Title:
Combination Beach Bag And Blanket Or Towel
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A combination tote bag and blanket, towel or ground cover has a pouch attached thereto adjacent one end thereof. The blanket, towel or ground cover has fasteners along the length of at least two parallel sides so that at least a second blanket, towel or ground cover with compatible fasteners can be secured to the first blanket, towel or ground cover along the length of one of said parallel sides. The pouch can be inverted so that when inverted the blanket, towel or ground cover resides within the inverted pouch.



Inventors:
Flagel, Shaun J. (Santa Barbara, CA, US)
Liskovich, Aaron (Santa Barbara, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/252316
Publication Date:
04/15/2010
Filing Date:
10/15/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/417
International Classes:
A45C15/00; A47G9/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LANDOLFI, JR., STEVEN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOPPEL, PATRICK, HEYBL & PHILPOTT (4550 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. SUITE 250, Westlake Village, CA, 91362, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A combination tote bag and blanket, towel or ground cover comprising a flat fabric mat having a pouch attached thereto adjacent one end thereof, the flat fabric mat having fasteners along the length of at least two parallel sides such that a second flat fabric mat with compatible fasteners can be secured to said flat fabric mat along the length of one of said parallel sides, the pouch capable of being inverted such that when inverted the blanket, towel or ground cover resides within the inverted pouch.

2. The combination tote bag and blanket, towel or ground cover of claim 1 wherein the fasteners comprise snaps, hook and loop fasteners, zippers, buttons or tying strings.

3. The combination tote bag and blanket, towel or ground cover of claim 1 wherein the fasteners are along four edges of the blanket, towel or ground cover.

4. The combination tote bag and blanket, towel or ground cover of claim 1 further including one or more draw strings along an open end of the pouch, said draw strings functioning to close said open end.

5. The combination tote bag and blanket, towel or ground cover of claim 4 wherein the draw strings also function as carrying straps.

6. The combination tote bag and blanket, towel or ground cover of claim 4 further including one or more carrying straps.

Description:

The invention relates to a beach bag that can be converted to a towel or blanket. Once converted, the towel or blanket can be joined to similar towels or blankets to create a larger towel or blanket.

BACKGROUND

A trip to the beach usually requires numerous items, such as sandals, lotions, towels and a covering to be placed on the sand such as a mat or beach blanket. These items are generally all placed in a tote bag which, when filled can be quite bulky. In an attempt to reduce the bulk of the items carried to the beach, several examples exist of totes or bags which, when emptied, can be disassembled to provide a flat cloth structure such as a towel or a beach blanket.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,373,111 to Hall, U.S. Pat. No. 4,789,247 to Schnoor, U.S. Pat. No. 5,454,643 to Sullivan, U.S. Pat. No. 5,730,529 to Fritz et. al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,533,653 to Kaufman, U.S. Pat. No. 5,843,556 to Levas, U.S. Pat. No. 5,390,381 to LaMantia, U.S. Pat. No. 6,129,452 to Hakulin, U.S. Pat. No. 6,223,367 to French et al and U.S. Pat. No. 7,076,817 to Nielsen have issued covering such convertible bags.

Eliminating the need to carry a separate towel or blanket means that the size of the tote bag can be smaller and, as a result, once dissembled the size of the resultant towel or blanket may be too small for its intended purpose. Accordingly, while there is a need for a compact, convertible tote bag, there is also a need for the bag once converted to be expandable to a larger size for use as a towel or a blanket to accommodate one or more individuals. Even if the tote bag is not reduced in size there still remains a desire to provide a large towel or ground cover.

SUMMARY

A beach blanket, towel, ground cover or other similar flat product includes a pouch attached thereto. Inversion of the pouch results in the blanket, towel or ground cover being located within the pouch. Draw strings or straps are provided for closing the pouch and for carrying the pouch with its enclosed blanket. The blanket, towel or ground cover has fasteners along at least two parallel sides to provide means to attach at least a second similar blanket, towel or ground cover to the side thereof. The addition of the second blanket, towel, ground cover doubles the area covered by the product.

BRIEF DISCUSSION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top view of a first embodiment of a convertible bag/blanket incorporating features of the invention in its blanket configuration showing attachment structures on two parallel sides.

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of a the embodiment of FIG. 1 showing the blanket converted to a tote bag, the tote bag being in an open configuration.

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the tote bag of FIG. 1 and 2 in a closed configuration.

FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of a second embodiment of a tote bag incorporating features of the invention in an open configuration.

FIG. 5 is a front perspective view of the tote bag of FIG. 3 in a closed configuration.

