Title:
Safety garment and backpack having reflective panels
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A safety garment that has a garment portion and at least one panel portion that is attached to the garment portion increases the visibility of the wearer by utilizing body motion of the wearer and air movement past the wearer to cause each panel portion to sway or flap. Each panel portion can be reflective, have a fluorescent pigment and/or include a luminescent pigment. At least a portion of a panel portion can include a plurality of streamers. A safety backpack has similar features.



Inventors:
Bordeaux, Jacqueline (Colgate, WI, US)
Application Number:
10/871833
Publication Date:
12/23/2004
Filing Date:
06/18/2004
Assignee:
BORDEAUX JACQUELINE
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/01; A45F3/04; (IPC1-7): F41H1/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SUTTON, ANDREW W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOSEPH P. CURTIN (Hillsboro, OR, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A safety garment, comprising: a garment portion; and at least one reflective panel portion attached to the garment portion, each reflective panel portion moving in a swaying motion as air moves past the reflective panel portion.

2. The safety garment according to claim 1, wherein the garment portion is at least one arm covering.

3. The safety garment according to claim 1, wherein the garment portion is at least one leg covering.

4. The safety garment according to claim 1, wherein the garment portion includes a torso portion and at least one sleeve portion, and wherein a reflective panel portion is attached to at least one of the torso portion and a sleeve portion.

5. The safety garment according to claim 4, wherein at least one reflective panel portion is attached to a torso portion and at least one reflective panel portion is attached to a sleeve portion.

6. The safety garment according to claim 1, wherein the reflective panel portion further includes a fluorescent color.

7. The safety garment according to claim 6, wherein the reflective panel portion further includes a luminescent pigment.

8. The safety garment according to claim 1, wherein the reflective panel portion further includes a luminescent pigment.

9. The safety garment according to claim 1, wherein the reflective panel portion includes an outer edge that is reflective.

10. The safety garment according to claim 1, wherein the garment portion is one of a shirt, a vest, a jacket, a coat, a pair of shorts, and a pair of pants.

11. The safety garment according to claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the reflective panel portion includes a plurality of streamers.

12. A safety garment, comprising: a garment portion; and at least one panel portion attached to the garment portion and having a fluorescent color, each panel portion moving in a swaying motion as air moves past the panel portion.

13. The safety garment according to claim 12, wherein the garment portion is at least one arm covering.

14. The safety garment according to claim 12, wherein the garment portion is at least one leg covering.

15. The safety garment according to claim 12, wherein the garment portion includes a torso portion and at least one sleeve portion, and wherein a panel portion is attached to at least one of the torso portion and a sleeve portion.

16. The safety garment according to claim 15, wherein at least one panel portion is attached to a torso portion and at least one panel portion is attached to a sleeve portion.

17. The safety garment according to claim 12, wherein the panel portion further includes a luminescent pigment.

18. The safety garment according to claim 12, wherein the garment portion is one of a shirt, a jacket, a coat, a pair of shorts, and a pair of pants.

19. The safety garment according to claim 12, wherein at least a portion of the panel portion includes a plurality of streamers.

20. The safety garment according to claim 12, wherein the panel portion includes an outer edge that is reflective.

21. A safety garment, comprising: a garment portion; and at least one panel portion attached to the garment portion and having a luminescent pigment, each panel portion moving in a swaying motion as air moves past the panel portion.

22. The safety garment according to claim 21, wherein the garment portion is at least one arm covering.

23. The safety garment according to claim 21, wherein the garment portion is at least one leg covering.

24. The safety garment according to claim 21, wherein the garment portion includes a torso portion and at least one sleeve portion, and wherein a panel portion is attached to at least one of the torso portion and a sleeve portion.

25. The safety garment according to claim 24, wherein at least one panel portion is attached to a torso portion and at least one panel portion is attached to a sleeve portion.

26. The safety garment according to claim 21, wherein the garment portion is one of a shirt, a vest, a jacket, a coat, a pair of shorts, and a pair of pants.

27. The safety garment according to claim 21, wherein at least a portion of the panel portion includes a plurality of streamers.

28. The safety garment according to claim 21, wherein the panel portion includes an outer edge that is reflective.

29. A safety backpack, comprising: a backpack portion; and at least one reflective panel portion attached to the backpack portion, each reflective panel portion moving in a swaying motion as air moves past the reflective panel portion.

30. The safety backpack according to claim 29, wherein the reflective panel portion further includes a fluorescent color.

31. The safety backpack according to claim 30, wherein the reflective panel portion further includes a luminescent pigment.

