Title:
Rigid backpack
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rigid backpack that includes at least one compartment and can include an upper compartment (103) that is attached to a lower compartment (101) is described. A top surface (105) of the lower compartment (101) is complementary to a bottom surface (107) of the upper compartment (103) such that the upper compartment (103) stacks on and attaches to the lower compartment (101). A waist strap (123) is attached to the lower compartment (101). Similarly, a right should strap (127) and a left shoulder strap (129) are attached to upper compartment (103).



Inventors:
Kuhn, Daniel W. (Libertyville, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/913771
Publication Date:
05/12/2005
Filing Date:
08/07/2004
Assignee:
KUHN DANIEL W.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/583
International Classes:
A45C11/20; A45F3/04; (IPC1-7): A45F3/04; A45F3/08; A45F3/10
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20100084443REUSABLE SHOPPING BAG SYSTEMApril, 2010Adelman
20100051658INFANT SLINGMarch, 2010Parness
20070210088Receptacle with ventSeptember, 2007Wentz et al.
20080054034Rack ingasMarch, 2008Winston
20030111496Bottle carrier deviceJune, 2003Abbott
20070194072Button down shirt purse or bag with necktie, belt, or material as strapAugust, 2007Irwin Guzinski
20090308288Vehicle steering wheel supported deskDecember, 2009Castellanos
20050127121Quick release holsterJune, 2005Wells



Primary Examiner:
SKURDAL, COREY NELSON
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ronald E. Andermann (Arlington Heights, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A backpack comprising: a lower compartment that is formed from rigid material having a top wall; a waist strap that is attached to the lower compartment; an upper compartment that is formed from rigid material having a bottom wall wherein the top wall of the lower compartment and the bottom wall of the upper compartment have complementary surfaces such that the upper compartment stacks on top of and is removably attached to the bottom compartment and when the compartments are attached, adjacent surfaces of the lower compartment and the upper compartment form generally continuous surfaces of the rigid backpack; and at least one shoulder strap attached to the upper compartment.

2. The backpack of claim 1, wherein a first surface of the upper compartment and a first surface lower compartment are adjacent and form an ergonomic shaped continuous surface for supporting the backpack against a person's back.

3. The backpack of claim 2, further comprising a pad that is attached to the ergonomic shaped continuous surface.

4. The backpack of claim 1, further comprising an upper door mounted to the upper compartment wherein an inner volume of the upper compartment is accessible through the upper door.

5. The backpack of claim 4, further comprising a container that is attached to the upper door.

6. The backpack of claim 1, further comprising a lower door mounted to the lower compartment wherein an inner volume of the lower compartment is accessible through the lower door.

7. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the upper compartment and at least one attached shoulder strap can be separated from the upper compartment and used as a rigid daypack.

8. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the lower compartment and the attached waist strap can be separated from the upper compartment and used as a rigid fanny pack.

9. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the lower compartment is made of metal and the waist strap is removed, and further comprising a flat surface of the top wall that is generally horizontal when the lower compartment is separated from the upper compartment and in an upright position such that the lower compartment can be used for cooking when a heat source is placed inside the lower compartment.

10. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the lower compartment is formed from at least one layer of material.

11. The backpack of claim 10, wherein at least one layer of material has an insulating property.

12. The backpack of claim 10, wherein at least one layer of material is impermeable to fluid and the layer is formed so as to make the lower compartment resistant to the escape of fluid.

13. The backpack of claim 10, wherein the at least one layer is metal.

14. The backpack of claim 13, wherein the at least one layer is aluminum.

15. The backpack of claim 10, wherein the at least one layer is plastic.

16. The backpack of claim 1, further comprising at least one support element attached to a bottom of the lower compartment

17. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the upper compartment is formed from at least one layer of material.

18. The backpack of claim 17, wherein at least one layer of material has an insulating property.

19. The backpack of claim 17, wherein at least one layer of material is impermeable to fluid and the layer is formed so as to make the upper compartment resistant to the escape of fluid.

20. The backpack of claim 17, wherein the at least one layer is metal.

21. The backpack of claim 20, wherein the at least one layer is aluminum.

22. The backpack of claim 17, wherein the at least one layer is plastic.

23. The backpack of claim 1, further comprising at least one cylindrical container holder formed in a top of the upper compartment.

24. A backpack comprising: a lower compartment that is formed from rigid material having a wall that forms a top of the lower compartment; a waist strap attached to the lower compartment; an upper compartment that is formed from rigid material and is attached to the bottom compartment such that the wall that forms the top of the lower compartment forms a bottom of the upper compartment, and the adjacent surfaces of the lower compartment and the upper compartment form generally continuous surfaces of the rigid backpack; and at least one shoulder strap attached to the upper compartment.

