Title:
Pocket ski seat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pocket ski seat for suspension between poles is formed of a strap that is folded over at the ends and stitched at the sides to form pockets for the ends of the poles. The strap is approximately 4 inches wide, being sufficiently strong to withstand concentrated loading against the pole ends and sufficiently stiff laterally to prevent gathering when loaded by a seated user.



Inventors:
Rogers, Ronald L. (Palm Springs, CA, US)
Application Number:
09/916189
Publication Date:
01/30/2003
Filing Date:
07/25/2001
Assignee:
ROGERS RONALD L.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63C11/00; (IPC1-7): A63C11/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
RESTIFO, JEFFREY J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEPHEN R. SECCOMBE (PASADENA, CA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A pocket ski seat for use in concert with a pair of pole members for supporting a user, comprising: (a) an elongate strap member; (b) opposite end portions of the strap member being folded into facing relation to respective adjacent portions of the strap member; (c) respective laterally spaced pairs of side seams fixedly joining side extremity regions of the end portions to corresponding side extremity regions of the adjacent portions of the strap member to form respective pocket cavities between the end portions and the adjacent portions of the strap member, respective folds between the end portions and the adjacent portions of the strap member defining an overall length of the ski seat in a flattened condition thereof, and each pocket cavity having a pattern width between the side seams thereof and a pattern pocket length between the corresponding fold and distal extremities of the corresponding side seams in the flattened condition; and (d) the pocket widths being not less than 2.5 inches for receiving end portions of the pole members having respective outside circumferences of not more than approximately 4.75 inches, the pattern pocket lengths being not less than 1.25 times the respective pocket widths for providing supportive engagement with the pole member end portions effective to load the pole members in axial compression when the ski seat is tensioned by supporting the user between the pole members, and the overall length is between approximately 40 inches and approximately 70 inches for supporting a normal size range of users on poles of appropriate length for use as ski poles.

2. The pocket ski seat of claim 1, wherein the strap member has an overall width of not less than 3 inches in the flattened condition.

3. The pocket ski seat of claim 2, wherein the strap member is of uniform width.

4. The pocket ski seat of claim 3, wherein the uniform overall width of the strap member is approximately 4 inches, and the pocket widths are not less than approximately 2.75 inches.

5. The pocket ski seat of claim 1, wherein the strap member is formed of a woven material.

6. The pocket ski seat of claim 5, wherein the woven material of the strap member is woven to define a uniform width of the strap member.

7. The pocket ski seat of claim 6, wherein the woven material of the strap member comprises at least one material selected from the group consisting of NYLON, RAYON, and polyester.

8. The pocket ski seat of claim 1, wherein the side seams comprise stitching.

9. The pocket ski seat of claim 1, wherein the side seams are reinforced proximate the distal extremities thereof.

10. The pocket ski seat of claim 9, wherein the side seams comprise stitching and the reinforcing comprises multiple folded segments of the stitching.

11. The pocket ski seat of claim 9, wherein the reinforcing comprises an installed rivet projecting through the side extremity portions of the end and adjacent portions of the strap member proximate the distal extremity of each of the side seams.

12. The pocket ski seat of claim 1, wherein the pattern pocket lengths are not greater than approximately twice the pattern widths of the pocket cavities.

13. pocket ski seat of claim 1, wherein the overall length of the ski seat is approximately 55 inches.

14. A pocket ski seat comprising: (a) an elongate strap member woven to a uniform width of approximately 4 inches; (b) opposite end portions of the strap member being folded into facing relation to respective adjacent portions of the strap member; (c) respective laterally spaced pairs of stitched side seams fixedly joining side extremity regions of the end portions to corresponding side extremity regions of the adjacent portions of the strap member to form respective pocket cavities between the end portions and the adjacent portions of the strap member, respective folds between the end portions and the adjacent portions of the strap member defining an overall length of the ski seat in a flattened condition thereof, and each pocket cavity having a pattern width between the side seams thereof and a pattern pocket length between the corresponding fold and distal extremities of the corresponding side seams in the flattened condition, each of the side seams being reinforced proximate the distal extremity thereof; and (d) the pocket widths being not less than approximately 2.75 inches for receiving end portions of the pole members having respective outside circumferences of not more than approximately 5 inches, the pattern pocket lengths being not less than 1.25 times the respective pocket widths for providing supportive engagement with the pole member end portions effective to load the pole members in axial compression when the ski seat is tensioned by supporting the user between the pole members, and the overall length is between approximately 40 inches and approximately 70 inches for supporting a normal size range of users on poles of appropriate length for use as ski poles.

