Title:
BACKPACK/PILLOW ASSEMBLY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides an improved backpack assembly configured for multiple uses. The backpack assembly includes a compressible foam material enclosed within one or both of its front and rear panels, and it further includes a blanket support structure for releasably attaching a blanket. The backpack assembly thereby is specially adapted for use by a user, especially a child who is traveling, for convenient use in carrying various articles for work and play, e.g., books and toys, as well as a blanket and pillow for use while napping or resting.



Inventors:
Soto-camacho, Andrea (Brooklyn, NY, US)
Stash, Karen G. (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
14/742267
Publication Date:
12/22/2016
Filing Date:
06/17/2015
Assignee:
Soto-Camacho Andrea
Stash Karen G.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F4/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20100032459PORTABLE BEDDING SYSTEMFebruary, 2010Clark et al.
20090205758CARRYING BAGAugust, 2009Mankelow
20030189073Container and containment stabilization system and methodOctober, 2003Chen
20070062989Sling type baby holding carrierMarch, 2007Kassai et al.
20080212902SackSeptember, 2008Montgomery
20090290296SMALL LANYARD CONNECTOR FOR LOW PROFILE DEVICENovember, 2009Stiehl et al.
20040245298Baby harnessDecember, 2004Refsum
20040149794UNOBTRUSIVE STORAGE POCKETAugust, 2004Sullivan
20060289572Convertible backpack and seat with an extensible blanketDecember, 2006Hayden
20060022004Platform for automobile trunksFebruary, 2006Mazzone
20070205239Object carrier with flexible exchangeable support armSeptember, 2007Richter



Primary Examiner:
LARSON, JUSTIN MATTHEW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP (333 S. Hope Street Forty-Third Floor, Los Angeles, CA, 90071, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A backpack assembly comprising: a pouch having a front panel and a rear panel secured to each other along a lower edge, a left side edge, and a right side edge, forming an interior compartment and an open upper end; a strap assembly secured to the pouch and configurable to define left and right shoulder straps sized to receive a user's arms, with the pouch supported on the user's back; wherein one or both of the pouch's front and rear panels includes a compressible pillow, to enable the backpack assembly to function as a head pillow when not being supported on a user's back; a blanket sized and configured to be rolled or folded into a compact form; and a blanket support mounted at or near the pouch's lower edge and configured to carry the blanket.

2. The backpack assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein the strap assembly comprises a single elongate strap.

3. The backpack assembly as defined in claim 2, wherein: the backpack assembly further comprises left and right bracket rings mounted at spaced-apart locations along the upper edge of the front panel; and the single elongate strap of the strap assembly attaches at its two ends to the pouch at or near the pouch's lower edge, adjacent the pouch's left and right side edges, with a mid-portion of the single elongate strap extending through the left and right bracket rings.

4. The backpack assembly as defined in claim 3, wherein the strap assembly is configurable as a single loop by extending the portion of the single elongate strap located between the left and right bracket rings, whereby the backpack assembly can be carried over just one of a user's shoulders.

5. The backpack assembly as defined in claim 1, and further comprising a releasable closure secured to the upper end of the pouch, for use in selectably closing the interior compartment.

6. The backpack assembly as defined in claim 5, wherein the releasable closure comprises a zipper.

7. The backpack assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein the front and rear panels of the pouch each include a compressible pillow extending over substantially the panel's entire extent.

8. The backpack assembly as defined in claim 7, wherein the compressible pillows of the front and rear panels each are sealed within the panel.

9. The backpack assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein the blanket support comprises a blanket pouch sized to receive and store and blanket and configured to have a closable opening.

10. The backpack assembly as defined in claim 9, wherein the blanket pouch comprises a zipper for closing the closable opening.

11. The backpack assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein the blanket support comprises a plurality of blanket straps configured to wrap around and carry the blanket.

12. The backpack assembly as defined in claim 11, wherein each of the plurality of blanket straps comprises a releasable fastener.

13. The backpack assembly as defined in claim 12, wherein the releasable fastener of each of the plurality of blanket straps includes a releasable snap fastener.

14. The backpack assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein the front and rear panels of the pouch comprise sections of fabric that are sewn to each other at the pouch's lower edge, left side edge, and right side edge.

