Title:
Combination Blanket, Backpack, Seat Cushion and Hooded Coat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A multi purpose device for use in stadium and outdoor venues. The device is user configurable to a blanket, poncho or coat, and a pillow for use at the venue. The device also configures to a pocketed backpack for transport by the user engaged with shoulder straps to their body. An interior pocket when configured to a backpack affords the device a storage compartment to transport other items such as food and drink.



Inventors:
Robinson, Steven W. (Grants Pass, OR, US)
Robinson, Daria (Grants Pass, OR, US)
Application Number:
12/558452
Publication Date:
03/11/2010
Filing Date:
09/11/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/88, 2/158
International Classes:
A45F4/02; A41D3/08; A41D19/01; A45F4/12
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
THEIS, MATTHEW T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DONN K. HARMS (PATENT & TRADEMARK LAW CENTER SUITE 100 12702 VIA CORTINA, DEL MAR, CA, 92014, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A multipurpose backpack and pillow apparatus, comprising: a substantially rectangular body formed of at least two layers of fabric material, said body having a first side surface opposite a second side surface; said body having a central portion and two adjoining side portions extending to two respective side edges; said body having an upper edge and a lower edge both extending between said two side edges; said body having a first configuration, substantially planar with no folds and forming a blanket; said body configurable to a second configuration as a poncho-like garment, when in said first configuration, over the shoulders of a user, with said central portion adjacent to said user's back and with said second side surface adjacent to said user, by: folding said two side portions around said user until edge portions, of each receptive side portion achieve a contact with each other along said respective edge portions; and employing means to secure said edge portions to each other to hold said edge portions in said contact; said body in said first configuration being configurable to a third configuration, substantially forming a seat cushion, by: folding said two side portions to a stacked positioning upon said central portion; with said body in said stacked positioning, placing said lower edge upon said body substantially equidistant between said upper edge and said lower edge, to form a double stacked position upon substantially one half of said center section; and folding said one half of said central section upon a remaining half of said central section, thereby yielding said seat cushion substantially one third the size of said central section.

2. The multipurpose backpack and pillow apparatus of claim 1 additionally comprising: means to maintain said body in said third configuration; a pair of straps engaged to said central section, said straps adapted to engage over the shoulders of a user, whereby said body may be worn on the back of a user for transport.

3. The multipurpose backpack and pillow apparatus of claim 2 additionally comprising: a pocket formed in said body; said pocket having an access in an exposed portion of said first surface with said body in said third configuration; and said pocket adapted to carry user-desired items therein.

4. The multipurpose backpack and pillow apparatus of claim 1 additionally comprising: mitts positioned upon said second surface in positions adapted for a user to insert their hands therein when said body is in said second configuration and being worn by said user.

5. The multipurpose backpack and pillow apparatus of claim 2 additionally comprising: mitts positioned upon said second surface in positions adapted for a user to insert their hands therein when said body is in said second configuration and being worn by said user.

6. The multipurpose backpack and pillow apparatus of claim 3 additionally comprising: mitts positioned upon said second surface in positions adapted for a user to insert their hands therein when said body is in said second configuration and being worn by said user.

7. The multipurpose backpack and pillow apparatus of claim 1 additionally comprising: a hood, said hood positioned adjacent to said upper edge of said body; and said hood so positioned engageable upon a head of a user wearing aid body in said second configuration.

8. The multipurpose backpack and pillow apparatus of claim 2 additionally comprising: a hood, said hood positioned adjacent to said upper edge of said body; and said hood so positioned engageable upon a head of a user wearing aid body in said second configuration.

9. The multipurpose backpack and pillow apparatus of claim 3 additionally comprising: a hood, said hood positioned adjacent to said upper edge of said body; and said hood so positioned engageable upon a head of a user wearing aid body in said second configuration.

10. The multipurpose backpack and pillow apparatus of claim 4 additionally comprising: a hood, said hood positioned adjacent to said upper edge of said body; and said hood so positioned engageable upon a head of a user wearing aid body in said second configuration.

11. The multipurpose backpack and pillow apparatus of claim 5 additionally comprising: a hood, said hood positioned adjacent to said upper edge of said body; and said hood so positioned engageable upon a head of a user wearing aid body in said second configuration.

12. The multipurpose backpack and pillow apparatus of claim 6 additionally comprising: a hood, said hood positioned adjacent to said upper edge of said body; and said hood so positioned engageable upon a head of a user wearing aid body in said second configuration.

