Title:
HARD SHELL BACK PACK
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A back pack includes a case made from an impact resistant hardened plastic material. The case has an exterior surface with regions of increased plastic thickness which are provided with receptors to releasably attach articles to the exterior surface of the case.



Inventors:
Alter, Lloyd (TORONTO, CA)
Application Number:
09/440257
Publication Date:
02/21/2002
Filing Date:
11/15/1999
Assignee:
ALTER LLOYD
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C5/02; A45F3/04; A45F4/02; (IPC1-7): A45F3/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BREVARD, MAERENA W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DOUGLAS S JOHNSON (TORONTO, CA)
Claims:

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:



1. A back pack including a case made from an impact resistant hardened plastic material, said case having an exterior surface and regions of increased plastic thickness exposed at said exterior surface, said regions being provided with receptors to releasably attach articles to the exterior surface of said case.

2. A back pack as claimed in claim 1, wherein said regions of increased thickness comprise raised ribs on said exterior surface of said case.

3. A back pack as claimed in claim 2, wherein said receptors comprise openings in said ribs and attachment members mounted in said openings.

4. A back pack as claimed in claim 4, wherein said attachment members comprise plastic clips which releasably snap into said openings, said clips being provided with article receiving apertures.

5. A back pack as claimed in claim 4, wherein said openings in said ribs have undercut regions and wherein said clips have deflectable latches which snap into said undercut regions.

6. A back pack as claimed in claim 3, wherein said attachment members comprise hollow metallic threaded members secured within said openings and eyelets threaded into said threaded members.

7. A back pack as claimed in claim 1, wherein said case comprises first and second case portions which are hingedly secured to one another at a first end of said case with said case having a releasable locking member at a second end opposite said first end of said case, said first case portion having an edge channel containing a compressible sealing member and said second case portion having a projecting edge member which penetrates said edge channel and compresses said sealing member to provide an edge seal around said case when said case portions are closed with one another by said locking member.

8. A back pack as claimed in claim 1, wherein said case comprises first and second hollow case portions secured to one another by hinge means at one end of said case with releasable locking means at the other end of said case and wherein said back pack includes portable legs attachable to said receptors when carrying said back pack, said legs forming a ground support for said case portions when said case is open with said case portions open lying substantially in line with one another held together by said hinge means.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a back pack with a case made from hardened impact resistant plastic.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] A typical back pack is one which includes a soft fabric carrying case. It is very difficult to maintain articles packed in an organized fashion within the soft style back pack. Further rigid frames are required to properly balance relatively large soft pouch back packs.

[0003] Another drawback of the soft style back pack is that it is not animal resistant. For example, a soft style back pack containing food can easily be torn apart by a bear or even a much smaller foraging animal.

[0004] As a result of all of the above drawbacks, hard shell back packs have been developed. An example of one such back pack is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,960,300 issued Jun. 1, 1976 to Dickler.

[0005] Although the Dickler back pack does not suffer from the problems described above, it has relatively limited storage capacity due to its inflexible nature and therefore at the same size, does not have the carrying capacity of a soft case back pack.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

[0006] The present invention provides a back pack with a case made from an impact resistant hard plastic material having as much and more carrying capacity as a soft pouch type back pack. According to the present invention, the case has an exterior surface with regions of increased plastic thickness exposed at the exterior surface. These regions are provided with receptors which releasably attach articles to the exterior surface of the case.

[0007] In view of the construction above, not only can articles be packed and maintained within an organized fashion internally of the back pack, but additionally articles can be attached to the exterior of the case.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] The above as well as other advantages and features of the present invention will be described in greater detail according to the preferred embodiments of the present invention in which;

[0009] FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a back pack made in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0010] FIG. 1a is a sectional view through one of the ribs of the back pack of FIG. 1;

[0011] FIG. 2 is a rear view of the back pack of FIG. 1;

[0012] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an attachment member which fits to any number of the ribs of the back pack of FIG. 1;

[0013] FIGS. 3a and 3b are sectional views showing the fitting of the attachment member of FIG. 3 to one of the ribs of the back pack of FIG. 1;

[0014] FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of one of the locking members of the back pack of FIG. 1;