FIG. 6 is a top view of a second embodiment of a convertible bag/blanket incorporating features of the invention in its blanket configuration showing attachment structures on four sides.

FIG. 7 is an enlarged view of one corner of the embodiment of FIG. 6 showing hook and loop fasteners.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged view of one corner of the embodiment of FIG. 6 showing zippers for attachment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Described herein is tote bag 10 constructed of a flexible woven or knit fabric or sheet material such as a barrier material suitable for use as a ground cover or a water absorbent material, for example a terry cloth or plush material suitable for use as a towel. Where certain structures are shown in the drawings in dotted lines they are hidden from view and are below the surface of the bag or blanket shown and described in that view. Such dotted lines are provided so that the location of those components in the before and after views of the bag conversion can be better understood. FIG. 1 shows the tote bag 10 in its expanded form which can be used as a ground cloth, blanket or towel 100. For simplicity in describing the tote bag 10 the expanded form will be referred to as a blanket 100, said designation intended to encompass all other possible uses. Attached to the face of the blanket 100 at a first end portion 103 of the blanket 100, preferably centrally located between left and right edges 102, 104, is a pouch 106 which can be sewn or otherwise attached on three sides to the face of the blanket 100, the pouch 106 being open on a fourth side adjacent the top edge 107 of the blanket 100 to form a mouth 108. The mouth 108 includes first and second draw strings 14, 16 more fully described below. To convert the blanket 100 to the tote bag form 10, the user places a hand through the mouth 108 into the pouch 106, grasps the bottom 111 of the pouch 106 at the bottom seam 110, and pulls the bottom seam 110 upwards through the mouth 108 of the pouch 106, inverting the pouch 106 and drawing all of the blanket 100 surrounding the pouch 106 into the internal volume of the inverted pouch which now is a tote bag 10 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. As a result, the bottom end portion 112 of the blanket 100 is now enclosed within the bottom portion of the inverted pouch 106.

Referring again to the embodiment of FIG. 5, the blanket 100 has fasteners along the left and right edges 102, 104 so that the blanket can be attached to a similarly constructed blanket, towel or ground cover 100. This allows the assembly of a ground cover of much larger size. As shown in FIG. 5 the fasteners comprise a female portion 114 along one side (the right edge 104) and the male portion 116 along the second side (the left edge 102. When a similarly constructed blanket 100 is placed adjacent a first blanket 100 the adjacent female portion 114 and male portion 116 of the two blankets can be snapped together. This can be repeated with additional similar blankets 100. Other types of fasteners can be used such as hook and loop fasteners (usually referred to as Velcro® fasteners), zippers, such as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, buttons, tying strings, etc.

FIGS. 2 and 3 show an exterior view of the tote bag 10 in its carrying mode including an optional pocket 12 on the outer surface. First and second draw strings 14, 16, also shown as dotted lines in FIG. 1, are each attached to the lower right side 18 and lower left side 20 respectively of the bag 10. Each draw string 14, 16 forms a loop which passes, in opposite directions, through a tubular channel 22 across the mouth 108 of the bag 10. FIG. 2 shows the bag 10 in an open configure. FIG. 3 shows the same bag 10 in a closed configuration. The attachment of the drawings strings 14, 16 to the lower right and left sides 18, 20 of the bag 10 allow the draw strings to also function as carrying straps for placement over an individuals shoulders so that the bag 10 can be carried like as a backpack.

FIGS. 4 and 5 show a second embodiment of the convertible bag wherein drawstrings 32 on the bag 30 are through the mouth of the bag but are not attached to the lower end of the bag. An alternative carrying strap 24 is shown applied across the upper area of the bag 10. Additional carrying straps 24 can be applied and they can be attached at various locations on the pouch surface.

FIG. 6 shows a blanket 200, which is substantially the same as the first embodiment with the exception that the attachment means, in this case female and male snap portion 114, 116 are placed on all four sides. This allows the attachment on all four sides of additional blankets 200 in the same manner as described above.

FIG. 7 illustrates the placement of hook portions 214 and loop portions 216 of Velcro® fasteners along the edges. FIG. 8 illustrates the placement of zippers 218.

Based on the teachings herein one skilled in the art will recognize that fasteners other then discussed herein can be used. Also, while the fastener arrangement described herein preferably includes placement of one half of a two part fastener system along one edge and the second half of the fastener system along a second parallel edge, the invention also contemplates alternating placement of the two portions of the fastener along each of the parallel edges, as long as the fastener portions along the second edge are the opposite of the adjacent first edge portions.