Title:
Life jacket resistant to separation from wearer caused by buoyancy thereof
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A life jacket includes a jacket body having a neck and two armholes. At least one fastening strap is mounted to an outside surface of the jacket for tightening the jacket on a wearer. An anti-sliding strip made of a resilient material having a high friction with respect to the wearer's skin is mounted to an inside surface of the jacket at a position substantially corresponding to the wearer's waist. By tightening the fastening strap, the anti-sliding strip is forced to contact and thus forming a high friction and tight engagement with the wearer's skin to prevent the jacket from sliding movement with respect to the wearer thereby eliminating separation of the jacket from the wearer caused by buoyancy of the jacket.



Inventors:
Wu, Chin Wang (I-Lan Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
10/245691
Publication Date:
03/18/2004
Filing Date:
09/18/2002
Assignee:
WU CHIN WANG
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63C9/08; (IPC1-7): B63C9/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050106961Grip pad for a surfcraftMay, 2005Larkin
20100099313Multiboard with directional qualitiesApril, 2010Morgan
20070254541Inflatable sports deviceNovember, 2007Sorby
20050042956Constructive arrangement for a manual or automatic live-saving jacketFebruary, 2005Hodara
20080057806SWIMMING DEVICE WHICH ALLOWS READING WHILE SWIMMINGMarch, 2008Blumberg
20070238375SurfcraftOctober, 2007Arenson et al.
20080076309Life-Saving ClothingMarch, 2008Sandrin et al.
20020009335Vertically eccentric, horizontally symmetric, mobile and fixed buoyant in combination with mobile and fixed ballast as a type a personal flotation deviceJanuary, 2002Courtney et al.
20060105652Shark repelling aquatic apparelMay, 2006Vanlancker
20030008575Bodyboard with planar, continuously variable stiffening elementJanuary, 2003Leonard
20020142683Nonstructural buoyancy canOctober, 2002Campbell et al.



Primary Examiner:
BASINGER, SHERMAN D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROSENBERG, KLEIN & LEE (ELLICOTT CITY, MD, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A life jacket comprising: a jacket body having armholes; a fastening strap mounted to the jacket body; and an anti-sliding strip mounted an inside surface of the jacket body for engaging a wearer's skin, the strip being made of a material having a high friction with respect to the wearer's skin whereby by tightening the fastening strap, the anti-sliding strip is forced to engage the wearer's skin, forming a high friction engagement therebetween for preventing a sliding movement of the jacket body with respect to the wearer.

2. The life jacket as claimed in claim 1, wherein the anti-sliding strip is mounted at a location substantially corresponding to the wearer's waist.

3. The life jacket as claimed in claim 1, wherein the anti-sliding strip is formed by screen printing on the inside surface of the jacket body.

4. The life jacket as claimed in claim 1, wherein the anti-sliding strip has a surface pattern.

5. The life jacket as claimed in claim 1, wherein the anti-sliding strip is additionally mounted to the inside surface of the jacket body.

6. The life jacket as claimed in claim 1, wherein the anti-sliding strip has a corrugated cross section.

7. The life jacket as claimed in claim 1, wherein the anti-sliding strip has a plane cross section.

8. The life jacket as claimed in claim 1, wherein the anti-sliding strip is sewn to the inside surface of the jacket body.

9. The life jacket as claimed in claim 1, wherein the anti-sliding strip forms an interior chamber.

10. The life jacket as claimed in claim 1, wherein the anti-sliding strip forms an interior chamber having opposite ends sealed.

11. The life jacket as claimed in claim 1, wherein the anti-sliding strip forms an interior space having opposite open ends.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention generally relates to a life jacket or a personal flotation device (PFD), and in particular to a life jacket having a high friction anti-sliding strip mounted to an inside surface of the life jacket for providing a secure and non-slidable attachment of the life jacket to the wearer's body.

[0003] 2. The Related Art

[0004] Personal flotation devices or life jackets are commonly worn by people doing marine or water activities for safety purposes. The personal flotation devices are classified in several different types, such as offshore life jacket, near-shore buoyant vest and flotation aids. Each of these flotation devices is of only three or four specifications. They are not tailored to perfectly fit the body size and shape of each person. This causes certain troubles for the life jacket wearers.

[0005] FIG. 1 of the attached drawings shows a typical personal flotation device comprising a jacket 10 having a neck 11 and opposite armholes 12 for the extension of a wearer's head and arms (not shown). The jacket 10 comprises a plurality of fastening straps 13 releasably secured by buckles. The conventional life jacket is generally collarless and sleeveless for easiness of wearing.

[0006] FIG. 2 shows a person wearing the life jacket 10 floating in water. Since the jacket 10 is in general not tailored to perfectly fit the wearer, it is quite common that the life jacket is oversized for the wearer. In other words, the life jacket 10 is not completely compliant to the wearer's body and separation is often observed, especially when the wearer is floating on the water and raising his or her arms. The buoyancy of the jacket 10 intends to separate the jacket 10 from the wearer's body while the wearer is dragged down by gravity.

