Title:
Multi-Purpose Camping Accessory
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A towel including: a sheet including a water-absorbent material; and a hood extending outwardly from an edge of the sheet; wherein the sheet may be compactly folded relative to the hood so as to form a glove.



Inventors:
Gostt, Nicholas (New South Wales, AU)
Gostt, Anthea (New South Wales, AU)
Application Number:
11/570768
Publication Date:
10/30/2008
Filing Date:
06/17/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D75/52; A45F4/00; A45F4/02; A47J45/10; A47L19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PERREAULT, ANDREW D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Brooks, Kushman P. C. (1000 TOWN CENTER, TWENTY-SECOND FLOOR, SOUTHFIELD, MI, 48075, US)
Claims:
1. 1.-122. (canceled)

123. A flexible container for use as a multi-purpose camping accessory including: a releasably sealable opening; a first storage compartment accessible via the opening; and a second storage compartment separated from the first storage compartment by a barrier, wherein the first compartment is adapted to receive a user's hand via the opening.

124. A flexible container as claimed in claim 123 wherein the first compartment is adapted to receive a user's hand when it is turned inside out.

125. A flexible container as claimed in claim 124 including a water absorbent material disposed on an internal surface of the first compartment and which becomes exposed when the first compartment is turned inside out.

126. A flexible container as claimed in claim 123 including a heat-resistant material extending across an external surface of the container.

127. A flexible container as claimed in claim 123 wherein at least one finger and/or thumb hold is disposed on an internal surface of the first compartment.

128. A flexible container as claimed in claim 123 wherein the first storage compartment is a capable of functioning as a glove.

129. A flexible container as claimed in claim 128 wherein the glove is releasably attachable to a first surface of the sheet.

130. A flexible container as claimed in claim 128 wherein the glove includes a releasable strap whereby the releasable strap can adjustably tighten the glove.

131. A flexible container as claimed in claim 123 wherein the second storage compartment is a capable of functioning as a towel.

132. A flexible container as claimed in claim 131 wherein the towel includes: a sheet including a periphery; and a means of drawing the periphery together whereby an object is able to be enclosed within the sheet.

133. A flexible container as claimed in claim 131 wherein the towel includes: a flexible sleeve having releasably sealable first and second openings at opposing ends of the sleeve.

134. A flexible container as claimed in claim 131 wherein the towel also includes a layer of substantially water-resistant material disposed on the sheet.

135. A flexible container as claimed in claim 134 wherein the layer of water-resistant material is detachable from the sheet.

136. A towel including: a sheet including a water-absorbent material; and a hood extending outwardly from an edge of the sheet; and a means of selectively expanding and/or contracting an opening in the hood; wherein the sheet is foldable into the hood when the opening is opened by the expansion/contraction means, whereby the expansion/contraction means is then deployed such that the hood may then form a glove.

137. A towel as claimed in claim 136 wherein the glove is formed by folding the sheet into a bundle and stuffing the bundle in to the hood via the opening in the hood.

138. A towel as claimed in claim 137 wherein when the bundle is disposed within the hood, the opening of the hood may be contracted around the bundle so as to hold the glove intact.

139. A towel as claimed in claim 136 including a heat-resistant material disposed on a surface of the hood.

140. A towel as claimed in claim 139 wherein the heat-resistant material forms an outer surface of the formed glove which abuts against a user's hand in use.

141. A towel as claimed in claim 136 wherein the means of selectively expanding and/or contracting the opening includes a cord which is threaded around a channel disposed on the periphery of hood opening.

142. A towel as claimed in claim 136 including a pocket disposed on a second side of the hood.

143. A towel as claimed in claim 142 wherein an opening of the pocket includes a secondary releasable seal to constrict the pocket opening.

144. A towel as claimed in claim 136 wherein the hood is releasably attachable to the sheet.

145. A towel as claimed in claim 136 wherein a fitted enclosure for storing an object is able to be formed by placing the object on a first side of the sheet and wrapping the sheet around the object so as to form a relatively compact bundle, and thereafter, tightening the hood over the compact bundle.

146. A towel as claimed in claim 136 wherein a fitted enclosure for storing an object is able to be formed by placing the object in the hood opening and tightening the hood around the object.

147. A towel as claimed in claim 145 wherein, when arranged to form a fitted enclosure for an object, the water-absorbent material is positioned internally of the enclosure.

