Title:
Foldable Tent
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A foldable tent includes a frame coupled to a canopy such that the frame and canopy are collectively collapsible from an open configuration to a folded configuration. The frame includes a plurality of spaced apart hubs positioned at an upper portion of the frame, at least one upper roof pole pivotally coupled with two adjacent hubs, a plurality of lower roof poles pivotally coupled to a corresponding hub and extending radially outward from each respective hub and away from the upper roof pole, and a plurality of collapsible side poles pivotally coupled to a corresponding lower roof pole. An eave pole pivotally coupled to a hub or to a pole extends the canopy to form an eave or other structures of the tent for configuring a dome shape or cabin shape of the tent.


Inventors:
Jin, Ki Ho (Xiamen, CN)
Application Number:
14/513279
Publication Date:
03/12/2015
Filing Date:
10/14/2014
Assignee:
JIN KI HO
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H15/48
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080121257DISPOSABLE UMBRELLAMay, 2008Zonsius
20050000555Camping tent with improved ventilationJanuary, 2005Besse
20030070365Universal attachment system for camouflage screensApril, 2003Martin
20040118441Walking/hiking stick with particle dispenserJune, 2004Aaron et al.
20060011226Disposition introduced in beach umbrella with inverted structural formationJanuary, 2006Santos
20040163693Innovative handle grip for walking stickAugust, 2004Uemura S.
20070089769UMBRELLA FRAMEApril, 2007Li
20080314426Multi-Stage Collapsible CrutchDecember, 2008Estrada Jr.
20050247333Umbrella undercanopy fastening systemNovember, 2005Nipke
20040025913Positioning structure of an auto-umbrellaFebruary, 2004Kuo
20060219280Walker footOctober, 2006Robinson et al.
Primary Examiner:
JACKSON, DANIELLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John H. Choi & Associates LLC (65 Challenger Road Suite 100 Ridgefield Park NJ 07660)
Claims:
1. A foldable tent convertible between an open configuration and a folded configuration, said tent comprising: a plurality of central hubs spaced apart from each other; a plurality of roof poles coupled to a respective central hub; a plurality of leg poles corresponding to the number of roof poles, wherein the plurality of roof poles and leg poles support a tent fabric; at least one eave pole, wherein each eave pole supports an eave section of the tent fabric.

2. The foldable tent of claim 1, wherein the at least one eave pole is pivotally coupled to a respective one of the central hubs.

3. The foldable tent of claim 1, wherein the at least one eave pole is coupled to an upper portion of the eave section.

4. The foldable tent of claim 1, wherein the tent fabric comprises a plurality of adjoining canopy walls and a floor coupled together at seams to form an enclosure; and wherein the eave section forms an eave of the enclosure.

5. The foldable tent of claim 1, wherein at least one leg pole is a flexible pole.

6. The foldable tent of claim 5, wherein each flexible pole includes fiberglass.

7. The foldable tent of claim 5, wherein each flexible pole includes fiberglass reinforced plastic.

8. The foldable tent of claim 5, wherein the at least one leg pole includes a pair of flexible poles which supports a front section of the tent fabric, wherein the front section includes a front opening.

9. The foldable tent of claim 8, wherein the pair of flexible fiberglass poles supports the eave section in conjunction with the respective eave pole.

10. The foldable tent of claim 5, wherein the at least one flexible pole shapes the tent fabric to form a dome shape.

11. The foldable tent of claim 1, wherein the plurality of central hubs includes a pair of outer central hubs and an intermediate central hub between the outer central hubs.

12. The foldable tent of claim 11, wherein at least one eave pole extends from the intermediate central hub.

13. The foldable tent of claim 11, wherein at least one eave pole extends from at least one of the outer central hubs.

14. A foldable tent convertible between an open configuration and a folded configuration, said tent comprising: a plurality of central hubs spaced apart from each other; a plurality of roof poles coupled to a respective central hub; a plurality of leg poles corresponding to the number of roof poles, wherein the plurality of roof poles and leg poles support a tent fabric; at least one eave pole extending from at least one of the central hubs, wherein each eave pole supports an eave section of the tent fabric.

