Title:
TURKEY SEAT WITH MEMORY FOAM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cushion of a portable seat is formed from multiple layers including at least one memory foam layer. In one implementation, the portable seat is constructed as a turkey seat incorporated into hunting vest design. The seat cushion (100) includes an uppermost layer (102) positioned proximate to the user, a lowermost layer (106) that will be disposed proximate to the ground, a stadium bench or the like and an intermediate layer (104). The uppermost layer (102) may be formed from a memory foam material, the intermediate layer (104) may be formed from an open cell foam material and the lower most layer (106) may be formed from closed cell foam. This construction allows for desired memory foam conformance while providing significant cushioning for substantially any user under substantially any condition and yields a product of suitable weight for portable applications.



Inventors:
Larson, Edward (Sidney, NE, US)
Hoban, Andrew (Dalton, NE, US)
Application Number:
11/941778
Publication Date:
05/29/2008
Filing Date:
11/16/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
297/337
International Classes:
A47C4/28; A47C7/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GARRETT, ERIKA P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
K&L Gates LLP-Chicago (P.O. Box 1135, CHICAGO, IL, 60690, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A portable seat, comprising: a cushion; and a structure for facilitating carrying of the cushion by a user; wherein said cushion is formed from a memory foam material.

2. A portable seat as set forth in claim 1, wherein said cushion includes a first layer of said memory foam material and a second layer of cushioning material.

3. A portable seat as set forth in claim 2, wherein said second layer comprises a non-memory foam material.

4. A portable seat as set forth in claim 2, wherein said cushion comprises a first layer of said memory foam material, a second layer of first non-memory foam material and a third layer of second non-memory foam material different than said first non-memory foam material.

5. A portable seat as set forth in claim 4, wherein said first non-memory foam material is an open cell foam material and said second non-memory foam material as a closed cell foam material.

6. A portable seat as set forth in claim 4, wherein said second layer is interposed between said first layer and said third layer.

7. A portable seat as set forth in claim 6, wherein said memory foam material is disposed in an external user contact portion of said cushion.

8. A portable seat as set forth in claim 1, wherein said structure comprises a garment assembly and an attachment assembly for attaching said cushion to said garment assembly.

9. A portable seat as set forth in claim 8, wherein said attachment assembly allows for movement of said cushion between a stowed position and a deployed position.

10. A portable seat, comprising: a cushion; a backrest; and a structure for allowing relative movement of the seat in relation to the backrest between a stowed position, wherein the seat is positioned against a backrest, and a deployed position, wherein the seat extends at a seating angle relative to the backrest.

11. A portable seat as set forth in claim 11, wherein said cushion is formed from a memory foam material.

12. A portable seat as set forth in claim 11, wherein said cushion includes a first layer of said memory foam material and a second layer of cushioning material.

13. A portable seat as set forth in claim 12, wherein said second layer comprises a non-memory foam material.

14. A portable seat as set forth in claim 12, wherein said cushion comprises a first layer of said memory foam material, a second layer of first non-memory foam material and a third layer of second non-memory foam material different than said first non-memory foam material.

15. A portable seat as set forth in claim 14, wherein said first non-memory foam material is an open cell foam material and said second non-memory foam material as a closed cell foam material.

16. A portable seat as set forth in claim 14, wherein said second layer is interposed between said first layer and said third layer.

17. A portable seat as set forth in claim 10, wherein said backrest is integrated into a garment assembly.

18. A portable seat, comprising: a vest including shoulder straps for extending over the shoulders of a user; a seat cushion including memory foam; and a structure for movably interconnecting the seat to the vest such that the seat is movable between a stowed position, wherein the seat is disposed against a back portion of the vest, and a deployed position, wherein the seat extends at a seating angle relative to a said back portion of the vest.

19. A portable seat as set forth in claim 18, wherein said cushion includes a first layer of said memory foam material and a second layer of cushioning material.

