Title:
Rolling multi-function travel case
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rolling multi-function travel case to be used by travelers and having individual components in which to carry clothing, business and personal papers, toiletry and cosmetic articles, a portable computer, and the like. By way of example, the multi-function travel case includes a main compartment in which the traveler's clothing is stored, a briefcase in which business or personal papers or a portable computer are stored, and an expandable overnight bag in which to carry the traveler's toiletry and cosmetic articles. The main compartment, briefcase and expandable overnight bag are detachably connected to one another to provide the traveler with the advantage of being able to use either individual ones or different combinations of the main compartment, briefcase and overnight bag detachably connected to one another according to his travel needs.



Inventors:
Bauer, Stanley R. (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/138823
Publication Date:
10/17/2002
Filing Date:
05/06/2002
Assignee:
BAUER STANLEY R.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
190/903
International Classes:
A45C7/00; A45C3/02; A45C5/00; A45C5/14; (IPC1-7): A45C3/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090250362Protective Transport BagOctober, 2009Melmon et al.
20090127046Carry-on luggage caseMay, 2009King et al.
20090255771Retracting luggage work stationOctober, 2009Puchalski
20090166140RETRACTABLE WHEEL SYSTEM FOR TOWABLE BAGGAGEJuly, 2009Gorga et al.
20070215426Universal luggage handle extenderSeptember, 2007Mincey
20050098403Reconfigurable travel trunkMay, 2005Mcintyre
20060102677Accessory attachment system for bag for carrying objectsMay, 2006Nassanian
20050098402Carry on multi-function luggageMay, 2005Cohen
20080277221Case having castersNovember, 2008Josefson et al.
20040084270File holding device having stronger and lighter coverMay, 2004Chang
20070228096Backpack structure combined with pull-carrier deviceOctober, 2007Lin



Primary Examiner:
MAI, TRI M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Law Offices of Morland C.Fischer (Irvine, CA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A multi-function travel case to be used by travelers in which to carry their clothing and personal and business effects, said travel case comprising: a main compartment having an interior storage area in which to carry the traveler's clothing, said main compartment having front and back faces and a first fastener located on one of said front and back faces; and a first carrying case having an interior storage area in which to carry at least some of the traveler's personal and business effects, said first carrying case having front and back faces and a first complementary fastener located on one of said front and back faces, the first fastener of said main compartment and the first complementary fastener of said first carrying case being mated together, whereby said main compartment and said first carrying case are detachably connected face-to-face one another so as to be transported as a unit.

2. The multi-function travel case recited in claim 1, wherein said first fastener and said first complementary fastener are first and second tracks of a zipper system.

3. The multi-function travel case recited in claim 1, wherein said first carrying case detachably connected to said main compartment is a briefcase in which to carry personal and business papers and files.

4. The multi-function travel case recited in claim 1, wherein said first carrying case detachably connected to said main compartment is a portable computer carrying case.

5. The multi-function travel case recited in claim 1, wherein said first carrying case detachably connected to said main compartment is an overnight bag in which to carry toiletry and cosmetic articles.

6. The multi-function travel case recited in claim 1, wherein said first carrying case detachably connected to said main compartment is expandable so as to increase the storage capacity of said interior storage area thereof.

7. The multi-function travel case recited in claim 6, wherein said first carrying case is expandable by means of a flexible storage pouch adapted to be moved between collapsed and expanded conditions, said flexible storage pouch having a supplemental storage area in the expanded condition that cooperates with the interior storage area of said first carrying case so as to increase the storage capacity thereof.

8. The multi-function travel case recited in claim 7, wherein said first carrying case has a second fastener and said flexible storage pouch has a second complementary fastener, said second fastener of said first carrying case and said second complementary fastener of said flexible storage pouch being mated together whereby to hold said flexible storage pouch in the closed condition.

9. The multi-function travel case recited in claim 8, wherein said second fastener and said second complementary fastener are first and second tracks of a zipper system.

10. The multi-function travel case recited in claim 1, wherein said main compartment has a second fastener located on the one of said front and back faces thereof, said travel case further comprising a second carrying case having an interior storage area in which to carry at least some other of the traveler's personal and business effects, said second carrying case having front and back faces and a second complementary fastener located on one of said front and back faces, the second fastener of said main compartment and the second complementary fastener of said second carrying case being mated together, whereby said main compartment and said second carrying case are detachably connected face-to-face one another so as to be transported as a unit in combination with said first carrying case.