148. A towel as claimed in claim 136 including a fastening means for releasably holding the sheet and the hood in relation to each other to maintain at least one of the following formations: a fitted enclosure; a glove.

149. A towel including: a first pouch including a water-absorbent material; and a second pouch attached to the first pouch at a surface thereof; wherein the first pouch and the second pouch can be arranged, relative to each other, to provide a towel in a first configuration, and to provide a glove in a second configuration.

150. A towel as claimed in claim 149 wherein the first pouch is turned inside out to enclose the second pouch therewithin and to provide the towel of the first configuration.

151. A towel as claimed in claim 150 wherein the first pouch is releasably attachable to the second pouch.

152. A towel as claimed in claim 150 wherein the second pouch includes, at an external surface thereof when in the second configuration, a padded surface.

153. A towel as claimed in claim 152 wherein the padded surface is heat-resistant.

154. A towel as claimed in claim 150 wherein the first pouch is relatively larger than the second pouch.

155. A towel as claimed in claim 150 wherein the first and second pouches include first and second openings respectively, and wherein the first pouch is attached to the second pouch such that the first opening is disposed next to the second opening.

156. A towel as claimed in claim 150 further including a means of releasably sealing the first and second openings when in the first configuration, or releasably sealing the first opening when in the second configuration.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to the field of camping, backpacking and the like.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Camping is a popular past-time for many people throughout the world and as such, it has given rise to a substantial commercial market for camping equipment and accessories which are designed to enhance the overall comfort and enjoyment of the camping experience. Notwithstanding the assortment of camping products and accessories which currently exist on the market, there is still a perceived need for ways in which to address a number of common problems encountered by campers.

Firstly, when setting out on a camping expedition, a camper may ideally seek to take along a selection of useful accessories including, amongst other things, a cloth and a pillow. Unfortunately, the camper will often have to leave behind these or other items due to the limited space available in the camper's backpack. Another problem is that the cost of purchasing a multiplicity of different camping accessories becomes increasingly expensive as more and more accessories are acquired.

Another problem faced by campers is that it is generally difficult to remove a cooking pot from a campfire, cooking stove, hot-plate, barbecue or the like, without burning oneself. A typical approach to addressing this problem is to grab the pot with a cloth that has been crudely wrapped around the camper's hand, before then removing the hot pot from the fire. Unfortunately, such cloths are ill-suited for performing this task as they typically lack suitable heat-shielding, and, are also poorly adapted to snugly fit a person's hand to prevent slippage. Consequently, serious injury can be caused to a person's hand in this manner.

Another problem which arises is that it tends to be easy for eating utensils and other small items to be easily misplaced whilst camping. One approach to addressing this problem has been to store the utensils in close proximity to a cooking pot, container or the like, when they are not in use in accordance with the notion that by keeping the smaller items in close proximity with the larger items, they are less likely to be misplaced. However, the pot is susceptible to being scratched or otherwise damaged by its contact with the utensils stored in proximity to the pot, particularly where the utensils and the pot are both metallic.

After washing a cooking pot at a campsite, it is necessary to either manually dry the pot with a tea towel, or let it dry naturally in the sun, before the pot can then be placed in the backpack without wetting other items. The additional time wasted in having to dry the pot is an undesirable inconvenience, particularly where the camper is in a hurry and needs to store the pot away quickly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention seeks to alleviate at least one of the problems described above in relation to the prior art.

The present invention involves several different broad forms. Embodiments of the invention may include one or any combination of the different broad forms herein described.

In a first broad form, the present invention provides a towel including:

    • a sheet including a water-absorbent material; and
    • a hood extending outwardly from an edge of the sheet;
    • wherein the sheet may be compactly folded relative to the hood so as to form a glove.

Preferably, the present invention includes a heat-resistant material. More preferably, the heat-resistant material is disposed on a surface of the hood. Also preferably, when the sheet is compactly arranged relative to the hood to form the glove, the heat-resistant material forms an outer surface of the glove which protects a user's hand from being burnt, when the glove is in use.