20. A method for using a portable seat, comprising the steps of: providing a portable seat including a cushion having a first layer formed from a memory foam material and a second layer of non-memory foam cushioning material; disposing said portable seat so that said second layer is adjacent to a seating surface; and sitting on said first layer.

21. The method as set forth in claim 20, wherein said portable seat is connected to a garment assembly and said step of disposing comprises moving said portable seat in relation to said garment assembly from a stowed position to a deployed position.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. 119 to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/866,158, entitled, “TURKEY SEAT WITH MEMORY FOAM,” filed on Nov. 16, 2006, the contents of which are incorporated herein as if set forth in full.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to portable seats, such as turkey seats or stadium seats, and, in particular, to portable seats that employ a memory foam cushion for improved comfort and performance.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Portable seats are used in a variety of environments, such as hunting and in stadiums. Typically, the portable seats include a seat panel and a backrest. The seat panel may be connected to the backrest by means of a strap or other support such that, when the user is seated on the seat, he can lean against the backrest to get some degree of back support.

This case of a turkey seat is illustrative. Turkey seats are used by hunters, for example, in connection with hunting wild birds. In this context, the hunter may be required to wait a substantial period of time for a good hunting opportunity. Of course, it is desirable to be able to remain comfortably seated while waiting. Moreover, if the hunter is comfortable, movement may be reduced, increasing the chances that the hunter will avoid detection and enhancing the chances for success.

When a hunting opportunity arises, it is desirable to use the turkey seat so as to remain steady for a shot. In particular, a solid back support assists in this regard. It is also desirable that the turkey seat be quickly and quietly deployable, again, so as to avoid detection at critical junctures.

Because portable seats are often used in environments such as in connection with hunting, as discussed above, or at a stadium, it is desirable that the seats be compact and lightweight. In particular, in contexts as described above, the user is often carrying a variety of additional gear at the same time as he is carrying the portable seat, and all of these materials may be carried a substantial distance. For example, portable seats may be formed with a collapsible aluminum frame. In such cases, the seat and backrest may be formed from nylon panels attached to the frame.

In at least one case, a turkey seat has been incorporated into a hunting vest. In this case, the seat is formed from a substantially unpadded flip-out nylon panel. During transport, the nylon panel can be folded up against the back of the vest and secured in place. When it is desired to use the seat, the panel flips out and can be secured to a back portion of the vest by way of nylon straps. In this manner, the back portion of the vest serves as an effective backrest.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a portable seat including memory foam padding, at least in the seat portion of the product. As is known, memory foam is made from polyurethane treated to, increase its viscosity level and density. Such memory foam can come in a variety of densities. Higher density memory foam is sensitive to body heat and molds itself to the shape of a warm body in a few minutes. Lower density memory foam is pressure sensitive and molds more quickly to the shape of a body. In either case, an important property of the memory foam is that it molds to the shape of a body pressed against it, such that the pressure is distributed more evenly over the foam surface, thereby potentially allowing for greater comfort.

Because memory foam is denser than other foams and, therefore, heavier, its uses have been limited. For example, memory foam, or visco-elastic memory foam, has been used in certain medical applications, such as wheelchair seat cushions. In addition, memory foam has been used in certain mattresses, pillows and mattress pads. Memory foam has generally not been viewed as a suitable material for portable products to be carried by a user.

