Title:

Kind
Code:

A1

Abstract:

A collapsible hammock frame having approximately parallel and spaced apart base members and pivotably attached uprights that define head and foot suspension points from which a hammock may be suspended. The uprights and base members fold into a completely collapsible configuration that can be easily carried and transported, and unfolded into a working configuration without the assembly of separate parts.

Inventors:

Vo, Quan Trung (Ho Chi Minh City, VN)

Johnson, Stanley D. (Shizuoka City, JP)

Uehara, Dean M. (Kailua, HI, US)

Hsia, Martin E. (Honolulu, HI, US)

Johnson, Stanley D. (Shizuoka City, JP)

Uehara, Dean M. (Kailua, HI, US)

Hsia, Martin E. (Honolulu, HI, US)

Application Number:

10/473944

Publication Date:

09/09/2004

Filing Date:

10/03/2003

Export Citation:

Assignee:

VO QUAN TRUNG

JOHNSON STANLEY D.

UEHARA DEAN M.

HSIA MARTIN E.

JOHNSON STANLEY D.

UEHARA DEAN M.

HSIA MARTIN E.

Primary Class:

Other Classes:

5/128

International Classes:

View Patent Images:

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Primary Examiner:

TRETTEL, MICHAEL

Attorney, Agent or Firm:

Cades Schutte (Honolulu, HI, US)

Claims:

1. A device, comprising: a left base having a head portion and a foot portion; a left head upright having a base end and a head end, said base end and said head end defining a left head upright length, lockably pivotably attached near said base end to said head portion of said left base to lockably pivot about a left head pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said left base and locking at at least one operational angle with respect to said left base; a left foot upright having a base end and a foot end, said base end and said foot end defining a left foot upright length, lockably pivotably attached near said base end to said foot portion of said left base to lockably pivot about a left foot pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said left base and locking at at least one operational angle with respect to said left base; wherein said left foot pivot axis is approximately parallel to said left head pivot axis; a right base having a head portion and a foot portion; a right head upright having a base end and a head end, said base end and said head end defining a right head upright length, lockably pivotably attached near said base end to said head portion of said right base to lockably pivot about a right head pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said right base and locking at at least one operational angle with respect to said right base; a right foot upright having a base end and a foot end, said base end and said foot end defining a right foot upright length, lockably pivotably attached near said base end to said foot portion of said right base to lockably pivot about a right foot pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said right base and locking at at least one operational angle with respect to said right base; wherein said right foot pivot axis is approximately parallel to said right head pivot axis; wherein said head ends of said left head upright and of said right head upright are lockably rotatably attached to each other to lockably rotate about at least one head axis of rotation so said left head upright and said right head upright can rotate about said head axis of rotation between being approximately parallel to and abutting against each other and locking at an operational angular separation with respect to each other; wherein said foot ends of said left foot upright and said right foot upright are lockably rotatably attached to each other to lockably rotate about at least one foot axis of rotation so said left foot upright and said right foot upright can rotate about said foot axis of rotation between being approximately parallel to and abutting each other and locking at an operational angular separation with respect to each other; wherein said left foot pivot axis and said right foot pivot axis are at least partially transverse to said foot axis of rotation; wherein said left head pivot axis and said right head pivot axis are at least partially transverse to said head axis of rotation; whereby pivoting said uprights about said pivot axes and locking said uprights at said operational angles, and rotating said head uprights and said foot uprights about said head axis of rotation and said foot axis of rotation, respectively, to lock at said operational angular separations maintains said bases spaced apart from each other, whereby said foot ends and said head ends of said uprights define elevated foot and head suspension points, respectively.

2. A device according to claim 1, wherein said uprights selectively lockably pivot about said pivot axes between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said respective bases and locking at a selected one of multiple operational angles with respect to said respective bases; whereby selecting different operational angles of said foot uprights causes said foot ends to be at selected different elevations and whereby selecting different operational angles of said head uprights causes said head ends to be at selected different elevations.