15. The foldable tent of claim 14, wherein the plurality of central hubs includes at least two outer central hubs, and an intermediate central hub between the outer central hubs.

16. The foldable tent of claim 15, wherein the at least one eave pole extends from the intermediate central hub.

17. The foldable tent of claim 15, wherein the at least one eave pole extends from one of the outer central hubs.

18. A foldable tent convertible between an open configuration and a folded configuration, said tent comprising: a plurality of central hubs spaced apart from each other; a plurality of roof poles coupled to a respective central hub; a plurality of leg poles corresponding to the number of roof poles, wherein the plurality of roof poles and leg poles support a tent fabric; at least one eave pole extending from at least one of a central hub, a roof pole, and a leg pole, wherein each eave pole supports an eave section of the tent fabric.

19. The foldable tent of claim 18, wherein the at least one eave pole is pivotally coupled to the at least one of the central hub, the roof pole, and the leg pole.

20. The foldable tent of claim 18, wherein the plurality of central hubs includes at least two outer central hubs, and an intermediate central hub between the outer central hubs.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/842,589 (filed Mar. 15, 2013) (“'589 Application”), which claims priority to China Patent Application Nos. 201220478761.4 (filed Sep. 19, 2012); 201320066279.4 (filed Feb. 5, 2013); and 201330036600.X (filed Feb. 5, 2013). This application is also a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/086,517 (filed Nov. 21, 2013) (“'517 Application”), which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/295,396 (filed Nov. 14, 2011) (now U.S. Pat. No. 8,590,554) (“'396 Application”), which claims priority to China Patent Application No. 201120281609.2 (filed Aug. 4, 2011). The aforementioned applications are incorporated by reference in their entireties.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a tent and more particularly to a foldable or collapsible tent. For novice campers and camping families, among others, foldable tents are a popular alternative to conventional assemble-to-use tents. These tents are commonly referred to as “instant tents,” “one-touch tents” or “pop-up tents.” Foldable tents are typically sold with a frame assembly and tent fabric permanently attached to each other, i.e., preassembled. Erecting and collapsing the tent is easy and less time consuming than conventional assemble-to-use tents because the frame assembly and tent fabric are collectively opened and folded. The frame assembly usually includes a single central hub and a plurality of poles pivotally attached to the hub to provide a stable tent structure. These types of instant tents are particularly advantageous because a minimal number of poles, typically four, are required and thus erecting and collapsing the instant tent is quite simple. Although convenient for the user, there are several disadvantages for instant tents in the prior art.

For example, a large amount of stress is exerted on the frame assembly due to the tension from the tent fabric. These stresses are often transferred to and concentrated on the single central hub where the poles are interconnected, especially when a wind force is exerted on the tent. Thus, there is risk of damage or even failure of the central hub.

Also, the size of instant tents in the prior art today are limited because stability of the structure is compromised with longer poles required for larger instant tents. Therefore, even though there is great interest for bigger tents (often including separate rooms), this cannot be achieved with an instant tent today. Instead, larger tents that could accommodate many people are of the conventional type which requires the user to separately assemble the poles and then attach the poles to the tent fabric for set up, and detach the poles from tent fabric and disassemble the poles to store and transport.

Another disadvantage of instant tents of the prior art is that head room is limited. The central portion of the instant tent where the central hub is located serves as the apex of the tent. Even though cabin instant tents attempt to solve this problem, the poles are positioned downwardly and the ceiling height decreases from the central portion of the tent. Thus, head room is still limited at radially outer portions of the tent.

As another example, instant tents in the prior art are limited in shape. They are either dome shape or a single rectangular cabin. The use of a single central hub also limits the overall configuration of the instant tent because the overall length of the tent is restricted by the length of the poles which can securely extend from the central hub. Therefore, a tent with a more elongated configuration or other configurations cannot be achieved.

