Title:
Article with Selectively Deployable Member
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is directed toward an article including an assembly with a selectively repositionable shield or seat. The assembly includes at least one guide rail along which the seat or shield moves. With this configuration, the seat is deployable along a predetermined path. Additionally, lateral movement of the seat is restricted, lessening noise and interference with the user. In an embodiment, the article is an accessory such as a back pack. In another embodiment, the article is an apparel item such as a hunting vest (e.g., a turkey vest).



Inventors:
Berns, Jason (Crofton, MD, US)
Application Number:
14/707360
Publication Date:
11/12/2015
Filing Date:
05/08/2015
Assignee:
UNDER ARMOUR, INC.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
297/180.1, 297/311
International Classes:
A47C4/52; A45F4/02; A47C1/14; A47C4/00
View Patent Images:
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20070052278Portable child seatMarch, 2007Jones
20020195851Child protector device for child car seat, bed or the likeDecember, 2002Kassai et al.
20040070255Separable chair assemblyApril, 2004Chen
20100026070Runner and Seat Provided with a Locking SystemFebruary, 2010Rohee et al.
20060284457Covered portable chair assembly and methods of use and manufactureDecember, 2006Holley
20060267386Juvenile transport product and methodNovember, 2006Nakhla et al.
20050073183Cover for massaging members on an elastic chairApril, 2005Hsiao
20060202542Amusement ride safety restraint with angle indicatorSeptember, 2006Pribonic



Primary Examiner:
VERAA, CHRISTOPHER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Edell Shapiro & Finnan LLC (9801 Washingtonian Blvd Suite 750, Gaithersburg, MD, 20878, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An article adapted to be positioned on a back of a user, the article comprising: a harness to support the article on the user; and a seat assembly including: a support member coupled to the harness, the support member including a guide element, and a seat member including a coupling element movably coupled to the guide element on the support member, wherein the guide element and the coupling element cooperate to direct movement of the seat member along a defined, repeatable path between a first seat position and a second seat position.

2. The article of claim 1, wherein: the support member defines a longitudinal dimension and a transverse dimension; and the guide element comprises an elongated rail extending along the longitudinal dimension of the support member.

3. The article of claim 2, wherein: the guide element is a first guide element; the support member further comprises a second guide element, the second guide element comprising an elongated rail extending along the longitudinal dimension of the support member; the coupling element is a first coupling element movably coupled to the first guide element; the seat member further comprises a second coupling element movably coupled to the second guide element.

4. The article of claim 3, wherein the first and second coupling elements comprise a resilient clip slidingly engaged with the first and second rails of the support member, respectively.

5. The article of claim 4, wherein the first and second coupling elements are tethered to the seat member.

6. The article of claim 1, wherein: the support member defines an inner, user-facing side and an outer-facing side; and the article further includes a storage chamber disposed on the outer side of the support surface.

7. The article of claim 1, wherein: the seat member comprises a first spacer element and a second spacer element, the spacer elements being separated by a channel; and the spacer elements and channel cooperate operable to permit airflow between the user and the seat member.

8. The article of claim 1, wherein: the seat member comprises: a plurality of spacer elements protruding from a user-facing side of the seat member, a plurality of plurality of air flow channels; the spacer elements and channels are configured to direct airflow towards a perimeter of the seat member.

9. The article of claim 1, wherein: the support member includes a first capture member laterally spaced from a second capture member such that the capture members are generally aligned; the seat member includes; a first tether member extending longitudinally along the seat member, and a second tether member extending longitudinally along the seat member; the first tether member is movably coupled to the first capture member; and the second tether member is movably coupled to the second capture member.

10. The article of claim 1, wherein: the support member comprises a venting panel operable to permit the flow of air therethrough; and the seat member is movable from a first non-venting position, in which the seat member is aligned with the venting panel, to a second, venting position, in which the seat member is misaligned with the venting panel.

