within the pouch.



Inventors:
Brownlow, George Phillip (Johannesburg, ZA)
Application Number:
11/577716
Publication Date:
03/13/2008
Filing Date:
09/21/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63C11/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LARSON, JUSTIN MATTHEW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP (SF) (One Market, Spear Street Tower, Suite 2800, San Francisco, CA, 94105, US)
Claims:
1. A holder for scuba diving equipment, the holder including a pouch which is attachable to a back pack for a buoyancy compensation device and which defines an elastic access opening leading into the pouch which is expandable during insertion of scuba diving equipment into the pouch and subsequently contractible to retain the scuba diving equipment within the pouch.

2. A holder according to claim 1, wherein the pouch includes straps which are arranged to extend around portions of the back pack, and fasteners for fastening the straps to the back pack.

3. A holder according to claim 2, wherein the pouch includes upper straps for fastening the pouch to an upper portion of the back pack, and lower straps for fastening the pouch to lower portions of the back pack.

4. A holder according to claim 1, wherein the fasteners comprise hook and loop fasteners.

5. A holder according to claim 1, wherein the access opening is located in an upper region of the pouch and, when contracted, the width of this opening is smaller than the width of a lower region of the pouch.

6. A holder according to claim 1, wherein the width of the access opening in a relaxed condition is between 60% and 90% of the width of the lower region of the pouch.

7. A holder according to claim 6, wherein the width of the access opening in a relaxed condition is about 75% of the width of the lower region of the pouch.

8. A holder according to claim 1, wherein the pouch includes an elastic member adjacent the access opening for providing this opening with elasticity.

9. A holder according to claim 8, wherein the elastic member comprises an elastic band or strip which extends along at least a portion of the access opening.

10. A holder according to claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the pouch is formed from a liquid permeable material so that liquid entering the access opening can drain from the pouch.

11. A holder according to claim 10, wherein the pouch includes a back sheet and a liquid permeable front sheet.

12. A holder according to claim 11, wherein the liquid permeable front sheet is perforated so that scuba diving equipment within the pouch is visible through the front sheet.

13. A back pack for scuba diving buoyancy compensation device which includes a holder for scuba diving equipment, the holder including a pouch on the back pack defining an elastic access opening leading into the pouch which is expandable during insertion of scuba diving equipment into the pouch and subsequently contractible to retain the scuba diving equipment within the pouch.

14. A back pack according to claim 13, wherein the access opening is located in an upper region of the pouch and, when contracted, the width of this opening is smaller than the width of a lower region of the pouch.

15. A back pack according to claim 14, wherein the width of the access opening in a relaxed condition is between 60% and 90% of the width of the lower region of the pouch.

16. A back pack according to claim 15, wherein the width of the access opening in a relaxed condition is about 75% of the width of the lower region of the pouch.

17. A back pack according to claim 13, wherein the pouch includes an elastic member adjacent the access opening for providing this opening with elasticity.

18. A back pack according to claim 17, wherein the elastic member comprises an elastic band or strip which extends along at least a portion of the access opening.

19. A back pack according to claim 13, wherein at least a portion of the pouch is formed from a liquid permeable material so that liquid entering the access opening can drain from the pouch.

20. A back pack according to claim 19, wherein the pouch includes a back sheet and a liquid permeable front sheet.

21. A back pack according to claim 20, wherein the liquid permeable front sheet is perforated so that scuba diving equipment within the pouch is visible through the front sheet.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

THIS invention relates to a holder for scuba diving equipment. More specifically, the invention relates to a holder for protecting scuba diving gauges, regulators and computing apparatus before and after a dive.

Gauges, regulators and computing apparatus for scuba diving equipment usually are exposed during the loading of the equipment onto a dive boat, the unloading of the equipment from the dive boat, or the transporting of the equipment to and from the boat. Accordingly, these gauges, regulators and computing apparatus can be damaged before or after a dive, for example if the scuba diving equipment is accidentally dropped or knocked against other objects, if equipment is accidentally dropped onto the gauges, regulators and computing apparatus, or if these devices contact sea sand or petrol on the deck of the dive boat.

Since the proper functioning of these gauges, regulators and computing apparatus is essential when diving, it is desirable to protect these devices before and after a dive.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a holder for scuba diving equipment, the holder including a pouch which is attachable to a back pack for a buoyancy compensation device and which defines an elastic access opening leading into the pouch which is expandable during insertion of scuba diving equipment into the pouch and subsequently contractible to retain the scuba diving equipment within the pouch.

The pouch may include straps which are arranged to extend around portions of the back pack, and fasteners for fastening the straps to the back pack. For example, the pouch may include upper straps for fastening the pouch to an upper portion of the back pack, and lower straps for fastening the pouch to lower portions of the back pack.

The fasteners may comprise hook and loop fasteners, or corresponding clipping formations.

Typically, the access opening is located in an upper region of the pouch and, when contracted, the width of this opening is smaller than the width of a lower region of the pouch.

The pouch may include an elastic member adjacent the access opening for providing this opening with elasticity, in which case the elastic member may comprise an elastic band or strip which extends along at least a portion of the access opening.

Preferably, at least a portion of the pouch is formed from a liquid permeable material so that liquid entering the access opening can drain from the pouch.