Instant tents today also pose problems with folding the tent into a relatively short and compact state. The folded length of the tent as well as the volume of the tent is dictated by the sections of the poles which are connected to the central hub and because those pole sections are usually elongated to increase the overall volume of the tent in the open configuration, the instant tent is relatively long when folded.

Another problem with instant tents today is the lack of an integral rain fly that provides sufficient head room for the user.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

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.

The present invention is intended to overcome at least the above-described disadvantages. The objects and advantages of the present invention, more specifically, are to provide: an instant tent where the stresses exerted on the frame are more evenly distributed so that the risk of damage or failure to the frame assembly is reduced; a safe instant tent with larger volume so that more people could be accommodated; an instant tent with increased head room throughout the tent; an instant tent having configurations other than dome or traditional cabin configurations; an instant tent capable of folding into a more compact state; and an instant tent which provides eave structures.

For achieving the above-mentioned objects, the present invention provides a foldable tent convertible between an open configuration and a folded configuration, said tent comprising: a plurality of central hubs spaced apart from each other; a plurality of roof poles coupled to a respective central hub; a plurality of leg poles corresponding to the number of roof poles, wherein the plurality of roof poles and leg poles support a tent fabric; and at least one eave pole, wherein each eave pole supports an eave section of the tent fabric.

The at least one eave pole can be pivotally coupled to a respective one of the central hubs. Also, the at least one eave pole can be coupled to an upper portion of the eave section. The tent fabric can comprise a plurality of adjoining canopy walls and a floor coupled together at seams to form an enclosure; and wherein the eave section forms an eave of the enclosure. In addition, the at least one leg pole can be a flexible pole. In one embodiment, each flexible pole includes fiberglass. In another embodiment, each flexible pole includes fiberglass reinforced plastic. In a further embodiment, the at least one leg pole includes a pair of flexible poles which supports a front section of the tent fabric, wherein the front section includes a front opening.

The pair of flexible fiberglass poles can support the eave section in conjunction with the respective eave pole. In another embodiment, the at least one flexible pole shapes the tent fabric to form a dome shape. In a further embodiment, the plurality of central hubs includes a pair of outer central hubs and an intermediate central hub between the outer central hubs. The at least one eave pole can extend from the intermediate central hub. In addition, the at least one eave pole can extend from at least one of the outer central hubs.

The present invention also provides a foldable tent convertible between an open configuration and a folded configuration, said tent comprising: a plurality of central hubs spaced apart from each other; a plurality of roof poles coupled to a respective central hub; a plurality of leg poles corresponding to the number of roof poles, wherein the plurality of roof poles and leg poles support a tent fabric; and at least one eave pole extending from at least one of the central hubs, wherein each eave pole supports an eave section of the tent fabric. The plurality of central hubs can include at least two outer central hubs, and an intermediate central hub between the outer central hubs. The at least one eave pole can extend from the intermediate central hub. Alternatively, the at least one eave pole can extend from one of the outer central hubs.

The present invention further provides a foldable tent convertible between an open configuration and a folded configuration, said tent comprising: a plurality of central hubs spaced apart from each other; a plurality of roof poles coupled to a respective central hub; a plurality of leg poles corresponding to the number of roof poles, wherein the plurality of roof poles and leg poles support a tent fabric; and at least one eave pole extending from at least one of a central hub, a roof pole, and a leg pole, wherein each eave pole supports an eave section of the tent fabric. The at least one eave pole can be pivotally coupled to the at least one of the central hub, the roof pole, and the leg pole. The plurality of central hubs can include at least two outer central hubs, and an intermediate central hub between the outer central hubs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

To better understand the present invention, a more particular description of the invention will be rendered by reference to the appended drawings.