The present inventor has recognized that, despite its density and weight, memory foam yields significant advantages in the context of portable seats. In particular, by utilizing memory foam only in a small area, such as the cushion portion of a portable seat, the overall weight of the device can be kept within acceptable limits. The issue of weight can further be addressed by careful selection of the density, thickness and other dimensions of the cushion. On the other hand, memory foam provides superior comfort and thermal insulation yielding substantial advantages. For example, in the case of the turkey seat, this results in improved comfort, which, in turn, allows the hunter to remain motionless for longer periods of time so as to better avoid detection. In addition, the memory foam, because it molds to the contours of the user, provides rock-solid stability when the hunter takes a shot.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a cushion of a portable seat is formed from multiple layers including at least one memory foam layer. As noted above, memory foam has desirable characteristics for portable seat applications but can also be relatively heavy. In addition, for certain users and under certain conditions, e.g., when the portable seat is used on a hot stadium bench or otherwise in hot conditions, the memory foam can become quite thin or substantially “bottom out” in certain areas. Accordingly, it has been recognized that a multiple layer construction may be desirable so as to accommodate a variety of users and use conditions. For example, the cushion may include a memory foam layer and at least one additional non-memory foam layer. In one implementation, a three-layer design is used including a memory foam layer, an open cell foam layer and a closed cell foam layer. The memory foam layer is disposed at a top portion of the cushion for more direct contact with the user, the closed cell is disposed at a bottom portion of the cushion, and the open cell foam is disposed in between. In this manner, the memory foam provides good user conformance and load spreading, the open cell foam material provides good cushioning for a range of users, and the closed cell material is durable and ensures significant cushioning for substantially any user under substantially any conditions.

In a preferred implementation, the memory foam turkey seat can be incorporated into a hunting vest design. The memory foam cushion is movable between a stowed position against the back of the vest and a deployed position where the memory foam cushion extends from the vest at an angle suitable for use as a seat. The cushion panel can be connected to the vest by means of nylon straps and the like, such that the back of the vest functions as a backrest when the hunter is seated on the cushion. It will be appreciated that, in this manner, any additional weight of the seat due to the memory foam construction is of little concern as the weight is supported by the vest, which, in effect, functions as a backpack. Accordingly, the advantages of memory foam as noted above are realized without a problematic penalty due to the density of the memory foam.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding of the present invention and further advantages thereof, reference is now made to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side view of the garment assembly with a deployable seat in a stowed position in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates the garment assembly of FIG. 1 during deployment of its seat;

FIG. 3 illustrates the garment assembly of FIG. 1 with the seat in a deployed position;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the seat of the garment assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the garment assembly of FIG. 1 being worn by a user with the seat in a stowed position;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the garment assembly of FIG. 5 illustrating deployment of the seat;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the garment assembly of FIG. 5 illustrating the user sitting on the seat;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the garment assembly of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the seat of the garment assembly of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following description, the invention is set forth in the context of a hunting vest with a deployable seat cushion. The deployable seat cushion is formed from multiple layers of material including a memory foam layer. While this is believed to be a particularly advantageous implementation of the invention, it will be appreciated that the invention is not limited to this implementation. The hunting vest garment and seat deployment mechanisms will first be described in the following description. Thereafter, the memory seat cushion structure is described in greater detail.

One embodiment of a garment assembly is illustrated in FIGS. 1-4 and is identified by reference numeral 10. A perspective view of the assembly 10 is shown in FIG. 8, which further illustrates the seat deployment process. The garment assembly 10 includes a garment 14 and a deployable seat 22. The garment 14 may be of any appropriate size, shape, configuration, and/or type. For instance, the garment 14 may be in the form of a jacket, vest, life jacket, shirt, coat, parka, backpack, or sporting event seat. In the illustrated embodiment, the garment 14 is in the form of a vest.

The deployable seat 22 includes a top or upper surface 26, a bottom or lower surface 30, a pair of side or side surfaces 34, a front or front surface 38, and a rear or rear surface 42. The seat 22 may be of any appropriate size, shape, and/or configuration, and may incorporate any appropriate supporting material or combination of supporting materials. Moreover, any desirable properties may be incorporated/utilized by any of the surfaces 26, 30, 34, 38, 42 (e.g., the bottom or lower surface 30 of the seat 22 may be waterproof; the entire exterior of the seat 22 may be waterproof; exterior surfaces may be formed from camouflage, black, bright orange and/or other colors as desired for hunting or other applications).