Preferably, the means of selectively expanding and/or contracting the size of the opening includes a cord which is threaded around a channel disposed on the periphery of hood opening. Preferably, by pulling the ends of the cord, the opening may be contracted. Conversely, by selectively adjusting the length of the cord threaded through the channel, the opening may be allowed to expand and/or contract as the need arises. Advantageously, the adjustability of the cord allows the glove to snugly fit a variety of hand dimensions. A toggle for clamping the cord ends together may be used when the cord ends have been suitably adjusted such that the hood opening will be maintained either in an expanded or contracted arrangement. Also, the cord may be tightened when the glove is being worn by a user such that the glove is held more securely in place upon the user's hand.

Preferably a first side of the hood includes a concave characteristic which extends outwardly away from a first side of the sheet. Also preferably, a second side of the hood includes a pocket. Advantageously, the pocket may provide a storage compartment for storing small items. Typically at least one finger/thumb hold may be disposed within the pocket to allow a user's hand to have additional grip within the glove.

Preferably, by adjusting the cord, the opening of the pocket is also able to be constricted so as to prevent objects stored within the pocket from falling out. Typically, the opening of the pocket may also include a secondary releasable seal—for instance, a Velcro™-type fastening means. Conveniently, the inclusion of a secondary releasable seal may further prevent objects stored within the pocket from falling out. Advantageously, the secondary releasable seal allows the pocket to be sealed even when the present invention is arranged in spread-eagled fashion and the cord is not tightened.

Typically the glove is formed by folding the sheet into a bundle and stuffing the bundle in to the hood via an opening in the hood. More preferably, when the bundle is disposed within the hood, the opening of the hood may be contracted around the bundle, whereby the contraction of the opening around the bundle assists in holding the glove intact and alleviates the occurrence of the glove unraveling. When wearing the glove, the user's hand may be inserted in to the hood pocket, wherein, a palm of the user's hand is abutted against the padded surface of the hood pocket.

Typically, the hood may be stitched to the sheet. Alternatively, the sheet and the hood may be releasably attachable. In the latter case, the hood may be attached to the edge of the sheet using Velcro™-type strips. Advantageously, the releasable attachment of the sheet and the hood may conveniently allow a user to selectively remove the hood from the sheet when the use of the hood would otherwise be redundant. For instance, this may be the case when the present invention is being used as a towel. Conversely, when the present invention is intended to be arranged as a fitted enclosure, or, as a glove, the hood may be conveniently re-attached to the sheet. The hood and sheet may be provided having a range of disparate theme indicia disposed upon them. In this manner, a consumer purchasing the modularised hood and sheet may “mix-and-match” them in accordance with his/her personal tastes and interests.

Preferably, the present invention may be further arranged to form a fitted enclosure for storing a container. Typically, the enclosure is fitted around the container by placing the container on the first side of the sheet and thereafter wrapping the sheet around the container so as to form a relatively compact bundle. The hood may thereafter be pulled over the bundle and thereafter the hood opening may be contracted so as to conveniently serve as a snug-fitting cap for holding the bundle intact. By adjusting the size of the opening of the hood, the hood may adaptively and snugly accommodate a range of container dimensions.

Preferably, when the present invention is arranged to form the fitted enclosure for the container, the water absorbent material is positioned internally of the enclosure whereby it abuts against, and thereby is able to dry, a damp container situated within the fitted enclosure. Advantageously, this may allow a damp container to be stored whilst in a damp state rather than having to waste time in manually drying the container before it is stored. When the present invention is arranged as an enclosure for a container, the hood may be snugly-fitted around the container so as to ensure that the container is securely held within the enclosure and the enclosure does not unravel.

It would be further appreciated by a person skilled in the art that in certain embodiments, the hood alone may be adapted to form the fitted enclosure around a container without a need for the sheet. In this respect, the container would simply be placed in the hood via the hood opening and the cord pulled tight so that the hood snugly envelopes the container. Advantageously, if the sheet is releasably attachable from the hood, it is possible to enclose the container within the hood whilst simultaneously using the detached sheet as a towel for drying other objects.

Advantageously, when the present invention is arranged to form the fitted enclosure for housing a container, the hood pocket is positioned on an outwardly-facing surface of the enclosure so as to be accessible by the user. Conveniently, the positioning of the pocket on the outer surface of the enclosure provides a separate, yet proximate, compartment for storing, amongst other things, eating utensils. The separate yet proximate compartment alleviates the likelihood of the container being scratched as may be the case in conventional situations where the utensils are typically stored together in a common compartment with the container.