11. The multi-function travel case recited in claim 10, wherein said second fastener and said second complementary fastener are first and second tracks of a zipper system.

12. The multi-function travel case recited in claim 9, wherein said first complementary fastener of said first carrying case and said second complementary fastener of said second carrying case are disposed in opposite facing alignment, said first and second complementary fasteners adapted to be mated together, whereby said first and second carrying cases are detachably connected to one another so as to be transported as a unit independently of said main compartment.

13. The multi-function travel case recited in claim 1, wherein said main compartment includes a pull-out stand that is slidable outwardly therefrom to support said first carrying case when said first carrying case is detachably connected to and transported with said main compartment.

14. A multi-function travel case to be used by travelers to carry their clothing and personal and business effects, said travel case comprising: a main compartment having an interior storage area in which to carry the traveler's clothing, said main compartment having front and back faces and first and second fasteners located on one of said front and back faces; a first carrying case having an interior storage area in which to carry at least some of the traveler's personal and business effects, said first carrying case having front and back faces and a first complementary fastener located on one of said front and back faces; and a second carrying case having an interior storage area in which to carry at least some other of the traveler's personal and business effects, said second carrying case having front and back faces and a second complementary fastener located on one of said front and back faces, the first fastener of said main compartment and the first complementary fastener of said first carrying case being mated together, whereby said main compartment and said first carrying case are detachably connected face-to-face one another, the second fastener of said main compartment and the second complementary fastener of said second carrying case being mated together, whereby said main compartment and said second carrying case are detachably connected face-to-face one another so as to be transported as a unit in combination with said first carrying case, and the first complementary fastener of said first carrying case and the second complementary fastener of said second carrying case being disposed in opposite facing alignment with one another, said first and second complementary fasteners adapted to be mated together, whereby said first and second carrying cases are detachably connected to one another so as to be transported as a unit independently of said main compartment.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATION

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 29/140,385 filed Apr. 17, 2001.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] This invention relates to a rolling multi-function travel case to be used by travelers and having individual components in which to carry clothing, business and personal papers, toilettory and cosmetic articles, a portable computer, and the like. The components of the travel case are detachably connected to one another to provide the traveler with the advantage of using individual ones or different combinations of such components according to his needs.

[0004] 2. Background Art

[0005] Rolling travel cases have long been used by travelers to carry their personal effects on airplanes, in cars and similar modes of transportation The typical travel case includes a large storage compartment with wheels on the bottom and a pull-out handle on top to enable the case to be either pulled along a flat surface or picked up and carried from place-to-place. In most cases, the traveler stores his clothing as well as a small overnight kit within the storage compartment of the travel case. This may minimize the capacity of the storage compartment to hold the traveler's clothing. Other useful articles including a portable computer, personal and business papers, a purse, etc. are usually carried within separate and independent carrying cases or bags. As a consequence of the foregoing, the traveler may find his hands occupied by having to transport many different cases and bags all at the same time. This activity may prove to be particularly cumbersome in a crowded environment and/or in situations where space is minimal. What is more, even where the traveler wishes to use as few as two different carrying cases or bags while on a trip, he is still faced with the inconvenience of having to occupy each hand with a case or bag. This may leave the traveler without a free hand to accomplish other important tasks while on the go.

[0006] In my earlier Design Patent Application No. 29/140,385 filed Apr. 17, 2001, there is shown a detachable segmented carrying bag wherein a pair of carrying bag segments are detachably connected to one another. This detachable carrying bag advantageously permits a traveler to carry the pair of carrying bag segments with a single hand by virtue of a compact, easy to transport arrangement. The invention disclosed below is intended to provide a multi-function travel case which offers the traveler additional advantages to facilitate his carrying a variety of different personal and business articles with a minimum of inconvenience and space consumption.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] In general terms, a rolling, multi-function travel case is disclosed for use by travelers who wish to carry with a single hand and in a compact arrangement a variety of different personal and business articles. The multi-function travel case includes a main compartment which functions as a small suitcase in which a traveler's clothing is stored and, for example, a briefcase in which business or personal papers and files are stored and an expandable overnight bag in which to carry the traveler's toiletry and cosmetic articles. Each of the main compartment, briefcase and overnight bag includes a zipper track running across and down one face thereof. In the assembled relationship, the zipper tracks are mated to one another, whereby the briefcase and the overnight bag are detachably connected one above the other and face-to-face with the main compartment so as to be transported together as a unit. To this end, the main compartment is provided with a pair of rolling wheels at the bottom, whereby the assembled multi-function travel case can be rolled over a flat surface. A retractable handle and a fixed handle are located at the top of the main compartment to permit the multi-function travel case to be either rolled or picked up and carried from place-to-place.