32. The safety backpack according to claim 29, wherein the reflective panel portion further includes a luminescent pigment.

33. The safety backpack according to claim 29, wherein the reflective panel portion includes a flexible line that attaches the reflective panel portion to the backpack portion.

34. A safety backpack, comprising: a backpack portion; and at least one panel portion attached to the backpack portion and having a fluorescent color, each panel portion moving in a swaying motion as air moves past the panel portion.

35. The safety backpack according to claim 34, wherein the panel portion further includes a luminescent pigment.

36. The safety backpack according to claim 34, wherein the panel portion includes a flexible line that attaches the reflective panel to the backpack portion.

37. A safety backpack, comprising: a backpack portion; and at least one panel portion attached to the backpack portion and having a luminescent pigment, each panel portion moving in a swaying motion as air moves past the panel portion.

38. The safety backpack according to claim 37, wherein the panel portion includes a flexible line that attaches the reflective panel to the backpack portion.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATION

[0001] The present invention claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/479,784, entitled “Safety Garment And Backpack Having Reflective Panels,” invented by Jacqueline Bordeaux, filed Jun. 18, 2003, and which incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to safety garments and backpacks. More particularly, the present invention relates to safety garments and safety backpacks having panels providing high visibility.

[0004] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0005] There are numerous examples of safety garments or devices that make the wearer more conspicuous. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,148,442 to Porter discloses reflectorized and/or safety-colored work clothing, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,477,998 to Reckler discloses a reflective garment that improves the visibility of the wearer when light is directed upon the wearer. Other examples include U.S. Pat. No. 6,272,688 B1 to Wilson, which discloses a high-visibility detached safety sleeve, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,829,056 to Hubert, which discloses a reflective safety garment in the form of an apron.

[0006] Nevertheless, while each safety item developed up to now improves the chances that the wearer will be seen, what is still needed are a safety garment and a safety backpack that further increases the ability of the wearer to be more visible by utilizing body motion of the wearer and air movement past the wearer.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention provides a safety garment that further increases the ability of the wearer to be more visible by utilizing body motion of the wearer and air movement past the wearer.

[0008] The advantages of the present invention are provided by a safety garment having a garment portion and at least one panel portion that is attached to the garment portion. Each panel portion moves in a swaying motion as air moves past the reflective panel portion. According to the invention, each panel portion can be reflective, have a fluorescent pigment and/or include a luminescent pigment. Further, the outer edge of the reflective panel can be reflective. At least a portion of a panel portion can include a plurality of streamers or flags. The garment portion can be one arm covering or at least one leg covering. When the garment portion includes a torso portion and at least one sleeve portion, a panel portion is attached to at least one of the torso portion and/or a sleeve portion. Accordingly, the garment portion can be a shirt, a vest, a jacket, a coat, a pair of shorts or a pair of pants.

[0009] The present invention also provides a safety backpack that includes a backpack portion and at least one reflective panel portion that is attached to the backpack portion. According to the invention, each reflective panel portion moves in a swaying motion as air moves past the reflective panel portion. Additionally or in the alternative, the panel portion can include a fluorescent color and/or a luminescent pigment. As another alternative, the reflective panel can be attached to the backpack portion with a flexible line.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] The present invention is illustrated by way of example and not by limitation in the accompanying figures in which like reference numerals indicate similar elements and in which:

[0011] FIG. 1 shows first and third exemplary embodiments of a safety garment according to the present invention;

[0012] FIG. 2 shows a second exemplary embodiment of a safety garment according to the present invention;

[0013] FIG. 3 shows a side view of the second exemplary embodiment of a safety garment according to the present invention;

[0014] FIG. 4 shows a fourth exemplary embodiment of a safety garment according to the present invention;

[0015] FIG. 5 shows a side view of the fourth exemplary embodiment of a safety garment according to the present invention;

[0016] FIG. 6 shows an exemplary embodiment of a safety backpack according to the present invention; and

[0017] FIG. 7 shows an exemplary embodiment of a safety panel accessory according to the present invention that can be attached to a garment or to a backpack.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0018] FIG. 1 shows a first exemplary embodiment of a safety garment 100 according to the present invention configured as a long-sleeve bicycling jersey or shirt. A cyclist 101 riding a bicycle 102 is shown wearing a safety garment 100 that includes a reflective back panel 103 that is attached to the back portion of safety garment 100 and a reflective sleeve panel 104 that is attached to a sleeve portion of safety garment 100.

