Title:
Carrying harness and method of use
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable light weight carrying harness having a body strap (70) communicating with a article carrying loop (20) through connection means (90) and releasable fastening means (92).



Inventors:
Stewart, Anthony D. (Dallas, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/083160
Publication Date:
10/13/2005
Filing Date:
03/14/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F3/14; (IPC1-7): A45F3/14
View Patent Images:
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20050082321Baton holsterApril, 2005Macierowski et al.
20080257276ANIMAL TRANSPORT DEVICEOctober, 2008White
20070138226Thigh holster strapJune, 2007Marinaj
20020159872Ceiling mounted delivery device for use inside of a motor vehicleOctober, 2002Scartelli
20060022005EZ carry side basketFebruary, 2006Chadwick
20100089959Transportable support system for dive equipmentApril, 2010Watson
20050133557UNIVERSAL FEATURE ATTACHEMENT SYSTEMJune, 2005Mckenzie et al.



Primary Examiner:
SKURDAL, COREY NELSON
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Anthony D. Stewart (Brockton, MA, US)
Claims:
1. A light weight carrying harness comprising: a) A substantially flexible and elongated strap arranged in an open or closed loop, releasably connected to a human or nonhuman body; b) at least one connection means fixedly or slidably disposed along said strap of claim 1-a; c) at least one fastening means permanently or releasably coupled to said connection means of claim 1-b; d) at least one article coupling means arranged in an open or closed loop, joined to said fastening means of claim 1-c; whereby said carrying harness can be folded and carried in a small space such as a pocket as well as providing means to convey items of many various sizes and shapes by conveniently coupling and decoupling said fastening means of claim 1-c to and from said connection means of claim 1-b without having to remove said strap from said body or having to remove said article coupling means of claim 1-d from a conveyed item.

2. The strap of claim 1-a, further including a connection means disposed on one end of said strap and a fastening means slidably disposed along said strap whereby said strap may be formed into an adjustable diameter loop.

3. The strap of claim 1-a, further including a connection means disposed along an area of said strap pointing away from wearer's body which communicates with a fastening means disposed on a face of a pouch.

4. The pouch of claim 3, further including a plurality of pockets and utility loops disposed on the opposite face of said pouch to said connection means.

5. The connection means of claim 1-b, further including a means to brake translation of said connection means of claim 1-b along said strap.

6. The fastening means of claim 1-c, further including means to couple and decouple to and from said connection means of claim 1-b.

7. The loop of claim 1-d, further including: a) means to have an open loop and closed loop configuration; b) means to adjust the diameter of said loop of claim 1-d; c) an open end or plurality of open ends terminated with fastening means.

8. A light weight carrying harness comprising: a) at least one connection means joined to a body harness; b) at least one fastening means permanently or releasably coupled to said connection means of claim 1-b; c) at least one article coupling means arranged in an open or closed loop, joined to said fastening means of claim 1-c.

9. The body harness in claim 8-a, wherein said body harness embodies a common backpack or hip pack.

10. The body harness in claim 8-a, wherein said body harness comprises a substantially flexible material formed into a figure eight shape.

11. The body harness in claim 8-a, wherein said body harness embodies a T-shape with connection and fastening means along its horizontal portions, an open end along its vertical portion, terminated with a fastening means.

12. The fastening means of claim 8-b, wherein said fastening means comprises a substantially rigid curved arm, whereby said article coupling means of claim 8-c is positioned away from said body of claim 1-a.

13. A method for coupling fastening means of claim 8-b, wherein said fastening means connect directly to said body.

14. A method for coupling a substantially flexible loop means to a luggage handle, comprising the steps of: a) positioning a lower left and a lower right portions of said loop means below a handle grip and to the left of the left handle leg and to the right of the right handle leg respectively; b) positioning an uppermost portion of said loop means above said handle grip of claim 13-a and to the opposite side of said handle grip than the lower left and lower right loop portions; c) threading said uppermost portion of said loop means vertically between said handle grip and said lower portions of said loop means and horizontally between said left handle leg and said right handle leg; d) pulling said uppermost portion of said loop means to form gripping loops near the intersections of said handle grip and the handle legs; whereby said gripping loops provide a stable, balanced, anti tipping means to convey wheeled and non-wheeled luggage.