Preferably the present invention may be further adapted to form a pillow case. Typically, the pillow is formed by compactly folding the sheet into a bundle and stuffing the folded bundle into the hood. Typically, the pocket and/or hood may further be stuffed with a soft material in order to provided additional cushioning when in use. For instance, this may include a T-shirt or soft grass.

Preferably, the present invention may be further arranged to form a headpiece. Advantageously, the hood may form a cap-piece which is adapted to sit upon a person's head, whilst the sheet may be draped across the person's neck and/or back so as to conveniently protect the person from the harmful effects of the sun.

Preferably, the water-absorbent layer includes cotton. It would be appreciated by a person skilled in the art that in alternative embodiments, any number of other suitably water-absorbent materials may also be used.

Preferably, the heat-resistant layer may include a relatively thicker layer of cotton material than is used to form the sheet. Typically the layer of cotton may include a plurality of cotton sheets overlayed upon each other to form the relatively thicker layer of cotton material. Typically, multiple layers of cotton material may be stitched together.

Preferably, the present invention includes a fastening means which may assist in releasably holding the various arrangements of the present invention in place. Typically, the fastening means may include Velcro™ strips which may be strategically positioned at locations upon the sheet and/or hood surface. Alternatively, the fastening means may include buttons, clips, or any suitable combination thereof. In one embodiment, Velcro™ strips may be arranged on the edges of the sheet to assist in holding the sheet snugly secured around a container when the container is to be enclosed by the present invention.

Preferably, the present invention does not include metallic materials so as to alleviate its capacity to conduct heat.

It would be appreciated by a person skilled in the art that, in alternative embodiments, the shape and/or dimensions of the present invention may vary in order to accommodate a variety of container shapes and sizes. For instance, the hood may include a square or rectangular-shaped configuration, or alternatively, a curved or rounded configuration to snugly complement a surface characteristic of a container which is to be enclosed.

Typically the glove is formed by folding the sheet into a bundle and stuffing the bundle in to the hood via an opening in the hood. More preferably, when the bundle is disposed within the hood, the opening of the hood may be contracted around the bundle, whereby the contraction of the opening around the bundle assists in holding the glove intact and alleviates the occurrence of the glove unraveling. When wearing the glove, the user's hand may be inserted in to the hood pocket, wherein, a palm of the user's hand is abutted against the padded surface of the second pouch.

In a second broad form, the present invention includes:

    • a first pouch including a water-absorbent material; and
    • a second pouch attached to and extending outwardly from an edge of the first pouch;
    • wherein the first pouch and the second pouch may be arranged relative to each other to form at least a first configuration providing a towel, and, a second configuration providing a glove.

Typically, the first pouch includes a rectangular-shaped configuration. The configuration of the pouch may alternatively be circular-shaped or any other configuration which is adapted to complement the surface configuration of a container or other object which is intended for storage in the first pouch. Also preferably, the first pouch may include a cotton material.

Preferably, the second pouch includes a rectangular-shaped configuration. Typically, the second pouch includes a cotton material. Also preferably, the second pouch includes a padded surface which may typically serve as a heat-protective barrier when the present invention is arranged as a glove.

Preferably, the first pouch may be relatively larger than the second pouch.

Preferably, the first and second pouches includes first and second openings respectively. Also preferably, the first pouch may be attached to the first pouch in such a way that the first opening is disposed adjacent to, but on a reverse side to the second opening.

Preferably, the present invention includes a means of selectively expanding and/or contracting the second opening. Preferably, the present invention includes a cord which is threaded around a channel disposed on the periphery of the second pouch opening. Preferably, by pulling the ends of the cord, the opening may be contracted. Conversely, by selectively adjusting the length of the cord threaded through the channel, the opening may be allowed to expand and/or contract as the need arises. A toggle may be used to clamp the cord ends together when they have been suitably adjusted such that the pouch opening will be maintained either in an expanded or contracted arrangement. Advantageously, the adjustable cord allows the second pouch to be releasably sealed. Also preferably, the second opening may include a secondary releasable seal such as a pair of Velcro™ Strips which may allow the second pouch opening to be releasably sealed even when the cord is not tightened.