[0007] Referring to FIG. 3, some life jackets are provided with a crotch strap 14 for securely attaching the lift jacket 10 to the wearer body and preventing the life jacket 10 from separation from the wearer's body. However, such a crotch strap 14 causes uncomfortableness to the wearer and imposes undesired constraint to the wearer's activity.

[0008] Thus, the present invention is aimed to solve the above deficiencies by providing an improved life jacket.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] An object of the present invention is to provide a life jacket capable to resist separation of the life jacket from the wearer's body caused by buoyancy of the life jacket.

[0010] Another object of the present invention is to provide a life jacket capable to be secured to the wearer's body without a crotch strap.

[0011] To achieve the above objects, in accordance with the present invention, there is provided a life jacket comprising a jacket body having a neck and two armholes. At least one fastening strap is mounted to an outside surface of the jacket for tightening the jacket on a wearer. An anti-sliding strip made of a resilient material having a high friction with respect to the wearer's skin is mounted to an inside surface of the jacket at a position substantially corresponding to the wearer's waist. By tightening the fastening strap, the anti-sliding strip is forced to contact and thus forming a high friction and tight engagement with the wearer's skin to prevent the jacket from sliding movement with respect to the wearer thereby eliminating separation of the jacket from the wearer caused by buoyancy of the jacket. Examples of the material making the anti-sliding strip include rubber, foamed rubber and materials having similar property. Patterns can be formed on an outside surface of the anti-sliding strip for enhancing the capability of anti-sliding. The anti-sliding strip can be formed on or mounted to the inside surface of the jacket by means of for example screen printing, adhesives, and sewing and can be formed with any desired corrugated cross section for enhancing the capability of anti-sliding. If desired, the anti-sliding strip may have a variable width or have different shapes and outlines. The anti-sliding strip can also be combinations of sections of different configurations.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] The present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art by reading the following description of preferred embodiments thereof, with reference to the attached drawings, in which:

[0013] FIG. 1 is a plan view of a conventional life jacket;

[0014] FIG. 2 is a schematic view showing a person wearing the conventional life jacket and floating on water;

[0015] FIG. 3 is a schematic view showing a person wearing another conventional life jacket comprising a crotch strap;

[0016] FIG. 4 is a developed view of a life jacket constructed in accordance with the present invention;

[0017] FIG. 5 is a developed view of a first example of the life jacket of the present invention;

[0018] FIG. 5A is a plan view of an anti-sliding strip of the first example;

[0019] FIG. 6 is a developed view of a second example of the life jacket of the present invention;

[0020] FIG. 6A is a cross-sectional view of a portion of the life jacket and the anti-sliding strip of the second example having a cross section of square corrugation;

[0021] FIG. 6B is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 6A but showing the anti-sliding strip in accordance with a variation of the second example having a cross section of saw-toothed corrugation;

[0022] FIG. 6C is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 6A but showing the anti-sliding strip in accordance with another variation of the second example, having a triangular corrugation;

[0023] FIG. 6D is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 6A but showing the anti-sliding strip in accordance with a further variation of the second example, having a plane surface;

[0024] FIG. 7 is a developed view of a third example of the life jacket of the present invention;

[0025] FIG. 7A is a cross-sectional view of a portion of the life jacket and the anti-sliding strip of the third example;

[0026] FIG. 8 is a developed view of a fourth example of the life jacket of the present invention;

[0027] FIG. 9 is a developed view of a fifth example of the life jacket of the present invention; and

[0028] FIG. 10 is a developed view of a sixth example of the life jacket of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0029] With reference to the drawings and in particular to FIG. 4, a life jacket constructed in accordance with the present invention comprises a jacket body 20 having a neck 21 and opposite armholes 22 and a plurality of fastening straps 24 having releasable buckles (not labeled) mounted to the jacket body 20 for selectively fastening the jacket on a wearer. The jacket body 20 has an inside surface 23 on which at least one anti-sliding strip 30 is formed.

[0030] The anti-sliding strip 30 is made of a material that is resilient (or soft) and that has a high friction with respect to the skin of the wearer so as to prevent sliding movement with respect to the wearer's skin. The strip 30 can be mounted to the inside surface 23 of the jacket body 20 in a variety of manners and preferably, the strip 30 is additionally mounted to the inside surface 23 of the jacket body 20. The strip 30 can be fixed at any desired position on the inside surface 23 of the jacket body 20, but is preferably at a position substantially corresponding to the waist of the wearer. In addition, the fastening straps 24 are preferably mounted at a location substantially corresponding to the strip 30 whereby when the fastening straps 24 are secured, the strip 30 is forced to contact and thus forming a high friction and tight engagement with the wearer's skin. Thus, sliding movement of the life jacket that leads to the separation of the jacket from the wearer's body is eliminated.

[0031] A number of materials qualify for making the anti-sliding strip 30. Examples include rubber, foamed rubber or the likes.

