Title:
BODY COVERING GARMENT FOR USE DURING CLOTHES CHANGING
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A garment includes an elongated flexible body portion formed of a water absorbing material and defining a pair of enlarged arm holes and a hood. A large front seam, open at the top and closed at the bottom is secured by a zipper or other fasteners such as velcro attachment to provide entrance into and exit from the garment. The garment further includes a closed bottom end having a bottom surface joined to the flexible water absorbent body portion. The body further defines a hood portion suitable for receiving the user's head when positioned within the garment. The entire garment may be folded into a roll or backpack-like structure and secured by a plurality of straps.



Inventors:
Kalina, David W. (Dana Point, CA, US)
Application Number:
09/827085
Publication Date:
11/21/2002
Filing Date:
04/05/2001
Assignee:
KALINA DAVID W.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D7/00; (IPC1-7): A41B1/00; A41D1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Roy A. Ekstrand (Costa Mesa, CA, US)
Claims:

That which is claimed is:



1. A body covering garment for use by a person in changing clothes, said garment comprising: a body, formed of a flexible water absorbing material, defining an interior sufficient for receiving a person's body and enclosing it; a pair of enlarged arm holes formed in said body; a closed bottom end having a bottom surface therein upon which a person within said interior is able to stand; an opening formed in said body sufficient in size for allowing a person to enter or exit said garment; and closure means for securing said opening in a closed position.

2. The garment set forth in claim 1 wherein said closed bottom end is formed of a water impervious material.

3. The garment set forth in claim 2 wherein said body further includes a hood for receiving and covering a portion of a person's head within said interior.

4. The garment set forth in claim 3 wherein said opening defines an open end at said hood and extends downwardly to form a lower end.

5. The garment set forth in claim 4 wherein said closure means includes a zipper.

6. The garment set forth in claim 4 wherein said closure means include cooperating hook and loop fabric attachment pads.

7. The garment set forth in claim 4 wherein said body defines a front surface and a rear surface and wherein said opening is formed in said front surface.

8. The garment set forth in claim 7 further including a plurality of straps secured to said rear surface and having cooperating buckle clasps for encircling said body when said body is multiply folded.

9. The garment set forth in claim 8 further including a pair of shoulder straps attached to said rear surface for carrying said garment as a backpack when folded and secured by said plurality of straps.

10. The garment set forth in claim 9 further including a pocket supported upon said rear surface.

11. The garment set forth in claim 1 wherein said opening defines an open end at said hood and extends downwardly to form a lower end.

12. The garment set forth in claim 11 wherein said body further includes a hood for receiving and covering a portion of a person's head within said interior.

13. The garment set forth in claim 12 wherein said closed bottom end is formed of a water impervious material.

14. A body covering garment for use by a person in changing clothes, said garment comprising: a body formed of a water absorbent material and defining a pair of shoulder portions, a pair of enlarged arm apertures, and interior, and a closed bottom end; an opening sufficient in size for a person to put on said garment and stand within said interior; and closure means for securing said opening.

15. The garment set forth in claim 14 wherein said closed bottom end is formed of a water impervious material.

16. The garment set forth in claim 15 wherein said body further includes a hood for receiving and covering a portion of a person's head within said interior.

17. The garment set forth in claim 16 wherein said opening defines an open end at said hood and extends downwardly to form a lower end.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates generally to water sport activities such as swimming or surfing and particularly to apparatus and environments for use in changing clothes for swimming or surfing sport activities.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Swimming and surfing have each proven to be extremely popular as sport and recreational activities. The sport of swimming itself is almost timeless in its association with human society and has literally existed for centuries. While enjoying great popularity, the sport of surfing is much more limited both geographically and durationally in its participation by human enthusiasts. Surfing by its nature is limited to certain coastal areas which combine conditions of coastal shelf configuration together with wind and tide activity to supply the desired shoreward moving waves and surf. The origin of surfing and its roots are somewhat uncertain. Most likely however, the sport of surfing has its origin in more tropic waters among inhabitants of various tropical islands. However, as the popularity and enthusiasm for surfing grew following World War II, surfers expanded their activities into cooler ocean coastal areas. In addition, the season during which surfing is enjoyed was similarly expanded. Initially, surfing was limited largely to warmer periods of middle to late summer. However, in many coastal areas having sufficient temperate climates, surfing has become a virtually year round sport and activity.