[0019] As cyclist 101 rides bicycle 102, air moving past cyclist 101 causes reflective panels 103 and 104 to generally move in a manner similar to a flag flapping in a breeze. In the presence of low ambient light conditions and/or when a light, such as a headlight of a vehicle, is directed upon panels 103 and 104, the flapping reflects light in a flashing manner and thereby makes cyclist 101 more visible. Additionally or in the alternative, each panel or selected panels can be further made from a material having a fluorescent color and/or a luminescent pigment to make cyclist 101 more visible. As yet another alternative embodiment, each panel or selected panels can be made having an outer edge portion that is made from or contains a reflective material, with the center, or middle, portion of the panel being made from a material having a fluorescent color and/or luminescent pigment. As still another alternative embodiment, each panel or selected panels can be made having an outer edge portion that is made from a material having a fluorescent color and/or luminescent pigment, with the center, or middle, portion of the panel being made from or containing a reflective material. While only one reflective back panel 103 is shown in FIG. 1, it should be understood that there is at least one or more reflective panel 103 attached to safety garment 100, but is not shown. Similarly, while only one reflective sleeve panel 104 is shown, it should be understood that there is at least one or more reflective sleeve panel 103 attached to the other sleeve of safety garment 100, but is not shown.

[0020] Each reflective back panel 103 is generally rectangular in shape and extends from near the top of the back to near the bottom of the back of safety garment 100. Each reflective sleeve panel 104 is also generally rectangular in shape and extends from near the shoulder portion to near the wrist portion of the sleeve of safety garment 100. It should be understood that the overall shape of reflective back panels 103 and reflective sleeve panels 104 can be different from rectangular, such as having rounded ends, being a series of triangular shapes, a series of square shapes, or being scalloped-shaped, as long as the panel has sufficient width so that each panel will have a flapping motion as air moves past the cyclist 101 and the panel. While the exact widths of panels 103 and 104 are not critical, their respective widths should not be too large thereby acting as a sail and inhibiting the forward motion of cyclist 101 or by making riding dangerous in a cross wind. Further, while a single continuous panel is shown for each panel 103 and 104, each respective panel can in the alternative be formed by a plurality of smaller reflective panels that are attached to safety garment 100 and can even take the form of a plurality of streamers or flags.

[0021] While reflective back panel 103 is shown as being preferably attached to the back portion of safety garment 100, reflective back panel 103 could attached anywhere on safety garment 100, such as the side of safety garment 100, so that air moving past cyclist 101 will cause panel 103 to flap. Similarly panel 104 could be attached at various places to sleeve portion. Panels 103 and 104 can be attached to jersey using any well-known technique, such as by sewing, gluing, tying, or by using a zipper, snaps or Velcro.

[0022] FIG. 2 shows a second exemplary embodiment of a safety garment 200 according to the present invention configured as a short-sleeve bicycling jersey or shirt. FIG. 3 shows a side view of the second exemplary embodiment of safety garment 200. FIG. 2, in particular, depicts the back of safety garment 200, thereby showing reflective back panels 203 and reflective sleeve panels 204. As with the first exemplary embodiment, each reflective back panel 203 is generally rectangular in shape and extends from near the top of the back to near the bottom of the back of safety garment 200. Each reflective sleeve panel 204 is also generally rectangular in shape and extends the length of the sleeve of safety garment 200. It should be understood that the overall shape of reflective back panels 203 and reflective sleeve panels 204 can be different from rectangular, such as having rounded ends, being a series of triangular shapes, being a series of square shapes, or being scalloped-shaped, as long as the panel has sufficient width so that each panel will have a flapping motion as air moves past the cyclist 101 (FIG. 1) and the panel. While the exact widths of panels 203 and 204 are not critical, their respective widths should not be too large thereby acting as a sail and inhibiting the forward motion of cyclist 101 or by making riding dangerous in a cross wind.

[0023] While only two reflective back panels 203 are shown attached to the back portion of safety garment 200, it should be understood that in an alternative embodiment of safety garment 200, there can be more than two reflective back panels 203 attached to the back portion of safety garment 200. Similarly, while only two reflective sleeve panels 204 are shown, one attached to each sleeve of safety garment 200, it should be understood that a plurality of reflective sleeve panels 204 can be attached to each sleeve.