15. A method for adjusting the effective diameter of loop of claim 13, wherein the uppermost portion of said loop is rotated about an axis passing through the center of said handle grip.

16. A method for adjusting the effective diameter of loop of claim 13, wherein a knot is tied at varying distances from said uppermost loop portion.

17. A method for adjusting the effective diameter of loop of claim 13, wherein said loop is wound onto a reel with a catch and release button.

18. A method for adjusting the effective diameter of loop of claim 13, wherein open ends of said loop are threaded through an orifice in a spring clip.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Provisional patent application 60/552,771 filed Mar. 12, 2004.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

None.

SEQUENCE LISTING

None.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of Invention

This invention relates to load carrying harnesses, more particularly to such harnesses used to convey luggage, bags, miscellaneous articles with handles, and miscellaneous articles without handles.

2. Description of Prior Art

In recent years inventors have given substantial attention to better ways to comfortably and efficiently transport articles on the body. One class of device, lightweight carrying harnesses, has become increasingly popular. Specialized equipment now exists for the hands-free transport of various articles including luggage, golf bags, books, outdoor equipment, and even water bottles. These devices often consist of one or more straps extending over the shoulder and around the body. Examples include: U.S. Pat. No. 4,587,852 to Gibson; U.S. Pat. No. 4,809,896 to McColly; U.S. Pat. No. 5,429,288 to Sattler; U.S. Pat. No. 6,311,884 to Johnson; and the “Deer Drag” harness made by “The Allen Company”, Broomfield, Colo.

In general, these devices use straps, cords, and/or clip means to carry articles completely off the ground or to drag articles along the ground. None are designed to stably navigate wheeled luggage hands-free. None incorporate means to convey travel documents and other small articles. None allow loads to be releasably positioned and transported along the front, side, or back of the body while in motion. Also none incorporate and teach the means to efficiently, stably, and securely attach articles to a harness as disclosed in the present invention.

Other devices relevant to the present invention include U.S. Pat. No. 4,587,852 to Godshaw et al. This device consists of a handle fitted with a strap and buckle system. The strap releasably attaches to the handle of conventional wheeled luggage to improve user comfort while pulling. Though this type of device can reduce the fatigue associated with navigating wheeled luggage, it requires the perpetual use of at least one hand to operate. This makes some tasks, such as taking notes while in motion, virtually impossible.

Another class of relevant devices is exemplified by the “Boarding Buddy” case found online. This product is designed to keep travel documents, such as passports and tickets, readily accessible to the user while in transit. Though useful for carrying small articles, it is not capable of conveying more significant loads such as luggage.

While the prior art devices of the types described above have generally been useful for their intended purposes, there has remained a need for an integrated means to comfortably and efficiently convey articles on the body and to reduce overall travel burden—namely, a compact, lightweight harness that enables convenient hands-free transport and navigation of wheeled luggage, travel documents, and miscellaneous articles with handles and without handles.

SUMMARY

In accordance with the present invention a harness comprises an adjustable body strap fitted with buckle means intermediate the ends, pouch embedded with plurality of pockets and utility loops, releasable coupling means slidably disposed along the body strap, and an adjacent loop, strap, buckle, clip, or hook means that attaches to said coupling means on one end, and to articles to be carried or navigated on the other.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

Accordingly, several objects and advantages of the present invention are:

    • (a) to provide a portable lightweight harness to facilitate hands-free transport of wheeled luggage, travel documents, and miscellaneous articles with handles and without handles—making many tasks, such taking notes while walking, possible;
    • (b) to provide a harness that enables articles to be releasably positioned and transported along the back, side, or front of the body;
    • (c) to provide a harness that is comfortably and effectively used when worn over the shoulders or around the hips;
    • (d) to provide a harness that can be folded and placed in a pocket;
    • (e) to provide a harness that reduces fatigue and physical strain by eliminating the need to pull wheeled luggage and/or hold articles by hand—particularly valuable to small children, the elderly, persons with arthritis, etc.;
    • (f) to provide a harness that eliminates the need to stop or pause to retrieve articles such as travel documents when moving with wheeled luggage, etc.—thereby making travel more efficient;
    • (g) to provide a harness that increases security by physically connecting wheeled luggage and other articles to the body—reducing the risk of property being lost or stolen.