3. A device, comprising: a left base having a head portion and a foot portion; a left head upright having a base end and a head end, said base end and said head end defining a left head upright length; a left head selectively angularly lockable joint defining a left head pivot axis attached to said left head upright near said base end and attached to said left base near said head portion, whereby said left head upright can lockably pivot between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said left base and locking at at least one operational angle with respect to said left base, whereby locking said joint selects said operational angle; a left foot upright having a base end and a foot end, said base end and said foot end defining a left foot upright length; a left foot selectively angularly lockable joint to defining a left foot pivot axis attached to said left foot upright near said base end and attached to said left base near said foot portion, whereby said left foot upright can lockably pivot between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said left base and locking at at least one operational angle with respect to said left base, whereby locking said joint selects said operational angle; wherein said left foot pivot axis is approximately parallel to said left head pivot axis; a right base having a head portion and a foot portion; a right head upright having a base end and a head end, said base end and said head end defining a right head upright length; a right head selectively angularly lockable joint defining a right head pivot axis attached to said right head upright near said base end and attached to said right base near said head portion, whereby said right head upright can lockably pivot between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said right base and locking at at least one operational angle with respect to said right base, whereby locking said joint selects said operational angle; a right foot upright having a base end and a foot end, said base end and said foot end defining a right foot upright length; a right foot selectively angularly lockable joint defining a right foot pivot axis attached to said right foot upright near said base end and attached to said right base near said foot portion, whereby said right foot upright can lockably pivot between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said right base and locking at at least one operational angle with respect to said right base, whereby locking said joint selects said operational angle; wherein said right foot pivot axis is approximately parallel to said right head pivot axis; wherein said head ends of said left head upright and of said right head upright are lockably rotatably attached to each other to rotate about at least one head axis of rotation so said left head upright and said right head upright can rotate about said head axis of rotation between being approximately parallel to and abutting each other and locking at an operational angular separation with respect to each other; wherein said foot ends of said left foot upright and said right foot upright are lockably rotatably attached to each other to rotate about at least one foot axis of rotation so said left foot upright and said right foot upright can rotate about said foot axis of rotation between being approximately parallel to and abutting each other and locking at an operational angular separation with respect to each other; wherein said left foot pivot axis and said right foot pivot axis are at least partially transverse to said foot axis of rotation; wherein said left head pivot axis and said right head pivot axis are at least partially transverse to said head axis of rotation; whereby pivoting said uprights about said selectively angularly lockable joints, and locking said joints maintains said uprights at said operational angles with respect to their corresponding bases and rotating said head uprights and said foot uprights about said head axis of rotation and said foot axis of rotation, respectively, to said operational angular separations maintains said bases spaced apart from each other, whereby said foot ends and said head ends of said uprights define foot and head suspension points, respectively.

4. A device according to claim 3: wherein said head selectively angularly lockable joints and said foot selectively angularly lockable joints are spaced apart by a distance greater than said head upright lengths and said foot upright lengths; whereby said head uprights and said foot uprights can be pivoted to become approximately parallel to and abutting against each other and their corresponding bases.

5. A device according to claim 3, wherein each of said selectively angularly lockable joints comprises a ratchet joint.

6. A device according to any one of claims

7. A device, comprising: a left base having a head portion and a foot portion; a left head upright having a base end and a head end, said base end and said head end defining a left head upright length, pivotably attached near said base end to a left head upright attachment point near said head portion of said left base to pivot about a left head pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said left base and retained at at least one operational angle with respect to said left base; a left foot upright having a base end and a foot end, said base end and said foot end defining a left foot upright length, pivotably attached near said base end to a left foot upright attachment point near said foot portion of said left base to pivot about a left foot pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said left base and retained at at least one operational angle with respect to said left base; wherein said left foot pivot axis is approximately parallel to said left head pivot axis; a left head brace having a pivot portion and an upright portion, said pivot portion and said upright portion defining a left head brace length, pivotably attached near said pivot portion to said left base at a left head brace attachment point near said head portion of said left base and said upright portion releasably engageable with said left head upright at a left head brace coupling point, whereby releasably engaging said left head brace with said left head upright at said left head brace coupling point locks said left head upright at said operational angle; a left foot brace having a pivot portion and an upright portion, said pivot portion and said upright portion defining a left foot brace length, pivotably attached near said pivot portion to said left base at a left foot brace attachment point near said foot portion of said left base and said upright portion releasably engageable with said left foot upright at a left foot brace coupling point, whereby releasably engaging said left foot brace with said left foot upright at said left foot brace coupling point locks said left foot upright at said operational angle; a right base having a head portion and a foot portion; a right head upright having a base end and a head end, said base end and said head end defining a right head upright length, pivotably attached near said base end to a right head upright attachment point near said head portion of said right base to pivot about a right head pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said right base and retained at at least one operational angle with respect to said right base; a right foot upright having a base end and a foot end, said base end and said foot end defining a right foot upright length, pivotably attached near said base end to a right foot upright attachment point near said foot portion of said right base to pivot about a right foot pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said right base and retained at at least one operational angle with respect to said right base; wherein said right foot pivot axis is approximately parallel to said right head pivot axis; a right head brace having a pivot portion and an upright portion, said pivot portion and said upright portion defining a right head brace length, pivotably attached near said pivot portion to said right base at a right head brace attachment point near said head portion of said right base and said upright portion engageable with said right head upright at a right head brace coupling point, whereby releasably engaging said right head brace with said right head upright at said right head brace coupling point locks said right head upright at said operational angle; a right foot brace having a pivot portion and an upright portion, said pivot portion and said upright portion defining a right foot brace length, pivotably attached near said pivot portion to said right base at a right foot brace attachment point near said foot portion of said right base and said upright portion releasably engageable with said right foot upright at a right foot brace coupling point, whereby engaging said right foot brace with said right foot upright at said right foot brace coupling point locks said right foot upright at said operational angle; wherein said head ends of said left head upright and of said right head upright are rotatably attached to each other for rotation about at least one head axis of rotation so said left head upright and said right head upright can rotate about said head axis of rotation between being approximately parallel to and abutting each other and being at an operational angular separation with respect to each other; wherein said foot ends of said left foot upright and of said right foot upright are rotatably attached to each other for rotation about at least one foot axis of rotation so said left foot upright and said right foot upright can rotate about said foot axis of rotation between being approximately parallel to and abutting each other and being at an operational angular separation with respect to each other; wherein said left foot pivot axis and said right foot pivot axis are at least partially transverse to said foot axis of rotation; wherein said left head pivot axis and said right head pivot axis are at least partially transverse to said head axis of rotation; whereby pivoting said uprights about said pivot axes to said operational angles, releasably engaging said braces with said corresponding uprights to lock said uprights at said respective operational angles, and rotating said head uprights and said foot uprights about said head axis of rotation and said foot axis of rotation, respectively, to releasably lock said uprights at said respective operational angular separations, maintains said bases spaced apart from each other, whereby said foot ends and said head ends of said uprights define elevated foot and head suspension points, respectively.