15. The pocket ski seat of claim 13, wherein the reinforcing comprises multiple folded segments of the stitching.

16. The pocket ski seat of claim 13, wherein the overall length of the ski seat is between approximately 52 inches and approximately 55 inches.

17. A method for forming a pocket ski seat for use with a pair of pole members, comprising: (a) providing an elongate strap member; (b) folding opposite end portions of the strap member into facing relation to respective adjacent portions of the strap member; (c) forming respective laterally spaced pairs of side seams for fixedly joining side extremity regions of the end portions to corresponding side extremity regions of the adjacent portions of the strap member to form respective pocket cavities between the end portions and the adjacent portions of the strap member, the folds between the end portions and the adjacent portions of the strap member defining an overall length of the ski seat between approximately 40 inches and approximately 70 inches in a flattened condition of the ski seat, and each pocket cavity having a pattern width of not less than approximately 2.75 inches between the side seams thereof and a pattern pocket length of not less than 1.25 times the pattern width between the corresponding fold and distal extremities of the corresponding side seams in the flattened condition; and (d) reinforced each of the side seams proximate the distal extremity thereof, thereby forming the seat to receive end portions of the pole members to provide supportive engagement with the pole member end portions and loading the pole members in the axial compression when the ski seat is tensioned by supporting the user between the pole members.

Description:

BACKGROUND

[0001] The present invention relates to portable seats, and more particularly seats of the type that are suspended from upstanding poles such as ski poles.

[0002] Portable seats for skiers are known, being disclosed, for example in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,874,687 and 4,065,140 to Cadwalader, 3,902,731 to Fagen, and 4,456,284 to Saka. Most of these are impractical principally for considerable complexity and consequent fabrication costs. The device disclosed in the Cadwalader '140 patent, while not particularly complex, does require specialized equipment and rather complex set-up procedures for manufacture. Instead of being an assembly of straps, buckles, and pocket members, the Cadwalader '140 device is a woven tubular member wherein the tubular configuration is interrupted at spaced intervals, having woven-in slits for receiving the ends of ski poles, and woven-in closures for defining the ends of pockets that are engaged by the poles. The dimensions of the finished article are defined by programming of a loom that produces a series of the articles, which are subsequently severed, the severed ends being heat-sealed to prevent unraveling. This Cadwalader device exhibits additional disadvantages, in that it is particularly weak at points of engagement with the ends of the poles, in that one wall only of the tubular structure resists puncturing by the ends of the poles. When the device is of sufficiently heavy construction to resist such puncture, it then becomes excessively heavy and cumbersome in that the same density is present in both walls of the tubular structure for the full length of the article. Further, the central portion of the device is subject to lateral gathering under the load of a seated occupant as a result of the tubular construction, with consequent discomfort to the occupant.

[0003] Thus there is a need for a portable seat for suspension between poles, that avoids the disadvantages of the prior art.

