Title:
COT AND PACK-RACK
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Provided herein is a cot convertible to a pack-rack comprising: first, second and third sections serially aligned along a general longitudinal axis; the first section and the third section similarly configured, each comprising a pair of co-planar side rails rigidly connected at corresponding first and second end regions, respectively by first and second U-shaped feet; the distance between the first and second U-shaped feet of the first section substantially equal to the distance between the first and second U-shaped feet of the third section; the second section comprising two co-planar side rails; and the first section pivotally coupled to a first end region of the second section and the third section pivotally coupled to a second end region of the second section.



Inventors:
Lindner, Charles (Ontario, CA)
Application Number:
14/652069
Publication Date:
11/12/2015
Filing Date:
12/21/2012
Assignee:
LINDNER CHARLES
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F4/06; A45F4/08; A47C17/70; A47C17/82
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WAGGENSPACK, ADAM J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KNOBBE MARTENS OLSON & BEAR LLP (2040 MAIN STREET FOURTEENTH FLOOR, IRVINE, CA, 92614, US)
Claims:
1. A cot convertible to a pack-rack comprising: first, second and third sections serially aligned along a general longitudinal axis; the first section and the third section similarly configured, each comprising a pair of co-planar side rails rigidly connected at corresponding first and second end regions, respectively by first and second U-shaped feet; the distance between the first and second U-shaped feet of the first section substantially equal to the distance between the first and second U-shaped feet of the third section; the first and second U-shaped feet, respectively of the first section nested and substantially co-planar with the corresponding first and second U-shaped feet, respectively of the third section when the cot is converted to the pack-rack; the second section comprising two co-planar side rails; the first section pivotally coupled to a first end region of the second section and the third section pivotally coupled to a second end region of the second section; and both the first section and the third section rotating substantially 180 degrees relative to the second section when the cot is converted to the pack-rack.

2. The cot of claim 1 further comprising a flexible material mounted on the side rails of the first, second and third sections, the flexible material comprising a transverse opening proximal to an end region of the second section, the transverse opening sized to allow a U-shaped foot to pass through.

3. The cot of claim 2, wherein the transverse opening comprises a reversible seal.

4. (canceled)

5. The cot of claim 1, wherein each of the U-shaped feet comprises a distance adjustable base.

6. The cot of claim 5, wherein the distance adjustable base comprises two portions engaged in an adjustable overlapping relationship.

7. The cot of claim 1, wherein each of the U-shaped feet comprises a pair of mirrored L-shaped halves, the bases of the L-shaped halves abutting side-by-side in an adjustable overlapping relationship.

8. The cot of claim 7, wherein at least one of the bases of the L-shaped halves defines a plurality of openings for incremental adjustment of the overlapping relationship.

9. The cot of claim 8, wherein the overlapping relationship is locked using a pivot pin and a locking component.

10. The cot of claim 9, wherein the locking component is a pin, a ring, or a clamp.

11. (canceled)

12. (canceled)

13. The cot of claim 1, wherein the width of the second section is narrower than the width of the first section and wider than the width of the third section.

14. The cot of claim 1, further comprising a harness comprising shoulder straps and a plurality of hooks for engaging corresponding anchor points located on one or more of the side rails.

15. A cot convertible to a pack-rack comprising: first, second and third sections serially aligned along a general longitudinal axis; the first section and the third section similarly configured, each comprising a pair of co-planar side rails rigidly connected at corresponding first and second end regions, respectively by first and second U-shaped feet, each of the first and second U-shaped feet comprising a distance adjustable base; the distance between the first and second U-shaped feet of the first section substantially equal to the distance between the first and second U-shaped feet of the third section; the second section comprising two co-planar side rails; the first section pivotally coupled to a first end region of the second section and the third section pivotally coupled to a second end region of the second section; and both the first section and the third section rotating from about 170 to about 190 degrees relative to the second section when the cot is converted to the pack-rack.

16. The cot of claim 15 further comprising a flexible material mounted on the side rails of the first, second and third sections, the flexible material comprising a transverse opening proximal to an end region of the second section, the transverse opening sized to allow a U-shaped foot to pass through.

17. The cot of claim 16, wherein the transverse opening comprises a reversible seal.

18. (canceled)

19. The cot of claim 15, wherein the first and second U-shaped feet, respectively of the first section are nested and substantially co-planar with the corresponding first and second U-shaped feet, respectively of the third section when the cot is converted to the pack-rack.

20. The cot of claim 15, wherein the distance adjustable base comprises two portions engaged in an adjustable overlapping relationship.

21. The cot of claim 20, wherein each of the U-shaped feet comprises a pair of mirrored L-shaped halves, the bases of the L-shaped halves abutting side-by-side in an adjustable overlapping relationship.

22. The cot of claim 21, wherein at least one of the bases of the L-shaped halves defines a plurality of openings for incremental adjustment of the overlapping relationship.

23. The cot of claim 22, wherein the overlapping relationship is locked using a pivot pin and a locking component.

24. The cot of claim 23, wherein the locking component is a pin, a ring, or a clamp.

25. (canceled)

26. (canceled)

27. (canceled)

28. The cot of claim 15, wherein the width of the second section is narrower than the width of the first section and wider than the width of the third section.