For example, the pouch may include a back sheet and a liquid permeable front sheet. The liquid permeable front sheet may be perforated so that scuba diving equipment within the pouch is visible through the front sheet.

In another aspect of the invention, there is provided a back pack for a scuba diving buoyancy compensation device which includes a holder for scuba diving equipment, the holder including a pouch on the back pack defining an elastic access opening leading into the pouch which is expandable during insertion of scuba diving equipment into the pouch and subsequently contractible to retain the scuba diving equipment within the pouch.

As used herein, the term “liquid permeable”, when used to describe a material, means that a liquid, such as water, will pass through the material, under ordinary use conditions, in a direction generally perpendicular to the plane of the material at the point of liquid contact.

As used herein, the term “elastic”, when used to describe a material, means that property of the material by virtue of which it tends to recover its original size and shape, or a high percentage thereof, after removal of a force causing deformation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described in more detail, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 shows a front perspective view of a holder for scuba diving equipment according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a rear perspective view of the holder illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a scuba diving buoyancy compensation device on a back pack; and

FIG. 4 shows the holder of FIGS. 1 and 2 attached to the buoyancy compensation device and back pack of FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIGS. 1 and 2 of the accompanying drawings illustrate a holder for scuba diving equipment according to one embodiment of the present invention. The holder is designated generally with the reference numeral 10 and is designed to be attached to a back pack for a scuba diving buoyancy compensation device (not shown) in a manner which is described in more detail below.

The holder 10 includes a back sheet 12 and a front sheet 14 extending across a portion of the back sheet, as shown. The front sheet 14 is connected to the back sheet 12 along a bottom edge 16A and two lateral edges 16B and 16C to define a pocket or pouch between the back sheet 12 and the front sheet 14 with an upper access opening 18 leading into the pouch. As representatively illustrated in FIG. 1, the width of the access opening 18 may be smaller than the width of a lower region 20 of the pouch, and an elastic band (not visible) may extend across an upper edge 22 of the front sheet 14 so as to render the access opening elastic. This allows the access opening 18 to be stretched open for loading or unloading the pouch with equipment, and to contract to a relaxed condition, as illustrated in FIG. 1, for retaining the equipment within the pouch. The access opening 18 in its relaxed condition may have a width of between 60% and 90% of the width of the lower region 20 of the pouch, and preferably has a width of between 70% and 80%, for example about 75%, of the width of the lower region 20 of the pouch.

The front sheet 14 may be formed from various different materials, and may be liquid permeable in at least a portion thereof so as to allow water entering the pouch to rinse through the liquid permeable portion, and thereby drain from the pouch. In the illustrated embodiment, the front sheet 14 is formed from a perforated material which may comprise, for example, nylon or cotton. Apart from allowing the pouch to drain, the perforated material allows scuba diving equipment within the pouch to be visible through the front sheet.

The elastic band adjacent the access opening 18 may be formed from any suitable elastic material and is connected to the front sheet 14 in a stretched condition so as to gather the front sheet at the access opening when relaxed.

In other embodiments, the entire front sheet 14 of the holder 10 may be formed from an elastic material.

The back sheet 12 may be padded for improved user comfort, and may be formed from one or more materials which may or may not be liquid permeable. For example, the backsheet may be formed from a neoprene foam sheet and may be padded with an expanded rubber padding material.

In one embodiment of the invention, the back sheet 12 carries three pairs of straps 24A, 24B and 24C for attaching the holder 10 to the back pack. Each pair of straps 24 may include hook and loop fasteners 25 for fastening the straps together. Alternatively, the straps 24 may include other types of mechanical fasteners such as, for example, clipping formations. The straps typically are formed from an elasticised rubber.

With reference to FIGS. 2 to 4 of the drawings, the holder 10 is attached to a back pack 26 for a buoyancy compensation device 28 by fastening the upper pair of straps 24A around an upper portion 26A of the back pack, and fastening the two lower pairs of straps 24B and 24C around lower portions 26B and 26C of the back pack. The straps 24, which are specifically designed to fasten the holder 10 to the back pack 26, are orientated relative to one another for effective engagement with the inverted T-shaped back pack (see FIGS. 2 and 3).

FIG. 4 shows the back pack 26 with the buoyancy compensation device 28 attached to an outer side thereof and the holder 10 attached to an inner or body side of the back pack. As can be seen, scuba diving equipment 30 such as gauges, regulators and computing apparatus, which usually are exposed before and after a dive, may be protected within the holder 10. It will be appreciated that the access opening 18 can be stretched to facilitate insertion of the scuba diving equipment 30 into the pouch of the holder 10, and that subsequent contracting of the elastic opening 18 serves to contain the equipment within the pouch. In this way, the equipment 30 can be safely contained when the buoyancy compensation device is loaded onto a dive boat, unloaded from the boat or transported to or from the boat. The equipment 30 can be retrieved by withdrawing the devices from the pouch while stretching the access opening 18 as required.

It should be appreciated that the holder 10 has a relatively compact construction and, being located on the inner or body side of the back pack 26, is unobtrusive when inoperative. The holder 10 can also enhance the comfort of the back pack 26 during a dive.

In another, non-illustrated embodiment of the invention, the holder may be permanently attached to the back pack, or it may be formed integrally with the back pack. In both instances, the holder includes a pouch on the body side of the pack back for receiving scuba diving equipment, and an elastic access opening leading into the pouch.