8. A device according to claim 7, further comprising: a plurality of left head brace coupling points located near said upright portion of said left head brace; a plurality of left foot brace coupling points located near said upright portion of said left foot brace; a plurality of right head brace coupling points located near said upright portion of said right head brace; and a plurality of right foot brace coupling point located near said upright portion of said right foot brace; wherein said respective upright portions of said braces releasably engage said respective uprights at selected ones of said corresponding brace coupling points; whereby releasably engaging said upright portions of said braces with said respective uprights at said selected ones of said corresponding brace coupling points locks said uprights at selected operational angles, whereby said selected operational angles correspond to selected elevations of said suspension points defined by said head ends and said foot ends of said uprights.

9. A device according to claim 7, further comprising: a plurality of left head brace coupling points located on said left head upright length; a plurality of left foot brace coupling points located on said left foot upright length; a plurality of right head brace coupling points located on said right head upright length; and a plurality of right foot brace coupling point located on said right foot upright length; wherein said respective upright portions of said braces releasably engage corresponding uprights at selected ones of said corresponding brace coupling points; whereby releasably engaging said upright portions of said braces with said respective uprights at said selected ones of said corresponding brace coupling points locks said uprights at selected operational angles, whereby said selected operational angles correspond to selected elevations of said suspension points defined by said head ends and said foot ends of said uprights.

10. A device according to claim 7: wherein said head upright attachment points and said foot upright attachment points are spaced apart greater than said head upright lengths and said foot upright lengths; whereby said head uprights and said foot uprights can be pivoted toward each other to become approximately parallel to and abutting against their corresponding bases and each other without said head ends of said head uprights extending beyond said foot portions of said bases, and without said foot ends of said foot uprights extending beyond said head portions of said bases.

11. A device according to claim 7: wherein said head brace attachment points and said foot brace attachment points are spaced apart by a distance greater than said upright brace lengths; whereby said head braces and said foot braces can be pivoted towards each other to become approximately parallel to and abutting against their corresponding bases and against each other without said upright portions of said head braces extending beyond said foot portions of said bases, and without said upright portions of said foot braces extending beyond said head portions of said bases.