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a foldable tent of the present invention in an open configuration having three hubs and holding a tent fabric;

FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the tent of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the tent of FIG. 1 with a rain fly;

FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of an embodiment of a frame assembly of the tent of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a front perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a frame assembly of the tent of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a front perspective view of another embodiment of a foldable tent of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of an embodiment of a frame assembly of the tent of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a side perspective view of the frame assembly of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a front view of another embodiment of a foldable tent of the present invention in an open configuration having three hubs and eave poles and holding a tent fabric;

FIG. 10 is a top perspective view of a frame assembly of the tent shown in FIG. 9 in an open configuration;

FIG. 11 is a top side perspective view of the frame assembly of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a foldable tent of the present invention in an open configuration having three hubs and longitudinally extending eave poles and holding a tent fabric;

FIG. 13 is a front view of the tent of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the tent of FIG. 12 with a rain fly;

FIG. 15 is a top perspective view of an embodiment of a frame assembly of the tent of FIG. 12;

FIG. 16 is a top perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a frame assembly of the tent of FIG. 12 in an open configuration;

FIG. 17 is a top perspective view of a further embodiment of a frame assembly of the present invention in an open configuration; and

FIG. 18 is a top perspective view of an additional embodiment of a frame assembly of the present invention in an open configuration.

To facilitate an understanding of the invention, identical reference numerals have been used, when appropriate, to designate the same or similar elements that are common to the figures, for which the description of a common element is incorporated by reference in later references to the same element. Further, unless stated otherwise, the features shown in the figures are not drawn to scale, but are shown for illustrative purposes only.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Certain terminology is used in the following description for convenience only and is not limiting. The article “a” is intended to include one or more items. Where only one item is intended, the term “one” or similar language is used. Additionally, to assist in the description of the present invention, words such as top, bottom, front, rear, right and left are used to describe the accompanying figures. The terminology includes the words above specifically mentioned, derivatives thereof, and words of similar import.

Referring to FIGS. 1-4, an embodiment of a foldable tent 300 of the present invention is shown. The foldable tent 300 includes a frame assembly 350 having a central hub 351 having two radially spaced apart roof poles 321, inner ends of which are pivotally connected to the central hub 351 for pivotal movement from a substantially horizontal position in an open configuration to a downward vertical position in a folded configuration. In this embodiment, the central hub 351 is substantially similar to the hub shown in FIG. 8 of U.S. Pat. No. 8,448,656, which is incorporated by reference, but other hubs including but not limited to the hub shown and described in U.S. Pat. No. 7,861,736 (also shown as hub 311 in the frame assembly 340 in FIG. 5 of the present application), could be utilized as well. In an open configuration, as shown in FIGS. 1-4, the roof poles 321 extend radially outward from the central hub 351 and are pivotally connected to corresponding auxiliary hubs 313 at outer ends. The auxiliary hubs 313 of this embodiment are substantially similar to the hub 111 shown in FIG. 37 of U.S. application Ser. No. 13/842,589 (“'589 Application”) and described therein, and are configured for pivotally connecting with roof poles 312 such that the roof poles 312 are pivotable upwardly from the open configuration to a closed configuration. The roof poles 312 could have multiple collapsible or retractable sections if desired. Extending from the central hub 351 are eave poles 315 which are pivotally coupled thereto.

Still referring to FIGS. 1-4, the frame assembly 350 also includes a plurality of leg assemblies formed by combinations of roof poles 312, leg poles 316, and optional intermediate poles 317. Each leg assembly includes an inner end and an outer end. In this embodiment, the leg assemblies support the roof portion as well as radially outer portions of the frame assembly 350. The inner ends are pivotally connected to each auxiliary hub 313 and the leg assemblies are extended radially outward and away from the central portion of the frame assembly 350. In this embodiment, two leg assemblies are pivotally connected with each auxiliary hub 313. However, additional leg poles could be attached to each auxiliary hub 313 depending on the desired overall appearance of the tent. Each leg pole assembly includes a roof pole 312 as an upper section, an intermediate pole 317 as a middle section, and a leg pole 316 as a lower section. In this embodiment, the upper and middle sections are pivotally coupled together with a conventional pivoting joint which includes opposing channels positioned above a bottom surface for receiving each of the adjoining sections. The pivoting joint is configured such that when the frame assembly 350 is in the open configuration as shown in FIG. 1-4, the upper and middle sections are fixed at an angle, and such that the upper and middle sections could be folded against each other when the frame assembly 310 is in the partially folded and fully folded configurations. In this embodiment, the middle and lower sections are telescopically coupled together by conventional means and lockable in an extended position with a spring biased locking mechanism. However, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that other methods and means could be used to couple and lock the middle and lower sections including but not limited to a lockable pole joint such that the sections are pivotable toward each other when folding the frame assembly.