11. The article of claim 10, wherein: the venting panel is covered by the seat member when the seat member is disposed on the non-venting position; and the venting panel is exposed when the seat member is disposed in the venting position.

12. The article of claim 1, wherein: the seat assembly further comprises a retraction cord coupled to the seat member; and manipulation of the retraction cord moves the seat member between the first position and the second position.

13. An article including a selectively deployable seat assembly, the seat assembly comprising: a support member including at least one elongated guide element; and a seat member slidingly coupled to the at least one guide element such that the seat member slides along a defined, repeatable path from a first seat position to a second seat position, wherein the seat member is disposed over and substantially aligned with the support member in the first seat position and is substantially misaligned with the support member in the second seat position.

14. The article of claim 13, wherein the support member further includes a central panel constructed from a venting fabric.

15. The article of claim 14, wherein: the seat member further includes a third seat position, the third seat position being an intermediate position relative to the first seat position and the second seat position; in the first seat position, the central panel of the support member is covered by the seat member; and in the third seat position, the seat member is displaced to expose the central panel of the support member.

16. The article of claim 13, wherein: the support member includes a magnet; the seat member includes a magnet operable to mate with the support member magnet; and mating of the support member magnet to the seat member magnet retains the seat member in position relative to the support member.

17. The article of claim 16, wherein the support member magnet and the seat member magnet are configured to secure the seat member in the first seat position.

18. The article of claim 13, wherein: the seat member comprises: a plurality of channels disposed in a user-facing side of the seat member, wherein the seat member is configured to fold along the channels when the seat member is the second seat position.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to and is based on U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/990,241, filed May 8, 2014, entitled “Article with Selectively Deployable Member,” the entire disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a reconfigurable accessory article and, in particular, to a sport accessory including a selectively deployable seat.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Hunting gear such as a hunting vest (e.g., a turkey vest) may include a seat for use by the wearer. Conventional accessories, however, suffer from several disadvantages. For example, conventional vests include a seat tethered by straps from the rear of the vest. The seat is suspended, moving as the user moves. This seat movement generates noise that can be heard by game in the area. Other vests includes straps with buckles retain the seat in a stowed position on the rear or back side of the vest. When use of the seat is desired, one or more of the straps may be unhooked or unbuckled. Along with being cumbersome, this configuration also results in noise generation, which is caused when the user manipulates the buckles.

Thus, it would be desirable to provide a hunting accessory that does not suffer from the above disadvantages.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed toward an article adapted to be worn by a user that includes an assembly with a selectively repositionable shield or seat. The seat assembly includes a guide rail on which the seat or shield moves. With this configuration, the seat is deployable along a predetermined path. Additionally, lateral movement of the seat is restricted, lessening noise and interference with the user. In an embodiment, the article is an accessory such as a back pack. In another embodiment, the article is an apparel item such as a hunting vest (e.g., a turkey vest).

Furthermore, the present invention may be a vest or a backpack that includes a selectively deployable seat assembly. The seat assembly of the present invention may include a support member and a seat member. The support member may include an elongated guide element, while the seat member may be movably coupled to the elongated guide element of the support member. The seat member may be moveable along the elongated guide element in a defined and repeatable path between a first position and a second position.

In another embodiment, the present invention may be a vest or a backpack that includes a selectively deployable seat assembly. The seat assembly includes a support member and a seat member. The support member may include at least one elongated guide element, while the seat member may be slidingly coupled to the at least one guide element. The seat member may be slidable along the elongated guide element in a defined and repeatable path between a first position and a second position. When the seat member is disposed in the first position, the seat member may be substantially aligned with the support member. When the seat member is disposed in the second position, the seat member may be substantially misaligned with the support member.

The present invention may be a vest or a backpack that includes at least one strap, a structure that is coupled to the strap and a seat assembly disposed on the structure. The strap may be configured to cover a shoulder of the user. Moreover, the structure has a front side and a rear side. The seat assembly is disposed on the front side of the structure, where the seat assembly further includes a support member and a seat member. The support member may be equipped with at least one guide element. The seat member may be slidingly coupled to the at least one guide element so that the seat member is slidable between a first position and a second position. When the seat member is positioned in the second position, the seat member extends below the support member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1A and 1B each illustrates a front view in elevation of the article in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 1C and 1D each illustrates a rear view in elevation of the article shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B, respectively.