12. A device, comprising: a left base having a head portion and a foot portion, said head portion and said foot portion defining a left base length; a left head upright having a base end and a head end, said base end and said head end defining a left head upright length, pivotably attached near said base end to a left head upright attachment point near said head portion of said left base to pivot about a left head pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said left base and being releasably locked at at least one operational angle with respect to said left base; a left foot upright having a base end and a foot end, said base end and said foot end defining a left foot upright length, pivotably attached near said base end to a left foot upright attachment point near said foot portion of said left base to pivot about a left foot pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said left base and being releasably locked at at least one operational angle with respect to said left base; wherein said left foot pivot axis is approximately parallel to said left head pivot axis; a left head brace having a pivot portion and a base portion, said pivot portion and said base portion defining a left head brace length, pivotably attached near said pivot portion to said left head upright at a left head brace attachment point near said base end of said left head upright and said base portion releasably engageable with said left base at a left head brace coupling point, whereby releasably engaging said left head brace with said left base at said left head brace coupling point locks said left head upright at said operational angle; a left foot brace having a pivot portion and a base portion, said pivot portion and said base portion defining a left foot brace length, pivotably attached near said pivot portion to said left foot upright at a left foot brace attachment point near said base end of said left foot upright and said base portion releasably engageable with said left base at a left foot brace coupling point, whereby releasably engaging said left foot brace with said left base at said left foot brace coupling point locks said left foot upright at said operational angle; a right base having a head portion and a foot portion, said head portion and said foot portion defining a right base length; a right head upright having a base end and a head end, said base end and said head end defining a right head upright length, pivotably attached near said base end to a right head upright attachment point near said head portion of said right base to pivot about a right head pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said right base and being releasably locked at at least one operational angle with respect to said right base; a right foot upright having a base end and a foot end, said base end and said foot end defining a right foot upright length, pivotably attached near said base end to a right foot upright attachment point near said foot portion of said right base to pivot about a right foot pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said right base and being releasably locked at at least one operational angle with respect to said right base; wherein said right foot pivot axis is approximately parallel to said right head pivot axis; a right head brace having a pivot portion and a base portion, said pivot portion and said base portion defining a right head brace length, pivotably attached near said pivot portion to said right head upright at a right head brace attachment point near said base end of said right head upright and said base portion releasably engageable with said right base at a right head brace coupling point, whereby releasably engaging said right head brace with said right base at said right head brace coupling point locks said right head upright at said operational angle; a right foot brace having a pivot portion and a base portion, said pivot portion and said base portion defining a right foot brace length, pivotably attached near said pivot portion to said right foot upright at a right foot brace attachment point near said base end of said right foot upright and said base portion releasably engageable with said right base at a right foot brace coupling point, whereby releasably engaging said right foot brace with said right base at said right foot brace coupling point locks said right foot upright at said operational angle; wherein said head ends of said left head upright and of said right head upright are rotatably and releasably lockably attached to each other for rotation about at least one head axis of rotation so said left head upright and said right head upright can rotate about said head axis of rotation between being approximately parallel to and abutting each other and being releasably locked at an operational angular separation with respect to each other; wherein said foot ends of said left foot upright and said right foot upright are rotatably and releasably lockably attached to each other for rotation about at least one foot axis of rotation so said left foot upright and said right foot upright can rotate about said foot axis of rotation between being approximately parallel to and abutting each other and being releasably locked at an operational angular separation with respect to each other; wherein said left foot pivot axis and said right foot pivot axis are at least partially transverse to said foot axis of rotation; wherein said left head pivot axis and said right head pivot axis are at least partially transverse to said head axis of rotation; whereby pivoting said uprights about said pivot axes to said operational angles, releasably engaging said braces with said corresponding uprights to lock said uprights at said respective operational angles, and rotating said head uprights and said foot uprights about said head axis of rotation and said foot axis of rotation, respectively, to releasably lock said uprights at said respective operational angular separations maintains said bases approximately parallel to and spaced apart from each other, whereby said foot ends and said head ends of said uprights define foot and head suspension points, respectively.

13. A device according to claim 12, further comprising: a plurality of left head brace coupling points located near said base portion of said left head brace; a plurality of left foot brace coupling points located near said base portion of said left foot brace; a plurality of right head brace coupling points located near said base portion of said right head brace; and a plurality of right foot brace coupling point located near said base portion of said right foot brace; wherein said respective base portions of said braces releasably engage said respective bases at selected ones of said selected corresponding brace coupling points; whereby releasably engaging said base portions of said braces with said respective bases at said selected ones of said corresponding brace coupling points releasably engages said uprights at selected operational angles, whereby said selected operational angles correspond to selected elevations of said suspension points defined by said head ends and said foot ends of said uprights.