13. The multipurpose backpack and pillow apparatus of claim 1 additionally comprising: pleats sewn into said body in a direction extending normal to said upper and lower edge, said pleats providing visual and tactile means to certain dividers between said central portion and said side portions as an aid to folding said body.

14. The multipurpose backpack and pillow apparatus of claim 2 additionally comprising: pleats sewn into said body in a direction extending normal to said upper and lower edge, said pleats providing visual and tactile means to certain dividers between said central portion and said side portions as an aid to folding said body.

15. The multipurpose backpack and pillow apparatus of claim 3 additionally comprising: pleats sewn into said body in a direction extending normal to said upper and lower edge, said pleats providing visual and tactile means to certain dividers between said central portion and said side portions as an aid to folding said body.

16. The multipurpose backpack and pillow apparatus of claim 4 additionally comprising: pleats sewn into said body in a direction extending normal to said upper and lower edge, said pleats providing visual and tactile means to certain dividers between said central portion and said side portions as an aid to folding said body.

17. The multipurpose backpack and pillow apparatus of claim 5 additionally comprising: pleats sewn into said body in a direction extending normal to said upper and lower edge, said pleats providing visual and tactile means to certain dividers between said central portion and said side portions as an aid to folding said body.

Description:

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/096,183 filed on Sep. 11, 2008 and incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to sporting and outdoor event seating. More particularly it relates to a device that provides a combination seating pad, blanket, hooded coat, and is configurable to a backpack for transport to and from a venue, all in a single multi-configurable component.

2. Prior Art

Since the Romans, the attendance of spectators at sporting, concert, and theatrical events, held in stadium venues, has been a popular pastime. For just as long, attendees at such events have had to put up with uncomfortable stadium seating, cold weather, and wind, as well as having to carry food and drink and other accouterments to and from the venue.

While many modern NFL football teams have stadiums which offer individual seats which are indoors and weather protected, and which have seats that are padded, this is not the case in many other stadiums. Colleges, high schools, municipal amphitheaters, and similar outdoor venues, frequently only offer seating on top of concrete benches or the like. Further, even when venturing to covered stadiums, attendees still have to leave in cold or wet weather and generally bring food and drink with them to supplement the expensive fare available at the venue.

As anyone who may have attended a game or event in a stadium with hard seating will know, such seating, be it plastic chairs or simply a hard concrete bench, can be extremely uncomfortable on the user's backside after sitting a few hours. Further, if they carry padding for the seating, coats for possible stormy weather, and food or drinks, it can be extremely hard to carry all of the different items in an orderly fashion while trying to walk amongst crowds of people doing the same.

With regard to the posterior padding problem, over the years pillows and portable chairs have been developed to aid in this uncomfortable problem. However, the need to bring pillows or chairs, in addition to clothing for cold and rainy weather, snacks, drinks, noise makers, signs, binoculars, and other creature comforts loads down the stadium attendee with multiple items to carry which are easily lost or dropped to and from the seating. Further, multiple items are just plain inconvenient to deal with for most people, especially older fans who may have trouble manipulating multiple items being carried to and from the stadium.

The attendee might bag some of the food and drink, and use straps or attachments to their body to carry pads or binoculars and the like. However, this yields a multiplicity of effort to carry what should be a single load to a single venue by a single person. Such an effort also lends itself to set the attendee up to lose one or more transported items since they are hooked to or carried upon various parts of their body.

As such, there is an unmet need for an easily configurable multiple-use stadium seating device which provides the user a cushion for their stay at the venue. In addition to a dry and padded seat cushion, such a device should be configured to be easily carried by any user, be they an adult or child. To enhance utility, such a device should be configurable to also provide a shoulder mountable backpack with internal cavities to allow the user to load items into it and thereby alleviate the need to carry other items hooked to various positions on their body. Due to the high potential for inclement weather, at any outdoor venue be it a sporting event or theater, such a device should also be configurable by the user to change from a pillow to a coat or a rain slicker. Finally, such a device should be easily reconfigurable in all of its various forms to its other forms and should provide simple configurations for use in non stadium venues such as a blanket at the park or beach.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The device herein disclosed and described herein provides this multiple-utility and functionality in a manner which overcomes the noted shortcomings of current stadium pillows and the like. To that end, it is easily configurable to a plurality of forms by the user. Each such configuration provides one of a plurality of uses and functions to the user thereby alleviating the need to venture out to a venue carrying multiple items for multiple individual uses.