FIG. 2A illustrates a rear view of a compartment, showing the straps in a secured configuration.

FIG. 2B illustrates the rear view of the compartment shown in FIG. 2A, showing the straps in an opened configuration.

FIG. 3 illustrates a side view in elevation of the article shown in FIG. 1A.

FIG. 4 illustrates a front view of the support member of the article, shown in isolation.

FIG. 5A illustrates a front view of the seat member of the article, shown in isolation.

FIG. 5B illustrates a rear view of the seat member of FIG. 5A.

FIG. 5C illustrates a first partial side view of the seat, showing the connection of the seat to the support.

FIG. 5D illustrates a second partial side view of the seat, showing the connection of the seat to the support.

FIGS. 5E and 5F illustrate close up views of the guide system, showing a connector element connected to a guide element.

FIG. 6A illustrates a front view of the article with the outer shell moved for clarity, showing the seat oriented in its stowed position.

FIG. 6B illustrates a front view of the article shown in FIG. 6A, showing the seat oriented in a partially extended position.

FIG. 6C illustrates a front view of the article shown in FIG. 6A, showing the seat oriented in a fully extended position.

FIG. 6D illustrates a side view of the article shown in FIG. 6A, showing the seat oriented in a seating position.

FIGS. 7A, 7B, 7C, and 7D show the operation of the article.

FIGS. 8A and 8B illustrate an accessory in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The article may be an article of apparel, such as a vest, or an accessory article, such as a backpack. In either embodiment, the article is adapted to by worn by the user, e.g., by being supported on the user's back and/or shoulders. Turning to the embodiment of FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D the article is a vest 10 (e.g., a turkey vest) including an outer shell 100 having a first or front portion 105 and a second or rear portion 110. The front portion 105 includes a support harness or neck yoke 115, a first panel 120A, and a second panel 120B. The yoke 115 and panels 120A, 120B cooperate to cover the shoulders and front torso of the wearer.

As shown, the exterior surface 125 of the panels 120A, 120B includes a modular connection system for accessories. In the illustrated embodiment, the system 130 includes a plurality of spaced, generally horizontal rows 135A, 135B, 135C. Each row 135A, 135B, 135C includes a plurality of fabric loops 140A, 140B, 140C configured to receive a fastener disposed on an accessory. By way of example, each row may be an elongated fabric (e.g., canvas) member secured at selected longitudinal locations by stitching 145 to define separate loops 140A, 140B, 140C having tethered ends and a floating center portion. The loops 140A, 140B, 140C may possess a uniform size (i.e., the loops may be of similar width), as shown. Alternatively, the loops 140A-140C may possess varying dimensions. The loops 140A-140C are generally configured such that the loops are vertically aligned among the rows 135A-135C. The number of rows and loops included on the panels 120A, 12B may be greater or less than the number of rows and loops illustrated in FIG. 1A.

Referring to FIG. 1B, the hunting vest further includes an assortment 150 of accessory storage compartments or cases that may be secured to the front panels 120A, 120B at selected locations via the connection system 130. Each compartment is configured to house various components carried by the user. For example, the assortment of accessory storage compartments may include box call compartment 155A, a slate call compartment 155B, shot shell compartment 155C, and/or a mobile phone/water resistant compartment 155D. The compartments 155A-155D may be accessed via a zipper located along the outward facing portion of the compartment.