15. The backpack assembly as defined in claim 1, and further comprising one or more pockets mounted on the front panel of the pouch.

16. The backpack assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein the backpack assembly is free of a rigid support structure.

17. A backpack assembly comprising: a main pouch having a front panel and a rear panel secured to each other along a lower edge, a left side edge, and a right side edge, forming an interior compartment and an open upper end; a strap assembly secured to the main pouch and comprising a single elongate strap and left and right bracket rings mounted at spaced-apart locations along an upper edge of the front panel, wherein the single elongate strap attaches at its two ends to the main pouch at or near the pouch's lower edge, adjacent the pouch's left and right side edges, with a mid-portion of the single elongate strap extending through the left and right bracket rings; wherein the strap assembly is configurable to define left and right shoulder straps sized to receive a user's arms, with the main pouch supported on the user's back, by extending the sections of the elongate strap located between its two ends and the left and right bracket rings; wherein the strap assembly further is configurable to define a single loop by extending the portion of the single elongate strap located between the left and right bracket rings, whereby the backpack assembly can be carried over just one of the user's shoulders; wherein one or both of the main pouch's front and rear panels includes a compressible pillow, to enable the backpack assembly to function as a head pillow when not being supported on a user's back; a blanket sized and configured to be rolled or folded into a compact form; and a blanket pouch mounted at or near the main pouch's lower edge and configured to have a closable opening, wherein the blanket pouch further is sized and configured to carry the blanket and wherein the backpack assembly is free of a rigid support structure.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to backpack assemblies and more particularly to backpack assemblies configured for multiple uses.

Backpacks are in common use by persons of all ages to carry various small articles comfortably on their backs, leaving their arms and hands free for other tasks and activities. Many of such backpacks lack a rigid support frame and, instead, include just a fabric pouch having a closable upper opening for allowing access to an open interior compartment, along with left and right shoulder straps configured to receive the user's arms. The backpack thereby can be carried with the pouch comfortably supported on the user's back.

Backpacks of this kind are particularly suitable for use by students for carrying their schoolbooks, stationery items, clothing articles, school lunches, etc., to and from their homes. Such backpacks also are commonly used at other times, for carrying books, toys, and other articles on vacations and other extended trips, e.g., via an automobile, train, or airplane. Oftentimes on such trips, it is necessary or desirable for the users to sleep or rest. In the past, this has sometimes required the users to bring along not only their backpacks but also, separately, a head pillow and a blanket, so that they can sleep or rest comfortably. This is inefficient, requiring use of their otherwise free arms and hands.

It will be appreciated that there is a definite need for a backpack assembly that is specially configured not only to carry books, toys, and other articles for use by a user during an extended trip, but also to incorporate and carry both a blanket and a pillow. The present invention satisfies this need and provides further related advantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is embodied in an improved backpack assembly that is specially configured not only to carry books, toys, and other articles for use by a user during an extended trip, but also to incorporate and carry both a blanket and a pillow. The backpack assembly includes a pouch having a front panel and a rear panel secured to each other along a lower edge, a left side edge, and a right side edge, forming an interior compartment and an open upper end, and it further includes a strap assembly secured to the pouch and configurable to define left and right shoulder straps sized to receive a user's arms, with the pouch supported on the user's back. One or both of the pouch's front and rear panels includes a compressible pillow, to enable the backpack assembly to function as a head pillow when not being supported on a user's back. In addition, the backpack assembly further includes a blanket configured to be rolled or folded into a compact form, as well as a blanket support mounted at or near the lower edge of the pouch and configured to carry the blanket.

In another, more detailed feature of the invention, the strap assembly can comprise a single elongate strap. The two ends of this elongate strap attach to the pouch at or near the pouch's lower edge, adjacent the pouch's left and right side edges, with a mid-portion of the elongate strap extending through left and right bracket rings mounted at spaced-apart locations along the upper edge of the pouch's front panel. In an alternative arrangement, the strap assembly can be reconfigured as a single carrier loop by extending the portion of the elongate strap located between the left and right bracket rings, whereby the backpack assembly can be conveniently carried over just one of a user's shoulders.

