Title:
Mini Cabana for Lounging at the Pool or Beach
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A mini cabana device that can be employed in a freestanding condition or attached to a structure such as a beach chair, and that allows the user to limit the amount of sunlight, wind and/or other elements that come into contact with the portions of the user's body positioned within the interior of the device. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the device comprises a pivoting shade that can be raised or lowered, a means for attaching the device to an object or the ground and a clip for holding a towel or sheet in a desired position relative to the device. Further, the device of the present invention can be setup or stowed-away with relatively minimal effort.


Inventors:
Cebular, Sanda (Boca Raton, FL, US)
Application Number:
13/179973
Publication Date:
01/19/2012
Filing Date:
07/11/2011
Assignee:
CEBULAR SANDA
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/144
International Classes:
E04H15/02; E04H15/48
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20020074027Lighted umbrellaJune, 2002Maidment
20070256717Decorative theme slipcover for patio and beach umbrellasNovember, 2007Stollar
20100051074Adjustable Offset UmbrellaMarch, 2010Dan
20070119489System for shading playground structuresMay, 2007Haymann et al.
20100071739PIN TYPE ONE POLE CRUTCHESMarch, 2010Cho
20090056778Crutch footMarch, 2009Dean
20020134415Modular tentSeptember, 2002Boulange
20070131265A Top Frame for Foldable TentJune, 2007Choi
20060180188Umbrella frame with two layers of coversAugust, 2006Chen
20010042563Fixed geometry shelter for use in camping and related outdoor activitiesNovember, 2001Coupounas
20090007947Portable weather shielding canopyJanuary, 2009Spangenberg
Foreign References:
GB2166343A
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A mini cabana device comprising: a base; a shade; at least one linkage member; and a linkage pivot.

2. The mini cabana device of claim 1 further comprising at least one strap for removably attaching said device to a chair.

3. The mini cabana device of claim 1 further comprising at least one anchor for removably attaching said device to the ground.

4. The mini cabana device of claim 1 further comprising at least one towel clip.

5. The mini cabana device of claim 1 wherein said shade is comprised of a fabric.

6. The mini cabana device of claim 1 wherein said at least one linkage member is operatively connected to the linkage pivot, and attached to the shade.

7. The mini cabana device of claim 1 wherein said shade is positionable between a substantially lowered position and a substantially raised position.

8. A mini cabana device for use in connection with a chair comprising: a shade; at least one linkage member; a linkage pivot; and a base, wherein said base has an opening formed therein for receipt of at least a portion of said chair.

9. The mini cabana device of claim 8 further comprising at least one strap for removably attaching said device to said chair.

10. The mini cabana device of claim 8 further comprising at least one towel clip.

11. The mini cabana device of claim 8 wherein said shade is comprised of a fabric.

12. The mini cabana device of claim 8 wherein said shade is positionable between a substantially lowered position and a substantially raised position.

13. The mini cabana device of claim 8 wherein said at least one linkage member is operatively connected to the linkage pivot, and attached to the shade.

14. A mini cabana device comprising: a shade; at least one linkage member operatively connected to a linkage pivot and attached to said shade; and a base, wherein said base has an opening formed therein for receipt of at least a portion of a chair.

15. The mini cabana device of claim 14 further comprising at least one towel clip.

16. The mini cabana device of claim 14 wherein said shade is comprised of a fabric.

17. The mini cabana device of claim 14 further comprising at least one strap for removably attaching said device to said chair.

18. The mini cabana device of claim 14 further comprising at least one anchor for removably attaching said device to the ground.

19. The mini cabana device of claim 14 wherein said base is comprised if a fabric.

20. The mini cabana device of claim 14 wherein said shade is positionable between a substantially lowered position and a substantially raised position.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE

This application claims priority from Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/365,023 filed Jul. 16, 2010.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a portable sun shade or mini cabana that can be made freestanding or attached to a chair or the ground for use during sun bathing, outdoor spectator events, and the like.