Referring to FIGS. 2A and 2B, illustrated is a rear view of a compartment in different configurations. Each compartment 155A-155D includes one or more strap member pairs 210 disposed on the interior, vest-facing surface 156A-156D of the compartment 155A-155D. Each strap member pair 210 includes an upper strap member 215A generally vertically aligned with a lower strap member 215B. The upper strap member 215A may be configured to secure to the lower strap member 215B. For example, the upper strap member 215 includes the hooks of a hook and loop fastener system, while the lower strap member 215B includes the loops, or vice versa. The width of the strap members 215A, 215B generally corresponds to the width of the loop 140A-140C. In operation, the upper strap member 215A is inserted into the loop 140A of a first row 135A, while the lower strap member 215B is inserted into the loop 140A of a second row 135C. If a second strap member pair 210 is present, it may be similarly secured, with the upper strap member 215B being secured to a loop 140B of the first row 135A and the lower strap member 215B of the second pair 210 being secured to a loop 140B the second row 135C.

In the illustrated embodiment, each compartment 155A-155D possesses different dimensions (size/shape) from other compartments in the assortment. It should be understood, however, that the assortment 150 may include two or more compartments of similar dimensions.

With this configuration, a customizable compartment system is provided, wherein a user may place the compartments 155A-155D along the front, outward facing surface 125 of the vest 10 at selected locations. The locations of the compartments 155A-155D, moreover, are interchangeable with the user altering the location—or adding or removing compartments 155A-155D—as the needs of the user change.

Referring back to FIGS. 1C and 1D, the rear portion 110 of the outer shell 100 generally covers to the back of the torso of the wearer. The rear shell portion 110 may include one or more pockets 160 operable to house items carried by the user. Additionally, the rear shell portion 110 may possess a generally arcuate shape, protruding outward at its center from an interior support panel thereby defining a game pocket (discussed in greater detail below).

Referring to FIG. 3, the outer shell 100 houses a rearward structural member 305 (oriented closer to the rear shell portion 110) and a seating assembly 310 disposed forward of the structural member 305 (oriented closer to the front shell portion 105). The structural member 305 is configured to provide structure to the vest 10. By way of example, the structural member 305 may include a resilient member such as a wire frame. A cover (e.g. a fabric cover) may be disposed over the structural member 305. The cover, moreover, may include additional features such as pockets, etc. The structural member 305 “floats” within the vest 10, being secured along upper and lower edges. Accordingly, the structural member 305 cooperates with the rear shell portion 110 and the structural member 305 to define a chamber 308, enabling a user to store items (e.g., game) therein.

The seating assembly 310 includes a support member and a seat member or shield movably coupled to the support. Referring to FIG. 4, the support 405 includes a body 407 (e.g., an elongated body) suspended with the article such that it floats, being secured at its upper and lower ends. As noted above, the body 407 is spaced from the structural member 305 to define a chamber 308 therebetween, as illustrated in FIG. 3.

Continuing with FIG. 4, the support 405 further includes a guide system that directs the movement of the seat member 505 along a predefined pathway. Specifically, the support 405 includes a first guide element 410A and a second guide element 410B laterally spaced (in the transverse dimension) from the first guide element by width w. The guide elements 410A, 410B are configured to mate with a coupling element disposed on the seat member 505 such that the seat member 505 (FIG. 5) moves along the guide elements 410A, 410B, moving longitudinally along the support 405 (discussed in greater detail below). In an embodiment, the guide elements 410A, 410B are each an elongated rail running longitudinally along the support 405. The guide elements 410A, 410B may be formed of any material possessing sufficient rigidity to guide the seat member 505, as well as a sufficient coefficient of friction sufficient to permit the seat member 505 coupling element to glide therealong. In an embodiment, each guide member 410A, 410B may include an elongated tube having a generally circular cross dimension. By way of specific example, the tube of the guide members 410A, 410B is a foam piping having a diameter of approximately 2-5 mm (e.g., 3.175 mm). The guide elements 410A, 410B may be secured to the support 405 via any suitable method (sewing, adhesive, etc.). In an embodiment, the guide elements 410A, 410B include a foam core and a fabric sheath mounted to the support 405.

