Title:
Recreational bag
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A recreational bag includes a first flexible compartment for carrying articles, a second flexible compartment for carrying articles, a flexible strap interconnecting upper ends of the first and second flexible compartments and a fastening device connected to lower end portions of the first and second flexible compartments. The flexible strap has a width suitable for resting on a user's shoulder so that the bag can be used as a shoulder bag. The fastening device, such as an adjustable belt connected to lower end portions of the compartments, releasably interconnects the first and second flexible compartments and releasably secures the first and second flexible compartments against a mid-section of the user when the strap rests on the user's shoulder. Handles connected to upper end portions of the first and second flexible compartments allow alternative use of the recreational bag as a handbag. The flexible strap is preferably designed to collapse into an area between the first and second flexible compartments when the bag is used as a handbag, so that the flexible strap does not interfere with grasping of the handles by a user. A fastening device such as an adjustable belt is preferably designed for securing the first and second compartments against each other when a user holds the bag as a handbag and for simultaneously supporting an elongated article such as a snowboard between the first and second compartments, providing an article-carrying mechanism in addition to the interiors of the compartments themselves.



Inventors:
Tabor, Richard E. (New York City, NY, US)
Riordan, Michael (New York City, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/346011
Publication Date:
02/17/2005
Filing Date:
01/15/2003
Assignee:
TABOR RICHARD E.
RIORDAN MICHAEL
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/625
International Classes:
A45C3/06; A45C13/02; A45F3/02; (IPC1-7): A45F3/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CRONIN, STEPHEN K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Matthew J. Golden (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A recreational bag comprising: a first flexible compartment for carrying articles; a second flexible compartment for carrying articles; a flexible strap interconnecting upper ends of the first and second flexible compartments, the flexible strap having a width suitable for resting on a user's shoulder so that the bag can be used as a shoulder bag; and a fastening device connected to lower end portions of the first and second flexible compartments for releasably interconnecting the first and second flexible compartments and releasably securing the first and second flexible compartments against a mid-section of the user when the strap rests on the user's shoulder.

2. A recreational bag according to claim 1, wherein the fastening device is adjustable.

3. A recreational bag according to claim 1, wherein the fastening device comprises an adjustable belt having a releasable buckle.

4. A recreational bag according to claim 1, wherein the fastening device comprises an adjustable belt, the adjustable belt including a first end permanently secured to a lower end portion of one of the compartments.

5. A recreational bag according to claim 1, wherein the fastening device comprises a pair of adjustable belts, each belt having a releasable buckle.

6. A recreational bag according to claim 1, wherein the first and second flexible compartments are of different sizes, whereby similar articles of different sizes can be carried in each of the compartments.

7. A recreational bag according to claim 1, wherein the first and second flexible compartments are equal in size.

8. A recreational bag according to claim 1, wherein the flexible strap interconnects the first and second compartments at locations off-set from central axes of the first and second compartments.

9. A recreational bag according to claim 1, wherein the first and second compartments have a size suitable for carrying inline skates.

10. A recreational bag according to claim 1, further comprising closure means for opening and closing the first and second flexible compartments to allow insertion and removal of articles into and from the compartments.

11. A recreational bag according to claim 10, wherein the closure means comprises a first zipper mounted on a side opening of the first flexible compartment and a second zipper mounted on a side opening of the second flexible compartment.

12. A recreational bag constituting both a shoulder bag and a handbag, comprising: a first flexible compartment for carrying articles; a second flexible compartment for carrying articles; a flexible strap interconnecting upper ends of the first and second flexible compartments, the flexible strap having a width suitable for resting on a user's shoulder so that the bag can be used as a shoulder bag; and handle means connected to upper end portions of the first and second flexible compartments for carrying the recreational bag by hand.

13. A recreational bag according to claim 12, wherein said handle means comprises a first handle secured to an upper end portion of the first compartment and a second handle secured to an upper end portion of the second compartment.

14. A recreational bag according to claim 12, wherein the flexible strap is collapsible into an area between said first and second flexible compartments, whereby the flexible strap does not interfere with grasping of the handle means by a user.

15. A recreational bag according to claim 14, further comprising fastener means for releasably interconnecting the first and second handles when the flexible strap is collapsed into an area between the first and second flexible compartments.

16. A recreational bag according to claim 12, further comprising closure means for opening and closing the first and second flexible compartments to allow insertion and removal of articles into and from the compartments.