In another feature of the invention, the backpack assembly can further include a releasable closure at the pouch's upper end, for use in selectably closing the interior compartment. This closure can take the form of a zipper. Further, the pouch's front and rear panels can each include a compressible pillow extending over substantially the panel's entire extent. These compressible pillows each can be sealed within the panel.

In another feature of the invention, the blanket support can comprise a pouch sized to receive and store the blanket. This blanket pouch can include an opening that can be selectably closed, e.g., by a zipper. Alternatively, the blanket support can comprise a plurality of blanket straps configured to wrap around and carry the blanket. Each of such straps can comprise a releasable fastener, e.g., a releasable snap fastener. Further, the pouch's front and rear panels both can comprise sections of fabric that are sewn to each other along the pouch's lower edge, left side edge, and right side edge. Further, one or more pockets can be mounted on the pouch's front panel.

Finally, in yet another feature of the invention, the backpack assembly is free of any rigid support structure.

Other features and advantages of the present invention should become apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top, front perspective view of a backpack assembly embodying the present invention, shown with its strap assembly in a two-shoulder configuration, in which the backpack assembly can be carried over the user's two shoulders in a conventional fashion.

FIG. 2 is a top, front perspective view of the backpack assembly of FIG. 1, shown with its strap assembly in an alternative, one-shoulder configuration, in which the backpack assembly can be carried over just one of the user's shoulders.

FIG. 3 is a top, rear perspective view of the backpack assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a right side cross-sectional view of the backpack assembly of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference now to the illustrative drawings, and particularly FIGS. 1 and 4, there is shown a backpack assembly 11 in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention. The backpack assembly includes a front panel 13 and a rear panel 15, which are sewn to each other along a lower edge 17, a left side edge 19, and a right side edge 21, to form a rectangular pouch 23. The upper edges 25, 27 of the respective front and rear panels 13, 15 define an open upper end. A strap assembly 29 defines a left strap section 31 and a right strap section 33 sized to receive a user's two arms, whereby the pouch can be comfortably supported on the user's back.

The strap assembly 29 includes a single elongate strap whose two ends are secured to the lower edge 17 of the pouch 23, one end near the left side edge 19 and the other end near the right side edge 21. Between these two ends, the strap extends through a left bracket ring 35 and a right bracket ring 37, which are mounted at the upper edge 25 of the pouch's front panel 13. The strap thus includes three sections: the left strap section 31, the right strap section 33, and a middle section 39. The elongate strap is sized to provide sufficient slack to allow it to form two alternative configurations: 1) a two-shoulder configuration (FIG. 1), in which the left and right side sections 31, 33 are extended to allow them to fit over the user's left and right shoulders; and 2) a one-shoulder configuration (FIG. 2), in which the middle section 39 is extended to allow it to fit over just one of the user's two shoulders.

The left and right bracket rings 35, 37 are secured by two short fabric strips 41, 43, respectively, to the upper edge 25 of the front panel 13. The two ends of the strap assembly's elongate strap extend through slotted bracket assemblies 45, 47 that, in turn, are sewn into the seam at the pouch's lower edge 17, adjacent the pouch's respective left and right side edges 19, 21. These slotted bracket assemblies allow the lengths of the left and right strap sections 31, 33 to be conveniently adjusted, for fitting the backpack assembly 11 to the size of the user carrying it. This adjustability also allows the straps to be conveniently sized for attaching the backpack assembly to an automobile headrest or armrest, or to an airplane seat or tray table.

The open upper end of the pouch 23 allows access to an open interior compartment (FIG. 4) that is sized to receive various articles, such as schoolbooks, a tablet computer, stationery items, clothing articles, school lunches, games, etc. A zipper 51 secured to the upper edges 25, 27 of the respective front and rear panels 13, 15 permits the opening to be selectably closed off. Other closure mechanisms, e.g., a hook and loop fastener or snaps, alternatively could be used.