Still other objects and advantages will become apparent from a consideration of the ensuing description and drawings.

DRAWING FIGURES

In the drawings, closely related figures have the same number but different alphabetic suffixes.

FIG. 1A, FIG. 1B, and FIG. 1C show continuous loop configuration of the simplest embodiment, joined loop configuration of the simplest embodiment, and preferred cross-section of the simplest embodiment respectively;

FIG. 2A to 2D show method to attach loop to conventional wheeled luggage handles;

FIG. 3A to 3C show method to attach loop to T-shaped handles;

FIG. 4A to FIG. 4C show method to attach loop to miscellaneous articles with handles;

FIG. 5A to FIG. 5C show method to attach loop to miscellaneous articles without handles;

FIG. 6A and FIG. 6B show method to use loop with body and luggage;

FIG. 7A and FIG. 7B show perspective and flattened-plan views of the preferred embodiment respectively;

FIG. 8A and FIG. 8B show perspective and cross section views of alternative pouch embodiment respectively;

FIG. 9A and FIG. 9B show plan views of preferred body strap to loop connection means with brake retracted and extended respectively, whereas FIG. 9C shows central cross-section;

FIG. 10A to FIG. 10D show views of alternative body strap to loop connection means;

FIG. 11A and FIG. 11B show more alternative body strap to loop coupling means that incorporate buckles;

FIG. 12A to FIG. 12C show alternative loop embodiments;

FIGS. 13A and 13B show views of hook and strap means to attach the articles to the harness respectively;

FIG. 14A shows preferred embodiment worn over a shoulder;

FIG. 14B shows preferred embodiment worn around the hips;

FIG. 14C and FIG. 14C′ show method and alternate embodiment used to attach loop directly to pants respectively;

FIG. 15A to FIG. 15C shows various means and embodiments to adjust loop diameter;

FIG. 16A to FIG. 16C show means to adjust loop diameter by means of wrapping;

FIG. 17A and FIG. 17B show means to attach loop to standard backpacks;

FIG. 18A and FIG. 18B show dual should strap embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 19A to FIG. 19C show alternative hip-worn embodiments of the present invention.

REFERENCE NUMERALS IN DRAWINGS

    • 20—loop
    • 22—joining means
    • 24—circular profile
    • 26—loop top
    • 28—loop bottom
    • 30—left loop bottom
    • 30′—left gripping loop
    • 32—right loop bottom
    • 32′—right gripping loop
    • 34—handle grip
    • 36—handle left leg
    • 38—handle right leg
    • 40—luggage
    • 42—T-handle leg
    • 44—left grip
    • 46—right grip
    • 48—article with handle
    • 50—handle
    • 52—opening
    • 54—article without handle
    • 56—user
    • 58—shoulder
    • 60—side
    • 61—hips
    • 62—chest
    • 64—head
    • 66—wheels
    • 68—ground
    • 70—body strap
    • 72—adjustment means
    • 74—fastening means
    • 76—connection means
    • 77—stitching
    • 78—connection means
    • 80—pouch body
    • 82—open pocket
    • 84—closable pocket
    • 86—fastening means
    • 88—utility loop
    • 90—connection means
    • 92—fastening means
    • 94—short flap
    • 96—fastening means
    • 98—long flap
    • 100—connection means
    • 102—ring
    • 104—opening
    • 106—base
    • 108—slot
    • 110—brake
    • 112—control means
    • 114—groove
    • 116—circular ring
    • 118—oval ring
    • 120—D-ring
    • 122—triangular ring
    • 124—connection means
    • 126—fastening means
    • 128—strap
    • 130—stitching
    • 131—strap
    • 132—stitching
    • 134—padding
    • 136—opening
    • 138—open end
    • 140—strap
    • 142—stitching
    • 144—fastening means
    • 146—hook
    • 148—connection means
    • 150—strap
    • 151—stitching
    • 152—fastening means
    • 153—adjustment means
    • 154—coupling means
    • 156—connection means
    • 158—fastening means
    • 160—strap
    • 162—stitching
    • 164—spool means
    • 166—control means
    • 168—strap
    • 170—spring loaded clip
    • 172—backpack/fannypack
    • 174—connection means
    • 176—stitching
    • 178—dual strap harness
    • 180—hip strap
    • 182—connection means
    • 184—fastening means
    • 186—adjusting means
    • 188—tail
    • 190—connection and fastening means
    • 192—hook
    • 194—opening
    • 196—strap
    • 198—connection means
    • 200—fastening means
    • 202—base
    • 204—hinge
    • 206—curved arm

DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1A to FIG. 1C—Simplest Embodiment

Referring now to FIG. 1A to FIG. 1C, the simplest embodiment of the present invention is generally designated by the reference numeral 20 and is comprised of a single loop. Loop 20 is preferably constructed from wear resistant, non-elastic but highly flexible materials. The material must possess sufficient strength to safely convey relevant loads. Examples include but are not limited to nylon, polyester, and polypropylene cords. Loop 20 preferably has a substantially circular cross section to minimize tangling while attaching, detaching, pulling, pushing, and carrying articles (FIG. 1C). Loop 20 can be pre-fabricated as one continuous piece of material (FIG. 1A) or cut from a spool to a determined length then joined at the ends using joining means 22 (FIG. 1B). Joining can be performed using methods well known in the art including but not limited to knotting, clamping, and crimping.

Operation—FIG. 2A to FIG. 6B—Simplest Embodiment

Referring now to FIG. 2A to FIG. 2D, a method of attaching loop 20 to a conventional wheeled luggage handle is disclosed. Coordinate system A is located in the lengthwise and cross-sectional center of handle grip 34. It is used to designate direction and to clarify the relative position of elements. Loop top 26 generally designates the loop portion furthest in the +Z direction before and after the loop is attached to an article. Left loop bottom 30 generally designates the loop portion furthest in the −Z direction, and furthest in the −Y direction. Right loop bottom 32 generally designates the loop portion furthest in the −Z direction, and furthest in the +Y direction.

FIG. 2A shows the first step in attaching loop 20 to a conventional handle. Left loop bottom 30 is disposed in a +X position relative to handle members 34, 36, and 38. Left loop bottom 30 is also disposed in a −Z position relative to handle grip 34, and in a −Y position relative to handle left leg 36. Right loop bottom 32 is disposed in a +X position relative to handle members 34, 36, and 38. Right loop bottom 32 is also disposed in a −Z position relative to handle grip 34, and in +Y position relative to handle right leg 38. Loop top 26 is disposed in a −X position relative to handle members 34, 36, and 38. Loop top 26 is also disposed in a +Z position relative to handle grip 34, and proximate the XZ-plane.

Referring now to FIG. 2B and FIG. 2C, loop top 26 is moved in the −Z direction until it is located in a −Z position relative to handle grip 34 and in a +Z position relative to loop bottom 28 (FIG. 2C). Next loop top 26 is moved in the +X direction between handle members 36 and 38 until it is located in a +X position relative to handle members 34, 36, and 38. Referring now to FIG. 2D, loop top 26 is pulled in the +Z direction until the body of loop 20 becomes taut and gripping loops 30′ and 32′ are formed.

Note that this process could also be performed in the same way with coordinate system A rotated 180 degrees about its own Z axis. To remove loop 20, simply reverse the process described above.