17. A recreational bag constituting both a shoulder bag and a handbag, comprising: a first flexible compartment for carrying articles; a second flexible compartment for carrying articles; a flexible strap interconnecting upper ends of the first and second flexible compartments, the flexible strap having a width suitable for resting on a user's shoulder so that the bag can be used as a shoulder bag; handle means connected to upper end portions of the first and second flexible compartments for carrying the recreational bag by hand; and a fastening device for securing the first and second compartments against each other when a user holds the handle means and for simultaneously supporting an elongated article between the first and second flexible compartments.

18. A recreational bag according to claim 17, wherein the fastening device is adjustable.

19. A recreational bag according to claim 17, wherein the first and second flexible compartments are of different sizes, whereby similar articles of different sizes can be carried in each of the compartments.

20. A recreational bag according to claim 17, further comprising closure means for opening and closing the first and second flexible compartments to allow insertion and removal of articles into and from the compartments.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/350,227, filed Jan. 17, 2002, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates in general to article carriers and bags and more particularly to a bag convertible to several modes of carrying, such as from handbag to shoulder bag to saddle bag, preferably adapted for carrying bulky sports and recreational gear including for example specialized sports and recreational footwear and related equipment.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Many popular sporting and recreational activities require bulky specialized footwear. Carriage of this specialized footwear and related equipment to the site of the sport or recreational activity presents many difficulties. Moreover, once the enthusiast participates in the activity, retention and control of the normal footwear worn prior to and after the activity often presents additional challenges. Thus, the participant must first carry the specialized footwear to the site of the activity while wearing normal street footwear, then must oftentimes carry the street footwear while engaging in and attempting to enjoy the activity requiring the specialized footwear.

A variety of solutions to these problems have been tried. The simplest is to tie the laces of the street or specialized footwear together and carry the footwear over one shoulder, one item in front and one behind, or hang the footwear around the neck with both items dangling in front. This solution has many shortcomings. Dangling footwear is unrestrained, interferes with movement and activity and may present an actual danger to the participant. Also, the footwear is exposed and may be damaged in transit.

Many specialized carrying devices and bags have thus been developed attempting to remedy these shortcomings. U.S. Pat. No. 6,446,849 discloses an elongated strap having first and second ends, at least one clamp proximally coupled to one end of the strap and a securement device for coupling the ends of the strap together. This strap still leaves the carried footwear exposed and dangling and does not provide for carriage of related accessories.

Another proposed solution is embodied in a variety of specialized backpacks. U.S. Pat. No. 4,884,731, for example, discloses a backpack adapted for the removable attachment of an elongate auxiliary pack to each side thereof U.S. Pat. No. 5,370,287 discloses a divisible backpack. U.S. Pat. No. 5,509,589 discloses a backpack for heavy bulky footwear. Along with other variations on specialized backpacks, the aforedescribed devices tend to be cumbersome, restrict arm movement, are not readily adaptable to carriage by hand, and if worn during the activity may challenge the participant's center of gravity, increasing the danger of falling and injury.

Yet other proposed solutions relate to hand carried bags shaped more or less like the footwear to be carried, such as the bag disclosed in U.S. Design Pat. No. D287,548. Such formulations have been limited to hand-carried luggage.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,672,263 discloses a bag having two compartments shaped roughly like the footwear to be carried and intended to be worn over one shoulder. U.S. Pat. No. 4,126,256 discloses a similar bag that can be carried on the shoulder or by hand. These bags exhibit a number of shortcomings and disadvantages, particularly with respect to recently emerging sports activities such as inline skating and snowboarding.

Accordingly, the need still exists for a bag that not only overcomes the shortcomings of prior art carriers and bags, but also addresses and meets the particular challenges presented by new and emerging sporting and recreational activities.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to an improved carrier case or recreational bag for transporting bulky footwear, particularly specialized sports and recreational footwear such as inline skates, snowboarding and ski boots, roller skates, ice skates and similar articles. The bag may be either carried by hand or worn over one shoulder and fastened snugly and securely to the body, permitting comfort, freedom of movement and safety while participating in a sports or recreational activity.

In accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention, a recreational bag comprises a first flexible compartment for carrying articles; a second flexible compartment for carrying articles; a flexible strap interconnecting upper ends of the first and second flexible compartments, the flexible strap having a width suitable for resting on a user's shoulder so that the bag can be used as a shoulder bag; and a fastening device connected to lower end portions of the first and second flexible compartments for releasably interconnecting the first and second flexible compartments and releasably securing the first and second flexible compartments against a mid-section of the user when the strap rests on the user's shoulder.