As shown in FIG. 4, the front panel 13 includes an outer fabric sheet 53 and an inner fabric sheet 55, which are sewn together around their peripheries to define a closed interior space filled by a compressible pillow 57. Similarly, the rear panel 15 includes an outer fabric sheet 59 and an inner fabric sheet 61, which are sewn together around their peripheries to define a closed interior space filled by a compressible pillow 63. The fabric sheets that make up the front and rear panels preferably comprise a soft cotton or polyester material that is machine-washable. Alternatively, the outer fabric sheets can be formed of a durable material such as leather or imitation leather, and the inner sheets can be formed of a durable material such as cotton or polyester muslin.

The pillows 57, 63 allow the two panels 13, 15, together, to function as a head pillow when the backpack assembly 11 is not being carried. In addition, the pillows can protect fragile articles carried within the interior compartment if the backpack assembly is dropped onto the ground or otherwise subjected to undue forces. The pillows also make the assembly comfortable to wear on the user's back, even if the interior compartment carries hard, or rigid articles.

The pillows 57, 63 preferably extend over substantially the entire extent of the interior spaces of the respective front and back panels 13, 15. The pillows can incorporate polystyrene beads, expanded polystyrene beads, polyvinyl chloride pellets, shredded polyurethane foam, shredded latex foam, dried beans, recycled plastic bottle pellets, and combinations of those materials. Optionally, only one of the two panels could include the pillow, but thus providing correspondingly reduced softness.

The backpack assembly 11 further includes a blanket 65 that can be rolled or folded into a compact, cylindrical form, along with a similarly sized cylindrical blanket pouch 67 secured by a pair of straps 69, 71 sewn directly into the seam at the lower edge 17 of the pouch 23. These straps, which can be formed of a suitable fabric or leather, extend around a portion of the blanket pouch, to provide structural support. Visible in FIGS. 1 and 2, a zippered opening 73 extends horizontally along the blanket pouch, to allow the blanket to be inserted and removed.

In an alternative embodiment, not shown in the drawings, the blanket 65 can be supported using a pair of blanket straps attached to the lower edge 17 of the pouch 23, e.g., by sewing each strap's two ends directly into the seam between the front and rear panels 13, 15. In addition, each blanket strap can include a conventional snap fastener, to allow a convenient attachment and release of the rolled or folded blanket. As a further alternative, the blanket could be carried within the backpack assembly's interior compartment, and the blanket straps could be used to attach other article(s), e.g., a jacket or other clothing article, a water bottle.

Configuring the backpack assembly 11 to include both a blanket 65 and two compressible pillows 57, 63 adapts the assembly for convenient use by a user, especially a child on trips away from home. The users, themselves, can carry the bedding material they might need for a quick nap or rest-time.

As shown in FIG. 1, two small, outer storage pockets 75 are provided on the forward facing side of the front panel 13. These pockets are formed by sewing a rectangular section of fabric over the front panel's bottom half. An edge liner 77, made from the same material as the elongate strap of the strap assembly 29, protects the pockets' upper edges from undue wear. For added security, valuable articles such as passports, cash, and cellular phones, can be stored in these pockets (or in the open interior compartment) while the user is using the backpack assembly 11 as a pillow during sleep.

A leather or fabric sleeve 79 can be secured (e.g., sewn) to the middle section 39 of the elongate strap of the strap assembly 29, between the left and right bracket rings 35, 37. This allows the backpack assembly 11 to be comfortably carried on the user's shoulder when in the one-shoulder configuration depicted in FIG. 2.

In another alternative embodiment, the backpack assembly 11 is specially adapted for use at a beach. In this embodiment, the outer sheets 53, 59 are formed of a towel-like material such as terry cloth, and the inner sheets 55,61 are formed of a suitable waterproof fabric or plastic. The blanket 65 could take the form of a towel, and it also could be configured to provide an additional function as a poncho.

It should be appreciated from the foregoing description that the present invention provides an improved backpack assembly 11 configured for multiple uses. The backpack assembly includes a compressible material enclosed within its front panel 13 and/or its rear panel 15, and it further includes a support structure for releasably attaching a rolled or folded blanket 65. The assembly thereby is specially adapted for use by a user, especially a child, while traveling, for convenient use in carrying various articles for work and play (e.g., books and toys), as well as a blanket and pillow for use while napping or resting.

The invention has been described in detail with reference only to the presently preferred embodiments. Persons skilled in the art will understand that various modifications can be made without departing from the invention. The invention is defined only by the following claims.