29. The cot of claim 15, further comprising a harness comprising shoulder straps and a plurality of hooks for engaging corresponding anchor points located on one or more of the side rails.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to portable cots, and more particularly to portable cots for use by outdoors enthusiasts.

2. Description of the Related Art

Campers, hikers, mountain climbers and other outdoor enthusiasts often need to carry numerous types of supplies/equipment such as clothing, cooking, and sleeping supplies/equipment. Carrying the various types of supplies has long been recognized as an area of concern and planning. Awkwardness and weight are two areas of concern. Several attempts have been made to address these concerns by developing portable frames that can be used to erect a shelter or sleeping surface.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,601,825 (issued Aug. 31, 1971), U.S. Pat. No. 3,619,827 (issued Nov. 16, 1971), U.S. Pat. No. 3,620,428 (issued Nov. 6, 1971), U.S. Pat. No. 3,757,360 (issued Sep. 11, 1973), U.S. Pat. No. 3,828,992 (issued Aug. 1, 1974), U.S. Pat. No. 3,848,279 (issued Nov. 1, 1974), U.S. Pat. No. 3,912,138 (issued Oct. 14,1975), U.S. Pat. No. 3,918,109 (issued Nov. 11, 1975), U.S. Pat. No. 3,971,495 (issued Jul. 27, 1976), U.S. Pat. No. 4,077,418 (issued Mar. 7, 1978), U.S. Pat. No. 4,234,005 (issued Nov. 18, 1980), U.S. Pat. No. 4,286,739 (issued Sep. 1, 1981), U.S. Pat. No. 4,491,258 (issued Jan. 1, 1985), U.S. Pat. No. 4,885,812 (issued Dec. 12, 1989), U.S. Pat. No. 5,277,349 (issued Jan. 11, 1994), U.S. Pat. No. 5,460,307 (issued Oct. 24, 1995), U.S. Pat. No. 5,489,052 (issued Feb. 6, 1996), U.S. Pat. No. 6,021,794 (issued Feb. 8, 2000), U.S. Pat. No. 6,062,446 (issued May 16, 2000), U.S. Pat. No. 6,202,907 (issued Mar. 20, 2001), and U.S. Pat. No. 6,651,853 (issued Nov. 25, 2003) disclose portable frames that can be used to erect a shelter or sleeping surface.

These portable frames either suffer from a lack of robustness in the ability to provide a raised weight bearing platform primarily due to the presence of multiple hinged feet connections or are bulky and cumbersome to carry. Furthermore, none of these portable frames concepts have achieved widespread commercial acceptance amongst outdoor enthusiasts.

Accordingly, there is a continuing need for alternative portable frames that can be converted into a cot.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In an aspect there is provided, a cot convertible to a pack-rack comprising: first, second and third sections serially aligned along a general longitudinal axis; the first section and the third section similarly configured, each comprising a pair of co-planar side rails rigidly connected at corresponding first and second end regions, respectively by first and second U-shaped feet; the distance between the first and second U-shaped feet of the first section substantially equal to the distance between the first and second U-shaped feet of the third section; the second section comprising two co-planar side rails; and the first section pivotably coupled to a first end region of the second section and the third section pivotably coupled to a second end region of the second section.

In another aspect there is provided, a cot convertible to a pack-rack comprising: first, second and third sections serially aligned along a general longitudinal axis; the first section and the third section similarly configured, each comprising a pair of co-planar side rails rigidly connected at corresponding first and second end regions, respectively by first and second U-shaped feet; the distance between the first and second U-shaped feet of the first section substantially equal to the distance between the first and second U-shaped feet of the third section; the first and second U-shaped feet, respectively of the first section nested and substantially co-planar with the corresponding first and second U-shaped feet, respectively of the third section when the cot is converted to the pack-rack; the second section comprising two co-planar side rails; the first section pivotally coupled to a first end region of the second section and the third section pivotally coupled to a second end region of the second section; and both the first section and the third section rotating substantially 180 degrees relative to the second section when the cot is converted to the pack-rack.

In yet another aspect there is provided, a cot convertible to a pack-rack comprising: first, second and third sections serially aligned along a general longitudinal axis; the first section and the third section similarly configured, each comprising a pair of co-planar side rails rigidly connected at corresponding first and second end regions, respectively by first and second U-shaped feet, each of the first and second U-shaped feet comprising a distance adjustable base; the distance between the first and second U-shaped feet of the first section substantially equal to the distance between the first and second U-shaped feet of the third section; the second section comprising two co-planar side rails; the first section pivotally coupled to a first end region of the second section and the third section pivotally coupled to a second end region of the second section; and both the first section and the third section rotating from about 170 to about 190 degrees relative to the second section when the cot is converted to the pack-rack.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a side perspective view of a foldable cot;

FIG. 2 shows a side perspective view of the foldable cot shown in FIG. 1 with a flexible material cot surface;

FIG. 3 shows a bottom perspective view of the foldable cot shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 shows a bottom perspective view of the foldable cot shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 shows a magnified bottom perspective of a base of a U-shaped foot of the foldable cot shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 shows a top plan view of the foldable cot shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 shows the foldable cot shown in FIG. 6 adjusted to a narrower width;

FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of the foldable cot shown in FIG. 1 in the process of conversion to a pack-rack;

FIG. 9 shows a perspective view of the foldable cot shown in FIG. 1 converted to a pack-rack;

FIG. 10 shows the pack-rack shown in FIG. 9 on the back of a user.