BACKGROUND

Sun shades, including umbrellas, tents and visors, have commonly been used to limit the amount of direct sunlight that contacts a person, as well as other elements like wind and rain. A variety of existing sun shades attempt to address the problems regarding shade, wind and the elements, however they have the limitations of not being very effective or practical. The traditional umbrella, for instance, can be unstable in moderate wind, requires ground preparation to hold it upright, and is not very effective at low sun angles. In addition, shade umbrellas are typically bulky and heavy. Tents can be effective for blocking direct sunlight or rain. However, they too tend to be bulky and heavy. In addition, tents or cabanas require a fair amount of assembly, and usually require tethering to hold in place, thereby making them impractical to use in many cases.

Commonly, the person under the umbrella or inside the cabana wishes to limit the amount of direct sunlight contacting only a specific portion of their body, usually the person's head or face. For this reason, umbrellas and cabanas are usually ineffective since it is difficult to control where the sunlight is desired to contact on the person's body. Sun visors, or hats, can be positioned on a person's head to block sunlight from contacting a portion of their head. While somewhat effective, sun visors worn on a person's head may be insufficient unless the visor is substantial in size, which may become too heavy or bulky for the person to comfortably wear. Further, a sun visor worn over a person's head can be uncomfortable for the person in warm or hot climate conditions. Finally, a sun visor that is worn over a person's head is mostly ineffective in blocking wind, which may result in sand or dirt being blown into the person's face or eyes.

Other sun visors have been incorporated in the design of a beach or lawn chair. However, sun visors of this type have limited applicability due to the relatively few chair designs incorporating a visor. In addition, chairs incorporating sun visors can be bulky and difficult to store away during the offseason unless the chairs can be easily stacked on top of each other. Finally, since sun visors of this type are an integral part of the chair, they cannot be selectively made portable.

Consequently, there exists in the art a long-felt need for a device that enables a person to limit the amount of direct sunlight and wind that contacts their head or face while allowing the remaining portion of their body to receive direct sunlight. There also exists a long-felt need for a device that accomplishes the forgoing objectives and that is relatively easy and inexpensive to manufacture and use. Finally, there is a long-felt need for a device that accomplishes all of the forgoing objectives and that can be selectively made freestanding or portable, depending on goals and desires of the person using the device.

SUMMARY

The following presents a simplified summary in order to provide a basic understanding of some aspects of the disclosed innovation. This summary is not an extensive overview, and it is not intended to identify key/critical elements or to delineate the scope thereof. Its sole purpose is to present some concepts in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.

The subject matter disclosed and claimed herein, in one aspect thereof, comprises a device that enables a person to easily carry and setup a mini cabana, either in a freestanding condition or attached to a beach chair on the ground, thereby limiting the amount of sunlight or wind that can contact the user's head and/or face. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the device comprises a pivoting shade that can be raised or lowered. Further, the device of the present invention can be transported, setup or stowed-away with relatively minimal effort. Much like a pillowcase sliding over a pillow, in one embodiment, the device can be made so that it simply slides over the back portion of a beach chair. Conversely, if there is no beach chair available, the device can simply be laid-out, much like a towel, and optionally removably anchored to the ground via one or more spikes, stakes, pins or the like. Additionally, said device may incorporate one or more clips for holding a towel in a desired location relative to said device. Finally, said device can be stowed-away quickly by simply lowering the pivoting shade and folding the fabric portion of the device, once it has been removed from the back of a beach chair or unsecured from the ground.

To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, certain illustrative aspects of the disclosed innovation are described herein in connection with the following description and the annexed drawings. These aspects are indicative, however, of but a few of the various ways in which the principles disclosed herein can be employed and is intended to include all such aspects and their equivalents. Other advantages and novel features will become apparent from the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a top perspective view of one embodiment of the device of the present invention, with the shade in a substantially raised position.

FIG. 1A illustrates a top perspective view of a second embodiment of the device of the present invention, with the shade in a substantially raised position.

FIG. 2 illustrates a top perspective view of one embodiment of the device of the present invention, with the shade in a substantially lowered position.