Referring now to FIG. 3A to FIG. 3C, a method for attaching loop 20 to a “T” shaped handle is disclosed. Coordinate system B is located where handle members 42, 44, and 46 intersect. It is used to designate direction and to clarify the relative position of elements. Loop top 26 generally designates the loop portion furthest in the +Z direction before and after the loop is attached to an article. Left loop bottom 30 generally designates the loop portion furthest in the −Z direction, and furthest in the −Y direction. Right loop bottom 32 generally designates the loop portion furthest in the −Z direction, and furthest in the +Y direction. Loop bottom 28 generally designates the loop portion furthest in the −Z direction and proximate the XZ-plane.

Still referring to FIG. 3A to FIG. 3C, loop bottom 28, left loop bottom 30, and right loop bottom 32 are placed in a −X position relative to handle members 42, 44, and 46. Loop bottom 28, left loop bottom 30, and right loop bottom 32 are also placed in a −Z position relative handle members 44 and 46. Next, left loop bottom 30 is moved in the −Y direction until it has a −Y position relative to left grip 44. Left loop bottom 30 is then moved in the +X direction until it has a +X position relative to handle members 42, 44, and 46. Left loop bottom 30 is then moved in the +Y direction and allowed to engage the surfaces of left grip 44 that generally face the +X direction. Next, right loop bottom 32 is moved in the +Y direction until it has a +Y position relative to right grip 46. Right loop bottom 32 is then moved in the +X direction until it has a +X position relative to handle members 42, 44, and 46. Right loop bottom 32 is then moved in the −Y direction and allowed to engage the surfaces of right grip 46 that generally face the +X direction.

Note that this process could also be performed in the same way with coordinate system B rotated 180 degrees about its Z axis. Also note that right loop bottom 32 could be moved first, followed by left loop bottom 30. Also right loop bottom 32 and left loop bottom 30 could also be moved symmetrically about the XZ-plane concurrently. To remove loop 20, simply reverse the process described above.

Referring now to FIG. 4A to FIG. 4C, a method for attaching loop 20 to miscellaneous articles with open or closed handles is disclosed. Coordinate system C is located in the center of handle 50. It is used to designate direction and to clarify the relative position of elements. Loop top 26 generally designates the loop portion furthest in the +Z direction before and after the loop is attached to an article. Left loop bottom 30 generally designates the loop portion furthest in the −Z direction, and furthest in the −Y direction at the beginning of the attachment process. Right loop bottom 32 generally designates the loop portion furthest in the −Z direction, and furthest in the +Y direction at the beginning of the attachment process. Loop bottom 28 generally designated the loop portion furthest in the −Z direction and proximate the XZ-plane at the beginning of the attachment process.

Still referring to FIG. 4A to FIG. 4C, all segments of loop 20 begin in a −X position relative to article 48. Next loop bottom 28 is moved in the +X direction through opening 52 until it has a +X position relative to article 48. Loop bottom 28 is then moved in the +Z direction until it has a +Z position relative to handle 50. Loop top 26 is then moved in the −Z direction until it has a Z position between handle 50 and loop bottom 28. Next loop top 26 is moved in the +X direction between 50 and 28 until it has a +X position relative to article 48 and loop bottom 28. Loop top 26 is moved in the +Z direction until the body of loop 20 is taut.

Note that this process could also be performed in the same way with coordinate system C rotated 180 degrees about its Z axis. To remove loop 20, simply reverse the process described above.

Referring now to FIG. 5A to FIG. 5C, a method for attaching loop 20 to miscellaneous articles without handles is disclosed. Coordinate system C is located inside article(s) 54. It is used to designate direction and to clarify the relative position of elements. Loop top 26 generally designates the loop portion furthest in the +Z direction before and after the loop is attached to an article. Left loop bottom 30 generally designates the loop portion furthest in the −Z direction, and furthest in the −Y direction at the beginning of the attachment process. Right loop bottom 32 generally designates the loop portion furthest in the −Z direction, and furthest in the +Y direction at the beginning of the attachment process. Loop bottom 28 generally designated the loop portion furthest in the −Z direction and proximate the XZ-plane at the beginning of the attachment process.