FIG. 11 shows a harness used to mount the pack-rack shown in FIG. 10 on a user's back.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the drawings, a foldable cot convertible from an open cot configuration to a closed pack-rack configuration will now be described. The foldable cot comprises a first section, a second section and a third section each section comprising a pair of substantially parallel and substantially co-planar side rails, a first end region and a second end region. In the first and third sections U-shaped feet transversely connect side rails at the first and second end regions, the second end region of the first section pivotally coupled to the first end region of the second section, the second end region of the second section pivotally coupled to the first end region of the third section.

FIGS. 1 and 2 show a side perspective view of the foldable cot laid out in an open position. FIG. 1 shows a cot frame 10, while FIG. 2 shows the cot frame 10 with a flexible material 12 mounted on it. The cot frame is generally rectangular in shape and comprises three pivotally coupled sections serially aligned along a general longitudinal axis, a first section 14, a second section 16 and a third section 18.

The first section 14 and the third section 18 are similarly constructed with each of the first and third sections comprising a pair of side rails, the pair of side rails defining first and second end regions, the pair of side rails transversely connected with U-shaped feet at each of the first and second end regions.

In greater detail, the first section 14 comprises a pair of side rails 20,21. The side rails 20,21 are substantially parallel and substantially co-planar. The side rails 20,21 define opposing pairs of end regions, a first pair of end regions 40,41 and a second pair of end regions 42,43. The side rails 20,21 are rigidly connected at the first pair of end regions 40, 41, respectively to the ends of the upright arms of U-shaped foot 46. The side rails 20,21 are also rigidly connected at the second pair of end regions 42, 43, respectively to the ends of the upright arms of U-shaped foot 48. U-shaped foot 46 and U-shaped foot 48 are generally transversely oriented to side rails 20, 21.

The first end regions 40,41 of side rails 20,21 define a first end of the cot frame while the second end regions 42,43 of side rails 20,21 provide openings for pivot couplings 50,51 with corresponding openings within the first end regions 55,56 of side rails 28,29 of the second section 16.

The third section 18 comprises a pair of side rails 24,25. The side rails 24,25 are substantially parallel and substantially co-planar. The side rails 24,25 define opposing pairs of end regions, a first pair of end regions 60,61 and a second pair of end regions 62,63. The side rails 24,25 are rigidly connected at the first pair of end regions 60, 61, respectively to the ends of the upright arms of U-shaped foot 66. The side rails 24,25 are also rigidly connected at the second pair of end regions 62, 63, respectively to the ends of the upright arms of U-shaped foot 68. U-shaped foot 66 and U-shaped foot 68 are generally transversely oriented to side rails 24, 25.

The second end regions 62,63 of side rails 24,25 of the third section 18 define a second end of the cot frame 10 while the first end regions 60,61 of side rails 24,25 provide openings for pivot couplings 70,71 with corresponding openings within the second end regions 57,58 of side rails 28,29 of the second section 16.

Side rails 20,21 of the first section 14, side rails 28,29 of the second section 16, and side rails 24,25 of the third section 18 are substantially co-planar with each other and together form a set of co-planar anchor points onto which the flexible material 12 is mounted. Flexible material 12 comprises sleeves 80,81 that encompass the side rails and serve to anchor the flexible material to the side rails. The planar structure formed by the three pairs of side rails is transversely connected by the substantially co-planar resilient material in addition to the above described transverse connection provided by the U-shaped feet 46,48,66,68. The bases of the U-shaped feet together form a substantially co-planar substrate for abutting support on a base surface. The co-planar side rails and the bases of the U-shaped feet form two substantially parallel planes separated by the distance of the upright arms of each of U-shaped feet. Rigid transverse connectors in the same plane as the side rails result in an uncomfortable feel for users and therefore are typically avoided.

Flexible material 12 also comprises cutouts 84,85 positioned over the first end regions 55,56 of the second section 16, and cutouts 86,87 positioned over the second end regions 57,58 of the second section 16. The cutouts function to reduce interference of motion of pivot couplings 50,51 at the first end regions of the second section and pivot couplings 70,71 at the second end regions of the second section during conversion from the cot configuration to the pack-rack configuration. Flexible material 12 further comprises a transversely oriented sealable opening 89 proximal to the second end regions 57,58 of the second section 16. The sealable opening 89 can be opened or sealed with a zipper or any other suitable reversible fastener. The sealable opening 89 can be opened to allow U-shaped foot 66 at the first end regions 60,61 of the third section 18 to pass through the sealable opening 89 during conversion from the cot configuration to the pack-rack configuration.