[0024] FIG. 4 shows a fourth exemplary embodiment of a safety garment 400 according to the present invention configured as a short-sleeve bicycling jersey or shirt. FIG. 5 shows a side view of the fourth exemplary embodiment of safety garment 400. FIG. 4, in particular, depicts the back of safety garment 400, thereby showing reflective back panels 403 and reflective sleeve panels 404. In contrast to the first and second exemplary embodiments of the present invention, each reflective back panel 403 is generally triangular in shape and there is a plurality of reflective back panels extending from near the top of the back to near the bottom of the back of safety garment 400. Each reflective sleeve panel 404 is also generally triangular in shape and there is a plurality of reflective sleeve panels 404 extending the length of the sleeve of safety garment 400. It should be understood that the size of each triangularly shaped reflective panel 403 and 404 is not critical, but should be large enough so that each panel will have a flapping motion as air moves past the cyclist 101 (FIG. 1) and the panel. While the exact widths of panels 403 and 404 are not critical, their respective widths should not be too large thereby acting as a sail and inhibiting the forward motion of cyclist 101 or by making riding dangerous in a cross wind.

[0025] FIG. 1 also shows cyclist 101 wearing a third exemplary embodiment of a safety garment 110 according to the present invention configured as a pair of shorts. Alternatively, safety garment 110 can be configured as a pants or tights. Safety garment 110 includes a reflective leg panel 111 that is attached to the side of safety garment 110. As cyclist 101 rides bicycle 102, air moving past cyclist 101 causes reflective leg panel 111 to generally move in a manner similar to a flag flapping or waving in a breeze. In the presence of low ambient light conditions and/or when light is directed upon reflective leg panel 111, the flapping motion reflects light in a flashing manner, thereby making cyclist 101 more visible. Additionally or in the alternative, each leg panel can be further made from a material having a fluorescent color and/or a luminescent pigment to make cyclist 101 more visible.

[0026] Each reflective leg panel 111 is generally rectangular in shape and extends along the leg of safety garment 110. Each reflective leg panel 111 is also generally rectangular in shape and extends from near the top of the leg to the bottom of the leg of safety garment 110. It should be understood that the overall shape of leg panels 111 can be different from rectangular, such as having rounded ends, being a series of triangular shapes, a series of square shapes, or being scalloped-shaped, as long as the panel has sufficient width so that each panel will have a flapping motion as air moves past the cyclist 101 and the panel. While the exact widths of panels 111 are not critical, their respective widths should not be too large thereby acting as a sail and inhibiting the forward motion of cyclist 101 or by making riding dangerous in a cross wind.

[0027] FIG. 6 shows an exemplary embodiment of a safety backpack 600 according to the present invention. Safety backpack 600 can be used to carry items, such as books, camping equipment or other items that are commonly carried in a backpack. Additionally or in the alternative, safety backpack can be and/or include a hydration system. Safety backpack 600 includes a plurality of reflective panels 601. Each reflective panel 601 is generally triangular in shape and extends from near the top to near the bottom of the back of backpack 600. Additionally or in the alternative, each panel can be further made from a material having a fluorescent color and/or a luminescent pigment to make the wearer of safety backpack 600 more visible. It should be understood that the overall shape of reflective panels 601 can be different from being triangularly shaped, such as a series of rectangular shapes, being a series of square shapes, or being scalloped-shaped, as long as the panel has sufficient width so that each panel will have a flapping motion as air moves past the wearer of safety backpack 600 and each panel. Further, while a plurality of panels 601 are shown, panels 601 could alternatively be a single, continuous panel that extends from near the top to near the bottom of safety backpack 600.

[0028] FIG. 7 shows an exemplary embodiment of a safety panel accessory 700 according to the present invention that can be attached to a garment or to a backpack. Safety panel accessory 700 includes a flexible line 701 and a plurality of reflective panels 702. Flexible line 701 is used to attach safety panel accessory 700 to a garment or to a backpack, such as by tying safety panel accessory 700 to the garment or backpack. Alternatively, flexible line 701 could include, for example, a zipper, snaps or Velcro, for attaching safety panel accessory 700 to a garment or a backpack. Each reflective panel 702 is generally triangular in shape with the base of the triangular shape being attached to flexible line 701. Additionally or in the alternative, each panel 702 can be further made from a material having a fluorescent color and/or a luminescent pigment to make the panels more visible. It should be understood that the overall shape of each reflective panel 702 can be different from being triangularly shaped, such as a series of rectangular shapes, being a series of square shapes, or being scalloped-shaped, as long as the panel has sufficient width so that each panel will have a flapping motion as air moves past the panel.

[0029] Although the foregoing invention has been described in some detail for purposes of clarity of understanding, it will be apparent that certain changes and modifications may be practiced that are within the scope of the appended claims. For example, alternative embodiments of the present invention include an arm covering, such as an arm warmer, a leg covering, such as a leg warmer, a jacket, a vest, or a pair of running pants that would be used by a runner. Accordingly, the present embodiments are to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive, and the invention is not to be limited to the details given herein, but may be modified within the scope and equivalents of the appended claims.