[0015] FIG. 5 is a sectional view through an edge region of the back pack of FIG. 1;

[0016] FIG. 6 is a sectional view of one of the case portions of the back pack of FIG. 1;

[0017] FIG. 7 is a side view of the back pack of Figure 1 in an open position and supported by portable legs of the back pack in accordance with a further preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION ACCORDING TO THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE PRESENT INVENTION IN WHICH:

[0018] FIG. 1 shows a back pack generally indicated at 1 made in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0019] Back pack 1 comprises a carrying case generally indicated at 3 with adjustable shoulder straps 5 and an adjustable waist band 7 secured to the carrying case. The face of the carrying case to which the should straps and waist band are attached is contoured to fit to the back of an individual carrying the back pack. More specifically, this contouring comprises a central hollowing of the strap and waist band mounting face of the carrying case. This allows the back of the individual to fit into the centrally hollowed region of the carrying case.

[0020] In addition, the lower end of the carrying case as seen in the FIG. 1 position is rearwardly tapered below the waist band to comfortably fit over the buttocks of the individual carrying the case. The upper end of the hollow region is also slightly rearwardly tapered so that the neck and head of the individual do not come into contact with the carrying case. All in all, the entire back pack is ergonomically designed so that substantially all of the weight of the back pack is born by the waist and hips of the individual at the waist band with the shoulder straps only taking a very small amount of weight sufficient to prevent the back pack from toppling rearwardly from the individual.

[0021] Again, according to preferred manufacturing techniques, the shoulder straps and waist band are made from sewn ballistic fabric with mesh straps. This makes them extremely durable while being light in weight.

[0022] Carrying case 3, as best seen in FIG. 7 of the drawings, comprises a first case portion 9 and a second case portion 11. These two case portions are hingedly secured at 13 at one end of the carrying case. The other end of the carrying case, i.e. the end facing upwardly in FIG. 1 of the drawings, is provided with a pair of releasable locking members 15. These locking members are used to hold the two case portions closed with one another as shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings.

[0023] Both of the case portions are made from a rigid impact resistant plastic material. Again, according to a preferred embodiment, both case portions are injection molded from polypropylene. The injection process requires two single cavity molds for the two case portions.

[0024] FIG. 4 shows one of the two releasable locks 15. This lock has a two piece construction comprising a first locking piece 16 having a hooked end 17 and a second locking piece 19. Both of these locking pieces are pivotally secured at 21 to case portion 15.

[0025] Case portion 11 has an undercut lock receiving region 21. The hook 17 of lock piece 16 engages within the undercut portion 21 to provide a relatively lose locking of the two case portions with one another. From here the second locking piece 19 is pushed to a locking position tightening the locking action.

[0026] FIG. 5 of the drawings shows that case portion 9 is peripherally provided with an open channel 25 fitted with a compressible O-ring 27. Case portion 11 is provided with a projecting edge 23 which seats within channel 25 and which compresses O-ring 27 when the two case portions are tightly closed with one another. This provides an effective seal peripherally around the carrying case.

[0027] FIG. 6 of the drawings shows that case portion 11 has at least one internal partition 31 removably secured in slotted members 29 to either side of the case portion 29. These partitions help to maintain an organized packing of the case. They can, however, be removed for providing larger storage internally of the case.

[0028] As will be appreciated due to its hard plastic nature anything packed internally of the case will not distend its shape and further, as noted above, will remain packed in an organized fashion. Further the case is animal impervious and, as shown in FIG. 7 of the drawings, the case itself can be used in an open position where the two case portions substantially align with one another as a support table. Further description is provided later with respect to this feature

[0029] All of the immediately above benefits are achieved due to the hard material forming the case. Furthermore, these are only some of the benefits provided as a result of the case's hard plastic construction.

[0030] As earlier noted, prior art hard cases suffer from an inability to be “overpacked” thereby reducing their carrying capacity. This potential problem is dealt with in accordance with the present invention by adapting case 3 for receipt of attachments externally of the case.