Each of the U-shaped feet 46,48,66,68 are adjustable in width as can be seen in FIGS. 3 and 4. FIGS. 3 and 4 are bottom perspective views of the cots shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, respectively. The size of the base of each of the U-shaped feet is adjustable, so as to adjust the width between the two upright arms of the U-shaped feet and consequently the spacing between each of the pairs of side rails of the first and third sections. The width between the pair of side rails of the second section follows the adjustable width of the first and third sections as the side rails of the second section are devoid of rigid transverse connectors. Transverse connection of the side rails 28,29 of the second section 16 are provided by the flexible material.

The base of the U-shaped feet comprises two linearly aligned overlapping sections with the extent of overlap determining the width of the U-shaped feet and consequently lateral spacing between each of the pairs of side rails of the first and third sections. The U-shaped feet comprise a pair of mirrored L-shaped halves that provide an adjustable width of the U-shaped feet by locking the bases of the pair of L-shaped halves in an overlapping and abutting relationship. U-shaped foot 46 comprises L-shaped halves 46a,46b, U-shaped foot 48 comprises L-shaped halves 48a,48b, U-shaped foot 66 comprises L-shaped halves 66a,66b, and U-shaped foot 68 comprises L-shaped halves 68a,68b. The upright arm of each L-shaped half forms one arm of the U-shaped foot and the bases of a pair of mirrored L-shaped halves together form the base of the U-shaped foot. The bases of the pair of L-shaped halves each define a plurality of corresponding openings that may be variably aligned and locked by insertion of pins. The width of the U-shaped feet are negatively correlated with the size of the overlap of the bases of the pair of L-shaped halves—the greater the overlap the narrower the width of the U-shaped feet.

Once the pair of L-shaped halves are adjusted to a desired alignment of corresponding openings in the overlap region, the bases of the pair of L-shaped halves are locked in the overlapping relationship using a multicomponent locking system comprising a pivot pin 90 and a locking pin 91. FIG. 5 shows a zoomed in bottom perspective view of the pair of L-shaped halves 48a,48b in the process of being locked in an overlapping relationship using a multicomponent locking system. The pivot pin 90 is inserted into a first corresponding opening 100 in the overlap region. At this point, the bases of the pair of L-shaped halves may not be linearly aligned, but rather may have an angular alignment centered at the pivot pin 90. As a result of the insertion of the pivot pin 90 into the first corresponding opening 100 the bases become levers that are rotated about pivot pin 90 to achieve a linear alignment of the bases which provides an alignment of a second corresponding opening 101 within the overlap region. The locking pin 90, which is tethered to L-shaped half 48b using a rubber strap 94, can then be inserted into the second corresponding opening 101. The capacity for leverage due to initial insertion of the pivot pin 90 is particularly useful at the smallest overlap size, since the smallest overlap size results in the widest lateral spacing between the side rails and the greatest tension on the flexible material 12. The capacity for leverage allows a single user to counteract the resistance of the flexible material 12 without undue physical exertion. Flexible material 12 is sized to be taut under tension at the widest width of the adjustable U-shaped feet to provide a comfortable support for a user to lie upon.

FIG. 6 shows a top plan view of the cot shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 7 shows a top plan view of the same cot shown in FIG. 6 adjusted to a narrower width. Each of the U-shaped feet are aligned and locked as shown in FIG. 5 to adjust from the width shown in FIG. 6 to the width shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 8 shows the cot in the process of converting to the pack-rack. For the purpose of clearly visualizing the cot frame components the flexible material 12 has been omitted in FIG. 8. However, typically the flexible material 12 would remain mounted to the cot frame with the sealable opening 89 in an open position to allow U-shaped foot 66 to pass through. The first section 14 and the second section 16 rotate around pivots 50,51 and the third section 18 and the second section 16 rotate around pivots 70,71 to achieve a closed pack-rack configuration. The rotation around pivots 50,51 and pivots 70,71 can be conveniently visualized from the perspective of the second section 16. Keeping the second section 16 stationary, the first section 14 rotates substantially 180 degrees towards the top face of the plane defined by the pair of side rails 28,29 of the second section 16 while the third section 18 rotates substantially 180 degrees towards the bottom face of the plane defined by side rails 28,29 of the second section 16.

The spacing of pivots 50,51 from 70,71 within the second section 16 combined with the lack of rigid transverse connectors within the second section combine to simplify the conversion of the cot to the pack-rack. Simply lifting the third section and maneuvering U-shaped foot 66 through sealable opening 89 results in the second section guiding the motion of the third section to rotate into a stacked nested arrangement with the first section, thereby achieving the pack-rack configuration.