[0008] When the briefcase and the expandable overnight bag are detached from the main compartment of the multi-function travel case, each component may be used independently of the other. However, the zipper tracks of the briefcase and the overnight bag may also be mated to one another to enable the briefcase and overnight bag to be transported together as a unit and used independently of the main compartment. The expandable overnight bag has a primary storage compartment and a supplemental storage pouch that is initially disposed across the bottom of the primary storage compartment by means of mating together respective zipper tracks. The supplemental storage pouch is flexible and adapted to be pulled downwardly from the primary storage compartment from a collapsed condition to an expanded condition at which to increase the storage capacity of the expandable overnight bag on an as-needed basis.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the rolling multi-function travel case of this invention in the assembled relationship;

[0010] FIG. 2 is an exploded view to illustrate the detachable nature of the multi-function travel case of FIG. 1 including a main compartment, a briefcase and an expandable overnight bag;

[0011] FIG. 3 shows a rear view of the briefcase of FIG. 2;

[0012] FIG. 4 shows a rear view of the expandable overnight bag of FIG. 2;

[0013] FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate the expandable nature of the overnight bag in collapsed and expanded conditions; and

[0014] FIG. 7 shows the briefcase and the expandable overnight bag separated from the main compartment of the travel case and detachably connected to one another.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0015] The rolling multi-function travel case 1 which forms the present invention is initially described while referring to FIG. 1 of the drawings. As will be described in greater detail hereinafter, the multi-function travel case 1 includes the detachable interconnection of a main compartment 3 with a briefcase 5 and an expandable overnight bag 7. The main compartment 3 functions primarily as a small suitcase in which a traveler can store his clothing for use while away from home. The detachable briefcase 5 functions primarily as a receptacle for business and personal papers, files, and the like. However, the briefcase 5 can also be used to hold a portable computer, peripherals and/or a cell phone. The expandable overnight bag 7 functions primarily as a convenient tote in which to carry the traveler's toiletry and cosmetic articles.

[0016] The multi-function travel case 1 includes a retractable handle 9 to which the traveler can apply a pulling force for causing the travel case 1 to roll from place-to-place. In this regard, a pair of wheels (not shown) are located in wheel wells formed at the bottom of the main compartment 3 to enable the travel case 1 to roll along a flat surface. The retractable handle 9 of travel case 1 is slidably received within a pair of sleeves 10, and the sleeves 10 are adapted to be raised from an opening 12 formed in the top of the main compartment 3. The retractable handle 9 may be pulled outwardly from the opening 10 of compartment 12 by raising the sleeves 10 and then sliding the handle 9 upwardly therefrom. Of course, when it is not needed by the traveler, the handle 9 may also be pushed downwardly into sleeves 10 so as to be retracted within opening 12.

[0017] The opening 12 in the top of main compartment 3 is covered by a flap 14. A zipper assembly 16 is used to close (or open) the flap 14 across the opening 12 (as is best shown in FIG. 2). A hand grip 18 is attached to the top of the main compartment 3 adjacent the opening 12 so as to give the traveler the choice of transporting the multi-function travel case 1 by means of either the retractable handle 9 or the hand grip 18.

[0018] In the assembled configuration of FIG. 1, the traveler is provided with a compact, multi-function travel case that enables him to easily and conveniently carry his clothing as well as his business and personal articles in a single case that is sized to be stowed in either the trunk of a motor vehicle or the overhead storage bin of an aircraft. What is more, and is will now be explained, the main compartment 3, briefcase 5 and overnight bag 7 may be detached from and used independently of one another. Moreover, and as will be explained in greater detail when referring hereinafter to FIG. 7, once they are detached from the main compartment 3, the briefcase 5 and over night bag 7 may be detachably connected to each other and used together independently of and remotely from the main compartment 3.

[0019] FIG. 2 of the drawings illustrates the detachable nature of the main compartment 3 of multi-function of travel case 1 relative to the briefcase 5 and the expandable overnight bag 7. A pull-out stand 20 is slidably received by a pair of support blocks 22 at the bottom of main compartment 3. In the assembled configuration of FIG. 1, the briefcase 5 is supported by the stand 20 that has been pulled outwardly from support blocks 22 to an extended position, and the overnight bag 7 sits atop briefcase 5 adjacent the main compartment 3 of travel case 1. When the briefcase 5 and the overnight bag 7 are detached from the main compartment 3 in the manner shown FIG. 2, the pull-out stand 20 is pushed inwardly towards the support blocks 22 so as not to interfere with the independent use of the main compartment 3.