Preferably, when arranging the present invention into the glove configuration, the first pouch may be compactly folded together and then stuffed in to the second pouch. The glove may be worn by a user wherein a palm of the user's hand is abutted against the padded surface of the second pouch. The glove may be tightened around the user's hand by adjusting the length of the cord running through the periphery of the second pouch.

In certain embodiments, the first pouch may be releasably attachable to the second pouch using any suitable type of connection means including Velcro™-type strips, press-studs and the like.

In a third broad form, the present invention provides a flexible container for use in releasably storing a cooking pot including:

    • a releasably sealable opening;
    • a first storage compartment;
    • and, a second storage compartment separated from the first storage compartment by a barrier.

Advantageously, the present invention may be useful in separating a pot from utensils into separate but proximate compartments to alleviate scratching.

Preferably, the present invention includes a water absorbent material. Typically, the water absorbent material may include cotton. More preferably, the after absorbent material may be disposed on an internal surface of the container. Advantageously, by having the water-absorbent material disposed on an internal surface of the container, an object such as a cooking pot may be conveniently dried, if damp, whilst it is being stored.

Also preferably, the present invention includes a heat-resistant material. More preferably, the present invention may be disposed on an outer surface of the container. Typically, the heat-resistant material includes a plurality of cotton layers overlayed upon each other.

Preferably, the present invention may be turned inside out around the first compartment, and a hand inserted into the inverted first compartment so as to be worn as a glove. Advantageously, by turning the present invention inside-out, the glove may provide a more snug fit for a user's hand.

Preferably, finger/thumb holds may be disposed on an internal surface of the first chamber to allow a user to have greater grip when using the present invention as a glove.

Preferably, the releasably sealable opening includes a cord which is threaded around a channel disposed around a periphery of the container opening. Preferably, by adjustably pulling on, or, releasing ends of the cord which protrude from the channel, the opening may be selectively constricted, or opened, by a user. The present invention may include a toggle for clamping the cord ends together when they have been suitably adjusted such that the opening will be maintained either in an opened arrangement or a sealed arrangement. Advantageously, the adjustability of the cord may also allow the present invention to snugly fit a variety of hand dimensions when it is being used as a glove. Also, the cord may be tightened when the glove is being worn by a user such that the glove is held more securely in place upon the user's hand.

Preferably, Velcro™-type strips may be disposed substantially at the releasably sealable opening which advantageously allows the opening to be sealed even when the cord is not used to tighten the opening.

Preferably, the present invention may be adapted for use as a pillow case wherein the container may be stuffed with padded material to conveniently form a pillow. The stuffing may be held within the pillow case by virtue of the releasably sealable opening.

In a fourth broad form, the present invention provides a towel including:

    • a sheet; and
    • a means of drawing a periphery of the sheet inwardly together whereby an object is able to be releasably enclosed within the sheet; and
    • a glove which is releasably attachable to a first surface of the sheet.

Preferably, the sheet includes a substantially circular, or, otherwise rounded shape.

Typically, the means of drawing the periphery of the sheet inwardly together includes a cord which may be threaded around a channel disposed on the sheet periphery. Preferably, by tightening, or, releasing ends of the cord which protrude from the channel, the sheet periphery may be selectively constricted, or relaxed, by a user. The present invention may include a toggle for clamping the cord ends together when they have been suitably adjusted such that the sheet periphery is able to be kept drawn together if necessary.

Typically, the channel disposed on the periphery of the sheet may include cut-out portions at spaced-intervals. Advantageously, this may make it easier to draw the sheet periphery together and/or to release the sheet periphery such that the sheet can be laid out into a flat position.

Typically, the glove includes a heat-resistant material.

Typically, the glove is releasably attachable to the first surface of the sheet using a Velcro™-type connecting means. For instance, a first Velcro strip may be attached to the glove and a corresponding Velcro strip is disposed upon the first surface of the sheet. The glove may also include a further Velcro strap which can be releasably engaged with the Velcro strip on the glove so as to adjustably tighten the glove to more snugly fit various hand sizes.

Preferably, the glove opening is able to be releasably sealed such that it may conveniently the glove may serve a secondary function as a storage compartment for, amongst other things, eating utensils. The opening of the glove may be sealed for instance using Velcro, press studs and the like. Thus, it is envisaged that a camper may be able to concurrently securely store utensils in the glove whilst it is attached to the sleeve, and simultaneously store a pot in the sealed sleeve so as to maintain the utensils and pot in close proximity during transport and/or storage.