A pair of lower strap assemblies or hinging strap assemblies 48 interconnect the garment 14 and the seat 22, and may facilitate the deployment of the seat 22 in a manner that will be discussed in more detail below. Each lower strap assembly 48 may include a buckle 52 (FIGS. 5-7) to facilitate detachably interconnecting the garment 14 and seat 22. Any appropriate number of lower strap assemblies 48 may be used, each lower strap assembly 48 may be fixed at any appropriate location on each of the garment 14 and seat 22 and in any appropriate manner, multiple lower strap assemblies 48 may be disposed in any appropriate arrangement, and each lower strap assembly 48 may use one or more straps of any appropriate type (e.g., elastic; non-elastic). In the illustrated embodiment, each lower strap assembly 48 is fixed to the seat 22 at or near its rear 42. It may be possible to alleviate the lower strap assemblies 48 altogether, although again the use of the lower strap assemblies 48 may facilitate the deployment of the seat 22.

The garment assembly 10 further includes a pair of upper strap sections 56 that each interconnect with the garment 14 and that each at least interface or interact with the seat 22. In the illustrated embodiment, the upper strap sections 56 are actually part of a single strap that extends through the interior of the seat 22 via a side-to-side aperture 44 (FIG. 4) that is incorporated by the seat 22 (e.g., an intermediate section of this single strap extends through the seat 22 and joins with each of the upper strap sections 56). The upper strap sections 56 could also be separate structures and separately attached or fixed to the seat 22 in any appropriate manner and at any appropriate location. In any case, an end of each upper strap section 56 is fixed or mounted to the garment 14 in any appropriate manner. In the illustrated embodiment, a buckle 60 is provided for each upper strap section 56 to detachably interconnect the garment 14 with the seat 22 at two additional locations. The upper strap sections 56 and the lower strap assemblies 48 thereby support the seat 22 in its stowed position of FIG. 1. Although the seat 22 may be detachably interconnected with the garment 14 so as to be totally separable from the garment 14 as thus far described, it should be appreciated that at least one interconnection may remain between the seat 22 and the garment 14 at all times (not shown).

Each upper strap section 56 also interfaces with the seat 22 at a pair of laterally spaced locations, or along each of the two sides 34 of the seat 22 as noted. In the illustrated embodiment where the upper strap sections 56 are part of a common strap, the upper strap sections 56 are not actually fixed to the seat 22 as noted. However and once again, it should be appreciated that the upper strap sections 56 could indeed be separate structures, with one portion (e.g., one end) of each such upper strap section 56 being appropriately fixed to the garment 14 and with another portion (e.g., the opposite end) of each such upper strap section 56 being appropriately fixed to the seat 22 in any appropriate manner.

The upper strap sections 56 of the garment assembly 10 facilitate deployment of the seat 22, and notably without having to disconnect the seat 22 from the garment 14 of the garment assembly 10 in any manner. In this regard, the upper strap sections 56 are each able to extend or stretch (i.e., increase in length) some time during deployment of the seat 22. More specifically, each upper strap section 56 extends or stretches (i.e., increases in length) during the initial portion of the deployment of the seat 22, and thereafter may contract (i.e., decreases in length) during a subsequent portion of the deployment of the seat 22. Preferably, each upper strap section 56 is formed from an appropriate elastic or other appropriate resilient material, such that each upper strap section 56 may extend or stretch when exposed to an appropriate force, and thereafter uses stored internal energy or the like to contract or retract to at least some degree upon experiencing at least a certain reduction of this force (including via a pure elastic deformation, where each upper strap section 56 would move back to its undeformed state once a load is totally removed).

