Title:
PORTABLE COLLAPSIBLE CAMP CHAIR WITH HEATED SEAT AND BACK
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A heated portable collapsible chair includes a collapsible frame. The collapsible frame supports a fabric human contact sheet having a chair seat portion and a chair back portion. A flexible heating element is located adjacent to a back surface of the human contact sheet so that heat generated by the heating element passes through the human contact sheet to warm a user. A battery is provided for selectively heating the heating element. The flexible heating element is preferably affixed to a backing sheet wherein the backing sheet is affixed to the back surface of the human contact sheet. The flexible heating element accommodates the flexing of the human contact sheet when the human contact sheet is distorted when collapsing the chair for storage or transport.



Inventors:
Eckman, Michael (Gulf Breeze, FL, US)
Miller, Timothy (Broken Arrow, OK, US)
Application Number:
12/535915
Publication Date:
02/11/2010
Filing Date:
08/05/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C31/00; A47C4/28
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CRANMER, LAURIE K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FELLERS SNIDER BLANKENSHIP;BAILEY & TIPPENS (THE KENNEDY BUILDING, 321 SOUTH BOSTON SUITE 800, TULSA, OK, 74103-3318, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A heated portable collapsible chair comprising: a collapsible frame; a fabric human contact sheet having a chair seat portion and a chair back portion, said fabric human contact sheet having a back surface and a human contact surface, said fabric human contact sheet supported by said collapsible frame; a flexible heating element located adjacent to said back surface of said human contact sheet, whereby heat generated by said flexible heating element passes through said fabric human contact sheet; and a power source in electrical communication with said flexible heating element for selectively heating said flexible heating element.

2. The chair according to claim 1 wherein: said flexible heating element is affixed to a backing sheet; and said backing sheet is affixed to said back surface of said fabric human contact sheet.

3. The chair according to claim 2 wherein: said backing sheet is a non-woven material.

4. The chair according to claim 1 further comprising: a fabric chair backing portion adjacent to said back surface of said chair seat portion and said chair back portion of said fabric human contact sheet.

5. The chair according to claim 4 further comprising: a battery enclosing compartment affixed to said fabric chair backing portion adjacent to said chair back portion of said fabric human contact sheet.

6. The chair according to claim 1 further comprising: a heat activation switch in electrical communication with said battery and said heating element.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/086,370, entitled “PORTABLE COLLAPSIBLE CAMP CHAIR WITH HEATED SEAT AND BACK,” filed Aug. 5, 2008, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to portable, collapsible camping chairs and more particularly to collapsible chairs with heated seats and backs.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Portable, collapsible chairs that can be rolled up for easy storage and transport are well known. Chairs of this type are shown, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,164,726 to Reeves et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,755,462 to Zheng, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,382,715 to Tang.

A conventional collapsible chair comprises a foldable chair frame constructed by metal tubes and a seat fabric. The foldable chair frame comprises a plurality of construction tubes to construct a back frame and a seat frame for supporting the fabric seat. The fabric seat of the conventional collapsible chair is preferably made of durable fabric, such as twilled nylon or other mixing material such as polyurethane.

Because conventional collapsible chairs can be quickly and easily unfolded for use and folded into a compact fold-up structure for transport, the user can carry the collapsible chairs to all kinds of outdoor activities, such as camping and sporting events. However, conventional collapsible chairs are not ideal for winter use because the nylon material of the fabric seats does not accumulate heat so that the user has to tolerate the cold air on his backside. Even though the body temperature of the user may warm up the upper contacting surface of the fabric seat, the bottom surface immediately wicks away the body heat to the cold environment below.

Folding stadium seats are also well known, and some even incorporate a heating element for warming the user's back and seat. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,007,572 to Baldwin and U.S. Pat. No. 6,848,746 disclose folding stadium seats with heating elements. However, these types of seats are uncomfortable and are typically used on the bench seating typical of sports stadiums. Folding stadium seats are not practical or comfortable for use while camping or watching outdoor events where no stadium seating is provided.

What is needed is a stand-alone, collapsible, portable chair that warms the user's body and is comfortable and easy to transport.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A main object of the present invention is to provide a portable, collapsible chair that includes a heating element in the seat and back that keeps a user warm when using the chair outside, particularly during the winter.

The heated portable collapsible chair includes a frame having four legs, a chair back support, and a pair of arm members. A fabric human contact sheet has a seat portion and a chair back portion. The fabric human contact sheet is typically provided with a plurality of orifices for receiving portions of the frame. Fabric armrests may also be provided.

A fabric backing portion is provided with fabric receptacles for receiving upper ends of the chair back support. The fabric backing portion is affixed to and is adjacent to the seat portion and the chair back portion of the fabric human contact sheet.

A heating pad is secured to a back or under surface of the human contact sheet. The heating pad includes a fabric backing sheet and heating elements. For purposes of this invention, both the fabric backing sheet and the heating elements are flexible to facilitate the collapsing of the chair, in particular the collapse of the human contact sheet when the chair is configured for storage. Heat generated by the heating elements passes through the human contact sheet to warm a user.

A fabric chair backing portion provides an attractive cover so that the heating pad is not visible. A battery enclosing compartment is affixed to the fabric chair backing portion at a location that is adjacent to the chair back portion of the human contact sheet. A battery is located in the battery enclosing compartment. The battery is in electrical communication with the heating element of the heating pad. A heat activation switch, preferably provided on the battery, is in electrical communication with the heating element.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a fully assembled portable collapsible chair of the invention with broken away portions to reveal heating pads.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged view showing a top surface of the heating pad and a perspective view of a battery pack for use with the chair of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is side view of the chair of FIG. 1 with the heating pad showing in phantom lines.