The support 405 may further include one or more capture members operable to maintain the position of the seat in proximity of the support. In an embodiment, the capture member is a slot, band, or loop of fabric configured to capture a corresponding tethering member disposed on the seat. The support 405 includes a first capture member 415A disposed along the lower portion of the support 405 and oriented outboard of the first guide element 410A (e.g., to the left of the guide element 410A proximate the lower edge of the support 405 (from the viewpoint of FIG. 4)) and a second capture member 415B disposed along the lower portion of the support 405 and oriented outboard of the second guide element 410B (e.g., to the right of the guide element 410B proximate the lower edge of the support 405).

The support 405 may be formed of any material suitable for its described purpose. In the illustrated embodiment, the support 405 includes a central panel 420 disposed between the guide elements 410A, 410B, a first (left) lateral panel 425A disposed left of the first guide member 410A, and a second (right) lateral panel 425B disposed right to the second guide element 410B. The central panel 420 may be a venting fabric, thereby defining a venting panel. By way of example, the fabric may be a knitted or woven mesh. The lateral panels 425A, 425B may be non-venting. By way of example, the non-venting material may be a woven or knitted fabric. With this configuration, repositioning the seat member 505 selectively exposes the central venting panel 420 to the user to increase airflow proximate the user wearing the vest 10. That is, a user may adjust the venting qualities of the vest 10 by selectively raising and lowering the seat member 505 to open and close the central vent panel 420.

The support 405 may further include a magnet 440 operable to align with a corresponding magnet 570 on the seat member 505. As discussed in greater detail below, with this configuration, the magnets 440, 570 are capable of coupling the seat member 505 in position relative to the support 405.

The seat member is configured to provide support to a user seated thereon. Referring to FIGS. 5A and 5B, the seat member 505 includes a seat inner (user-facing) side 510A and a seat outer side 510B. The seat inner side 510A faces and/or contacts the user. Accordingly, the seat inner side 510A of the seat member 505 may include padding or other cushioning to aid in the comfort of the wearer. The seat inner side 510A may include a system to control airflow proximate the user. In the illustrated embodiment, the seat inner side 510A includes a plurality of spacer elements 515A, 515B, 515C, 515D, 515E, 515F, 515G, 515H. The spacer elements are separated from each other by a recess or channel 520, 525A-525C. In the embodiment illustrated the seat inner side 510A includes a generally longitudinal channel 520 extending the length of the seat member 505, as well as a plurality of generally transverse channels 525A, 525B, 525C extending across the width of the seat member 505. The spacer elements 515A-515H are raised relative to the channels 520, 525A-525C, creating a gap between the user and the channels 520, 525A-525C. In other words, the channels 520, 525A, 525B, 525C define a plurality of recesses with the seat inner side 510A.

With this configuration, air movement along the interface with the user is provided. Specifically, one or more of the channels 520, 525A-525C capture warm air, directing it along the seat inner side 510A an exhausting the air out through the perimeter of the seat member 505 (along an outboard edge of the seat member 505). Alternatively, or in addition to, cooler ambient air may enter one or more of the channels 520, 525A-525C, flowing along the interface with the user. Accordingly, the spacer/channel configuration enhances airflow proximate the user and/or creates a heat dissipating or cooling effect. Additionally, because the channels 520, 525A-525C are thinner than the raised spacer elements 515A-515H, the channels 520, 525A-525C enable the seat member 505 to at least partially fold along the channels 520, 525A-525C for deployment.

The seat outer side 510B includes an upper portion 530 and a lower portion 535. The upper portion 530 of the seat outer side 510B may be formed of the same fabric as that covering the seat inner side 510A. The lower portion 535 may be formed of friction enhancing material. By way of example, the lower portion 535 may be textured fabric, a friction-enhancing coating (rubber, etc.), or a printed traction layer (e.g., a printed silicone matrix). The friction enhancing surface increases the frictional forces between the lower portion 535 of the seat member 505 and the surface on which the seat member 505 is placed. Thus, it minimizes sliding of the seat member 505 on a support surface while deployed (set on a support surface and sat upon by a user).