FIG. 9 shows the closed pack-rack. FIG. 10 shows the closed pack-rack configuration in use coupled to a harness. For the purpose of distinguishing the first section 14 from the third section 18, the third section is represented with dash lines in FIGS. 9 and 10. In the pack-rack configuration the U-shaped feet 46,48 at opposing ends of the first section 14 are nested in a co-planar arrangement with the U-shaped feet 66,68 at opposing ends of the third section 18. More specifically, in the pack-rack configuration, the third section 18 is nested in the first section 14, U-shaped foot 66 is substantially co-planar with U-shaped foot 46, and U-shaped foot 68 is substantially co-planar with U-shaped foot 48. The co-planar and nested arrangement is achieved by a similar construction of the first and third sections and by setting the distance between U-shaped feet 46 and 48 to be substantially equal to the distance between U-shaped feet 66 and 68.

A harness 110 is coupled to anchor points 99 (shown in FIGS. 1 and 2) on the first section by hooks and straps that are tightened such that the third section is fixed by abutting force between the harness straps and the first section preventing the first and third sections from rotating to an open position.

FIG. 11 shows the features of the harness 110. The harness comprises a sheet 112 of generally rectangular shape. Hooks 114 located proximal to four corners of the sheet 112 extend beyond the perimeter of the sheet and are used to engage anchor points 99 on the first section 14. Pairs of hooks 114 are attached by a strap 116 with a cinch 118 to adjust the tension of the strap. Tightening the strap 116 with cinch 118 locks the engagement of hooks 114 with anchor points 99 and traps the third section 18 between the straps 116 and the first section 14. A pair of substantially padded shoulder straps 120 are located in a central portion of sheet 112. The shoulder straps 120 are symmetrically spaced from the longitudinal axis of sheet 112. For a user's comfort, a mechanism 122 for span and/or slope of the shoulder straps is located between the shoulder straps and the length of each shoulder strap can be independently adjusted by buckles 124. One of the shoulder straps comprises a quick release mechanism 126 in the form of a mating ‘S’-hook and ‘O’-ring connecting a portion of the shoulder strap. The quick release mechanism 126 is for ease of mounting or removing the pack-rack from a user's back by using the quick release mechanism to easily open and close the shoulder strap. The harness comprises further straps to wrap around the width and/or length of the pack-rack and secure supplies within the bracketed space provided by the pack-rack.

In use, the pack-rack configuration is achieved as shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. The pack-rack configuration can be achieved using any number of predetermined adjustable width settings for the U-shaped feet. For simplicity the U-shaped feet can have two adjustable width settings—a smaller width and a larger width as shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7. The larger width is for the cot configuration, while the pack-rack configuration can be achieved in either the smaller width or larger width depending on the amount of camping supplies to be carried. Regardless of the width, the nested or stacked arrangement of the U-shaped feet of the first and third sections provide convenient ledges or platforms within which camping supplies are bracketed and secured. Camping supplies such as sleeping bags, tents, clothing bundles, dry packs and the like may be packed within the bracketed space defined by the opposing nested U-shaped feet and secured using straps attached to the harness or to one of the sections of the pack-rack.

Once the pack-rack is properly attached to the harness and the supplies are tightly secured the pack-rack may be carried on a user's back or can be stored in any desired orientation in a user's vehicle such as an all terrain vehicle, a canoe, etc. without opening of the pack-rack or shifting of the secured supplies. The nested folding of the pack-rack allows it to be stored in a very efficient manner in vehicles that have relatively little space such as all terrain vehicles or canoes. For example, a pack-rack having a length of less than 32 inches can fit transversely in most canoes thus affording an efficient storage of the pack-rack compared to storing along the longitudinal direction of the canoe.

When making camp the pack-rack can be quickly converted into the cot by removing the supplies and detaching the harness. The third section is then lifted off of its stacked arrangement with the first section and moved in a direction for serial alignment with the first section and the second section along a generally longitudinal axis. The motion of the third section relative to the first section is guided by the pivots in the second section. The U-shaped foot 66 of the third section is passed through the sealable opening 89, which is then sealed. If not already in the widest position, the U-shaped feet are adjusted to the widest position as shown in FIG. 5 by angularly positioning the bases of the L-shaped halves so as to align the first opening corresponding to the widest setting, inserting the pivot pin into the first opening, rotating the L-shaped halves to linearly align the bases and align the second opening, and inserting the lock pin in the second opening. The widest setting places the flexible material under tension to provide a taut surface for the user to lie on.

The cot may be used in combination with a tent. The linear base of the U-shaped feet that form a parallel plane to a base surface allows the cot to be used inside a tent without risk of puncturing the tent floor. The cot may also be used under a tent. The cot can be placed under the tent floor, and the tent can be erected over and around the cot. In the event of rain or flooding the raised tent floor prevents water from ground runoff from entering and/or pooling in the tent. In order to be used under the tent floor the separation between the plane defined by the side rails and the plane defined by the bases of the U-shaped feet should be less than 15 inches.

A representative example of the convertible cot/pack-rack has been described above. Examples of some variants will now be described.

Variation in the dimensions of the first, second and third sections may be tolerated, so long as the first and third sections are similarly constructed in that both sections comprise a pair of side rails cross connected at opposing end regions of the side rails with U-shaped feet, and the first and third sections are pivotally coupled to opposing end regions of the side rails of the second section, with pivot placements adapted to allow for the first and third sections to stack in a nested arrangement in the pack-rack configuration.