25. The backpack of claim 24, wherein the wall forms a horizontal shelf when the backpack is in an upright position.

26. The backpack of claim 24, wherein a first surface of the upper compartment and a first surface lower compartment are adjacent and form an ergonomic shaped continuous surface for supporting the backpack against a person's back.

27. The backpack of claim 24, further comprising a pad that is attached to the ergonomic shaped continuous surface.

28. The backpack of claim 24, further comprising an upper door mounted to the upper compartment wherein an inner volume of the upper compartment is accessible through the upper door.

29. The backpack of claim 28, further comprising a container that is attached to the upper door.

30. The backpack of claim 24, further comprising a lower door mounted to the lower compartment wherein an inner volume of the lower compartment is accessible through the lower door.

31. The backpack of claim 24, wherein the lower compartment is formed from at least one layer of material.

32. The backpack of claim 31, wherein at least one layer of material has an insulating property.

33. The backpack of claim 31, wherein at least one layer of material is impermeable to fluid and the layer is formed so as to make the lower compartment resistant to the escape of fluid.

34. The backpack of claim 31, wherein the at least one layer is metal.

35. The backpack of claim 34, wherein the at least one layer is aluminum.

36. The backpack of claim 31, wherein the at least one layer is plastic.

37. The backpack of claim 24, further comprising at least one support element attached to a bottom of the lower compartment

38. The backpack of claim 24, wherein the upper compartment is formed from at least one layer of material.

39. The backpack of claim 38, wherein at least one layer of material has an insulating property.

40. The backpack of claim 38, wherein at least one layer of material is impermeable to fluid and the layer is formed so as to make the upper compartment resistant to the escape of fluid.

41. The backpack of claim 38, wherein the at least one layer is metal.

42. The backpack of claim 41, wherein the at least one layer is aluminum.

43. The backpack of claim 38, wherein the at least one layer is plastic.

44. The backpack of claim 24, further comprising at least one cylindrical container holder formed in a top of the upper compartment.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This invention is the subject of U.S. non-provisional patent application Ser. No. 10/799,812 filed Mar. 13, 2004 that claimed priority from a provisional Application No. 60/320,010 filed on Mar. 14, 2003. New matter presented in this continuation-in-part application claims priority from a provisional Application No. 60/481,195 filed on Aug. 8, 2003.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT

The present invention does not involve any form of federally sponsored research or development.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to backpacks including, but not limited to, backpacks that include upper and lower compartments made from rigid materials. Devices, such as coolers, for carrying a variety of item particularly food or beverages that are preferably kept cool are known. Coolers are carried by hand and are difficult to carry over long distances, in crowds, or where having hands free would be an advantage. In addition, carrying devices that are supported from a person's shoulder or waist, particularly backpacks, fanny packs, and daypacks, are known. These types of devices are typically formed from soft cloth-like materials supported on a frame. The soft cloth-like material generally does not insulate and do not provide adequate protection against damage due to being bumped or crushed from the outside.

Accordingly, there is a need for a device for the easy and convenient carrying of items such as food and beverages that need to be protected against damage do to bumping or crushing, or need to be kept cool.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A rigid backpack for use in carrying item that should be cool such as food, canned or bottled drinks, and so forth. The backpack includes at least one compartment and can include an upper compartment and a lower compartment that are formed from rigid material such as plastic or aluminum.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates separable upper and lower compartments of a rigid backpack in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates an upper compartment that is attached to a lower compartment to form a rigid backpack in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of an integral rigid backpack having an upper compartment and a lower compartment that share a common wall in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates an embodiment of a container mounted in an upper door in the upper compartment of a rigid backpack in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates an embodiment of the lower compartment as a cooker in accordance with the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A description of a rigid backpack for use in carrying and storing items that require cooling or are easily damaged, such as food, canned or bottle drinks and so forth, is provided. The rigid backpack includes at least one compartment and can include upper and lower compartments. The compartments are formed from rigid materials such as metal or formable plastics.

Separable lower and upper compartments of a rigid backpack are shown in FIG. 1. Generally, the compartments are polyhedrals with flat or curved surfaces. Alternatively, the compartments can have other shapes that are more spherical, have special design surfaces that reflect logos, and so forth. The compartments are rigid, and can be formed from either a single layer of material or from multiple layers. Non-rigid layers can be used in combination with other layers of material so long as the overall combination of layers is rigid. For example, to insulate a compartment an outer metal layer that is rigid can be combined with a less rigid insulating layer. The rigid material can include metal, plastic, carbon fiber based materials, and so forth. The rigid material can be opaque or clear, for example clear plastic.