FIGS. 1-3 illustrate three representative positions for the seat 22. FIG. 1 illustrates a stowed position for the seat 22, where the bottom or lower surface 30 of the seat 22 faces the backside of the garment 14 and where the top or upper surface 26 of the seat 22 faces away from the backside of the garment 14. The upper strap sections 56 may “pull” the seat 22 against the garment 14 at this time (e.g., to resiliently bias the seat 22 against the garment 14, particularly when being worn by a user), although such is not required (e.g., the upper strap sections 56 may be in tension or stretched with the seat 22 in its stowed position). FIG. 2 illustrates a representative intermediate position of the seat 22, or a partially deployed position, while FIG. 3 illustrates a representative deployed position of the seat 22 (i.e., other deployed positions may exist). Generally, the seat 22 may be characterized as being pivoted, flipped, or inverted to move from the stowed position of FIG. 1 to the deployed position of FIG. 3 (e.g., the deployment of the seat 22 may be characterized as the front 38 of the seat 22 pivoting at least generally about the rear 42 of the seat 22, as illustrated by the arrows A and B in FIGS. 2 and 3, respectively), and again this motion may be undertaken without disconnecting the seat 22 from the garment 14 in any manner which may be desirable for one or more applications (e.g., hunting).

With the seat 22 being in the stowed position of FIG. 1, the front or front surface 38 of the seat 22 is moved at least generally away from the garment 14 to initiate deployment of the seat 22. Each upper strap section 56 extends or stretches to accommodate movement of the seat 22 from the stowed position of FIG. 1 to the intermediate position of FIG. 2. That is, the length of each upper strap section 56 in FIG. 2 is greater than its corresponding length in the stowed position of FIG. 1. Again, note that the seat 22 remains interconnected with the garment 14 by the upper strap sections 56 and the various lower strap assemblies 48.

In order to move the seat 22 from the stowed position of FIG. 1 to the representative deployed position of FIG. 3, the front 38 of the seat 22 is also moved in a downward direction. Compare the vertical position of the front 38 of the seat 22 in each of FIGS. 1 and 2, again where FIG. 2 is an intermediate position of the seat 22 during its deployment. Movement of the seat 22 from the intermediate position of FIG. 2 to the deployed position of FIG. 3 entails directing the front 38 in a continued downward direction and then back toward a position where the seat 22 is now disposed underneath the garment 14 versus “behind” the garment 14 as in the case of the stowed position of FIG. 1. The existence of the lower strap assemblies 48, which again interconnect the seat 22 with the garment 14, may facilitate the above-noted type of motion for deployment of the seat 22 (e.g., a pivoting or pivotal-like motion of the seat 22 at least generally about its rear 42).

In the FIG. 3 position, the upper strap sections 56 may be of an intermediate length compared to the FIGS. 1 and 2 configurations. That is, the upper strap sections 56 may be in an extended or stretched state in FIG. 3 compared to the FIG. 1 position (FIG. 1 being the stowed position), but are contracted or retracted in FIG. 3 (deployed position) compared to the FIG. 2 position (intermediate position). That is, the upper strap sections 56 may and preferably are in tension in the deployed position of FIG. 3, which desirably retains the top or upper surface 26 of the seat 22 against the user. Stated another way, the upper strap sections 56 preferably resiliently bias the seat 22 into contact with a user of the garment assembly 10 with the seat 22 being in the deployed position of FIG. 3.

The above-described motion of the seat 22 during its deployment in effect inverts or flips the seat 22. Recall that in the FIG. 1 position (the stowed position) the bottom or lower surface 30 of the seat 22 faces the garment 14 (in a horizontal dimension), while in the FIG. 3 position (a representative deployed position) the bottom or lower surface 30 of the seat 22 faces away from the garment 14 (in a vertical dimension). Moreover, the top or upper surface 26 of the seat 22 faces away from the garment 14 of the garment assembly 10 in the stowed position of FIG. 1 (facing in a horizontal dimension), but faces the garment 14 in the deployed position of FIG. 3 (facing upwardly in a vertical dimension). It should be appreciated that the above-noted protocol may simply be reversed to move the seat 22 from a deployed position (FIG. 3) back to the stowed position of FIG. 1.