In a preferred embodiment, the first and second flexible compartments or “pouches” have different sizes for accommodating pairs of irregularly sized footwear such as inline skates, only one skate of which is typically provided with a rear break mechanism that extends its length in relation to the other skate.

In accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention, a recreational bag that constitutes both a shoulder bag and a handbag comprises a first flexible compartment for carrying articles; a second flexible compartment for carrying articles; a flexible strap interconnecting upper ends of the first and second flexible compartments, the flexible strap having a width suitable for resting on a user's shoulder so that the bag can be used as a shoulder bag; and handle means connected to upper end portions of the first and second flexible compartments for carrying the recreational bag by hand, the flexible strap preferably being collapsible into an area between the first and second flexible compartments, whereby the flexible strap does not interfere with grasping of the handle means by a user.

Preferably, the handle means comprises a first handle secured to an upper end portion of the first compartment and a second handle secured to an upper end portion of the second compartment. Even more preferably, the handle means includes means for releasably interconnecting the first and second handles when the flexible strap is collapsed into an area between the first and second flexible compartments.

In accordance with a third embodiment of the present invention, a recreational bag that constitutes both a shoulder bag and a handbag comprises a first flexible compartment for carrying articles; a second flexible compartment for carrying articles; a flexible strap interconnecting upper ends of the first and second flexible compartments, the flexible strap having a width suitable for resting on a user's shoulder so that the bag can be used as a shoulder bag; handle means connected to upper end portions of the first and second flexible compartments for alternatively carrying the recreational bag by hand; and a fastening device for securing the first and second compartments against each other when a user holds the handle means and simultaneously supporting an elongated article between the secured first and second flexible compartments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will now be described and will be better understood with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a recreational bag incorporating various embodiments in accordance with the present invention, the bag lying flat in an extended configuration;

FIG. 2 is a perspective side view of the bag shown in FIG. 1, arranged in a closed configuration as a handbag;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a recreational bag incorporating additional embodiments and preferred features in accordance with the present invention, the bag lying flat in an extended configuration;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the bag shown in FIG. 3 in use as a shoulder bag,

FIG. 5 is a front view of the bag shown in FIG. 3 in use as a shoulder bag;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of yet another embodiment of a recreational bag in accordance with the present invention, the bag lying flat in an extended configuration; and

FIG. 7 is a front plan view of an embodiment of a recreational bag in accordance with the present invention for carrying elongated objects such as a snowboard.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

One embodiment of a recreational bag constructed in accordance with the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a recreational bag generally indicated at 10 includes first and second flexible compartments, containers or “pouches” 12 and 14, respectively. Each flexible compartment is adapted for carrying an article or articles within its interior (not shown) and is formed by opposed inner and outer walls made, for example, from natural or synthetic thin flexible sheet material that is stitched or otherwise connected together to form the compartment.

As shown in FIG. 2, compartment 12 is formed by opposed inner wall 16 and outer wall 18, while compartment 14 is formed by opposed inner wall 20 and outer wall 22. Zippers 24 and 26 constitute a preferred closure means for permitting access to the interior of each compartment 12 and 14, respectively, through a side opening in each compartment. While zippers are preferred and shown in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, zippers 24 and 26 can be replaced by any well-known closure means, such as flaps, snaps, sliders, Velcro and the like. Moreover, while side compartment openings are preferred and shown in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, the size and location of the compartment openings can vary as desired.

Each wall of each compartment may be formed, merely by way of example, from a single sheet of flexible preferably water resistant or waterproof material, or a pair of stitched together or otherwise connected sheets of such flexible material having padding interposed therebetween and therewithin.

Compartments 12 and 14 can be equal in size or relatively different in size. Moreover, compartments 12 and 14 can be regularly or irregularly shaped, the shape depending solely on the articles desired to be contained within the compartments. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, both compartments 12 and 14 are shaped and sized to contain inline skates. Compartment 14 is slightly larger overall than compartment 12, particularly at its lower end width, since a pair of inline skates typically includes one skate that is longer in length than the other, the longer skate containing a brake mechanism at its rear end that is not needed and thus not included on the shorter skate. Compartment 12 is adapted to form the front compartment of bag 10 and compartment 14 is adapted to form the back compartment of bag 10 when the bag is used as a shoulder bag, which will be described shortly.