Still referring to FIG. 5A though FIG. 5C, all segments of loop 20 begin in a −X position relative to article 54. Also left loop bottom 30, right loop bottom 32, and loop bottom 28 are placed in −Z position relative to article 54, while loop top 26 is placed in a +Z position relative to article 54. Next loop bottom 28 is moved in the +X direction under article 54 until it has a +X position relative to article 54. Loop bottom 28 is then moved in the +Z direction until it has a +Z position relative to article 54. Loop top 26 is then moved in the −Z direction until it has a Z position between article 54 and loop bottom 28. Next loop top 26 is moved in the +X direction between 28 and 54 until it has a +X position relative to article 54 and loop bottom 28. Loop top 26 is then moved in the +Z direction until the body of loop 20 is taut.

Note that this process could also be performed in the same way with coordinate system C rotated 180 degrees about its Z axis. To remove loop 20, simply reverse the process described above.

Referring now to FIG. 6A and FIG. 6B, a method for attaching loop 20 to user 56 is disclosed. After loop 20 is attached to an article as described above, loop top 26 is preferably pulled over head 64 such that it rests on a shoulder 58. A stretch of loop 20 diagonally crosses chest 62 from shoulder 58 to the opposite side 60.

Still referring to FIG. 6A and FIG. 6B, to operate with wheeled luggage, user 56 preferably tilts luggage 40 in a conventional fashion by grasping handle grip 34. Once inclined, angle φ is preferably slightly smaller to the angle achieved when navigating wheeled luggage by hand. Luggage 40 is preferably placed behind user 56, but can also be disposed to the side or front of the body for increased visibility, accessibility, and safety. User 56 can release their hold on handle grip 34 either while in motion or at rest. Furthermore, if the environment becomes crowded or dangerous, user 56 can temporarily seize handle grip 34 to gain firmer control of luggage 40 then release handle grip 34 once it is safe to do so. To remove loop 20 from the body, user 56 stands luggage 40 upright, then lifts loop top 26 off shoulder 58 and over head 64.

Advantages of Simplest Embodiment

Though the simplest embodiment shown in FIG. 1A to FIG. 6B is not preferred, it has the advantages of being extremely compact, simple to construct, and cheap to manufacture. The methods disclosed to attach loop 20 to wheeled luggage (FIG. 2A to FIG. 2C), articles with handles (FIG. 3A to FIG. 3C), and articles without handles (FIG. 4A to FIG. 4C) are very quick and easy to perform. These methods are also very flexible in accommodating handles and articles of different size, shape, and type.

Another notable advantage to the methods disclosed above is the quick and easy formation of gripping loops 30′ and 32′. Gripping loops 30′ and 32′ make navigating wheeled luggage very stable and responsive to turning. This is achieved by holding both sides of handle grip 34 without having to engage and disengage two separate attachment means—thereby saving time and effort. 30′ and 32′ provide a firm towing connection without slippage in the +/−Y direction (FIG. 2A to FIG. 2D). Also connecting to both sides of handle grip 34 creates a restoring force that counters rotation of wheeled luggage about the +/−Z axis during use.

The processes described above to attach loop 20 of the present invention to objects are also used with the preferred embodiments described below.

DESCRIPTION

FIG. 7A to FIG. 13B—Preferred Embodiments

Referring now to FIG. 7A and FIG. 7B, the preferred embodiment of the present invention is comprised of a strap generally designated by the reference numeral 70, connection/fastening means 76 and 74 intermediate its ends, padding 134, releasable pouch body 80 with embedded pockets 82/84 and utility loops 88, slidably disposed connection means 90, adjoining fastening means 92, and adjacent loop 20.

Still referring to FIG. 7A and FIG. 7B, strap 70 is constructed from substantially flat, wear resistant, flexible materials with sufficient strength to accommodate relevant loads. Examples include but are not limited to nylon, cotton, polypropylene, and leather straps. Strap 70 is opened and closed by engaging and disengaging buckles 76 and 74 in a fashion well known in the art. Of course other connection and fastening means, such as buttons, carabiners, clips, etc., could be employed instead.