SUMMARY

[0004] The present invention meets this need by providing a strap-type seat for supporting a user between a pair of upstanding poles such as ski poles. The seat is particularly strong, yet is light in weight, easy to manufacture, and is not subject to gathering under load. In one aspect of the invention, the seat includes elongate strap member having opposite end portions folded into facing relation to respective adjacent portions of the strap member; respective laterally spaced pairs of side seams fixedly joining side extremity regions of the end portions to corresponding side extremity regions of the adjacent portions of the strap member to form respective pocket cavities for receiving respective ends of the poles. Each pocket cavity has a pattern width of at least 2.5 inches between its side seams and a pattern pocket length of at least 1.25 times the pattern width from the inside of its fold to distal extremities of the corresponding side seams in a flattened condition of the seat. The pocket cavities are thus configured for receiving end portions of the pole members when the pole members have outside circumferences of up to approximately 4.75 inches, the seat being supported by axial compressive loading of the poles when the ski seat is tensioned by supporting the user. The overall length of the seat is between approximately 40 inches and approximately 70 inches for supporting a normal size range of users on poles of appropriate length for use as ski poles. Preferably the strap member has an overall width of not less than 3 inches in the flattened condition for enhanced comfort of the user. The strap member can be of uniform width for vacilitating manufacture thereof. The uniform overall width of the strap member preferably approximately 4 inches for further enhancing the user's comfort, and the pocket widths are not less than approximately 2.75 inches for accommodating larger diameter poles which may have attached wrist straps.

[0005] Preferably the strap member is formed of a woven material for providing a desired combination of lateral stiffness and longitudinal flexibility. The woven material is preferably woven in a manner that defines the uniform width of the strap member for resistance to unraveling. The woven material includes at least one material selected from the group consisting of NYLON, RAYON, and polyester.

[0006] The side seams can include stitching. The side seams are preferably reinforced in the regions farthest from the folds that define bottoms of the pocket cavities, that region being subjected to more concentrated loading in use of the seat. When the side seams include stitching the reinforcing can include multiple folded segments of the stitching. Also, or in the alternative, the reinforcing can include an installed rivet projecting through both layers of the strap member in the region of each seam farthest from the fold.

[0007] Preferably the pattern pocket lengths are not greater than approximately twice the pattern widths of the pocket cavities for conserving material of the strap member, and for facilitating access to wrist straps that may be on the poles. A preferred overall length of the ski seat for accommodating a usual range of user body types and sizes is between approximately 52 inches and approximately 58 inches.

[0008] In another aspect of the invention, a method for forming the pocket ski seat includes providing an elongate strap member; folding opposite end portions of the strap member into facing relation to respective adjacent portions of the strap member; forming respective laterally spaced pairs of side seams for fixedly joining side extremity regions of the end portions to corresponding side extremity regions of the adjacent portions of the strap member to form respective pocket cavities between the end portions and the adjacent portions of the strap member, the folds between the end portions and the adjacent portions of the strap member defining an overall length of the ski seat between approximately 40 inches and approximately 70 inches in a flattened condition of the ski seat, and each pocket cavity having a pattern width of not less than approximately 2.75 inches between the side seams thereof and a pattern pocket length of not less than 1.25 times the pattern width between the corresponding fold and distal extremities of the corresponding side seams in the flattened condition; and reinforcing each of the side seams proximate the distal extremity thereof, thereby forming the seat to receive end portions of the pole members to provide supportive engagement with the pole member end portions and loading the pole members in axial compression when the ski seat is tensioned by supporting the user between the pole members.

DRAWINGS

[0009] These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following description, appended claims, and accompanying drawings, where:

[0010] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a skier seated on a portable pocket seat according to the present invention, the seat being slung between the skier's ski poles;

[0011] FIG. 2 is a perspective view as in FIG. 1, showing the ski poles in a crossed orientation;

[0012] FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the seat of FIG. 1 in a flattened condition;

[0013] FIG. 4 is a fragmentary detail view of an end portion of the seat in the flattened condition of FIG. 3; and

[0014] FIG. 5 is a detail view as in FIG. 4, showing an alternative configuration of the seat of FIG. 3.

DESCRIPTION

[0015] The present invention provides a novel portable seat for suspension between poles, that is particularly strong, yet light in weight, inexpensive to provide, and comfortable to use. With reference to FIGS. 1-4 of the drawings, a portable seat 10 according to the present invention can be suspended between a pair of poles 11 for supporting a seated user 12. In FIGS. 1 and 2, the user is a skier wearing skis 13 and the poles 11 are ski poles. The portable seat 10 includes an elongate strap member 14, end portions 16 of which are folded over as indicated at 18 in facing relation to adjacent portions 19 of the strap 14, each of the end portions 16 being secured by a laterally spaced pair of side seams 20.