[0003] One critical invention which has fueled this expansion of the sport of surfing is known generally as the “wetsuit”. Initially, such suits were fabricated of rubber or other water impervious material. However, modern suits are fabricated of a synthetic material and are substantially more light-weight and easier to utilize. The basic function of the wetsuit however has changed little over the years in that the suit typically covers the surfers entire body with the exception of neck, head, hands and feet. The ability of the modern wetsuit to prevent heat loss from the surfer's body when active in cold water arises in the maintenance of a small layer of water against the user's body which once heated by the user's skin maintains an insulating characteristic.

[0004] With all of its advantages, the wetsuit is relatively difficult to change into and out of even under ideal conditions. Moreover, surfers often seek remote coastal areas for their ideal wave and surf conditions as well as the lack of over population. However, such remote coastal areas often lack changing facilities leaving surfers to change into or out from their wetsuits under difficult conditions.

[0005] The problem of minimal or insufficient changing facilities is not limited to remote coastal areas. In many instances, populated beach environments are also lacking in the availability, number and quality of changing facilities. As a result, swimmers share this difficult problem with surfers in simply attempting to find a suitable means for changing clothes at the beach or other water sport areas.

[0006] Another consideration is keeping the wetsuit clean. Typical changing areas take place on or by the beach under sandy or dirt environments. While changing in or out of a wetsuit using today's conventional method, the wetsuit will inevitably come into contact with the ground. The modern wetsuit is designed using high-tech neoprene and synthetic materials that are very sensitive to dirt and debris. Keeping the wetsuit clean, directly increases performance and adds life to the suit. This changing garment addresses these issues by containing the wetsuit in a clean environment that is easily transported.

[0007] Over the past few years, there has been a remarkable surge in the amount of women taking up the art of surfing. Changing for them in particular, poses extra difficulties. The modern wetsuit is designed and is more effective when worn with nothing underneath. A woman changing on the beach alone is forced to wrap a towel around her body which is extremely cumbersome or wear a swimsuit underneath the wetsuit which is uncomfortable and not as effective. This changing garment directly addresses these problems.

[0008] Historically, both surfers and swimmers have attempted various methods of changing in the absence of suitable facilities. One common method employed by groups of people is that of simply taking turns holding towels or blankets around and individual while changing. This solution is minimally effective and inconvenient and, more importantly, requires the cooperation of several individuals to successfully complete.

[0009] With the ever increasing popularity of surfing and swimming sport and recreational activities, there arises a continuing need in the art for a more convenient, easily used and readily available apparatus for changing clothes in beach or other water sport environment.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] Accordingly, it is a general object of the present invention to provide an improved apparatus for changing clothes in a beach or other water sport environment. It is a more particular object of the present invention to provide an improved apparatus for changing clothes which is convenient to use and carry and which may be employed by a single surfer or swimmer.

[0011] In accordance with the present invention there is provided a body covering garment for use by a person in changing clothes, the garment comprising: a body, formed of a flexible water absorbing material, defining an interior sufficient for receiving a person's body and enclosing it; a pair of enlarged arm holes formed in the body; a closed bottom end having a bottom surface therein upon which a person within the interior is able to stand; an opening formed in the body sufficient in size for allowing a person to enter or exit the garment; and closure means for securing the opening in a closed position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] The features of the present invention, which are believed to be novel, are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in the several figures of which like reference numerals identify like elements and in which:

[0013] FIG. 1 sets forth a partially sectioned front perspective view of a typical swimmer or surfer wearing the present invention body covering garments;

[0014] FIG. 2 sets forth a perspective view of the present invention garment prior to being folded;

[0015] FIG. 3 sets forth a front view of the present invention garment in its fully folded configuration;

[0016] FIG. 4 sets forth a partially sectioned front perspective view of a typical surfer or swimmer wearing an alternate embodiment of the present invention body covering clothes changing garment.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0017] FIG. 1 sets forth a partially sectioned front perspective view of a clothes changing garment constructed in accordance with the present invention and generally referenced by numeral 10. Garment 10 is shown being worn by a typical user 30 in a swimming environment. However, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that while a swimmer wearing a set of swimming trunks 24 is shown utilizing garment 10, the present invention garment is equally well adapted for use by a surfer wearing a conventional wetsuit.