FIG. 2A illustrates a top perspective detailed view of a towel clip installed on the device of the present invention.

FIG. 2B illustrates a bottom perspective view of one embodiment of the device of the present invention, with shade in a substantially lowered position.

FIG. 3 illustrates a top perspective view of a prior art beach or pool-style chair.

FIG. 4 illustrates a top perspective view of a beach chair with one embodiment of the device of the present invention attached thereon, and further including a towel affixed to said device via one or more towel clips.

FIG. 4A illustrates a rear partial perspective view of said beach chair and said device illustrated in FIG. 4.

FIG. 5 illustrates a side elevational view of a beach chair with one embodiment of the device of the present invention attached thereon, and further depicting an occupant using said device with the shade in a substantially raised position.

FIG. 6 illustrates a top perspective view of a second embodiment of the device of the present invention affixed to the ground via one or more spikes, and further including a towel affixed to said device via one or more towel clips.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The innovation is now described with reference to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals are used to refer to like elements throughout. In the following description, for purposes of explanation, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding thereof. It may be evident, however, that the innovation can be practiced without these specific details.

Referring initially to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of a mini-cabana device 100 for use on either the back of a beach chair or optionally removably anchored to the ground for the purpose of limiting the amount of sunlight, wind or other elements that may contact a person's head or face. Device 100, as depicted in FIG. 1, comprises a base 110, a shade 140, a plurality of linkage members 141 (depicted as 141a-141f) and a linkage pivot 142.

In FIG. 1, shade 140 is shown in a substantially raised position 140R. Shade 140 is preferably made of a fabric, and more preferably a relatively waterproof fabric, though it is contemplated that other materials such as plastic and the like could also be used without affecting the overall concept of the invention. Shade 140 further comprises a top portion 1401 and side portions 1402 which are preferably placed over and are attached to said plurality of linkage members 141. The plurality of linkage members 141 are, in turn, pivotally connected to and operatively supported by linkage pivot 142. Linkage pivot 142 may be further attached to base 110. Linkage members 141 and linkage pivot 142 may be made from plastic, metal, or other suitable materials, and cause shade 140 to function in an accordion-like manner when repositioned from a substantially raised position 140R to a substantially lowered position 140L, and vice versa.

In the substantially raised position 140R, shade 140 forms an approximately 90 degree angle with respect to the span of the two outermost linkage members, namely 141a and 141f, as depicted in FIG. 1. It should be noted that angles other than 90 degrees in the substantially raised position 140R will also allow shade 140 to function properly. For example, angles anywhere between 0 to 110 degrees, or more, may be possible provided that shade 140 can still limit the amount of sun contacting the person's head or face and shade 140 does not open to an angle larger than what would be required for the person to place their head inside of the shade portion of the device 100. Further, it is conceivable that any number of linkage members 141 could be used to allow shade 140 to be raised and lowered between a substantially raised position 140R and a substantially lowered position 140L and the device 100 is not limited to or restricted by the six linkage members 141 depicted in the drawings. Additionally, linkage members 141 may also be made integral with shade 140.

In one embodiment of the present invention, base 110 further comprises base side surfaces 116, base bottom surface 117, and base top surface 115. Base 110 is preferably made from fabric, flexible plastic, or other suitable materials. Said suitable materials for said surfaces of the base 110 may include portions that are elastic to permit stretching to accommodate beach chairs 300 of different widths and designs as further explained below. Further, each of the said surfaces has an adjacent base interior surface 118. Interior surfaces 118 form a pillowcase-like structure for slipping over the back 360 of a beach chair 300 (as described in FIGS. 3-5 herein).

Base bottom surface 117 may be formed as a continuous surface as shown in FIG. 1, or may be formed as two or more separate surfaces. It may be preferable to have an opening portion formed in base bottom surface 117 as shown in FIG. 1 to allow for assembly of the device 100 on differing beach chair 300 configurations, having an adjustable back 360 (also see FIG. 4A). Further, base tab upper 119a, an appendage to base top surface 115, and base tab lower 119b, an appendage to base bottom surface 117 may include means for attaching the base 110 to the back 360 of a beach chair 300. Said attaching means may include: Velcro®, clasps, ties strings, buckles, or the like to assist in the setup and removal from the back of the beach chair (not shown).