FIGS. 5-7 illustrate three representative positions for the seat 22, with the garment assembly 10 being worn by a user, and with the lower strap assemblies 48 being fixed at or near a lower edge 18 of the garment 14 (although again the lower strap assemblies 48 may be fixed or anchored at any appropriate location of the garment 14 as noted above, and in fact may be alleviated altogether). FIG. 5 is a stowed position for the seat 22, where the bottom or lower surface 30 of the seat 22 faces the garment 14, and where the top or upper surface 26 of the seat 22 faces away from the garment 14 (in a rearward direction in relation to the direction that the user is facing in FIG. 5). At this time, the upper strap sections 56 may be in tension to “pull” the seat 22 against the back of the user, although again such is not required. Although the lower strap assemblies 48 are not necessarily required, they may enhance the retention of the seat 22 in the stowed position of FIG. 5.

FIG. 6 illustrates the use of a single hand to initiate the deployment of the seat 22 by moving the front 38 of the seat 22 both away from the garment 14 of the garment assembly 10 and in a downward direction, as illustrated by the arrow C. Both of the user's hands could of course be used. This movement of the seat 22 is accommodated by stretching or extending each of the upper strap sections 56 (i.e., the length of the upper strap sections 56 is increased progressing from the stowed position of FIG. 5 to the intermediate position of FIG. 6). The movement of the seat 22 from the FIG. 5 position to the FIG. 6 position exposes the bottom or lower surface 30 of the seat 22 (the bottom 30 now facing “up” in FIG. 6 versus facing the back of the user in the stowed position of FIG. 5), and further changes the orientation of both the top or upper surface 26 of the seat 22 and its bottom or lower surface 30. For instance, the top 26 of the seat 22 faces down in the intermediate position of FIG. 6 (in a vertical dimension), versus facing rear or away from the user in the stowed configuration of FIG. 5 (in a horizontal dimension).

FIG. 7 illustrates a deployed position where the user is sitting on the top or upper surface 26 of the seat 22. In order to dispose the seat 22 in the deployed position of FIG. 7 from the intermediate position of FIG. 6, the user manipulates the seat 22 to move the front 38 of the seat 22 at least generally in the direction depicted by the arrow D in FIG. 7, typically while still in a standing position. In the deployed position of FIG. 7, the upper strap sections 56 are preferably of an intermediate length compared to the configurations of FIGS. 5 and 6. That is, preferably the upper strap sections 56 in FIG. 7 are longer compared to the FIG. 5 configuration (the stowed position for the seat 22), but are shorter compared to the FIG. 6 configuration (an intermediate position in the deployment of the seat 22). As such, the upper strap sections 56 will retract to at least a degree at some point in time of the movement of the seat 22 from the intermediate position of FIG. 6 to the deployed position of FIG. 7 (possibly when the deployed position of FIG. 7 is reached). In any case, the upper strap sections 56 are preferably in tension or stretched to a degree in the deployed position of FIG. 7 to “pull” the seat 22 against the butt of the user, although such may not be required in all instances.

The garment assembly 10 with its deployable seat 22 offers a number of advantages. One is that the user does not have to “unlock” or “unlatch” any buckles to move the seat 22 from the stowed position (e.g., FIG. 5) to a deployed position (e.g., FIG. 7). Unlocking or unlatching buckles generates undesired noise for hunting applications. Stated another way, all structural connections between the seat 22 and the garment 14 of the garment assembly 10 may be retained or maintained while moving the seat 22 between its stowed position and a deployed position. Moreover, the user does not have to hold onto the seat 22 when moving from standing position to a position where the user is sitting on the seat 22, as the upper strap sections 56 may provide a force for retaining the seat 22 against the user at this time. Yet another advantage is that the user may leave the seat 22 in a deployed position when moving from one location to another location. That is, the user may stand up from the position illustrated in FIG. 7 and need not grab the seat 22 to do so—the upper strap sections 56 should retain the top or upper surface 26 of the seat 22 against the butt of the user during the user's transition from the sitting position of FIG. 7 to a standing position. Moreover, the seat 22 may be retained in a deployed position (i.e., the seat 22 need not be moved back to the stowed position of FIG. 5) if the user is moving only a short distance—the upper strap sections 56 again should retain the top or upper surface 26 of the seat 22 against the butt of the user. However, if the user is going to move any significant distance, the foregoing deployment protocol may be reversed to dispose the seat 22 back into the stowed position of FIG. 5 (again, without having to disconnect the seat 22 from the garment 14 of the garment assembly 10 in any manner).