14. A device according to claim 12, further comprising: a plurality of left head brace coupling points located near said head portion of said left base; a plurality of left foot brace coupling points located near said foot portion of said left base; a plurality of right head brace coupling points located near said head portion of said right base; and a plurality of right foot brace coupling point located near said foot portion of said right base; wherein said respective base portions of said braces releasably engage corresponding bases at selected ones of said corresponding brace coupling points; whereby releasably engaging said base portions of said braces with said respective bases at said selected ones of said corresponding brace coupling points releasably engage said uprights at selected operational angles, whereby said selected operational angles correspond to selected elevations of said suspension points defined by said head ends and said foot ends of said uprights.

15. A device according to claim 12: wherein said head upright attachment points and said foot upright attachment points are separated by a distance that is greater than said head upright lengths and said foot upright lengths; whereby said head uprights and said foot uprights can be pivoted towards each other to become approximately parallel to and abutting against their corresponding bases and each other without said head ends of said head uprights extending beyond said foot portions of said bases and without said foot ends of said foot uprights extending beyond said head portions of said bases.

16. A device according to claim 12: wherein said head brace attachment points are spaced apart from said head ends of said respective uprights by a distance greater than said right brace lengths and said left brace lengths; wherein said foot brace attachment points are spaced apart from said foot ends of said respective uprights by a distance greater than said right brace lengths and said left brace lengths; whereby said head braces can be pivoted towards said head ends of said head uprights to become approximately parallel to and abutting against said head uprights and said foot braces without said base portions of said head braces extending beyond said head ends of said head uprights, and whereby said foot braces can be pivoted towards said foot ends of said foot uprights to become approximately parallel to and abutting against said foot uprights and said head braces without said base portions of said foot braces extending beyond said foot ends of said foot uprights.

17. A device, comprising: a left base having a head portion and a foot portion; a right base having a head portion and a foot portion; wherein said foot portions of said left base and said right base are lockably rotatably attached to each other, defining a base vertex, whereby said left base and said right base can rotate about said foot axis of rotation in an approximately horizontal base plane between being approximately parallel to and abutting against each other and locking at a base angular separation, whereby said base angular separation maintains said head portions of said bases spaced apart from each other; a foot upright having a base end and a foot end, said base end and said head end defining a foot upright length, lockably pivotably attached near said base end to said base vertex to lockably pivot about a foot pivot axis between being approximately coplanar with said horizontal base plane and abutting against said left base and said right base and locking at at least one operational angle with respect to said horizontal base plane; a left head upright having a base end and a head end, said base end and said head end defining a left head upright length, lockably pivotably attached near said base end to said head portion of said left base to lockably pivot about a left head pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said left base and locking at at least one operational angle with respect to said left base; a right head upright having a base end and a head end, said base end and said head end defining a right head upright length, lockably pivotably attached near said base end to said head portion of said right base to lockably pivot about a right head pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said right base and locking at at least one operational angle with respect to said right base; wherein said left head pivot axis and said right head pivot axis are at least partially transverse to said foot axis of rotation; wherein said head ends of said left head upright and said right head upright are lockably rotatably attached to each other to lockably rotate about a head axis of rotation so said left head upright and said right head upright can rotate about said head axis of rotation between being approximately parallel to and abutting each other and locking at an operational angular separation with respect to each other; whereby pivoting said uprights about said pivot axes and locking said uprights at said operational angles and rotating said head uprights about said head axis of rotation to lock at said operational angular separation causes said bases to rotate about said foot axis of rotation to said base angular separation, whereby said head ends of said bases are maintained spaced apart from each other, and whereby said head ends of said head uprights and said foot end of said foot upright define elevated head and foot suspension points, respectively.