Referring to FIGS. 1-3, a tent fabric or canopy 322 is disposed within the inner space formed by the frame assembly 350. In this embodiment, the tent fabric 322 is an enclosure having an permeable roof (preferably mesh) and six impermeable side walls stitched together with a floor portion. The enclosure is permanently slidably attached by hooks at various locations to the frame assembly 350 and fixedly attached to outer ends of the eave poles 315. In the open configuration as shown in FIGS. 1-3, the partial enclosure is substantially taut and forms a substantially flat surface on the roof and side walls. The frame assembly 350 is further stabilized by the tension created by the tent fabric 322. An optional rain fly could be attached to the tent as shown in FIG. 3. In this embodiment, the rigid frame assembly 350 constructed of steel poles coupled with the tent fabric 322 forms a rectangular cabin type tent. As described below, the poles could be flexible to form a dome type tent.

The tent 300 is shown with features such as doors having slide fasteners (zippers), ground flaps and vents, however, the tent could be constructed with more or less features than shown. For example, the tent could be constructed with an impermeable roof, permeable walls and without a floor as a screen house. Screen houses are particularly useful when one desires ample ventilation and/or shade while preventing bugs or mosquitoes from entering living quarters or entertaining space. Also, each of the pivoting joints and auxiliary hubs 313 are covered with a fabric casing which protects the tent fabric 322 from damage when the tent is folded, but could be constructed without the fabric casings.

In operation, the frame assembly of 350 shown in FIG. 4 is utilized, the tent 300 is folded by: (i) retracting each of the intermediate poles 317 within respective leg poles 316; (ii) pivoting the leg pole 316 toward the roof pole 312; (iii) pivoting the roof pole 312 upward perpendicular to the auxiliary hub 313; (iv) pivoting the auxiliary hubs 313 upward such that the auxiliary hubs 313 are adjacent to each other and opposing the central hub 351; and (v) pivoting the eave pole 315 upward. In the folded configuration, all of the poles are maintained between the auxiliary hubs 313 and the central hub 315. If the frame assembly 340 shown in FIG. 5 is utilized, the tent 300 is opened and folded as shown in FIGS. 12-14 of the '589 Application and described therein. That is, after steps (i)-(iii) are performed, the auxiliary hubs 313 are pivoted downward with respect to the central hub 311 so that the roof poles 321 extend below the central hub 311. Similarly, the eave poles 315 are pivoted downward with respect to the central hub 311.

Referring to FIGS. 6-8, another embodiment of a tent 400 of the present invention is shown. In this embodiment, a frame assembly 410 similar to the frame assembly 350 is used except that the roof poles, eave poles and intermediate poles are flexible. Specifically, the roof poles 321, 312, eave poles 315 and intermediate poles 317 are constructed of fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) while the leg poles 316 are constructed of steel. Also, in this embodiment, the tent fabric 322 is configured such that an eave portion extends from the main tent and is coupled to the eave poles 315 to form an eave or awning. The upper portions of the tent fabric 322 are coupled to the frame assembly 410 via sleeves extending from the tent fabric 322. However, hooks such as those used in the tent 300 described above could be used as well. With this type of configuration, a larger dome type tent is formed. As shown in FIG. 6, if necessary, the tent 400 could also include an adjustable loop 620 as shown in FIG. 21 of U.S. Pub. No. 2012/0318316 and described therein.