Device 100 may further comprise one or more towel clips 113, which may be preferably formed in a clip recess 114 section (or an opening) in base top surface 115 as depicted in FIG. 1. Towel clips 113 are preferably made from plastic, metal, or other suitable materials commonly known in the art and can be used to secure a towel 400 to the base 110 of device 100. Additional prior art towel holding devices may also be used, as well, to hold the free-end of towel 400 to ground 500, but are not required.

FIG. 1A depicts an alternative embodiment of base 110 of the present invention wherein base side surface 116 may be comprised of an elastic fabric, such as a mesh, and one or more straps 120 may be attached to the base top surface 115 and/or base bottom surface 117. Straps 120 can be used to secure device 100 to beach chair 300 by, for example, tying straps 120 around the back 360 of chair 300.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of one embodiment of device 100 in which the shade 140 is shown in a substantially lowered position 140L. In this position, linkage members 141 are in close proximity to each other. When the shade 140 is in the substantially lowered position 140L, the angle with respect to the span of the two outermost linkage members, namely 141a and 141f, is preferably between 15 and 25 degrees, but angles outside of this range are also possible. For instance, if the linkage members 141 are made narrower, a smaller angle can be achieved. However, linkage members 141 need to be properly sized to support shade 140 when it is in the substantially raised position 140R.

With shade 140 in the substantially lowered position 140L, a portion of a second clip recess 114 can now be seen in FIG. 2. Preferably device 110 is depicted throughout the figures as having two towel clips 113 and clip recesses 114; however it is conceivable to have fewer or more towel clips 113 and corresponding clip recesses 114. FIG. 2A illustrates a partial detailed view of a typical towel clip 113 and corresponding clip recess 114 as indicated by the section “A” symbol in FIG. 2. It should be noted that other possible designs for towel clip 113 could be incorporated into the device 100, and may or may not require a clip recess 114 to hold towel 400 in place on base 110.

FIG. 2B illustrates one embodiment of device 100 with shade 140 in a substantially lowered position 140L, viewed from a bottom view perspective. In this figure, the pillowcase-like construction of base 110 via the base side surfaces 116, base top surface 115, and base bottom surface 117 can easily be seen. Much like a pillow case covering a pillow, base 110 may be constructed such that the base interior surfaces 118 will cover and contact the adjustable back 360 portion of a beach chair 300 (also see the description of FIGS. 3-5).

FIG. 3 illustrates a typical prior art beach or pool-style chair 300. Beach chair 300 is commonly found at the beach or near swimming pools, and is commonly used for sun bathing, outdoor spectator events, and the like. It should be noted that device 100 of the present invention can be easily adapted to different beach chair sizes and designs. Said device may also be made to fit other styles of outdoor chairs as well, and said device could be used on chairs at locations other than the beach or near swimming pools. Therefore, prior art beach chair 300 as depicted in FIG. 3, is merely an example of a chair that can be used in conjunction with device 100 of the present invention. Since many different designs of beach chairs are well known in the art, only a brief description of the beach chair 300 will be made herein.

Referring to FIG. 3, beach chair 300 typically includes a frame 320, which further comprises a plurality of legs 330, and one or more wheels 340. Many prior art beach chairs 300 also include an adjustable back 360 section, which can be selectively raised or lowered by repositioning a back adjuster 362, as well as a pair of armrests 310 as depicted in FIG. 3. Other beach chair designs do not utilize armrests. The device 100 of the present invention will work on beach chair designs with or without armrests 310, as well as beach chairs with a fixed (nonadjustable) back section.