[0020] As is best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 of the drawings, one track 24 of a first zipper system runs across the top and along the sides at the back of the briefcase 5. A complementary track 26 of the first zipper system runs across the back and along the sides of the main compartment 3, and a zipper actuator 28 is associated with track 26. The complementary zipper track 26 of the first zipper system is located on the back of the main compartment 3 so as to lie in opposite facing alignment with the zipper track 24 at the back of briefcase 5.

[0021] Accordingly, it can be appreciated that the briefcase 5 and the main compartment 3 of the multi-function travel case 1 are detachably connected back-to-back one another by means of manipulating the zipper actuator 28 so as to attach to one another the complementary zipper tracks 24 and 26 of the first zipper system. Similarly, the zipper actuator 28 can be manipulated so as to detach from one another the complementary zipper tracks 24 and 26 to thereby separate the briefcase 5 from the main compartment 3 to permit the briefcase to be used independently form the main compartment 3 and the overnight bag 7 of the multi-function travel case 1.

[0022] Once the briefcase 5 is detached from the main compartment 3 as just described, it can be used in the traditional manner for carrying files, papers, photographs, and the like, for both business and personal purposes. Moreover, and as previously described, briefcase 5 can also be used to carry a portable computer. To this end, the briefcase 5 includes a handle 30 by which the briefcase is transported from place-to-place. The briefcase 5 also includes the usual storage compartments to which access is controlled by a front cover flap 32 having a locking clasp and one or more zipper systems (e.g. designated 34).

[0023] As is best shown in FIGS. 2 and 4 of the drawings, one track 40 of a second zipper system runs across the top and along the sides of the back of the expandable overnight bag 7. A zipper actuator (designated 44 in FIG. 4) is associated with track 40. A complementary track 42 of the second zipper system runs across the top and along the sides of the back of the main compartment 3. The complementary zipper track 42 of the second zipper system on the back of the main compartment 3 is located above the zipper track 26 of the first zipper system so as to lie in opposite facing alignment with the zipper track 40 at the back of overnight bag 7.

[0024] Accordingly, it can be appreciated that the expandable overnight bag 7 and the main compartment 3 of multi-function travel case 1 are detachably connected back-to-back one another by means of manipulating the zipper actuator 44 so as to attach to one another the complementary zipper tracks 40 and 42 of the second zipper system. Similarly, the zipper actuator 44 can also be manipulated so as to detach from one another the complementary zipper tracks 40 and 42 and thereby separate the overnight bag 7 from the main compartment 3 to permit the overnight bag 7 to be used independently from the main compartment 3 and the briefcase 5 of the multi-function travel case 1.

[0025] Although each of the briefcase 5 and the expandable overnight bag 7 have heretofore been described as being detachably connected back-to-back with the main compartment 3 of travel case 1, it is to be understood that the complementary zipper tracks 24, 26 and 40, 42 of the first and second zipper systems can be affixed (e.g. sewn) to the main compartment 3, briefcase 5 and overnight bag 7 to enable a back-to-front or a front-to-back or a front-to-front detachable connection therebetween.

[0026] Once the expandable overnight bag 7 has been detached from the main compartment 3 as just described, it can be used in the traditional manner for carrying the traveler's toiletry and cosmetic articles that may be required for an overnight stay away from home. To this end, the overnight bag 7 includes a handle 46 by which the overnight bag may be transported from place-to-place and a zipper system 48 by which to permit access to the usual storage compartment 50 at the interior thereof.

[0027] By way of an important improvement to the multi-function travel case 1 herein described, the size of the interior storage compartment 50 in which the traveler's toiletry and cosmetic articles are carried can be increased. Referring briefly to FIGS. 5 and 6 of the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 6 the overnight bag 7 having a supplemental storage pouch 50-1 that cooperates with the usual storage compartment 50 to provide overnight bag 7 with an increased storage capacity. The supplemental storage pouch 50-1 is fabricated from a flexible fabric material by which it is adapted to be moved between a collapsed condition (of FIG. 5) and an expanded condition (of FIG. 6).

[0028] To accomplish the aforementioned expansion of the storage compartment 50 to include the supplemental storage pouch 50-1, a first track 52 of a third zipper system extends around the bottom 54 of storage pouch 50-1. A complementary zipper track 56 of the third zipper system extends around the bottom of storage compartment 50 so as to lie above the first zipper track 52.