The lower compartment 101 has a top wall 105 and a lower door 109. The lower door 109, which can have a recessed latching mechanism, is used to access the space inside the lower compartment 101. The lower compartment 101 can be formed with an insulating layer of material and have a leak-resistant design so as to function as a cooler. Alternatively the lower compartment 101 can be formed from metal, such as aluminum or stainless steel, and used as a stove when separated from the upper compartment 103 and when a heat source such as Sterno is placed inside.

The upper compartment 103 has a bottom wall 107, and an upper door 111. The bottom wall 107 of the upper compartment 103 and the top wall 105 of the lower compartment 101 have complementary surfaces that allow the upper compartment 103 to stack on top of and be removably attached to the lower compartment 101. The upper door 111, which can have a recessed latching mechanism, is used to access the space inside the upper compartment 103. The upper compartment 103 can have cylindrical container holders 115, 117 mounted to or molded into a top 113. The upper compartment 103 can be formed with an insulating layer of material and have a leak-resistant design so as to function as a cooler.

A rigid backpack as formed by the attachment of an upper compartment and a lower compartment is as shown in FIG. 2. Various means of attachment, such as clips, detents, springs, dowels, zippers, snaps, Velcro, and so forth, can be used to secure the two compartments to each other. Generally, when the two compartments are attached together, adjacent surfaces of the compartments form a continuous surface. The surfaces that will be next to a person's back are ergonomically formed. For example, a first surface 119 of the lower compartment 101 is ergonomically formed as is a first surface 121 of the upper compartment 103. When the compartments are attached together the compartment surfaces 119, 121 form an approximately continuous surface that is ergonomically formed.

A waist strap 123 and optional lower padding 125 are attached to the first surface 119 of the lower compartment 101. Similarly, a right shoulder strap 127, a left shoulder strap 129, and optional upper padding 131 are attached to the first surface 121 of the upper compartment 103. Alternatively, the waist and shoulder straps can be attached to other parts of the respective compartments. Support members 133 are attached to a bottom of the lower compartment 101, and are used to facilitate the standing of the lower compartment and the rigid backpack in an upright position when placed on a surface such as on the ground. When the compartments are separated, the upper compartment 103 and shoulder straps 127, 129 form a rigid day pack 210, and the lower compartment 101 and waist strap 123 form a rigid fanny pack 220.

A single integrated rigid backpack having an upper compartment and a lower compartment that share a common wall in accordance with the invention is shown in FIG. 3. In this embodiment, the upper compartment 103 and the lower compartment 105 are formed as a single integral backpack 300. The upper and lower compartments are attached to each other by a single common wall (not shown). The common wall forms a top of the lower compartment 301 and a bottom of the upper compartment 303. A lower door 309 allows access to the space inside the lower compartment 301. Similarly, an upper door 311 allows access to the space inside the upper compartment 303.

An embodiment of a container mounted in an upper door in the upper compartment of a rigid backpack is shown in FIG. 4. The container (not shown) that is attached to the upper door 111 extends into the upper compartment 130. The container is formed for the storage of small items such as cigarette pack, lighter, sunglasses, or so forth that can be difficult to find or may be damaged if placed inside either the upper compartment 103 or the lower compartment (not shown). An access door 135 for the container is mounted in the upper door 111.

An embodiment of the lower compartment as a cooker is shown in FIG. 5. For this embodiment the waist strap and padding are removed, and the lower compartment 501, which is preferably constructed from metal, is positioned on a generally level surface. The lower compartment 501 includes a lower door 503 and a cooking surface 507. This surface is used for cooking, and in accordance with the invention is complementary in design to the bottom of an upper compartment (not shown). With the lower door 503 open, a heat source 509, such as Sterno, are placed inside the lower compartment 501 for use in cooking eggs 511 on the cooking surface 507.

An advantage of the present invention is the elimination of hand carrying a clumsy cooler. The invention is particularly useful when faced with carrying a cooler over long distances, in crowds, or where having hands free would be an advantage. A rigid backpack protects item like food and beverages from being damage by being bumped or crushed from outside the backpack, and a rigid lower compartment made of metal can be used as a stove. In addition, a rigid backpack eliminates the need of framing as needed when soft materials are used to form the backpack.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.