In a fifth broad form the present invention provides an apparatus for use in storing a container including:

    • a flexible sleeve having releasably sealable first and second openings at opposing ends of the sleeve; and
    • a glove which is releasably attachable to a first surface of the sleeve.

Preferably, the glove is releasably attachable to an inner surface of the sleeve. Also preferably, when attached, the glove is wholly contained within the sleeve.

Typically, the glove is releasably attachable to the sleeve using a Velcro™-type connecting means. For instance, a first Velcro strip may be attached to the glove and a corresponding Velcro strip is disposed upon the sleeve. The glove may also include a further Velcro strap which can be releasably engaged with the Velcro strip on the glove so as to adjustably tighten the glove to more snugly fit various hand sizes.

Preferably, the sleeve includes a water-absorbent material such as cotton.

Preferably, the glove includes a heat-resistant material.

Preferably, the means of releasably sealing the first and second openings includes cords which may be threaded around channels disposed at peripheries of the first and second openings. Preferably, by adjustably pulling on, or, releasing ends of the cords which protrude from the channels, the opening may be selectively constricted, or opened, by a user as the need arises. The present invention may include a toggle for clamping the cord ends together when they have been suitably adjusted such that the first and second openings will be maintained either in an opened arrangement, or, a sealed arrangement.

Preferably, the glove opening is able to be releasably sealed such that it may conveniently serve a secondary function as a storage compartment for, amongst other things, eating utensils. The opening of the glove may be sealed for instance using Velcro, press studs and the like. Thus, it is envisaged that a camper may be able to concurrently securely store utensils in the glove whilst it is attached to the sleeve, and simultaneously store a pot in the sealed sleeve so as to maintain the utensils and pot in close proximity during transport and/or storage.

Preferably, an end of the cord that is used to seal the first opening may be releasably fastened to the periphery of the second opening of the sleeve. This may involve stretching the first cord end across the sleeve body to attach it to the periphery of the second opening. Similarly, the end of the second cord may be releasable fastened to the periphery of the first opening of the sleeve. The first and second cord ends may be fastened to opposing sleeve opening peripheries using clips. Advantageously, when attached in this fashion, the cords may provide a handle for the sleeve which may conveniently assist a user in carrying an object such as a pot which is stowed within the sleeve.

In certain embodiments of the present invention, the water-absorbent material may include approximately 92% viscose and 8% polypropylene. Alternatively, in other embodiments, the water-absorbent material may include approximately 85% polyester and 15% nylon.

It would be appreciated by a person skilled in the art that the use of a Velcro™-type connecting means in different aspects of the present invention may be substituted with any other suitable connection means including, press-studs, buttons, or clips.

It would be appreciated by a person skilled in the art that in any or all of the above-described broad forms of the present invention, where a cord is threaded around a periphery of an opening to releasably seal the opening, the cord end can be attached to a surface of the present invention to function as a handle. The cord end may for instance be attached to the surface by tying the end to a surface protrusion. Advantageously, the cord may be able to serve a dual purpose—that is, as a means of tightening an opening of the present invention, and, as a handle for carrying the present invention about.

It would be appreciated by a person skilled in the art that in certain embodiments of the present invention, a water-resistant material may be included. Typically, the water-resistant material may take the form of an additional layer disposed on the present invention. The water-resistant layer may be releasably attachable to the sheet and/or hood.

It would be appreciated by a person skilled in the art that the present invention may have broader applications to fields beyond that of camping. For instance, the present invention may also be suitable for use by kitchen-hands, chefs, home-makers, constructions workers, and so on.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will become more fully understood from the following detailed description of a preferred but non-limiting embodiment thereof, described in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of a first embodiment of the present invention wherein it is laid-out in spread-eagled fashion suitable for use as a towel. The first surface of the sheet is shown face-up.

FIG. 2 depicts a perspective view of the first embodiment of the present invention wherein it is laid out in spread-eagled fashion. The second surface of the sheet is shown face-up

FIG. 3 depicts a side-view of the first embodiment of the present invention as seen looking in to the pocket.

FIG. 4 depicts the first embodiment of the present invention wherein it is arranged to form a fitted-enclosure around a container.