[0018] Garment 10 is preferably formed of a water absorbing material such as “terry cloth” or the like and is configured to form an elongated flexible body 11. Body 11 is joined to a closed end portion 14 along a seam 22. Closed end 14 defines a bottom surface 15 and is preferably fabricated of a water impervious material such as water proof synthetic fabric or the like. The combination of closed end 14 and body 11 defines an interior space 16 within which user 30 is received. Body 11 further defines a pair of enlarged arm holes 12 and 13 together with a hood portion 20. Hood 20 is adapted to be received upon the head of the user in the manner shown in FIG. 1.

[0019] To facilitate entrance into an exit from garment 10, body 11 defines an elongated front zipper 21 extending downwardly from hood 20 to a lower end near seam 22. The length of zipper 21 is selected to accommodate the easy entrance into and exit from body 11. In addition, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art, that upper end 25 of zipper 21 defines the “open” end while lower end 26 defines the joined or closed end of zipper 21. This allows the entire length of front surface 17 of body 11 to form and opening for convenient purposes.

[0020] In the position shown in FIG. 1, user 30 wearing trunks 24 has deposited a wet clothing article 23 upon bottom 15 prior to removing trunks 24. Clothing article 23 may be either a wet garment or a wet towel having been used for drying purposes.

[0021] In the anticipated use of the present invention, the user steps into garment 10 and thereafter zips up zipper 21. Once enclosed within garment 10, the user is able to reach out through enlarged arm holes 12 and 13 to bring an article such as a change of clothes or a dry towel into interior 16. For example, in the event the user is changing into swimming clothes, the user may initially remove street clothing and discard it through arm holes 12 and 13 afterwhich the user may pick up a pair of swimming trunks or in the case of a surfer a wetsuit article and drawing the clothing article through the enlarged arm holes 12 and 13 begin changing into swimming or surfing clothes. It will be noted that while enlarged arm holes 12 and 13 readily facilitate reaching out from interior 16 to discard articles or to obtain additional articles and move them to interior 16, the user is able to pull his or her arms into interior 16 for easy change of clothes.

[0022] Continuing with the example of the user making an initially change from street clothes to swimming trunks or a wetsuit for surfing, the user having removed his or her street clothes and discarding them through arm holes 12 and 13 is able in complete privacy to put on the swimming clothes or wetsuit within the interior of garment 10. Once the user has changed into the appropriate swimming clothes or wetsuit, the user then reaches out through arm holes 12 and 13 and opens zipper 21. The user is then able to simply step outwardly from garment 10 and fold garment 10 for convenient storage or simply place it on the ground. While the user is engaged in swimming or surfing activities, street clothing articles and valuables may be conveniently stored within garment 10 using interior 16 or, alternatively, additional pockets such as pockets 40 and 41 (seen in FIG. 2).

[0023] When the user returns to garment 10 having engaged in swimming or surfing activities and desires to dry off and again change into street clothing, the user again open zipper 21 and steps into garment 10 assuming the position shown in FIG. 1. Thereafter, with zipper 21 closed, the user is able to remove wet swimming clothes or wetsuit and place it at the bottom of closed end 14 as indicated by clothing article 23. It has been found convenient for this reason to fabricate closed end 14 of a water impervious or waterproof material rather than the absorbent material which forms the majority of body 11.

[0024] The user having removed the wet clothing is then able to reach outwardly through arm holes 12 and 13 and obtain a towel and draw the towel into the interior of garment 10 and proceed to dry the user's skin. Alternatively, the absorbent material from which body 11 is formed may be utilized to dry the user's skin without the need for an additional towel. Thereafter, once having dried sufficiently, the user then reaches outside through garment 10 through arm holes 12 and 13 to obtain suitable street clothing and to pull the clothing into interior 16. As a final step, the user simply puts on the street clothing in complete privacy within garment 10 and thereafter unzips zipper 21 and steps out from garment 10.

[0025] As is described below in FIG. 2 in greater detail and in accordance with a further advantage of the present invention clothes changing garment, the user is able to pack the combination of wet clothing within closed end 14 and garment 10 by simply rolling up garment 10 or alternatively folding it and strapping it securely in the manner shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. Of importance with respect to the present invention, is the enclosure of wet clothing articles within closed end 14 which are successively covered as garment 10 is folded or rolled upwardly from the bottom up. This bottom up folding encloses the wet articles within closed end 14 within the absorbent material of body 11.