As discussed above, the deployable seat may be formed from a multiple layer cushion, including at least one memory foam layer. FIG. 9 is a front cross-sectional view of a seat cushion showing a specific implementation in this regard. The illustrated seat cushion 100 includes an uppermost layer 102 positioned proximate to the user, a lowermost layer 106 that will be disposed proximate to the ground, stadium bench or the like in use, and an intermediate layer 104. Although not shown, the cushion may be enclosed in a covering formed from suitable material such as nylon. The cover may have a camouflage pattern, a bright orange color or be colored and patterned in any other style desirable for the intended us. For example, the covering may have one side that has a camouflage or dark coloring and another side that has a bright orange or other attention-getting coloring so that a hunter can flip the seat, using the mechanisms described above, to select which side is exposed.

In the illustrated embodiment, the uppermost layer 102 is formed from a memory foam material so as to conform to the contours of the user and provide the desired cushioning/load spreading properties. However, for certain users or under certain conditions, such a memory foam material may become thin in some areas or substantially “bottom out.” Accordingly, in the illustrated embodiment, the cushion 100 further includes an intermediate layer 104 formed from a cushioning non-memory foam material. It will be appreciated that this material also allows for construction of a lightweight cushion 100, as may be desired and provides some thermal insulation of the uppermost layer 102 (which may have temperature dependent characteristics) from the ground, a stadium seat or the like. For example, the intermediate layer 104 may be formed from a relatively soft open cell foam material.

The illustrated cushion 100 further includes a lowermost layer 106 formed from, for example, a denser and more durable (in relation to the intermediate layer 104) cushioning material. In the illustrated embodiment, the lowermost layer 106 is formed from a closed cell foam. It will be appreciated that this layer 106 further ensures the significant cushioning for substantially any user under substantially any condition.

The cushion 100 is dimensioned so as to provide adequate seat cushioning. For example, the cushion 100 may have a width of between about 9″-18″ and a front to back depth of between about 6″-12″. Larger sizes may be used for increased comfort or to accommodate larger users. Smaller sizes may be used for smaller users (e.g., children) or to reduce overall weight. The thicknesses of the layers 102, 104 and 106 are indicated by the arrows x, y and z respectively. These thicknesses are selected together with the cushioning properties of the various materials (e.g., durometer values) to provide adequate cushioning for the desired application or expected range of users and applications. In the illustrated embodiment, the uppermost and intermediate layers 102 and 104 each have an uncompressed thickness (x and y) of between about 1″-2″, for example, 1.25″. The lowermost layer 106 has a thickness z of between about ¼″-1″, for example, ½″. However, it would be appreciated that different layers and thicknesses may be utilized in accordance with the present invention. The noted materials and thicknesses have been found to provide good cushioning for a range of users across a range of conditions while providing a cushion weight that is not unduly heavy.

Although the invention has been described with respect to a particular vest/deployable seat combination, it will be appreciated that memory foam may be incorporated into other types of portable seats, including hand carried stadium-style seats. In addition, although the memory foam seat has been disclosed in context where it is connected to a backrest by way of straps, it will be appreciated that memory foam may be used in connection with portable seats having a rigid frame, for example, formed from aluminum. Also, significant advantages associated with the memory foam construction may be achieved even without the use of a backrest.

The foregoing description of the present invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description. Furthermore, the description is not intended to limit the invention to the form disclosed herein. Consequently, variations and modifications commensurate with the above teachings, and skill and knowledge of the relevant art, are within the scope of the present invention. The embodiments described hereinabove are further intended to explain best modes known of practicing the invention and to enable others skilled in the art to utilize the invention in such, or other embodiments and with various modifications required by the particular application(s) or use(s) of the present invention. It is intended that the appended claims be construed to include alternative embodiments to the extent permitted by the prior art.