Variation in the dimensions of the first, second and third sections may be guided by structural relationships between components of the three sections.

For example, the pivot-to-pivot length of the second section as defined as the longitudinal distance between pivot couplings on each side rail of the second section is typically equal to or less than the length of the first section or the third section as defined as the greater of the length of the pair of side rails or the longitudinal distance between opposing U-shaped feet of each of the first or third section. Typically, in order to achieve a stacking of the first and third sections in a nested arrangement in the pack-rack configuration the pivot-to-pivot length of the second section will be less than the length of the first section, less than the length of the third section, or less than the length of both the first and third sections.

Another example of a guiding structural relationship, is that the width of the bases of the U-shaped feet within a first or third section are typically equal to or less than the width or lateral distance between outer edges of the pair of side rails connected by the U-shaped feet. More typically, the width of the bases of the U-shaped feet are less than the width or lateral spacing between the pair of side rails resulting in the upright arms of the U-shaped feet tapering or canting inwards from the connection with the pair of side rails to the connection with the base of the U-shaped feet. The tapering of the upright arms of the U-shaped feet allows for more efficient stacking of the first and third sections in the pack-rack configuration, particularly when a co-planar stacking of the U-shaped feet is desired.

Since the width of the bases of the U-shaped feet within a first or third section are typically equal to or less than the width or lateral distance between outer edges of the pair of side rails connected by the U-shaped feet, the width of a first or third section is typically defined by the lateral distance between outer edges of its pair of side rails. The width of the second section is defined by the lateral distance between outer edges of its pair of side rails as the second section is devoid of any cross-connecting U-shaped feet and typically devoid of any rigid cross-connecting braces altogether.

Another example of a guiding structural relationship is that the width and length of the first and third sections will be similar. Typically, the relative difference between the width of the first section and the width of the third section will be less than 25% and the relative difference between the length of the first section and the length of the third section will be less than 25%. The relative difference for the width or the length may be less than 25%, 20%, 15%, 10%, 5%, or less than any percentage therebetween. If a co-planar arrangement of the stacked U-shaped feet of the first and third sections is desired in the pack-rack configuration then the longitudinal distance between the U-shaped feet at opposing end regions of the first and third sections will be substantially equal. If a co-planar arrangement of the stacked pairs of side rails of the first and third sections is desired in the pack-rack configuration then the longitudinal distance between the U-shaped feet at opposing end regions of the first and third sections will not be equal and the width of the first and third sections will also not be equal. A co-planar arrangement of the stacked pairs of side rails of the first and third sections is readily achieved by the width of the second section being narrower than the first section and wider than the third section, and with the length of the third section being less than the length of the first section.

In the representative example shown in FIG. 1 and other Figures, the width of the sections is 24 inches for the first section, 25.5 inches for the second section and 23.25 inches for the third section, with the width of the first and third sections adjustable to 15 inches by adjusting the U-shaped feet to their narrowest setting. Typically, the width of a section will range from 35 inches to 10 inches. For example, a 35 inch wide cot can collapse to 20 inches, a 30 inch cot can collapse to 18 inches, a 25 inch cot can collapse to 15 inches, a 20 inch cot can collapse to 11 inches, and so on.

In the representative example shown in FIG. 1 and other Figures, the length of the sections is 30 inches for the first section, 23 inches for the pivot-to-pivot distance of the second section and 30 inches for the third section. Typically, the length of a section will range from 20 inches to 40 inches. When a pack-rack configuration is intended for transport in a canoe, the length of the pack-rack will typically be less than 33 inches so that the length of the pack-rack may fit transversely across a conventional canoe—ie. within the beam of a conventional canoe. The following canoe dimensions provided by dimensionsinfo.com validate that a pack-rack of less than 33 inches in length can fit transversely across most canoe types. The Scout is 12 ft or 3.7 m long and has a capacity of 540 lb or 245 kg. The canoe is 12″ or 31 cm deep. At the widest point it is 33″ or 84 cm and at the gunwale is 33″ or 84 cm. The Guide canoe is 14 ft or 4.3 m long and has a capacity of 675 lb or 306 kg. It is 33″ or 84 cm wide at the gunwale. The Abitibi is 15 ft or 43 m long. The 15′ model has a capacity of 800 lb or 363 kg. It is 13″ or 33 cm deep and 38″ or 97 cm wide at the widest point. At the gunwale it is 34″ or 86 cm wide. The Tripper measures 16 ft or 4.9 m long and has a capacity of 860 lb or 390 kg. It is 36″ or 91 cm wide over at the gunwale and 36″ or 91 cm at the widest point. The Prospector is 16 ft or 4.9 m long and has a capacity of 950 lb or 430 kg. It is 15″ or 38 cm deep and 34″ or 86 cm wide (widest point). The Ojibway is 16 ft or 4.9 m long with a capacity of 725 lb or 330 kg. The width at the gunwale is 32″ or 81 cm. At the widest point it is 33″ or 84 cm. It is 13″ or 33 cm deep. The Nor'Wester is 17 ft or 5.2 m long and 36″ or 91 cm wide. At the gunwale it is 35″ or 89 cm wide. The depth is 16″ or 41 cm. The capacity is 1100 lb or 500 kg. The Traveler is 18 ft or 5.5 m long with a capacity of 1000 lb or 454 kg. The width is 33″ or 84 cm (widest point) and 33″ or 84 cm (gunwale). The Explorer is 19 ft or 5.8 m long and has a depth of 17″ or 43 cm. The width is 38″ or 97 cm (widest area) with a capacity of 1700 lb or 770 kg. The Outer measures 21 ft or 6.4 m long. It is 41″ or 104 cm at the gunwale and 44″ or 112 cm at the widest area. The capacity is 2500 lb or 1134 kg. The North Country is 26 ft or 8.0 m long and has a capacity of 2700 lb or 1225 kg. The North Country is 19″ or 48 cm deep.