As also shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, compartments 12 and 14 are connected to each other through a flexible strap 30 connected therebetween by stitching or other well-known methods. Preferably, strap 30 has a substantially narrower width than the width dimensions of the two compartments 12 and 14. This facilitates use of the bag as a shoulder bag, with relatively narrow strap 30 resting on a user's shoulder and relatively wide compartments 12 and 14 extending downwardly therefrom and across a user's body, while accommodating desired sporting and/or recreational articles within their interiors.

When strap 30 is rested on the shoulder and recreational bag 10 is used as a shoulder bag, the weight of the articles contained within compartments 12 and 14 is preferably and ideally distributed substantially equally between the two compartments, although this generally depends on the articles selected and placed by a user in each of the compartments.

Preferably, the central vertical axis or centerline of narrow strap 30 is offset from the central vertical axis or centerline of each of compartments 12 and 14, i.e. strap 30 is connected to the compartments at a location whereby a substantial portion of each compartment extends in the same direction away from the central axis of the strap 30 and across the user's body. For example, bag 10 can be worn with narrow strap 30 resting on a user's shoulder, with compartment 12 extending downwardly from strap 30 and across the front of the user to form a front compartment and compartment 14 extending downwardly from strap 30 and across the back of the user to form a back compartment, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 with respect to the embodiment of FIGS. 3 to 5. While in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2 the larger compartment 14 forms the back compartment, the bag may also be constructed with compartments of different sizes, wherein the larger compartment forms the front compartment.

In a preferred embodiment, as best shown in FIG. 2, narrow strap 30 is collapsible to a position and into an area between compartments 12 and 14 when compartments 12 and 14 are folded together, facilitating the alternative use of recreational bag 10 as a handbag. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, the upper end portion 32 of front compartment 12 is provided with a handle 34 stitched or otherwise attached thereto, while the upper end portion 36 of back compartment 14 is provided with a handle 38 similarly stitched or otherwise attached thereto. Handle 38 has attached thereto, by stitching or the like, a fastener means 39. Fastener means 39 includes a patch of material 40 having Velcro strips 44 arranged on an inner surface and an outer surface (not shown) thereof When handles 34 and 38 are manually brought together, material patch 40 can be wrapped around both handles in cylindrical fashion and the Velcro strips 44 engaged, thus releasably securing handles 34 and 38 to each other, as particularly shown in FIG. 2.

Handles 34 and 38, releasably secured as described above, constitute a handle means for optionally carrying the bag 10 using one hand instead of a shoulder, while the material patch 40 with Velcro strips 44 constitutes a fastener means for releasably securing the handles together. The handle means can optionally be constituted by a single handle stitched or otherwise secured to an upper end portion of one of the compartments 12 and 14.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, Velcro strips 44 are secured to end portions of inner and outer surfaces of material patch 40. However, any well-known fasteners, such as snaps and the like, may be employed to ensure that material patch 40 can be closed to releasably secure handles 34 and 38 to each other.

In the FIGS. 1 and 2 embodiment, strap 30 is preferably constructed to facilitate the conversion of bag 10 from a shoulder bag to a handbag as just described. Thus, strap 30 is preferably collapsible to a position between compartments 12 and 14, as shown in FIG. 2. In this regard, the flexible strap 30 in the FIGS. 1 and 2 embodiment may include padded sections 46 and 48 divided and separated by a non-padded collapsible crease 50. When it is desired to convert bag 10 from a shoulder bag to a handbag, collapsible crease 50 is manually moved downwardly until the entire strap 30 is brought to a position in an area between the inner faces 16 and 20, respectively, of compartments 12 and 14 when the compartments are folded towards each other. Handles 34 and 38 can then manually be brought together and releasably secured by wrapping the inner surface of material patch 40 around both handles and engaging Velcro strips 44 or the like suitable fasteners, without interference from an intervening strap 30, as clearly shown in FIG. 2.

It will be appreciated that any construction of narrow strap 30 that permits collapsing of strap 30 into an area between folded compartments 12 and 14 may be employed in accordance with the invention and that the construction shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is merely exemplary.