The disclosed device, amongst its multiple configurations, has a first mode which forms a comfortable stadium seat cushion which may be easily carried using attached straps on one side surface which are slipped over the users shoulders. In this first configuration, folded to a seat cushion, an exterior surface of the device presents the user with sealable pockets. Each pocket access is sealable and easily viewed. Each access when opened provides a communication with an interior pocket adapted to hold cargo such as food, drink, sunscreen, hats, or other items an individual user may need during their stay at a venue. Thus, while in the seat cushion mode, the device also functions as a shoulder engageable backpack for carrying cargo to and from the destination venue. Each storage pocket is easily accessible through a closure for each opening such as a zipper or hook and loop fabric.

In a second or an unfolded mode, the disclosed device will function for the user as either a blanket which may be worn over the shoulders or lap of the user. Or, this mode allows use by the user as a wearable poncho style coat for warmth should wind or temperature require it.

For easy transformation between configurations, the device provides the user a means to ascertain the proper folding to form the desired configuration. Currently this visual aid to folding is provided by a plurality of pleats in the fabric making up the device which provide a visual reference for folding from the unfolded mode where it may be worn or used as a blanket, to the first configuration or folded mode where it may be used as a pillow or backpack. Of course those skilled in the art will realize that other visual means to guide the user between configurations might be employed such as silkscreening markings on the fabric. As such, any such means to guide the user as to proper folding to move between configurations as would occur to those skilled in the art are considered within the scope of this invention. However, the pleats are particularly preferred due to their permanency since silkscreen may wear off from use.

To configure the device to the second or the blanket or poncho mode, fasteners such as zippers are engaged to a top side edge of the device. These fasteners allow the user to fold the device in half secured around the user like a coat or poncho using the zippers to maintain the device in a poncho or coat-like configuration.

It is well known that due to the high volume of blood flow to the brain, that the head can function as a heat sink in cold weather causing heat loss and rendering a person cold or uncomfortable. The device herein provides additional utility to aid in preventing this heat loss in cold weather or windy weather. This functionality is provided by a deployable hood which is stored in a pocket and accessed through a closure.

Another extremity which can suffer from cold and windy weather are the hands. In cold and windy weather, hands can actually go numb or become frost bitten, making a person terribly uncomfortable and yielding possible injury. Since many outdoor venues have events in winter, this is an especially vexing problem for attendees. The device herein accommodates and solves this problem by the provision of hand-covering mitts. These mitts are easily accessed by the hands of the user while wearing the device or using it as a shoulder blanket. The mitts are formed by a flap having an access opening on the interior surface and insertion of a user's hands therein insures hand warmth in cold weather should it be needed.

As such, the device provides great utility due to its multiple configurations providing multiple accommodations for warmth as well as function. Reconfiguration is easy and is aided by the visual reference formed into the body of the device for users to read should they need it.

With respect to the above description of the disclosed multiple configurable device, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangement of the components in this specification or illustrated in the drawings. The disclosed multi-configurable cushion, blanket, and poncho is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways which will be obvious to those skilled in the art upon reading this disclosure. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis for designing of other multi-configurable devices, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present disclosed individualized multi-configurable stadium cushion. It is important, therefore, that the claims and disclosure herein be regarded as including such equivalent construction and methodology as would occur to those skilled in the art insofar as they do not depart from the spirit of the present invention.

It is an object of this invention to provide an easily carried stadium cushion.

It is an additional object of this invention to provide such a stadium cushion that also functions as a shoulder engageable backpack or carrier for other items transported by the user.

It is a further object of this invention to provide such a device which in a first mode as a cushion will reconfigure to a coat, poncho, or blanket should it be desired.

It is yet another object of this invention that once configured as a coat or blanket the device provides hand and head warmth components, and is easily returned to function as a backpack to and from the user's destination.

These together with other objects and advantages which become subsequently apparent reside in the details of the construction and operation as heretofore described with reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part thereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING FIGURES

FIG. 1 shows a first side of the device in an unfolded configuration also depicting hand mitts and a deployable hood which may be used while the device functions as a coat or poncho or a blanket.

FIG. 1a shows the device of FIG. 1, with two sides folded to the middle to form a backpack with interior pockets and shoulder straps, for carrying to and from a destination.

FIG. 1b depicts the opposite side of FIG. 1a and shows the access top an interior pocket that is available in this backpack mode to carry items with the device. In this mode the device also functions as a seat cushion.

FIG. 2 shows the opposite side of the device from FIG. 1 in an unfolded mode, with the two side portions folded away from the middle portion. In this mode it may function as a blanket or may be reconfigured into a coat with a hood or back into a pillow as in FIG. 1b.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings of FIGS. 1-2 showing a stadium pillow device 10 which is easily user configurable to any of a plurality of forms thereby providing the user with options for a plurality of uses.