18. A device according to any one of claims

19. A device, comprising: a left base having a head portion and a foot portion; a left head upright having a base end and a head end, said base end and said head end defining a left head upright length; a left head selectively angularly and releasably lockable ratchet joint defining a left head pivot axis attached to said left head upright near said base end and attached to said left base near said head portion, whereby said left head upright can releasably lockably pivot between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said left base and locking at at least one operational angle with respect to said left base, whereby releasably locking said joint selects said operational angle; a left foot upright having a base end and a foot end, said base end and said foot end defining a left foot upright length; a left foot selectively angularly and releasably lockable ratchet joint defining a left foot pivot axis attached to said left foot upright near said base end and attached to said left base near said foot portion, whereby said left foot upright can releasably lockably pivot between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said left base and locking at at least one operational angle with respect to said left base, whereby releasably locking said joint selects said operational angle; wherein said left foot pivot axis is approximately parallel to said left head pivot axis; a right base having a head portion and a foot portion; a right head upright having a base end and a head end, said base end and said head end defining a right head upright length; a right head selectively angularly and releasably lockable ratchet joint defining a right head pivot axis attached to said right head upright near said base end and attached to said right base near said head portion, whereby said right head upright can releasably lockably pivot between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said right base and locking at at least one operational angle with respect to said right base, whereby releasably locking said joint selects said operational angle; a right foot upright having a base end and a foot end, said base end and said foot end defining a right foot upright length; a right foot selectively angularly and releasably lockable ratchet joint defining a right foot pivot axis attached to said right foot upright near said base end and attached to said right base near said foot portion, whereby said right foot upright can releasably lockably pivot between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said right base and locking at at least one operational angle with respect to said right base, whereby releasably locking said joint selects said operational angle; wherein said right foot pivot axis is approximately parallel to said right head pivot axis; wherein said head ends of said left head upright and of said right head upright are lockably rotatably attached to each other to rotate about at least one head axis of rotation so said left head upright and said right head upright can rotate about said head axis of rotation between being approximately parallel to and abutting each other and locking at an operational angular separation with respect to each other; wherein said foot ends of said left foot upright and said right foot upright are lockably rotatably attached to each other to rotate about at least one foot axis of rotation so said left foot upright and said right foot upright can rotate about said foot axis of rotation between being approximately parallel to and abutting each other and locking at an operational angular separation with respect to each other; wherein said left foot pivot axis and said right foot pivot axis are at least partially transverse to said foot axis of rotation; wherein said left head pivot axis and said right head pivot axis are at least partially transverse to said head axis of rotation; a head locking folding brace connected between said left head upright and said right head upright that folds to a closed position when said head uprights are approximately parallel to and abutting against each other, and that unfolds and can be locked at an extended position when said head uprights are rotated about said head axis of rotation to said operational angular separation, whereby said head locking folding brace can lock said head uprights and said operational angular separation; a foot locking folding brace connected between said left foot upright and said right foot upright that folds to a closed position when said foot uprights are approximately parallel to and abutting against each other, and that unfolds and can be locked at an extended position when said foot uprights are rotated about said foot axis of rotation to said operational angular separation, whereby said foot locking folding brace can lock said foot uprights at said operational angular separation; and whereby pivoting said uprights about said selectively angularly and releasably lockable ratchet joints, and releasably locking said ratchet joints maintains said uprights at said operational angles with respect to their corresponding bases, and rotating said head uprights and said foot uprights about said head axis of rotation and said foot axis of rotation, respectively, to said operational angular separations and extending said folding braces maintains said bases spaced apart from each other, whereby said foot ends and said head ends of said uprights define elevated foot and head suspension points, respectively.

20. A device, comprising: a left base having a head portion and a foot portion; a left head upright having a base end and a head end, said base end and said head end defining a left head upright length, pivotably attached near said base end to a left head upright attachment point near said head portion of said left base to pivot about a left head pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said left base and retained at at least one operational angle with respect to said left base; a left foot upright having a base end and a foot end, said base end and said foot end defining a left foot upright length, pivotably attached near said base end to a left foot upright attachment point near said foot portion of said left base to pivot about a left foot pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said left base and retained at at least one operational angle with respect to said left base; wherein said left foot pivot axis is approximately parallel to said left head pivot axis; a left head cable having a base portion and an upright portion, said base portion and said upright portion defining a left head cable length, attached near said base portion to said left base near said head portion of said left base and said upright portion releasably engageable with said left head upright, whereby releasably engaging said left head cable with said left head upright retains said left head upright at said operational angle; a left foot cable having a base portion and an upright portion, said base portion and said upright portion defining a left foot cable length, attached near said base portion to said left base near said foot portion of said left base and said upright portion releasably engageable with said left foot upright, whereby releasably engaging said left foot cable with said left foot upright retains said left foot upright at said operational angle; a right base having a head portion and a foot portion; a right head upright having a base end and a head end, said base end and said head end defining a right head upright length, pivotably attached near said base end to a right head upright attachment point near said head portion of said right base to pivot about a right head pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said right base and retained at at least one operational angle with respect to said right base; a right foot upright having a base end and a foot end, said base end and said foot end defining a right foot upright length, pivotably attached near said base end to a right foot upright attachment point near said foot portion of said right base to pivot about a right foot pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against said right base and retained at at least one operational angle with respect to said right base; wherein said right foot pivot axis is approximately parallel to said right head pivot axis; a right head cable having a base portion and an upright portion, said base portion and said upright portion defining a right head cable length, attached near said base portion to said right base near said head portion of said right base and said upright portion releasably engageable with said right head upright, whereby releasably engaging said right head cable with said right head upright locks said right head upright at said operational angle; a right foot cable having a base portion and an upright portion, said base portion and said upright portion defining a right foot cable length, attached near said base portion to said right base near said foot portion of said right base and said upright portion releasably engageable with said right foot upright, whereby engaging said right foot cable with said right foot upright locks said right foot upright at said operational angle; wherein said head ends of said left head upright and of said right head upright are rotatably attached to each other for rotation about at least one head axis of rotation so said left head upright and said right head upright can rotate about said head axis of rotation between being approximately parallel to and abutting each other and being at an operational angular separation with respect to each other; wherein said foot ends of said left foot upright and of said right foot upright are rotatably attached to each other for rotation about at least one foot axis of rotation so said left foot upright and said right foot upright can rotate about said foot axis of rotation between being approximately parallel to and abutting each other and being at an operational angular separation with respect to each other; wherein said left foot pivot axis and said right foot pivot axis are at least partially transverse to said foot axis of rotation; wherein said left head pivot axis and said right head pivot axis are at least partially transverse to said head axis of rotation; whereby pivoting said uprights about said pivot axes to said operational angles, releasably engaging said braces with said corresponding uprights to lock said uprights at said respective operational angles, and rotating said head uprights and said foot uprights about said head axis of rotation and said foot axis of rotation, respectively, to releasably lock said uprights at said respective operational angular separations, maintains said bases spaced apart from each other, whereby said foot ends and said head ends of said uprights define elevated foot and head suspension points, respectively.