Recreational bag 10 also includes a preferred fastening device that allows compartments 12 and 14 to be joined together and fastened securely in the area of the user's mid-section or waist when bag 10 is used as a shoulder bag. The recreational bag 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2 includes one embodiment of such a fastening device. The fastening device comprises a belt and buckle. The belt and buckle include a short flexible belt 54 connected at a first end to a receptacle buckle portion 56 of a standard quick connect and disconnect buckle, and a long, flexible and preferably adjustable belt 58 connected at a first end to a pronged buckle portion 60 of the quick connect and disconnect buckle. A second end of short belt 54 is permanently attached by stitching or the like to an outside lower end 62 of back compartment 14. Similarly, a second end of long adjustable belt 58 is permanently attached by stitching or otherwise to an opposite outside lower end 64 of back compartment 14, as shown in FIG. 1.

In use, a user rests shoulder strap 30 on his or her shoulder. The front and rear compartments 12 and 14 extend down and across the front and back of the user's upper body and mid-section. Adjustable belt 58 extends through, rests on and is loosely supported across the lower end of front compartment 12 by support loops 50 and 52 that are preferably made of the same material as compartments 12 and 14 and are secured to the lower end of front compartment 12 by stitching or other well-known means. The user grasps the free end of adjustable belt 58 and engages the receptacle and pronged portions 56 and 60 of the quick connect and disconnect buckle, thus releasably interconnecting the lower ends of compartments 12 and 14 and releasably securing compartments 12 and 14 against and around the entire mid-section of the user, front and back.

A base section 61 of pronged buckle portion 60 comprises a well-known loop and rod construction that allows adjustment of the length of belt 58 to fit the waist size of a user. By appropriately lengthening or shortening the adjustable belt 58, a user can insure that the compartments 12 and 14 are secured against and around the user's entire body in a snug manner, thereby preventing flopping and other movement of the compartments when the user moves, particularly when engaged in vigorous recreational activity.

Short and preferably adjustable belts 54 and 58 can be made from any suitable and well-known natural or synthetic flexible belt material. In an optional embodiment, short belt 54 can be entirely eliminated, and receptacle buckle portion 56 stitched or secured directly to outside lower end 62 of back compartment 14.

Any suitable belt and buckle can be employed for the fastening device. For example, the quick connect and disconnect buckle disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,367,674, assigned to the same assignee as the present invention, is suitable. Of course, well-known releasable connectors other than buckles may be employed and are contemplated for use as the fastening device of the present invention, such releasable connectors including for example snap closure fasteners, Velcro fasteners and the like. Moreover, while support loops 50 and 52 are a preferred feature of the present invention, they may be replaced by other structures for supporting belt 58 across front compartment 12.

The recreational bag illustrated in FIGS. 3 to 5 is similar to the recreational bag illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 and, accordingly, like reference numerals are used to refer to like elements in both bags. FIGS. 3 to 5, however, illustrate additional preferred features of the present invention.

As shown in FIG. 3, for example, back compartment 14 is equipped with an open net or mesh pouch 70 having a reinforced upper edge 72. Pouch 70 is secured to the outer wall 22 of back compartment 14 at its periphery by stitching or the like and thus covers a majority of the surface area of the back compartment 14. Pouch 70 can be made of a flexible natural or synthetic mesh, net or open-woven material and is ideal for housing inline skating accessories such as a helmet and pads. Similarly, front compartment 12 is equipped with a central pocket 74 secured to outer wall 18 thereof by stitching or the like. Pocket 74 includes a cover 76 secured to the pocket, for example, with Velcro fasteners (not shown). Central pocket 74 and cover 76 are preferably made of the same material as compartments 12 and 14. Central pocket 74 is ideally suited in size and location for housing a user's personal items, such as a wallet, keys and the like. Finally, elongated open mesh pouch 78, with reinforced upper edge 80 and made of the same material as back pouch 70, is secured to outer wall 18 by stitching or the like and is ideal for holding a narrow water bottle, eyeglasses or other slender elongated objects.

It will be appreciated that the number, shape, location and intended uses of pouches, pockets and the like on the outer walls of compartments 12 and 14 can be selected and varied depending on the aesthetic and functional goals chosen in the design of a given recreation bag.

FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate the use of the FIG. 3 embodiment as a shoulder bag arranged on the shoulder of a user 80. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, narrow strap 30 rests on the shoulder of user 80. Front compartment 12 extends downwardly from narrower strap 30 and across the front of the user, as opposed to laterally away from the user's body, thus providing stability and security. Similarly, back compartment 14 extends downwardly from narrower strap 30 and across the back of the user, providing similar stability and security. Compartments 12 and 14 are secured snugly against the user's body by connecting the buckle mechanism at the ends of adjustable belt 58 and short belt 56. Front and back compartments 12 and 14 can be filled with recreational gear, exemplified in FIGS. 4 and 5 by inline skates, extruding from front compartment 12 in FIG. 5 for illustrative purposes only.