In FIG. 1, the device is depicted in an unfolded configuration and showing the first side surface 11 of the planar fabric body 13 forming the device 10. The body 13 is formed of at least two layers of fabric. The first surface 11 of the body 13 would best be formed of sturdy fabric such as rip-stop or canvas and water proof. The body 13 has a second fabric layer 15 forming all or part of a second surface 15 of the body 13, as in FIG. 2, to yield a multiple layered body 13. The second layer forming the second surface 15 is best formed of soft and warm fabric such as fleece, or wool, or the like so as to be warm and comfortable against the user's body. The first surface 11 layer would be formed of the second fabric providing a water and wind proof layer.

A pair of backpack straps 12 are attached to the first surface 11, at an angle from a widest separation adjacent to an edge to a narrow separation closer to the middle of the body 13. These straps 12 are employable as shoulder straps when the device 10 folded as in FIG. 1a, with the two side sections 30 folded toward the center 20 on the second surface 15 and the portion of the body 13 above the narrow intersection of the straps 12 multi-folded on the second side 15. In this configuration, the device 10 will function as a backpack as depicted in FIGS. 1a and 1b, with the straps 12 over the user's shoulders.

A storage pocket 14, between the first surface 11 and second surface 15 of the body 13, is formed either by sewing the rectangular pocket 14 with stitching between the first surface 11 and second surface 15 or other conventional means to form a pocket 14. The pocket 14, is accessible through a close able opening 16 which may employ a means for closure such as a zipper 21 or other such closure means such as hook and loop fabric.

As noted, the body 13 has a center section 20 with two adjoining side sections 30 as defined by pleats 17 formed into the body 13 by sewing or other means to form the pleats 17. These pleats 17 are most preferred in that they are positioned to provide a visual means to the user to ascertain folding lines for side sections 30 toward the second surface 15 and the center section, to change configurations. In that pleats are sewn or otherwise formed into the body 13, unlike indica or silkscreening, they will not come off with wear and will work much better than indicia or an instruction manual which might be lost.

Two zipper half portions 18, are engaged adjacent to a top side edge of the body 13 as shown in FIG. 1. The half portions 18 of the zipper, are so positioned to allow the device 10, to easily form a poncho for a user with the second surface 15 encircling their back and arms. So positioned, the user, by folding the two half portions 18 adjacent to each other may zip the formed zipper and create a temporary attachment of the two side sections 30 around him and form a coat or poncho and allow their head would stick up from the center section 20 above the straps 12.

When configured planar as a blanket, the device 10 has means to secure the body 13 to the ground to prevent movement in the wind. This is provided by grommets 19 which have a hole in their center and communicate through the layered body 13. Nails or stays may be engaged through the grommets into the ground.

In the coat or poncho mode, a hood 22 shown in FIG. 2, may be deployed from a pocket 24 formed in a flap 26 engaged to the center section 20 of the body 13 adjacent to the top edge. A closure such as a zipper seals the pocket 24 when the hood is not deployed.

Also on the flap 26 is a piece of hook and loop fabric 28 positioned to engage a mating piece of hook and loop fabric 29 attached to the first side surface 11 shown in FIG. 1.

To fold the device 10 to a pillow or backpack configuration, as in FIGS. 1a and 1b, the two side sections 30 are folded in a stacked configuration upon the center portion 30 of the second surface 15 shown in FIG. 2. The second edge 31 opposite the top edge where the flap 26 is located, then folded to position about half way between the second edge 31 and the top edge and then folded again. Means to maintain the device in this position is provided by an engagement of the hook and loop fabric 28 on the flap 26 with the hook and loop fabric 29 on the first side surface 11. The flap 26 will cover the engagement and will thereby provide a means maintain the device in the pillow/backpack form of FIGS. 1a and 1b. Also provided are mitts 32 which offer hand cavities accessible through openings 34 for the user to slide their hands into when used as a coat or poncho. The mitts 32 are formed of small fabric sections sewn to the second surface 15 on three sides, thereby yielding an opening 34 for the hands to slide into the mitts 32.

While all of the fundamental characteristics and features of the cushion device herein which is reconfigurable to a blanket or coat with hood and mitts herein have been shown and described, with reference to particular embodiments thereof, a latitude of modification, various changes and substitutions are intended in the foregoing disclosure and it will be apparent that in some instances, some features of the invention may be employed without a corresponding use of other features without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth. It should also be understood that various substitutions, modifications, and variations may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Consequently, all such modifications and variations and substitutions are included within the scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.





 
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