21. A device according to any one of claims

22. A device according to claim 21, further comprising visual indicia marked on said hammock.

23. A device according to any one of claims

Description:

[0001] This invention relates to a device that can expand without assembling or connecting separate members or uprights to form a frame that defines two elevated suspension points, from which a hammock may be suspended. The device also collapses into a small convenient package for carrying without requiring the disassembly or detachment of separate members or uprights.

[0002] Hammocks conventionally comprise a sheet of material with two opposing ends suspended between two objects by fastening the ends to those objects. In the past, one would have to find two conveniently spaced trees, posts, or other relatively immovable objects to be able to safely suspend and use a hammock. Fastening means, such as a metal hook or loop, often would have to be secured to the trees or posts. Securing such fastening means almost invariably causes some permanent damage to those objects. Unless the hammock was meant to be permanently affixed, such damage is highly undesirable. This is especially the case where a hammock is used only temporarily, or sporadically, and must be removed after use.

[0003] To overcome the aforementioned disadvantages of conventional hammocks, numerous types of portable hammock frames have been developed. Such frames avoid the need to find two conveniently-spaced objects and to secure fastening means to those objects from which to suspend a hammock. Furthermore, such frames offer an added level of convenience because they can usually be located wherever a user desires to suspend a hammock. However, existing “portable” hammock frames are usually of complex and bulky construction. Although designed to suspend a hammock in the absence of trees, posts or other objects, such “portable” frames require considerable assembly, and tend to be heavy and generally difficult to move once assembled in a particular location.

[0004] Other types of foldable and collapsible hammock frames are available for use, but unfortunately, these foldable and collapsible hammock frames remain awkward to carry, transport and store and often require assembly, connection or attachment of separate members and uprights before the hammock frames can be utilized.

[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 5,983,422 to Bayless describes a collapsible hammock assembly, which requires the use of removable locking pins to secure the assembly in an operative position.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 5,659,907 to Huang discloses a foldable hammock assembly, which features removable base stabilizing members.

[0007] Many hammock frames claiming to be “portable” are actually heavy and bulky, and difficult to transport. Although foldable and collapsible hammock frames exist, all require some assembly before they can be used.

[0008] It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an improved lightweight, collapsible and fully portable hammock frame that can be folded into a single compact piece that is convenient to transport and store.

[0009] It is another object of this invention to provide such a hammock frame which, when in its fully collapsed configuration, has all members and uprights parallel to and abutting against each other so the frame can be stored in an elongated bag and easily transported by a single person.

[0010] It is still another object of this invention to provide such a hammock frame that is capable of being easily opened for immediate use without requiring assembly or attachment of separate members or uprights.

[0011] It is yet another object of this invention to provide such a hammock frame which, when in its fully opened configuration, provides a stable and securely locked, yet adjustable, structure to support a hammock and user.

[0012] It is yet another object of this invention to provide such a hammock frame that is fabricated from lightweight and commercially available components so that the invention can be inexpensively manufactured and produced.