FIG. 5 depicts a second embodiment of the present invention including an open-ended sleeve. The second embodiment is shown in spread-eagled-fashion without a container being stored therein.

FIG. 6 depicts the second embodiment revealing the glove releasably attached to an inner surface of the sleeve.

FIG. 7 depicts the second embodiment including a container that is releasably sealed within the sleeve.

FIG. 8 depicts a third embodiment including a substantially round-shaped sheet and a releasably attachable glove.

FIG. 9 shows the third embodiment having a container releasably sealed therein.

FIG. 10 shows a perspective view of a fourth embodiment of the present invention in an expanded arrangement.

FIG. 11 shows a perspective view of the fourth embodiment in a collapsed arrangement.

BEST MODES FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

FIGS. 1-4 depict a first embodiment of the present invention including a sheet (1) having a first surface (2) and a second surface (3), a hood (4) with an opening (5). The hood (4) also has an opening (6) which is able to be selectively expanded and/or contracted. The means of expanding and/or contracting the hood (4) includes a adjustable cord (7) and a toggle (16). The cord (7) is threaded through a channel (8) disposed on a periphery (9) of the hood opening (6). Two ends of the cord (7) project from the channel (8) and are fastened together by an adjustable toggle (16). The length of the cord disposed within the channel (8) is adjustable by selectively fastening the toggle (16) along various points on the cord (7) thereby causing the opening (6) of the hood (4) to contract or expand.

The sheet (1) includes a cotton material which includes water-absorbent properties. The sheet (1) also includes a rectangular portion (13) and an extended portion (11) which projects from a first edge (12) of the sheet (1). The dimensions of the rectangular portion (13) are approximately 300 mm×600 mm. It would be appreciated by a person skilled in the art that in alternative embodiments of the present invention, other suitably water-absorbent materials—either synthetic or non-synthetic—may be used in place of cotton. The hood (4) further includes a skirt (4A) and a padded portion (4B). The padded portion (4B) includes multi-layers of cotton which are stitched together to form a quilt-like configuration. It would be appreciated that other heat-insulative materials may be interspersed between the quilted-layers of the cotton forming the padded portion (4B). A person skilled in the art would be expected to form the padded portion (4B) to the extent that it would provide a heat-resistant barrier suitable for protecting a user's hand from being burnt.

The padded portion (4B) of the hood (4) includes substantially the same dimensions as the extended portion (11) of the sheet (1). Also, the padded portion (4B) and the extended portion (11) include substantially bell-shaped surface configurations.

The hood (4) is attached to the extended portion (11) of the sheet (1) by overlaying the padded portion (4B) on to the extended portion (11) and thereby stitching the peripheries of the padded portion (4B) and the extended portion (11) together. Only the curved peripheries of the padded portion (4B) and the extended portion (11) are stitched together, thereby allowing a pocket (15) to be formed between the second surface (3) of the sheet (1) and the padded portion (4B) of the hood (4). The opening of the pocket (15) is releasably sealable by adjusting the cord whereby objects stored within the pocket are prevented from falling out. Additionally, a pair of Velcro™-type strips (12) are disposed on an inner periphery of the pocket opening as a further means of releasably sealing the pocket opening even when the cord is not tightened.

The first embodiment of the present invention is adapted for use as multi-purpose accessory. For instance, it may be arranged into a towel, a fitted enclosure for storing a container, a heat-resistant glove, a pillow case, and/or a hat. Each of these uses will now be described in further detail below.

FIGS. 1 and 2 show the sheet laid-out whereby it is suitable for use as a towel in drying damp items such as pots, utensils and the like.

When adapted for use as a fitted enclosure for storing a container, the sheet (1) is first laid out in spread-eagled fashion with the first side (2) of the sheet arranged face-up as shown in FIG. 1. A container (17) may thereafter be placed on to the first side (2) of the sheet (1) and then wrapped into a bundle by folding the sides of the sheet (1) over the container (17). The hood (4) is thereafter pulled over the bundle such that the skirt (4A) of the hood (4) is draped around the sides of the bundle. To hold the bundle intact, the toggle (16) is slid along the cord (7) so as to shorten the length of the cord (7) within the channel (8)—thereby contracting the opening (6) of the hood (4). In this manner, a snug-fitting enclosure is formed around the container as shown in FIG. 4.

