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This application claims priority to U.S. provisional Application No. 60/762,152, filed Jan. 25, 2006, which is incorporated herein by reference.
The present invention relates generally to tents, and more particularly to tent construction.
Tents are portable shelters made of lightweight, often waterproof, fabrics. Typically, a tent is a collapsible shelter of canvas or other material stretched over and sustained by a frame. Tents are used for camping outdoors, or as temporary structures. Tents come in a variety of shapes, including dome and cabin tents.
Most modern tents typically include a pole structure for supporting the tent. The tent is typically spaced downward and/or inward from the pole structure. For example, a tent may be attached to a pole structure by extending poles for the pole structure through sleeves on the tent, and anchoring ends of the poles to corners of the tent so that the tent is fully supported by the pole structure. Thus, the tent hangs downward from poles via the sleeves. Alternatively, the pole structure may be erected so that the tent is attached to and hangs down from the poles with different structures, for example by hooks. A rainfly is typically supported across the top of the pole structure, and may be additionally attached to the ground by stakes or may be attached to the tent in another manner.
The following presents a simplified summary of some embodiments of the invention in order to provide a basic understanding of the invention. This summary is not an extensive overview of the invention. It is not intended to identify key/critical elements of the invention or to delineate the scope of the invention. Its sole purpose is to present some embodiments of the invention in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.
In accordance with an embodiment, a rainfly for a tent is provided that includes protection from ultraviolet rays for individuals inside the tent. In an embodiment, the tent fly has an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) for individuals within the tent of 50 or greater.
In an embodiment, the rainfly also has the ability to protect fabric from ultraviolet color and/or strength degradation. Thus, the rainfly and tent fabric under the rainfly do not fade excessively when exposed to ultraviolet light and exhibit color fastness.
In accordance with another embodiment, a rainfly may be made of a fabric that is designed to reflect radiant heat energy of the sun, and therefore keep a tent under the rainfly cool in the summer. In accordance with another embodiment, the rainfly may include material that allows the rainfly to absorb or retain the heat energy of the sun and keep the inside of the tent warm in the winter. In an embodiment, a rainfly is reversible, and provides both of these features.
Other features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description.
FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of a tent having a rainfly incorporating an embodiment;
FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of the tent of FIG. 1 with the rainfly turned upside down.
In the following description, various embodiments of the present invention will be described. For purposes of explanation, specific configurations and details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the embodiments. However, it will also be apparent to one skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without the specific details. Furthermore, well-known features may be omitted or simplified in order not to obscure the embodiment being described.
The present invention is directed to a rainfly for a tent. Rain flies are known, and are disclosed, for example, in U.S. Application Publication Number 2005/0056591-A1, published Mar. 31, 2005.
An example is shown in FIG. 1, where a tent 20 includes a pole structure 22. A rainfly 24 is positioned on the pole structure and is spaced from the tent in a manner known in the art. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the rainfly includes a first surface 26 (shown as the upper surface in FIG. 1) and a second surface 28 (shown as the lower surface in FIG. 1).
In an embodiment, the rainfly 24 is designed to have an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) for protecting occupants of the tent from ultraviolet rays of the sun. In an embodiment, the protection is 50 UPF or higher. The rainfly may include, for example, a coating that includes an ultraviolet protective additive, such as a blocker or inhibitor. As an example, the coating may be a SILTEX coating, which is a urethane coating with aluminum paste and may include an ultraviolet inhibitor additive. Other ultraviolet protective additives may be added to a rainfly. Preferably, the fabric used for the rainfly would demonstrate water repellency/water resistance and color fastness to wet/dry crocking (dry class 4.0 and wet class 3.0) and static wetting (class 3.5) and meet the CPAI-84 flammability requirements for camping tent materials.
In accordance with another embodiment, the rainfly 24 provides a coating or material to protect the fabric of the rainfly from ultraviolet color/strength degradation, so that the fabric does not fade excessively when exposed to UV light and exhibits a colorfastness, for example of Class 4.0 after 40 hours of Fade-Ometer exposure. The rainfly 24 also preferably demonstrates at least 50 lb/in tensile strength.
In accordance with another embodiment, the rainfly 24 provides the ability to reflect radiant heat energy of the sun so that the inside of the tent 20 is maintained cooler than a tent not having such a rainfly.
In accordance with another embodiment, a rainfly provides an ability to absorb or retain radiant heat energy of the sun and keep the inside of the tent 20 warmer in the winter than a tent not utilizing such a rainfly.
In accordance with an exemplary embodiment, a single rainfly, such as the rainfly 24, provides both the reflection and absorption characteristics described above. These features may be provided, for example, on opposite sides of the rainfly. Such a rainfly may be reversible, and the side which faces upwards is determined based upon the weather in which the tent will be used.
As an example, the rainfly 24 may include a laminated fabric that includes a light color fabric on the first side 26 and a dark color fabric on the second side 28. The light color fabric is exposed upward during warmer months of the year so as to reflect radiant heat energy of the sun away from the tent 20. This arrangement is shown in FIG. 1, where the first side 26 is facing upward. In cooler months, the dark color fabric faces upward so that the radiant heat energy of the sun may be absorbed and the tent 20 made warmer. This second arrangement is shown in FIG. 2, where the rainfly 24 has been turned upside down, and the dark color fabric is on top of the rainfly 24.
If desired, if a laminate rainfly is utilized, a urethane coating with added white pigments may be positioned in between the first and second layers of the fabric. The white pigments may be, for example, titanium dioxide. This coating adds to the reflection and/or absorbing characteristics of the rainfly.
As another example, the rainfly 24 may be made of a single piece of fabric that has a urethane or other coating with dark pigments on one side of the fabric and a reflective coating, such as a SILTEX coating with an ultraviolet additive, on the other side of the fabric.
In still another embodiment, a dark rainfly may be provided that is treated on one side with a SILTEX coating and ultraviolet additives. The SILTEX coating and ultraviolet additives aid in reflecting the radiant heat energy of the sun when that side of the rainfly is exposed upward.
To aid in use of the rainfly in a reversible manner, attachments for the rainfly may be provided so that it may connect in either configuration. For example, grommets, tie strings, hooks, or other features on the rainfly that are positioned along edges of the rainfly may be arranged so that they can attach when the rainfly is in either configuration. In addition, the seams for the rainfly, if any, are preferably sealed so that water repellency is provided in either configuration.
Other variations are within the spirit of the present invention. Thus, while the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative constructions, a certain illustrated embodiment thereof is shown in the drawings and has been described above in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the specific form or forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined in the appended claims.
All references, including publications, patent applications, and patents, cited herein are hereby incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each reference were individually and specifically indicated to be incorporated by reference and were set forth in its entirety herein.
The use of the terms “a” and “an” and “the” and similar referents in the context of describing the invention (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The terms “comprising,” “having,” “including,” and “containing” are to be construed as open-ended terms (i.e., meaning “including, but not limited to,”) unless otherwise noted. The term “connected” is to be construed as partly or wholly contained within, attached to, or joined together, even if there is something intervening. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context. The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., “such as”) provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate embodiments of the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention unless otherwise claimed. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed element as essential to the practice of the invention.
Preferred embodiments of this invention are described herein, including the best mode known to the inventors for carrying out the invention. Variations of those preferred embodiments may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventors expect skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventors intend for the invention to be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.