In the representative example shown in FIG. 1 and other Figures, the height of the cot frame as defined by the vertical distance between the bases of the U-shaped feet and their corresponding pair of side rails is 6 inches. Typically, the height of the cot frame will range from 3 inches to 25 inches. When the cot frame is intended to be placed under a tent floor the height will typically range from 3 inches to 15 inches. More typically, a cot frame intended for placement under a tent floor will have a height range where the upper limit is less than 13 inches, 12 inches, 11 inches, 10 inches, 9 inches, 8 inches, 7 inches or less than any number therebetween.

In the representative example shown in FIG. 1 and other Figures, pairs of side rails are transversely connected by U-shaped feet with the bases of the U-shaped feet defining a parallel plane but not co-planar to the plane defined by the pairs of side rails. Typically, the pair of side rails of the first, second or third sections will not be connected by rigid cross-connections in the same plane as defined by the pair of side rails. Thus, rigid cross-connections will typically not be co-planar to the plane defined by the pair of side rails, particularly in regions within or proximal to the second section. If a rigid co-planar cross-connection is desired then it will typically be limited to the end regions of the cot frame. The pair of side rails of any of the sections may be connected by flexible co-planar cross-connections that would not reduce a user's comfort when laying on the cot.

In the representative example shown in FIG. 1 and other Figures, the pairs of side rails and the U-shaped feet are made of rigid material. Typically, the connection of the side rails to the ends of the upright arms of the U-shaped feet will be rigid connections. The rigid connections of the side rails to the U-shaped feet allows the cot frame to more robustly support a weight load compared to a flexible or pivoting connection. The rigid material may be in the form of pipes, channels, solid bars or any other form that maintains rigidity. Examples of suitable rigid materials may be selected from metals, plastics, woods and the like. An example of a suitable rigid material is 6061 T6 0.75 inch diameter aluminum tubing with a wall thickness of 0.065 inch.

In the representative example shown in FIG. 1 and other Figures, each U-shaped foot comprises a distance adjustable base. By adjusting the distance spanned by the bases of the U-shaped feet, the width of the first and third sections and consequently the width of the cot frame may be adjusted. Each U-shaped foot comprises a pair of mirrored L-shaped halves, the bases of the L-shaped halves juxtaposed and/or abutting in an adjustable overlapping relationship—increasing the overlap decreases the distance spanned by the bases of the U-shaped feet and consequently decreases the width of the cot frame, while decreasing the overlap increases the distance spanned by the bases of the U-shaped feet and consequently increases the width of the cot frame.

Various mechanisms are contemplated for adjusting and locking the overlapping relationship of the bases of the pair of L-shaped halves. In a first example, each of the bases define a plurality of openings at predetermined increments of desired adjustments, a first pair of corresponding openings of the bases are aligned through which a pivot pin is inserted, the bases are rotated around the pivot pin to achieve a linear alignment of the bases and align a second pair of corresponding openings through which a locking pin is inserted. To avoid misplacement of the pivot pin or the locking pin both are tethered to a base with, for example, rubber straps. In a second example, the pivot pin is permanently mounted on one of the bases and is inserted through a desired one of a plurality of openings in the other base, the bases are then rotated around the pivot pin to align corresponding openings through which the locking pin is inserted. The locking pin is tethered to the same base comprising the mounted pivot pin, and due to the permanent mounting of the pivot pin this base need only define a single opening for the locking pin. In a third example, the pivot pin is permanently mounted as in the second example and the locking pin is also permanently mounted but retractable, for example using a biasing arrangement which may comprise a spring retainer and compression spring telescoped over an alignment nub on the locking pin. The locking pin is biased towards an extended position and retractable using manual force. As is evident the pivot pin may also be mounted in a similarly retractable arrangement. In a fourth example, each base comprises a permanently mounted pivot pin and the pair of pivot pins are linked by a lever arm. 180 degree rotation of the lever arm allows for adjustment from a first width to a second width. In both the first width and second width positions an opening in the lever bar aligns with an opening in one or both of the bases through which a locking pin can be inserted. The distance between the pivots on the lever arm can be doubled to determine the difference between the first and second widths (eg., a distance of 3 inches between the pivots results in a difference of 6 inches between the first and second widths, 4 inches between the pivots results in an 8 inch difference between the first and second widths, and so on). In any of the first, second, third or fourth examples, the locking pin may be replaced by another conventional locking component such as a locking clamp or a locking ring. In any of the first, second, third or fourth examples, the use of a pivot is advantageous as it allows for leverage to create surface tension on a flexible cot fabric sized to be under tension at the widest cot width. In a fifth example, the overlapping relationship of the bases can be adjusted using a telescoping mechanism. A telescoping mechanism has many disadvantages. Telescoping mechanisms tend to bind making adjustment of four U-shaped feet by a single user an impractical task. Telescoping mechanisms add weight. Moreover, a telescoping mechanism does not allow for leverage making it difficult for a user to achieve sufficient tension of the flexible material.