[0026] FIG. 2 sets forth a rear perspective view of garment 10 in a generally empty flattened position in preparation of folding and strapping. As described above, garment 10 includes a body 11 preferably formed of a water absorbent material and supporting a water impervious closed end 14 joined thereto along a seam 22. Body 11 further defines a rear surface 18, a pair of arm holes 12 and 13 (arm hole 13 seen in FIG. 1) together with a hood 20.

[0027] To facilitate the storage of articles and valuables, garment 10 includes a pocket 40 having a conventional opening formed therein for the deposit of such valuables and other personal articles. If desired, an additional pocket 41 may be further added to rear surface 18.

[0028] Rear surface 18 further supports a pair of straps 31 and 32 secured to the upper portion of body 11 by attachments 35 and 36. Attachments 35 and 36, as well as the remaining attachments of the various straps described below are secured using conventional attachment such as sewn stitching or the like. Alternatively, adhesive attachment or other attachment mechanisms may be used without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Straps 31 and 32 further support a pair of buckle clasps 33 and 34 respectively.

[0029] Rear surface 18 further supports an additional pair of straps 50 and 52 secured to rear surface 18 by attachments 54 and 55 respectively. Straps 50 and 52 support respective buckle clasps 51 and 53. Rear surface 18 further supports a pair of shoulder straps 60 and 65 secured to rear surface 18 by attachments 62 and 67 respectively. Shoulder straps 60 and 65 are shaped, sized and configured for use in over-the-shoulder or “backpack” type carrying and thus include a pair of buckles 61 and 66 for size adjustment.

[0030] For purposes of illustration, a pair of wet swimming trunks 24 is shown within closed end 14 in accordance with the above described preferred use of the present invention in which wetsuit or wet swimming clothing articles may be left within closed end 14 for convenient storage.

[0031] The operation of folding garment 10 is initiated by folding closed end 14 upwardly to the dashed-line position shown in the manner indicated by arrow 43. Thereafter, the combination of closed end 14 and the underlying of portion of body 11 is further folded to the dashed-line position shown in the manner indicated by arrow 44. Once the second fold in body 11 has been completed, straps 50 and 52 are moved upwardly to join buckles 51 and 53 thereof to buckle clasps 33 and 34 of straps 31 and 32 respectively. In the preferred folding of garment 10, hood 20 is tucked between the upwardly folded of body 11 and assumes the position shown in FIG. 3.

[0032] FIG. 3 shows garment 10 in its fully folded configuration. As described above, garment 10 includes a body 11 having a pair of shoulder straps 60 and 65 secured thereto. A pair of straps 50 and 52 are joined to straps 31 and 32 respectively by the cooperation of buckle clasps 51 and 53 with buckle clasps 33 and 34. With hood 20 tucked downwardly between straps 31 and 32, garment 10 is fully folded to a “backpack” configuration in which it may be conveniently carried using shoulder straps 60 and 65 in the manner normally exercised with backpacks.

[0033] FIG. 4 sets forth a partially sectioned front perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention clothed changing garment generally referenced by numeral 70. At the outset, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that garment 70 is substantially identical to garment 10 shown and described above, with the difference being found in the use of a conventional velcro seam 83 in place of zipper 21. Thus, garment 70 includes a body 71 preferably formed of a flexible water absorbent material such as terry cloth or the like. Body 71 defines a pair of enlarged arm holes 80 and 81 as well as a hood 82. Body 11 further defines a front surface 77 upon which an elongated velcro seam 83 is formed. Velcro seam 83 is fabricated using conventional hook-and-loop fabric attachment material strips 88 and 89 which form an open end 86 and a closed end 87.

[0034] Body 71 further supports a closed end portion 72 preferably formed of a water impervious or waterproof material such as synthetic fabric or the like joined to body 71 along a seam 73. Closed end 72 defines a bottom portion 74 within which a clothing article 75 is shown received. The combination of closed end 72 and body 71 defines an interior 76. While not seen in FIG. 4, it will be understood that garment 70 includes a plurality of straps and buckles in a similar fashion to garment 10 shown in FIG. 2. Accordingly, a pair of straps 84 and 85 are shown secured to body 71.

[0035] It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that while the present invention garment is shown having a zipper 21 (seen in FIG. 1) or alternatively a velcro seam 83 (seen in FIG. 4), other apparatus for providing closure of the front surface portion of garments 10 and 70 may be utilized without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

[0036] While particular embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects. Therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.





 
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