Referring to FIGS. 9-11, another dome style foldable tent 200 of the present invention is shown, which is formed by tent fabric 222 on another frame assembly 210. The tent 200 is substantially similar to the tent 400 described above, descriptions of similar elements which apply to the description of the tent 200 in this embodiment, except that additional roof and leg poles extend from the central hub. As shown in FIG. 9, the tent fabric 222 is maintained on the frame assembly 210, with at least one eave pole 215 forming an eave with eave fabric 225, for example, extending over an opening section in the tent fabric 222. In this embodiment, a central hub 211 interconnected with auxiliary hubs 213 by roof poles 221 in a three-hub configuration to provide support for oversized instant dome tents.

In one embodiment of a foldable tent 200, shown in FIGS. 9-11, the frame assembly 210 includes a central hub 211 positioned at a central portion of the tent 200. In this embodiment, the central hub 211 is any tent hub known in the art. For example, the central hub 211 can be a hub as shown and described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,861,736 and 8,448,656 as well the '589, '517 and '396 Applications. In the open configuration, the roof poles 221 extend radially outward from the central hub 211. The central hub 211 could be configured such that the roof poles 221 and the eave poles 215 extending therefrom could extend to a substantially horizontal position. Auxiliary hubs 213 are positioned on opposing sides of the central hub 211 such that each of the auxiliary hubs 213 are aligned along a common vertical plane. The auxiliary hubs 213 of this embodiment are substantially similar to the hub 313 shown in the previous figures and described above. Alternatively, the auxiliary hubs 213 can be any known type or configuration of hubs, including three-slot hubs. Each auxiliary hub 213 is connected to the central hub 211 with a roof pole 221 to form a roof portion of the tent 200. Each roof pole 221 is pivotally connected to each opposing hub 211, 213. As it will be described in other embodiments below, the frame assembly 210 could be constructed with more than two roof poles 221 depending on the desired overall configuration of the tent. Also, the roof poles 221 could have multiple collapsible sections to add length to the tent 200 when in the open configuration while maintaining a relatively short pole length when collapsed or retracted in the folded configuration. For example, as shown in FIGS. 9-11, each roof pole 221 includes two sections which are telescopically retractable by conventional spring pin-aperture means as described above. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that other means could be utilized, for example, a lockable joint for folding each section or other sliding means, without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Still referring to FIGS. 9-11, the frame assembly 210 also includes at least one eave pole 215, and a plurality of leg assemblies formed by roof poles 212, leg poles 215, and optionally intermediate poles 217. Each leg assembly includes an inner end and an outer end. In this embodiment, the leg assemblies support the central portion as well as each side portion of the frame assembly 210. The inner ends are pivotally connected to each hub 211, 213 and the leg assemblies are extended radially outward and away from the central portion of the frame assembly 210. In this embodiment, four leg assemblies are pivotally connected with the central hub 211, while two leg assemblies are pivotally connected to each of the auxiliary hubs 213. Moreover, additional or fewer leg assemblies could be attached to each hub 211, 213 depending on the desired overall appearance of the tent without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. In this embodiment, each leg assembly includes a roof pole 213 forming an upper section, an intermediate pole 217 forming a middle section, and a leg pole 216 forming a lower section. Each roof pole 213 and its corresponding intermediate pole 217 are pivotally coupled together with a conventional pivoting joint that the upper and middle sections could be fixedly aligned and also folded against each other. In this embodiment, the middle and lower sections are telescopically coupled together by conventional means and lockable in an extended position with a spring biased locking mechanism. However, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that other methods and means could be used to couple and lock the middle and lower sections including but not limited to a lockable pole joint such that the sections formed by each leg pole 216 and intermediate pole 217 are pivotable toward each other when folding the frame assembly 210.