Beach chair 300 may also include a pad 350 for increased comfort for the occupant 600 of the beach chair. Pad 350 can be made removable or fixed to the beach chair 300. Beach chair pads 350 are well known in the art. Device 100 will work on other beach chair 300 configurations that do not use a pad 350. For instance, other beach chairs (not shown) are typically made as a metal tubular structure with vinyl straps running side-to-side and are used to support an occupant. Regardless of the specific beach chair design, it is envisioned that device 100 can be made to slide over at least a portion of the back 360 of beach chair 300, or be removably attached to chair 300 with straps 120 as previously described.

FIG. 4 illustrates one embodiment of device 100 installed on the adjustable back 360 of beach chair 300. Device 100 is shown with shade 140 in a substantially lowered position 140L, viewed from a top perspective view. Towel 400 is shown preferably affixed to the base top surface 115 via towel clips 113, and is extended substantially along the length of pad top surface 351. FIG. 4A illustrates a rear partial detailed view of beach chair 300 with one embodiment of device 100 installed over the adjustable back 360. An opening may be formed in the base bottom surface 117 to provide clearance for back adjuster 362 as illustrate in FIG. 4A.

FIG. 5 illustrates an embodiment of device 100 installed on beach chair 300 with shade 140 in a substantially raised position 140R. Further, device 100 is shown in use with occupant 600 assuming a sun bathing position on beach chair 300. Occupant 600 is shown in a semi-upright position, supported by beach chair 300. Towel 400 (not shown) is preferably positioned between occupant 600 and pad 350. Further, the figure shows the functional advantage of device 100 since occupant 600 is able to place her head in the interior portion of shade 140, thus preventing direct sunlight or wind from contacting the head or face.

FIG. 6 illustrates device 100 in a freestanding configuration with shade 140 in a substantially lowered position 140L. Towel 400 is preferably affixed to base top surface 115 via one or more towel clips 113. Other prior art towel clips or other weighted-objects (not shown) may also be used to hold the free end of towel 400 in place. As depicted in FIG. 1 and FIG. 6, Base 110 may further comprise one or more anchor loops 111 to permit device 100 to be used in a freestanding configuration, or optionally removably secured to the ground 500 as depicted in FIG. 6. Anchor loop 111 can be made from fabric, plastic, or other suitable materials, and sized accordingly to accommodate a spike or stake 150. In this configuration, anchor loop 111 is preferably constructed with an opening 112 therein for receipt of a spike or stake 150, and is preferably attached to base side surface 116, base bottom surface 117, or base top surface 115.

As stated above, device 100 may be optionally anchored to the ground 500 (or sand) by matingly engaging a spike or stake 150 with one or more of anchor loops 111. If it is desired to have device 100 anchored to the ground 500, spikes 150 having an approximate diameter of 0.25 inches and length of 6 inches may be used. Other sizes and shapes for spike 150 could be used as well, provided spike head 151 is sized appropriately to hold anchor loop 111 in place. More specifically, opening 112 in anchor loop 111 should be made slightly larger than the diameter of spike 150, but not as large as the size of spike head 151. Device 100 need not be anchored in all conditions. For instance, device 100 could be used on a hard surface such as concrete, in which spikes would be impractical. However, it may be preferable to use spikes 150 to anchor device 100 when using it at the beach or in a windy environment.

Since base 110 is preferably constructed mainly from fabric, flexible plastic, or the like, base 110 will simply flatten-out when placed on the ground 500 meaning that base side surface 116, base tab upper 119a, and base tab lower 119b now become substantially planar with the base top surface 115 and the base bottom surface 117, except for the creased edge around the periphery as shown.

What has been described above includes examples of the claimed subject matter. It is, of course, not possible to describe every conceivable combination of components or methodologies for purposes of describing the claimed subject matter, but one of ordinary skill in the art may recognize that many further combinations and permutations of the claimed subject matter are possible. Accordingly, the claimed subject matter is intended to embrace all such alterations, modifications and variations that fall within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. Furthermore, to the extent that the term “includes” is used in either the detailed description or the claims, such term is intended to be inclusive in a manner similar to the term “comprising” as “comprising” is interpreted when employed as a transitional word in a claim.