As discussed above, the seat outer side 510B may further include one or more tethering members adapted to slidingly couple to the capture members 415A, 415B disposed on the support 405. Each tethering member may be in the form of an elongated, pliant strap secured at a top end 545A and a bottom end 545B to upper 530 and lower 535 areas of the seat outer side 510B, respectively. As shown, a first tethering member 540A is laterally spaced from a second tethering member, with each tethering member extending along the length of the seat 505 and configured to align with its associated capture member 415A, 415B. In the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 5C, the first tethering member 540A of the seat member 505 is received by the first capture member 415A of the support 405. Similarly, in the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 5D, the second tethering member 540B of the seat member 505 is received by the second capture member 415B of the support 405. Each tethering member 540A, 540B moves along and through its associated capture member 415A, 415B until an end 545A, 545B is reached.

The seat member 505 further includes a coupling assembly operable to slidingly couple to a guide element. Specifically, referring to FIGS. 5B, 5E, and 5F, the seat outer side 510B includes a first coupling assembly 550A and a second coupling assembly 550B. Each coupling assembly 550A, 550B includes an anchor portion 555 and connector or clip portion 560 disposed along the distal end of the anchor portion. The connector portion 560 slidingly couples to the guide element 410A, 410B on the support 405. As shown in FIGS. 5E and 5F, the connector portion 560 may be a generally C-shaped or semicircular clip mounted on the guide element 410A, 410B such that it glides or slides along the guide element 410A, 410B. The clip 560 is sufficiently resilient to hold the seat member 505 in a desired position along the guide elements 410A, 410B, but permit movement of the seat member 505 when sufficient force is applied thereto. As noted above, the seat member 505 further includes a magnet 570 configured to mate with magnet 440 disposed on support 405. Specifically, the seat magnet 570 is positioned such that, when the seat member 505 is oriented in its stowed/retracted position, the seat magnet 570 is in registry with the support magnet 440. Additionally, the seat member 505 may include one or more handles 575 to enable a user to manipulate the seat member 505 (e.g., urge the seat member 505 downward or upward along the guide elements 410A, 410B).

The operation of the seating assembly is explained with reference to FIGS. 6A, 6B, 6C, and 6D. In FIG. 6A, the seat member 505 begins in its first, stowed/retracted position. In this position, the seat member 505 is disposed over the support 405 such that it is generally aligned (in registry) therewith. That is, the seat member 505 is oriented proximate the back of the user, with the channels 520, 525A-525C providing venting as described above. In this position, the magnets 440, 570 are generally aligned and coupled to each other, securing the seat member.

A user may manipulate the seat member 505 (e.g., by grasping a handle 575 illustrated in FIG. 5B) to decouple the magnets 440, 570 and drive the seat member 505 along the guide elements 410A, 410B from the first, stowed position to a second, venting position, as illustrated in FIG. 6B. In the venting position, the seat member 505 is brought out of alignment with the support 405 such that a portion of the venting panel 420 with venting material is exposed. For example, the lower portion 535 of the seat member 505 may extend from the bottom of the support 405 and may be oriented proximate the buttocks of the user. The upper portion of the venting panel 420 is exposed, permitting increased air movement and creating a cooling effect for the user.

A user may again manipulate the seat member 505 to drive the seat member 505 along the guide elements 410A, 410B from the second, venting position, to a third, fully-extended position, as illustrated in FIG. 6C. In the fully-extended position, the seat member 505 is generally misaligned with the support 405, the seat member extending downward such that a substantial portion of the seat member is positioned below the support member bottom edge. The over-extension of the seat member 505 is prevented by the capture members 415A, 415B. The capture members 415A, 415B function as stops, preventing movement of the seat member 505 along the guide elements 410A, 410B beyond a predetermined longitudinal position.