The primary function of the locking component is to lock the rotation of the bases of the complementary L-shaped halves in linear alignment. Optionally, the locking component may have a secondary function of constraining longitudinal movement of the bases relative to each other in either the head or foot longitudinal direction of the cot. Locking rings and locking clamps can easily achieve the secondary function by encompassing both bases of the complementary L-shaped halves in their overlapping region. The locking pin can also adapted to achieve the secondary function, for example, by having a collar on either end of the locking pin that prevents removal of the locking pins from it engaged corresponding openings in the overlapping region of the bases of the complementary L-shaped halves.

In the representative example shown in FIG. 1 and other Figures, each pair of side rails of the first and third sections is asymmetrical in that the length of one side rail is longer than the other side rail. Since L-shaped halves are connected at opposing end regions of each side rail the longitudinal distance between the opposing L-shaped halves is correspondingly asymmetrical with the longitudinal spacing between one set of opposing L-shaped halves shorter than the other set of opposing L-shaped halves. Due to the asymmetrical length of each side rail of the first and third sections, when positioning the bases of one set of opposing L-shaped halves in overlapping relationship with the bases of its mirrored or complementary set of opposing L-shaped haves, the opposing L-shaped halves connected to the shorter side rail are positioned in between the opposing L-shaped halves connected to the longer side rail. The positioning of one set of opposing L-shaped halves between the other set of opposing L-shaped halves provides an interference constraint on longitudinal movement of both sets of L-shaped halves in both the head and feet longitudinal directions of the cot. For comparison, with equal longitudinal spacing of the bases of the opposing L-shaped halves resulting in staggered arrangement of the opposing L-shaped halves when positioned in overlapping relationship with its complementary set of opposing L-shaped halves, longitudinal movement of both sets of L-shaped halves is constrained in only one of the head or feet longitudinal directions of the cot.

The term U-shaped foot and its component pair of mirrored or complementary L-shaped halves is intended to represent a linear base between two upright arms. However, the bend or connection between the base and the upright arms need not be 90 degrees and any convenient angle of bending or connection may be used. For example, the bend between the base and the upright arms will not be 90 degrees when the width of the base of the U-shaped foot is less than lateral spacing between its pair of associated side rails such that the upright arms taper or cant inwards from their connection with the side rail to their connection with the base. Furthermore, the bend or connection between the base and the upright arms need not be symmetrical when comparing the opposing ends of the base.

Any suitable flexible material may be mounted on the cot frame. A sealable transverse opening may be reversibly sealed using any suitable fastener such as Velcro, zipper, snaps, buttons and the like. The sealing of the transverse opening is useful for maintaining tension along the length of the flexible fabric. The location of the sealable transverse opening may be at either end of the second section depending on whether the third section is intended for stacking over the first section or vice versa.

The pivot coupling of the first section to a first end region of the second section as well as the pivot coupling of the third section to a second end region of the second section may be permanent or releasable. For example, a pivot coupling may be permanently mounted using rivet such as a tubular rivet or semi-tubular rivet, while another pivot coupling may be releasable by using a pivot bolt/nut arrangement.

In the representative example shown in FIG. 1 and other Figures, in the first and third sections each side rail is integrally connected with L-shaped halves at opposing ends. Thus, a single aluminum pipe is bent at appropriate points along its length to form the side rail as well as the two opposing L-shaped halves. Integral connection of side rails and opposing L-shaped halves provides a robust product with respect to stress and weight tolerance. Other suitable connection methods may be used including, for example, welding, fittings such as elbow connectors, or any combination of integral connection, welding and fitting.

In the representative example shown in FIG. 1 and other Figures, conversion from the open cot configuration to the closed pack-rack configuration is achieved by substantially 180 degrees rotation of both the first and third sections with respect to the second section. The combination of symmetrical rotation and substantially equal spacing of the U-shaped feet in the first and third sections allows for the stacking of the first and third sections with a co-planar arrangement of the U-shaped feet. In alternate stacking arrangements, rotation of varying degrees may be tolerated, but will typically fall within the range of 150 degrees to 210 degrees, more typically within about 160 degrees to about 200 degrees, and even more typically within about 170 degrees to about 190 degrees.

Further variants, modifications or combinations thereof will be apparent to the person of skill in the art.