FIG. 4 is a rear view of the chair of FIG. 1 showing a battery enclosing compartment affixed to a fabric chair backing portion and showing the heating pad with phantom lines.

FIG. 5 is a front perspective view of the chair of FIG. 1 shown in an unfolded or use configuration.

FIG. 6 is a front perspective view of the chair of FIG. 1 shown in a partially collapsed or storage configuration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention discloses a portable, collapsible camping chair that has a heated seat and back. The chair has a self-contained rechargeable electrical power source, such as a battery, for operating an electrical heating element. The heating element is made from a flexible material so that the chair can be folded and collapsed into a compact configuration for locating in a cylindrical bag for storage and transport. An external charger is used to charge the batteries prior to use so that the portable camping chair can be used in locations not accessible by electrical power. The chair includes a power switch that controls the heating element so the operator has the option of off, low or high temperature for their comfort. The battery may be located in an attached pouch that is water resistant.

The battery will preferably provide heat for 3 to 6 hours depending on the setting of the chair and the outside temperature. In one embodiment, the chair has the capability of being plugged directly into an electrical outlet. The battery may also have the capability of being charged from a car charger.

Referring now to the figures, shown is a heated, portable, collapsible chair designated generally 10. Heated chair 10 includes a frame, designated generally 12. Frame 12 includes four feet 14 connected to interconnected collapsible frame members 15. Rear legs 16 form a chair back support. Front members 18 form a pair of arm supports.

A fabric human contact sheet is designated generally 20. Fabric human contact sheet 20 is made up of seat portion 22 and chair back portion 24. Seat portion 22 of fabric human contact sheet 20 includes a plurality of orifices 26 for receiving portions of frame 12.

Left arm rest 28 is provided with rear orifice 30 for receiving one of rear legs 16 and is provided with front orifice 31 for receiving one of front members 18. A right arm rest 32 is provided with a rear orifice 33 for receiving one of rear legs 16 and is provided with a front orifice 34 for receiving one of front members 18.

Fabric chair backing portion 35 (FIGS. 3, 4) has back support receptacles 36 (FIG. 4) affixed thereto for receiving upper ends of chair back support 16 of frame 12. Fabric chair backing portion 35 is adjacent to seat portion 22 and chair back portion 24 of fabric human contact sheet 20 and is preferably sewn together with fabric human contact sheet 20. Although a single fabric chair backing portion 35 is shown, other configurations, including a chair back segment and separate chair seat segment could also be utilized.

A heating pad is designated generally 38. Heating pad 38 includes heating elements 40 that are secured to a backing sheet 42. Heating elements 40 are preferably constructed of 1 k carbon fiber, although other materials may also be used. Heating element 40 must be flexible to accommodate the collapsing of human contact sheet 20 when the chair is reconfigured from a use configuration to a collapsed or storage configuration. In particular, heating pad 38, with attached heating elements 40 should be sufficiently flexible to fold onto itself, i.e., to touch opposite edges, to ensure that heating pad 38 is sufficiently compact not to impede collapsing of chair 10. Backing sheet 42 is preferably constructed of a flexible, non-flammable non-woven material, although other materials may also be used. Backing sheet 42 (FIGS. 1, 2) is affixed to a back or under side of human contact sheet 20, i.e. backing sheet 42 is affixed to a surface of human contact sheet 20 that faces away from a seated user. Backing sheet 42 is affixed to seat portion 22 and chair back portion 24, preferably via an upper stitch 44, a middle stitch 46, and a lower stitch 48.

Heat is generated by heating elements 40. Heat generated by heating elements 40 passes through human contact sheet 20 for warming a user. As can be seen in FIG. 6, human contact sheet 20 is substantially deformed when frame 12 is collapsed for locating chair 10 in a collapsed configuration for storage and transport. Therefore, as discussed above, heating pad 38, which includes heating element 40 and backing sheet 42, is designed to also be sufficiently flexible so as not to interfere with the ability of chair 10 to collapse, yet still retains the ability to provide heat to a user.

A battery enclosing compartment 50 is affixed to fabric backing portion 35 at a location adjacent to chair back portion 24. Battery compartment flap 52 is preferably provided for enclosing battery 54 within battery compartment 50. Flap 52 is preferably provided with fastener 58, such as a hook and loop fastener or other fastening mechanism to secure battery 54 therein.

Battery 54 is preferably a rechargeable lithium ion battery, although other types of batteries may also be used. Battery 54 is sized for locating in battery enclosing compartment 50. Battery 54 is in electrical communication with heating elements 40 via electrical cord 60 (FIG. 2). In a preferred embodiment, battery 54 is provided with a high/low switch 62 (FIG. 2) for providing a selected amount of power to heating elements 40.

Collapsible chair 12 of the invention provides the benefit of a flexible, conforming heating pad 38. Such a configuration permits chair 12 to be collapsed into a substantially cylindrical configuration for insertion in a tubular bag for ease of transportation.

Additionally, the flexible conforming nature of heating pad 12 permits maximum contact of heating elements 40 with a user's body as the user weights seat portion 22 and chair back portion 24 of fabric human contact sheet 20. The fabric portions 22, 24 and attached heating pad 38 partially wrap around a seated user for increased heat transfer.

Thus, the present invention is well adapted to carry out the objectives and attain the ends and advantages mentioned above as well as those inherent therein. While presently preferred embodiments have been described for purposes of this disclosure, numerous changes and modifications will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. Such changes and modifications are encompassed within the spirit of this invention as defined by the claims.