Referring to FIG. 9, in an open configuration, the frame assembly 210 surrounds a radially inner space within the tent 200. A tent fabric or canopy 222 is disposed within the radially inner space formed by the frame assembly 210. In this example embodiment, the tent fabric 222 is an enclosure having a roof, four side walls and a floor stitched together. The foldable tent 200 is shown with features such as doors, eaves, an opening, windows and vents. However, the tent 200 could be constructed with more or less features than shown. Also, each of the pivoting joints and auxiliary hubs 213 could be covered with a fabric casing which protects the tent fabric 222 from damage when the tent is folded. The enclosure is fixedly slidably attached by slidable hooks and/or sleeves at various locations to the frame assembly 210. In the open configuration as shown in FIG. 9, the enclosure is substantially taut and forms a substantially flat surface on the roof, eaves 225, side walls and floor. The frame assembly 210 is further stabilized by the tension created by the tent fabric 222. In this embodiment, due to the flexible FRP roof and intermediate poles 221, 212, 217, an enlarged dome style tent with eaves/awnings is formed. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that other tent fabrics could be attached to the frame assembly 210. For example, a tent fabric having a roof, eaves, side walls partially constructed of mesh and no floor could be utilized to form a screen house, or a tent fabric having only a roof and additional fabric along the leg assemblies could be utilized to form an open shelter.

Referring to FIG. 9, even though the tent fabric 222 is attached to the frame assembly 210 at all times and collectively opened and folded, the operation of the foldable tent 200 and its frame assembly 210 shown in FIGS. 10-11 is similar to the folding and unfolding of the tents 300, 400 shown in FIGS. 1-4 and 6-8 without the tent fabric for purposes of clarity.

Referring to FIGS. 12-16, another embodiment of a tent 500 of the present invention is shown. The tent 500 is a cabin style tent similar to the cabin tent 300 shown in FIGS. 1-5, the description of which applies to the tent 500, except that leg assemblies having poles 312, 317, 316 extend from the central hub 311 and the eave poles 315 extending from each end of the tent 500 to provide additional headroom. The tent fabric 322 is maintained on the frame assembly 310, with at least one eave pole 315 extending laterally along the longitudinal direction for extending the lateral portions of the tent fabric 322 to provide a cabin-shaped appearance of the tent 300. In one embodiment, as shown in FIG. 15, each eave pole 315 is pivotally connected to a respective roof pole 321 and extends above each auxiliary hub 313. In another embodiment, as shown in FIG. 16, the frame assembly 330 includes eave poles 315 which are pivotally coupled to each auxiliary hub 313.

Alternative embodiments of frame assemblies 140, 150 are shown in FIGS. 17 and 18, respectively, having different configurations of the eave poles 115 extending from their respective hubs 111 in different directions relative to each other, to form different eaves and/or roof extensions in the tent fabric, and therefore different configurations of interior spaces of tents. Specifically, the tents shown in FIGS. 1-7 of the '589 Application and described therein are modified as shown in FIGS. 14 and 15. Each frame assembly 140, 150 includes opposing hubs 111 pivotally coupled to a central roof pole 114. A pair of leg assemblies are pivotally coupled to each hub 111 and extends away from the central roof pole 114. Each leg assembly includes a roof pole 113 pivotally coupled to an intermediate pole 117 which is telescopically coupled to a leg pole 116. In one embodiment, an eave pole 115 is pivotally coupled to each hub 115 and extends opposite the central roof pole 114, as shown in FIG. 17. In another embodiment, one eave pole 115 is pivotally coupled to one hub 115 and extends towards the front of the tent and another eave pole 115 is pivotally coupled to another hub 115 and extends toward the rear of the tent, as shown in FIG. 18. As shown in the previous embodiments, the eave poles 115 could be used to further support the main tent fabric or to support an additional eave or awning portion of the tent. Also, the tent could be configured as a cabin-style tent using metal poles or a dome-style tent using a combination of FRP and metal.