[0032] The anti-sliding strip 30 is mounted to the inside surface 23 of the jacket body 20. When the fastening straps 24 are tightened, the strip 30 is forced to contact the wearer's skin. A tight engagement between the strip 30 and the wearer's skin is formed. This helps preventing the jacket body 20 from moving with respect to the wearer's body and the separation of the life jacket from the wearer's body caused by the buoyancy of the jacket is eliminated or at least alleviated.

[0033] FIGS. 5 and 5A show a first example of the life jacket in accordance with the present invention. The anti-sliding strip, which is designated with reference numeral 31 for distinction, is formed on the inside surface 23 of the jacket body 20 by screen printing. The screen-printed strip 31 can be formed with any desired surface patterns, such as that shown in FIG. 5A, for enhancing the capability of anti-sliding thereof.

[0034] FIG. 6 shows a second example of the life jacket in accordance with the present invention. The anti-sliding strip, which is designated with reference numeral 32 for distinction, is attached to the inside surface 23 of the jacket body 20 by means of for example adhesives, ultrasonic welding and similar techniques. The strip 32 may has any desired cross section that is corrugated for enhancing the capability of anti-sliding. For example, in FIG. 6A, the strip that is designated with reference numeral 321 for distinction, has a cross section of square corrugation; in FIG. 6B the strip that is designated with reference numeral 322 for distinction, has a cross section of saw-toothed corrugation; and in FIG. 6C the strip that is designated with reference numeral 323 for distinction, has a cross section of triangular corrugation. Instead of a corrugated cross section, the anti-sliding strip may has a plane surface as shown in FIG. 6D in which the strip is designated with reference numeral 324 for distinction.

[0035] FIGS. 7 and 7A show a third example of the life jacket in accordance with the present invention. The anti-sliding strip, which is designated with reference numeral 33 for distinction, is attached to the inside surface 23 of the jacket body 20 by sewing. The strip 33 is sewn to the inside surface 23 of the jacket body 20 along a top edge (not labeled) thereof by means of at least one sewing line 331. The strip 33 forms an interior chamber 332, which can be sealed at opposite ends whereby a hermetic chamber 332 is formed. The chamber 332 provides an excellent resiliency for comfortable and tight engagement with the wearer's body. Alternatively, the chamber 332 can be open at opposite ends and still, the chamber 332 provides the resiliency for comfortable and tight engagement with the wearer's body.

[0036] FIG. 8 shows a fourth example of the life jacket in accordance with the present invention. The anti-sliding strip of the fourth example comprises a central section, designated with reference numeral 32, and two side sections, designated with reference numeral 31. The central section 32 of the anti-sliding strip of the fourth example is similar to that of the second example that is additionally mounted to the inside surface 23 of the jacket body 20 and thus bears the same reference numeral. The side sections 31 are similar to that of the first example formed by screen printing and thus bear the same reference numeral. In other words, the fourth example of the anti-sliding strip is a combination of the first and second examples of the anti-sliding strips discussed above with reference to FIGS. 5, 5A, 6, 6A, 6B, 6C and 6D.

[0037] FIG. 9 shows a fifth example of the life jacket in accordance with the present invention. The anti-sliding strip of the fifth example comprises a central section, designated with reference numeral 32, and two side sections, designated with reference numeral 33. The central section 32 of the anti-sliding strip of the fifth example is similar to that of the second example that is additionally mounted to the inside surface 23 of the jacket body 20 and thus bears the same reference numeral. The side sections 33 are similar to that of the third example mounted to the inside surface 23 of the jacket body 20 by sewing and thus bear the same reference numeral. In other words, the fifth example of the anti-sliding strip is a combination of the second and third examples of the anti-sliding strips discussed above with reference to FIGS. 6, 6A, 6B, 6C, 6D, 7 and 7A.

[0038] FIG. 10 shows a sixth example of the life jacket in accordance with the present invention. The anti-sliding strip of the sixth example comprises a central section, designated with reference numeral 32, and two side sections, designated with reference numeral 31. The central section 32 of the anti-sliding strip of the sixth example is similar to that of the second example that is additionally mounted to the inside surface 23 of the jacket body 20 and thus bears the same reference numeral. The side sections 31 are similar to that of the first example formed by screen printing and thus bear the same reference numeral. In other words, the sixth example of the anti-sliding strip is a combination of the first and second examples of the anti-sliding strips discussed above with reference to FIGS. 5, 5A, 6, 6A, 6B, 6C and 6D. However, the anti-sliding strip of the sixth example has a variable width, namely a dimension measured in the direction of height of the wearer. The central section 32 has a width that is increased from a small value at opposite ends toward a large value at a midpoint thereof and each side section 31 has a width increased from a small value at a remote end toward a large value at an end close to the central section 32 whereby the width of the whole anti-sliding strip is increased from a smallest value at opposite ends toward a largest value at a midpoint thereof.

[0039] Although the present invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiments thereof, it is apparent to those skilled in the art that a variety of modifications and changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention which is intended to be defined by the appended claims.