[0029] Accordingly, it may be appreciated that the bottom 54 of the supplemental storage pouch 50-1 can be disposed across the bottom of the storage compartment 50 by means of manipulating a zipper actuator (designated 43 in FIG. 4) to attach to one another the complementary zipper tracks 52 and 56. In this case, the flexible supplemental storage pouch 50-1 of the expandable overnight bag 7 is pushed upwardly against storage compartment 50 and into the collapsed condition of FIG. 5. Similarly, the zipper actuator 43 can be manipulated so as to detach from one another the complementary zipper tracks 52 and 56 to thereby separate the bottom 54 of supplemental storage pouch 50-1 from storage compartment 50. In this case, the flexible supplemental storage pouch 50-1 can be pulled downwardly on an as-needed basis from storage compartment 50 and into the expanded condition of FIG. 6 to easily and conveniently provide the traveler with additional storage space at the interior of the expandable overnight bag 7.

[0030] It is within the scope of this invention to also provide the briefcase 5 with a flexible supplemental storage area that cooperates with the primary interior storage compartment thereof, the access to which is controlled by zipper system 34. Such a supplemental storage area (not shown) is similar to the flexible supplemental storage pouch 50-1 of the expandable overnight bag 7. That is, the flexible supplemental storage area of briefcase 5 is controlled by a zipper system 33 (as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2) and, depending upon zipper system 33, is adapted to be moved between a collapsed condition to an expanded condition at which to increase the storage capacity of the briefcase.

[0031] By way of another important improvement to the multi-function travel case 1 of this invention, once the briefcase 5 and the expandable overnight bag 7 have been detached from main compartment 3, each of the detached components 3, 5 and 7 of the travel case 1 may be used separately and independently from one another. However, the briefcase 5 and overnight bag 7 may also be advantageously used in combination with one another remotely from the main compartment 3. More particularly, and turning now to FIG. 7 of the drawings, the detachable connection of briefcase 5 to overnight bag 7 provides the traveler with the flexibility of making short business or personal trips which may not require an overnight stay. By virtue of the foregoing, the traveler will be able to grasp one handle 30 or 46 with a single hand in order to conveniently transport his business and personal effects (in briefcase 5) and articles to refresh himself (in overnight bag 7) by means of a compact, easy to carry combination.

[0032] As was described above when referring to FIG. 2, zipper tracks 24 and 40 run along the sides and top of the back of each of the briefcase 5 and overnight bag 7. In a preferred embodiment, the zipper tracks 24 and 40 are positioned at the backs of the briefcase 5 and overnight bag 7 so as to lie in opposite facing alignment with one another. Accordingly, it may be appreciated that the briefcase 5 and the overnight bag 7 may be detachably connected back-to-back one another by means of manipulating the zipper actuator (designated 44 in FIG. 4) to attach to one another the zipper tracks 24 and 40. Similarly, the zipper actuator 44 can be manipulated so as to detach from one another the zipper tracks 24 and 40 whereby the briefcase 5 and overnight bag 7 can be separated to be used independently or to be reconnected to the back of the main compartment 3.

[0033] In the event it is desirable to use the main compartment 3 of multi-function travel case 1 independently of each of the briefcase 3 and expandable overnight bag 7, the user can grasp either the retractable handle 9 or the fixed hand grip 18 depending upon whether the travel case 1 will be rolled or carried from place-to-place. As earlier described, the main compartment 3 functions as a small suitcase to be used by the traveler to store his clothes during overnight trips. To this end, the main compartment 3 includes a zipper system 58 that extends around the back thereof by which to enable the traveler to gain access to the hollow interior at which his clothes are stored during travel. For purposes of convenience, the main compartment 3 may also include one or more storage pockets that are closed by respective zipper systems 60 and 62 (best Shown in FIG. 2).

[0034] Although the means by which the main compartment 3, the briefcase 5 and the expandable overnight bag 7 are detachably connected to one another have been described herein as pairs of complementary zipper tracks, it is to be understood that other suitable pairs of complementary fasteners may also be used to assemble the multi-function travel case 1 including, but not limited to, snaps and hook and loop fastener material, commonly known as Velcro. What is more, while the multi-function travel case 1 has been described as including a briefcase (or computer carrying case) 5 and an overnight bag 7, other bags (e.g. a purse) and cases (e.g. a computer printer carrying case) may be substituted therefor without limiting the scope of the invention claimed below.