[0016] As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the strap 14 has a width W, the seat 10 having an overall length L that is typically between 30 inches and 70 inches as described below. The side seams 20 join respective side extremity portions 22 of the end portions to corresponding side extremity portions 24 of the adjacent portions 19 to form respective pocket cavities 26 at opposite ends of the portable seat 10, the pocket cavities 26 each having a pattern pocket length l between the corresponding fold 18 and distal extremities of the side seams 20, and a pattern width w between the seams 20 in a flattened condition of the seat 10. The width W of the strap 14 is sufficient to allow the pattern width w to be large enough for the pocket cavities 26 to receive the ends of the poles 11. An exemplary pole end of circular cross-section having a diameter of 1.25 inches has a circumference of approximately 4 inches. In order to receive this exemplary pole end, the pattern width w would have to be at least 2 inches, but after allowance for a reasonable thickness of the strap member 14 and local flexure thereof at the seams 20, the pattern width would have to be somewhat greater, approximately 2.5 inches, for example, for the pocket cavity 26 to readily accept the pole end. In this example, further locating the side seams only 0.125 inch from side extremities of the strap member 14 results in the strap width W being 2.75 inches, which is considered a practical minimum. Preferably, the strap width is somewhat greater, for permitting the side seams 20 (and preferred reinforcements thereof as described below) to extend farther within the Width W, for accommodating poles having wrist7 straps at the ends as are typical of ski poles, and allowing for somewhat larger pole ends, as well as for providing enhanced comfort for the seated user 12 by improved distribution of the supported load. Accordingly, a preferred strap width W is approximately 4 inches, a corresponding preferred pattern width w of the pocket cavities 26 is not less than approximately 2.75 inches, which allows for the side seams 20 and any reinforcement thereof to extend up the 0.625 inch inwardly from opposite sides of the strap member 14.

[0017] As further shown in FIG. 4, the side seams 20 are reinforced proximate the distal ends thereof by multiple folded segments of the stitching as indicated at 30.

[0018] Additionally or in the alternative, and with further reference to FIG. 5, reinforcements in the form of respective rivets 30 are installed proximate the distal ends of the side seams 20.

[0019] The pocket lengths l are sufficiently great to insure that the ends of the poles 11 remain engaged in the pocket cavities under the full loading of the user 12. However, it is desired that the end portions 16 of the strap member not be excessively long, for permitting use of wrist straps of the poles 11, if present, and for conserving material of the strap member 14. It is believed that the required pocket length l is also roughly proportional to the pattern width w of the pocket cavities 26, being preferably not less than 1.25 nor greater than approximately 2 times the width w. In the preferred configuration wherein the width W of the strap member 14 is 4 inches, the pocket length l can be approximately 5.625 inches, which is within the above-described preferred range. Based on the above, and in consideration of an expected range of body types and sizes of the user 12, a preferred range for the overall length L os the portable seat 10 is from approximately 40 inches to approximately 70 inches, a more preferred range being 52 inches to 58 inches, 55 inches being most preferred.

[0020] As indicated above, the material of the strap member 14 should be relatively stiff laterally for preventing gathering under load in regions thereof to be contacted by the user 12, yet relatively flexible longitudinally for facilitating folding at the end portions 16, and sufficiently strong in tension to withstand concentrated loading at points of contact with the ends of the poles 12. In consideration of the above, single-ply woven strap material is particularly preferred, in that woven construction provides a desired combination of strength, stiffness, and flexibility, the single-ply configuration (in contrast to tubular configurations) imparting lateral stiffness for resistance to gathering, and the woven side extremities, not being cut so as to have exposed strand ends, is not subject to unraveling. A particularly suitable material for the strap member 14 is commercially available as N 7500 GN 4-inch Natural strap, from Atlas Sales and Marketing of Huntington Beach, Calif., that material including NYLON, RAYON, and polyester, and having a thickness of approximately 0.12 inch. Other materials, of course can be used, preferably including at least one of the components of the N 7500 GN material identified above.

[0021] Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with reference to certain preferred versions thereof, other versions are possible. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not necessarily be limited to the description of the preferred versions contained herein.