The embodiment shown in FIG. 6 illustrates an alternative fastening device to that shown in the embodiments of FIGS. 1 to 5. As shown in FIG. 6, a fastening device that allows compartments 12 and 14 to be joined together and fastened securely in the area of the user's mid-section or waist when bag 10 is used as a shoulder bag, includes a pair of quick connect and disconnect adjustable buckles. Receptacle buckle portions 90 and 91 are secured by stitching or otherwise to the opposed outside lower ends 92 and 93 of front compartment 12. Pronged buckle portions 94 and 95 are secured by stitching or the like to adjustable belts 96 and 97, respectively, which in turn are secured by stitching or otherwise to opposed outside lower ends 98 and 99 of back compartment 14. The user can adjust the length of one or both of the adjustable belts 96 and 97 to ensure a snug fit around the user's entire waist or mid-section. Moreover, the use of two buckles allows the user greater flexibility in getting into and out of the shoulder bag.

The FIG. 6 embodiment also illustrates one alternative and merely exemplary fastener means 39 for releasably securing handles 34 and 38 together when it is desired to use bag 10 as a handbag. As shown in the FIG. 6 embodiment, fastener means 39 includes material patch 40 having snaps 100 on an inner surface 102 thereof. In use, handles 34 and 38 are manually brought together, material patch 40 is wrapped around handles 34 and 38, and snaps 100 are engaged, thereby releasably securing handles 34 and 38 in place as a single handle means for carrying recreational bag 10 by hand.

The FIG. 6 embodiment also illustrates a preferred option of providing an open horizontal pouch 104 stitched or otherwise secured on the outer wall 18 of front compartment 12 for housing a water bottle 106 or similar bottled refreshment.

The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 7 exemplifies a recreation bag 10 including a fastening device for securing the first and second compartments against each other when a user holds the handle means and for simultaneously supporting an elongated article between the first and second flexible compartments.

In the FIG. 7 embodiment, the fastening device comprises short belt 54, adjustable long belt 58 and receptacle-pronged quick connect and disconnect buckle 56, 60. In arranging recreational bag 10 in its handbag configuration, adjustable belt 58 is shortened and buckle 56, 60 connected so that compartments 12 and 14 rest snugly against each other in opposed relationship. This arrangement permits carrying of an elongated article 110 such as a skateboard or snowboard, as shown in FIG. 7.

In use, elongated recreational article 110 is inserted into and through the snug space created by the inner walls of opposed compartments 12 and 14 arranged in the handbag configuration. Elongated article 110 thus rests on the portions of belt 58 extending between outside lower ends of front and back compartments 12 and 14. Thus, two distinct portions of adjustable belt 58 constitute a lower support for the elongated object, ensuring that the elongated object 110 does not fall down out of the snug space created by and between opposed front and back compartments 12 and 14. The first portion of adjustable belt 58 constituting such a lower support extends from outside lower end 64 of back compartment 14 to the loop 50 on front compartment 12. As shown in FIG. 2, the second portion of adjustable belt 58 constituting such a lower support extends from loop 52 on front compartment 52 to the outside lower end 62 of back compartment 14 (through buckle receptacle portion 56 and short belt 54, to which it is connected).

The double buckle fastening device of FIG. 6 constitutes another embodiment of a fastening device according to the invention for securing first and second compartments against each other when a user holds the handle means and for simultaneously supporting an elongated article between the first and second flexible compartments.

As described above, the present invention provides a recreational bag that can be used as both a shoulder bag and a handbag, the bag having opposed compartments interconnected by a relatively narrow strap. In shoulder bag configuration, the bag can be fastened to produce a unitary structure that closely contacts the body of the user. In handbag configuration, the bag can additionally support an elongated recreational object in the space formed by the opposed and fastened compartments. In additional embodiments of the present invention, the opposed compartments can be provided with adjustable interior panels for increasing or decreasing the interior size of the compartments as desired, depending for example on the size of articles to be transported. Additionally, pockets and pouches exemplified on the outer walls of the compartments of the bag can alternatively or additionally be provided interior of the compartments.

The present invention has been shown and described herein with reference to particular embodiments and preferred additions and modifications. It will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that additional variations and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, which is set forth in the following claims.