[0013] These and other objects are accomplished by a device having a left and right base, each base having a head portion and a foot portion, and a pair of head uprights and a pair of foot uprights, with the head uprights each having a base end and a head end, and the foot uprights each having a base end and a foot end. The head uprights are lockably pivotably attached at their respective base ends to the head portions of the bases. Similarly, the foot uprights are lockably pivotably attached at their respective base ends to the foot portions of the bases. Each upright can lockably pivot about a pivot axis between being approximately parallel to and abutting against its corresponding base, and locking at at least one operational angle with respect to its corresponding base. The pivot axes for the head uprights are approximately parallel to the pivot axes for the foot uprights.

[0014] The head ends of the head uprights are lockably rotatably attached to each other to lockably rotate about a head axis of rotation, which is at least partially transverse to the pivot axes of the head uprights. The head uprights can rotate about the head axis of rotation between being approximately parallel to and abutting against each other and locking at an operational angular separation with respect to each other. Similarly, the foot ends of the foot uprights are lockably rotatably attached to each other to lockably rotate about a foot axis of rotation, which, in turn, is at least partially transverse to the pivot axes of the foot uprights. The foot uprights can rotate about the foot axis of rotation between being approximately parallel to and abutting against each other and locking at an operational angular separation with respect to each other.

[0015] By pivoting the uprights about the pivot axes and locking the uprights at their operational angles, and rotating the uprights about their axes of rotation to lock at their operational angular separation, the bases are maintained approximately parallel to and spaced apart from each other, whereby the head ends of the head uprights and the foot ends of the foot uprights define two elevated suspension points, from which a hammock may be suspended.

[0016] Alternatively, a single head or foot upright can be provided for a tripod configuration.

[0017] Optionally, a logo, visual indicia, or other display can be imprinted on the fabric of the hammock, or an umbrella or umbrella holder may be provided.

[0018]

[0019]

[0020]

[0021]

[0022]

[0023]

[0024]

[0025]

[0026]

[0027]

[0028]

[0029]

[0030]

[0031]

[0032]

[0033]

[0034]

[0035] Referring to

[0036] The left head upright

[0037] The head end

[0038] Similarly, the foot end

[0039] Referring to

[0040] Referring again to

[0041] The preferred embodiment of the hammock frame of the present invention

[0042] The hammock frame

[0043] As shown in

[0044] Referring again to

[0045] In an expanded configuration, the head ends

[0046] Each upright

[0047] As a further example, in an alternative embodiment of the present invention, each upright and its corresponding base may be connected by a rotating connector, each rotating connector being a pair of spaced-apart, substantially semi-circular lobes defining a recess for receiving the respective base ends of the corresponding uprights between the lobes. Each lobe has a number of correspondingly peripheral recesses for receiving a pin located near the respective base ends of the uprights. A longitudinal elongated slot is formed substantially near the respective base ends of the corresponding uprights to receive a bolt substantially centrally affixed transverse to the semi-circular lobes. This slot and bolt assembly allows longitudinal movement of the upright for upward axial retraction of the pin from a peripheral recess and allows pivotal movement of the upright to a desired operational angle defined by the radial position of the selected peripheral recess. Downward axial insertion of the pin into the selected peripheral recess locks the upright at a selected operational angle.

[0048] However, the preferred embodiment of the present invention contemplates the use of a ratchet joint

[0049]

[0050] Referring to

[0051] Referring to

[0052] To disengage the pawl

[0053] To allow the hammock frame

[0054] If the distance between the head pivot axes

[0055] Referring to

[0056] Referring to

[0057] In an expanded configuration of the hammock frame

[0058] Referring to

[0059] Referring again to

[0060] The minimal length configuration for the embodiment of the hammock frame

[0061] It is envisioned that the use of a pin and slots to releasably engage the braces and uprights of a hammock frame at a selected one of a plurality of operational angles is only one of any number of alternative equivalent embodiments of the invention. For example, the pin

[0062] In another alternative embodiment, each brace may have a pivot portion

[0063] Referring to

[0064] In another alternative embodiment of the hammock frame

[0065] Referring to

[0066] In the minimal length configuration of each embodiment described above, the hammock frame

[0067] Referring to

[0068] The invention has been disclosed only with respect to the presently preferred embodiments described herein. However, those skilled in the art will appreciate that many alterations and modifications in the details of the invention can be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Accordingly, no limitations are to be implied or inferred in the invention, except as specifically and explicitly set forth in the attached claims.

[0069] This invention can be used whenever it is desired to provide a device that can expand without assembling or connecting separate members or uprights to form a frame that defines two elevated suspension points, from which a hammock may be suspended, and collapse into a small convenient package for carrying without requiring the disassembly or detachment of separate members or uprights.