In all of the embodiments of the tent of the present invention, the tent fabric is intended to remain coupled to the frame assembly at all times, including when the tent is folded. The frame assemblies are shown without the tent fabric for purposes of clarity.

The hubs 315, 313, 311, 211, 213 and 111 of the embodiments of the frame assemblies described above could be any tent hub known in the art, for example, the hubs shown and described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,861,736 and 8,448,656 as well as the '589, '517 and '396 Applications, which are incorporated by reference in their entireties.

The tent fabric 322, 222 of the embodiments is shown with features such as doors, openings, windows, vents and permeable portions, however, the tent fabric could be modified to include more or less features. For example, a tent fabric having a roof, eaves, side walls partially constructed of mesh and no floor could be utilized to form a screen house, or a tent fabric having only a roof and additional fabric along the leg assemblies could be utilized to form an open shelter. Also, the tent fabric 322, 222 could be coupled to the respective frame assemblies by a variety of means including hooks and fabric sleeves extending from the tent fabric. Other means such as button fasteners, hook-and-loop fasteners could be used as well.

In the present embodiments the poles of the instant cabin tents are constructed of a rigid tubular steel having a diameter between 14.5 mm and 16 mm. The upper poles of the instant dome tents are constructed of fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) and the lower poles are constructed of a rigid tubular steel. Other materials such as other metals (e.g., aluminum), metal alloys, other polymers and composite materials or any combination thereof could be used, and different sizes of poles could be used depending on desired strength without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Also, each of the pivoting joints and hubs could be covered with a fabric casing to protect the tent fabric from damage when the tent is folded.

For the instant dome tents that utilize a central hub having poles pivot upward with respect to the hub, if necessary, the tent could include an adjustable loop assembly 620 as shown in FIG. 21 of U.S. Pub. No. 2012/0318316 and described therein.

The overall configuration of the embodiments described above allow for larger instant tents with increased headroom. In the present embodiments, the angles (with respect to a horizontal plane) at which the central roof poles and lower roof poles extend are much less than the angle at which a continuous pole of comparable instant tents of the prior art extends, and thus, more volume and head room are provided. Thus, the larger tents could be provided with interior dividers to form separate rooms and/or vestibules and multiple entrances. The frame assemblies shown in the drawings are easy to set up and fold, while the various embodiments of the frame assemblies could be used with a variety of tent fabrics pre-assembled to the frame assembly to form, for example, an enclosed instant tent, an open instant shelter or an instant screen house.

Also, the stresses in tent structures are mostly concentrated on the upper or roof portion of the frame assembly where the poles are closer to a horizontal position. For foldable frames of the prior art which utilize only a single central hub and have continuous upper poles extending from the central hub to the upper corners of the tent, those stresses are concentrated on the central hub and upper poles. This requires the use of a substantially large hub and upper poles with larger diameters to accommodate for those stresses. Even so, damage to or failure of the central hub is possible. For the tents of the present invention shown in FIGS. 1-18, the upper structure of the tent, i.e., the hubs and roof poles, serves as a means for more evenly distributing the stresses generated from the tent fabric and other elements such as wind. Because the stresses are more evenly distributed among smaller pole sections and multiple hubs, smaller hubs are utilized and poles with a small diameter can be used, thereby reducing the overall weight of the tent and also cutting material cost.

Moreover, in the embodiments shown, the tent is capable of being folded into a more compact state than a comparable instant tent of the prior art. The tent is capable of being folded into a compact state despite the large volume of the tent in the open configuration which can accommodate a large number of people. This is because the overall folded length of the tent is dictated by the length of the upper roof pole 114, 221, 321 which covers a partial length of the roof. In contrast, roof poles used for instant tents in the prior art with single central hubs covers the entire diagonal length of the roof spanning from the center to corner. Almost invariably, the length of the lower roof pole 113, 212, 312 whether retracted or not, is less than the length of roof poles of comparable single hub instant tents in the prior art. Thus, the compact folded instant tents of the present invention are advantageous for storage and transport.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.