[0031] More specifically, as will be seen in FIGS. 1, 6 and 7 of the drawings, the plastic used to form the main body of the case has a relatively thin thickness as indicated at 33. This keeps the case quite light in weight. In addition, at discreet locations on the exterior surface of the case, thickened regions of plastic material are provided. These thickened regions are in the form of raised ribs 35 and 43. The increased thickness of each rib, although only adding slightly to the overall weight of the case, does provide a region of enhanced strength for attachment of articles to the exterior surface of the case.

[0032] The ribs 35 and 43 can be designed in any number of different ways as article receptors. FIGS. 1(a) and 3 through 3(b) show two ways in which the ribs may be specifically adapted as the article receptors.

[0033] FIG. 1(a) shows that each of the ribs 35 is provided with one or more small openings 37 in which is secured a preferably metal nut 39. This nut is internally threaded to releasably secure a metallic eyelet 41. Eyelet 41 which when fitted into position presents an attachment point extending out of the rib 35 to which any number of different types of articles can be connected. By using two spaced apart eyelets, a bungy cord or the like can be used to attach objects to the exterior surface of the carrying case.

[0034] FIG. 3 of the drawings shows a clip generally indicated at 63 which is used in conjunction with any one of the ribs 43 which have a configuration different than ribs 35. One such rib 43 is well shown in FIGS. 3a and 3b of the drawings. This rib 43 has a stepped configuration with a series of undercut recesses in the steps of the rib.

[0035] More specifically, rib 43 has a first flat surface 45 terminated by a first step 47. A first undercut region 49 is provided along the upper surface of step 47. This undercut region 49 terminates in an end stop 51.

[0036] The rib then has a further flat surface 53 terminated by a step 55. The upper surface of step 55 extends to a second undercut region 57 with an end stop 59. The rib terminates with an outer rib surface 61.

[0037] Clip 63 which is provided with a series of openings 65 to which articles can be attached, eg. by bungy cords and the like, has a first leg 67, second and third legs 69 and 73 at right angles to leg 67 as well as its own step 71. The end of the clip is completed with a flexible latch 75.

[0038] As will be seen in FIGS. 3a and 3b of the drawings, clip 63 slides into a locking engagement with rib 43. The end leg 67 of the clip abuts with step 47 of the rib. The other legs 69 and 73 slide into and drive against the end stops of the two undercut regions 49 and 57 of the rib. The step 71 of the clip also rides against the step 55 of the rib. To hold this position, the latch 75 of the clip flexes over and locks onto end surface 61 of the rib.

[0039] Clip 63 is again preferably made from a shatter resistant plastic material which may be the same material as used in the case or which may be a different light weight high strength plastic material.

[0040] As will be understood, the clips are only fitted to the ribs of the case when they are needed and can easily be removed when they are not to be used. Further, if any of the clips are damaged when in use, they can easily be removed for replacement.

[0041] FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings show bungy cords 77 used on spaced apart clips secured to the ribs of the case for receiving a rolled up sleeping bag. This is only one of numerous different soft or hard articles that can be attached exteriorly of the case.

[0042] Returning to FIG. 7, it will be seen that case 3 may be fitted with a set of elevating legs to hold the two case portions up off of a ground support in a table like manner. These legs, which are identical to opposite sides of the case, comprise a first leg 81 pivotally connected at its outer end at 87 to a second leg 83. Leg 83 telescopically receives a third leg 85. A tightening collar 86 holds legs 83 and 85 in a length adjusted position.

[0043] The inner end of leg 81 is pivotally secured at 89 to the case. The outer end of leg 85 fits into a leg receiver 91.

[0044] A further leg 93 is secured by a swivel bracket 95 to the end of case portion 11.

[0045] FIG. 7 shows the legs extended to the case supporting position. They are easily moved to a storage position by releasing leg 85 from leg receiver 91, loosening collar 86 to telescope leg 85 into leg 83, pivoting all of these legs beneath a flexible retainer bracket 97 on the side of case portion 11. Leg 93 will then be pivoted to also catch beneath bracket 97. This then holds all of the legs in the storage position to be carried with the case on its exterior surface.

[0046] As a result of its unique construction, the hard shell case of the back pack of the present invention is able to carry articles in an organized fashion both internally and externally of the case. Furthermore, the case itself can be used as a portable table either with or without legs that can be releasably attached to the case.

[0047] Although various preferred embodiments of the invention have been described in detail, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that variations may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.