From the third, fully extended position, the user may continue to manipulate the seat member 505 to move it to its fourth, deployed position, as illustrated in FIG. 6D. Specifically, the user pivots/rotates the seat from the third position, in which it is oriented generally vertically, to the fourth position, where it is oriented generally horizontally. In this orientation, a user may sit on the seat member 505, either on the ground or on an elevated support surface (e.g., a bench).

FIGS. 7A, 7B, 7C, and 7D illustrate the article in use. As shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B, the vest 10 is worn by the user, with the seat member 505 being oriented in its stowed position. As previously explained, the user may manipulate the handle 575 to draw the seat member 505 downward to its fully extended position. As best illustrated in FIG. 7C, showing the rear view of the vest 10 as it is worn by a user, when the seat member 505 is in its fully extended position, the seat outer side 510B is exposed. Finally, as illustrated in FIG. 7D, the user folds the seat member 505 along the channels 520, 525A-525C to its deployed position to enable the user to sit thereon. Specifically, the seat member 505 is bent upward such that it curved or contoured around the body (buttocks/legs) of the user via, e.g., the channels 520, 525A-525C.

FIGS. 8A and 8B illustrate an article in accordance with another embodiment of the invention. As illustrated, the article is an accessory article such as a backpack 800 including a storage compartment 805 and a seat assembly 810 with a seat member 815 and guide elements 410A, 410B as described above. Additionally, the seat assembly 810 includes a first retraction cord 820A disposed on first shoulder strap 825A and a second retraction cord 820B disposed on a second shoulder strap 825B. The retraction cords 820A, 820B are connected to the seat member 815 (e.g., along the top edge of the seat member) such that the cords may be manipulated to reorient the seat member 815 with respect to the storage compartment 805. Specifically, when the seat member 815 is oriented in its extended or deployed position, to return the seat member 815 to its stowed position, a user grasps the cords to urge the seat member 815 along the guide elements 410A, 410B, drawing the seat member 815 upward. The shoulder straps 825A, 825B, in addition to supporting the retraction cords 820A, 820B, serve as the support harness, supporting the storage compartment on the back of a wearer.

With the above described configurations, an article with a selectively deployable seat or shield is provided. Specifically, the guide elements (the rails) guide the movement of the seat along a predefined path. That is, the seat deployment pattern is consistent and or repeatable, ensuring that the seat is positioned consistently with respect to the user. This is in contrast with conventional seats which dangle from a strap, requiring the user to continually adjust the position of the seat during deployment. In addition, adjustments of the conventional seats must be done with a buckle and strap system, which makes repeating the deployment of the seat cumbersome and difficult to ensure proper seat position.

This configuration also prevents the movement of the seat (i.e., the lateral movement) when in its stowed position. In hunting, minimizing noise is critical to avoid alarming game in the area. Conventional seats are suspended from the back of the vest via straps. Consequently, the seat sways with the hunter's movement, contacting the outer shell of the vest and generating noise. The current invention prevents this swaying, securing the seat member against the support and against the user's back. The coupling of the seat member to the guide elements of the support restricts the seat member from any lateral movement.

While the invention has been described in detail and with reference to specific embodiments thereof, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope thereof. For example, an elastic cord may couple the seat to the support to provide an automatic retraction of the seat back to its stowed position.

The capture members may be any dimensions suitable for its described purpose and may be selected to further control the lateral movement of the seat member (e.g., providing the capture member with a width that is greater than the width of the tethering member permits more lateral movement, providing the capture member with a width similar to that of the tethering member restricts lateral movement). The capture members may further have a pivoting construction to assist in the pivot of the seat member to its horizontal/deployed position. For example, the capture member may be configured as an “ice pick loop” or may be in the form of a tethered ring through which the tethering member passes.

Thus, it is intended that the present invention covers the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents. It is to be understood that terms such as “top,” “bottom,” “front,” “rear,” “side,” “height,” “length,” “width,” “upper,” “lower,” “interior,” “exterior,” “medial,” “lateral,” and the like as may be used herein, merely describe points of reference and do not limit the present invention to any particular orientation or configuration.