Also as shown in FIG. 4, when arranged in the form of a fitted enclosure around the container, the pocket (15) provides a separate compartment for storing items such as utensils which is in close proximity to the stored container.

When in use as a protective glove, the sheet (1) is again firstly laid-out in spread-eagled fashion whereby the first surface (2) of the sheet (1) is arranged face-up. Thereafter, the sheet (1) is compactly folded together to form a layer approximately the same dimensions as the hood (4). The layer is thereafter rotated onto the extended portion (11) of the hood (4). Thereafter, by adjustably fastening the toggle (16) along the cord (7), the skirt (4A) snugly wraps around the folded layer and holds the glove intact. In this manner, a protective glove is formed whereby it is worn by inserting the user's hand into the pocket (15). Also when worn, the user's palm is pressed against the padded portion (4B) of the hood (4) within the pocket (15), and, the user's thumb is able to be received within the thumb-hold disposed in the pocket (15) so as to provide the user with additional grip within the pocket (15).

FIGS. 5 to 7 show a second embodiment (18) of the present invention including a sleeve (19) having first and second openings (20,21), first and second cords (22,23) disposed in first and second channels (24,25) at peripheries of the first and second openings (20,21) for sealing respective openings (20,21). The second embodiment also includes a glove (26) which is releasably attachable to an inner surface (27) of the sleeve as shown in FIG. 6 wherein the glove is wholly contained within the sleeve (19). The means of releasably attaching the glove (26) to the inner surface (27) of the sleeve (19) includes Velcro-type strips (28). The Velcro-strip (28) is disposed on the inner surface (27) of the sleeve (19) and is shown in FIG. 5 in dotted-outline.

The sleeve (19) can be conveniently used to store a container by inserting the container in to the sleeve (19) via either the first or second openings (20,21) and then drawing the cords (22,23) tightly together to close the respective first and second openings (20,21). The cords include toggles (29,30) as shown which keep the cords (22,23) held tight.

FIGS. 8 and 9 show a third embodiment (31) of the present invention including a round-shaped sheet (32) and a sheet periphery (33). The embodiment also includes a cord (35) which is threaded in a channel (36) disposed in the periphery (33). The third embodiment (31) also includes a glove (34) which is releasably attachable with the sheet (32) using Velcro.

FIGS. 10 and 11 show a fourth embodiment of the present invention including a flexible container (37) for use in releasably storing a cooking pot. The fourth embodiment includes a releasably sealable opening (38), a first storage compartment (39), and, a second storage compartment (40) separated from the first storage compartment (39) by a barrier (41).

The fourth embodiment includes a heat-resistant surface (42) formed from layers of cotton sheets.

By turning the flexible container (37) inside out around the first compartment (39) a person can wear the embodiment as a glove. The user's hand would ordinarily be inserted into the inverted first compartment so as to be worn as a glove.

The opening (38) is the releasably sealed using a cord (43) and toggle arrangement (44) which is threaded around the opening (38) in similar fashion to the other embodiments described herein. Velcro™-type strips are also disposed at entrance to the opening which enable the opening to be releasably sealed even when the cord is not used to tighten the opening (38).

The fourth embodiment is also adapted for use as a pillow case wherein the first and/or second storage compartments (39,40) are able to be stuffed with a soft padded material to conveniently form a pillow. The stuffing may be held within the pillow case by virtue of the releasably sealable opening (38).

It would be appreciated by a person skilled in the art that the dimensions of the first embodiment may be variable depending upon the needs of the user. For instance, the shape and dimensions of the hood may vary depending upon the size of a container which is to be stored. In this embodiment, the hood includes a curved shape which is adapted to snugly complement a curved surface characteristic of a container which is to be enclosed.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the invention described herein is susceptible to variations and modifications other than those specifically described without departing from the scope of the invention. All such variations and modification which become apparent to persons skilled in the art, should be considered to fall within the spirit and scope of the invention as broadly hereinbefore described. It is to be understood that the invention includes all such variations and modifications. The invention also includes all of the steps and features, referred or indicated in the specification, individually or collectively, and any and all combinations of any two or more of said steps or features.

The reference to any prior art in this specification is not, and should not be taken as, an acknowledgment or any form of suggestion that that prior art forms part of the common general knowledge.