Still referring to FIG. 7A and FIG. 7B, padding 134 is constructed from a layer of filler material (not shown) folded inside a preferably lightweight and water resistant/treated material joined with stitching (not shown). The filler substance is preferably a relatively thin webbing or matt of material having sufficient dimensional stability to assist in maintaining the padding in the relatively flat configuration and to assist in resisting rolling or folding. When such filler material is used, it is preferably confined to the upper end portions of body strap 70 in the area that extends over the shoulder of a wearer in order to maintain the overall weight of the harness to a minimum. Though padding 134 is not required for the operation of the present invention, it is desirable to increase user comfort. Also, there exists an inverse relationship between padding thickness and portability. To increase user comfort, increase thickness. To increase portability, decrease thickness or exclude padding 134 all together.

Still referring to FIG. 7A and FIG. 7B, pouch body 80 is constructed from a layer of filler material (not shown) folded inside a preferably lightweight and water resistant/treated material joined with stitching (not shown). The filler substance is preferably a relatively thin webbing or matt of material having sufficient dimensional stability to assist in maintaining the padding in the relatively flat configuration and to assist in resisting rolling or folding.

Still referring to FIG. 7A and FIG. 7B, open pocket(s) 82 are constructed from sheets of preferably lightweight and water resistant/treated materials including but not limited to nylon, cotton, and leather. Joining one or more sheets of such material to pouch body 80 forms open pockets 82. Joining can be achieved through stitching and/or other suitable means such as buttons, zippers, Velcro® fasteners, etc (joining means not shown). Pocket(s) 82 should have at least one edge not permanently joined to pouch body 80. Open edge(s) allow articles to be quickly slipped in and out. If more than one open pocket 82 is desired, they should be placed in a staggered fashion to allow easy access to articles placed therein. Pocket(s) 82 can all be the same size, but can also have different widths and depths to accommodate various sized articles such as airline tickets, passports, driver's licenses, etc. Each pocket should be sufficiently large to insert and remove articles with one hand without undo difficulty, but not so loose that articles easily slide out on their own accord. Depending on design intent, each open pocket 82 can possess like or unlike materials on its inner and outer faces. The faces can be lined or made with materials such as felt or silk to ease the insertion and removal of articles. Conversely, the faces can be lined or made with a higher friction material such as rubber to make removing articles more difficult—thereby reducing the chances of articles simply falling out.

Still referring to FIG. 7A and FIG. 7B, closable pocket(s) 84 are formed from a preferably lightweight water resistant/treated material constructed to form a closed volume sufficiently large to accommodate small articles such as coins, currency, keys, cell phones, etc. Closable pockets 84 can be permanently fixed to pouch body 80 through stitching or releasably joined with Velcro® fasteners, buttons, or other suitable means (joining means not shown). Closable pocket(s) 84 include means to repeatably open and seal its inner volume. Zippers, buttons, clips, buckles, and Velcro® fasteners are all suitable examples. Of course other fastening means could be employed as well.

Any number of closable pockets 84 and open pockets 82 may be incorporated into pouch body 80. They may also be arranged in any configuration that is desired.

Still referring to FIG. 7A and FIG. 7B, utility loops 88 are preferably constructed from wear resistant elastic materials commonly used in the art. Utility loops 88 are joined to pouch body 80 using stitching (not shown). Loops 88 can be used to hold writing implements such as pencils and pens. They can also accommodate a wide variety of other articles by acting as connection means for clips, carabiners and the like. Any number of utility loops 88 may be arranged on the border of pouch body 80 as desired.

Referring now to FIG. 8A and FIG. 8B an alternate embodiment for the pouch is disclosed. Pouch body 80 is shown with three segments. The segments can be made as one part or separate parts. If made as separate parts short flap 94 is joined to pouch body 80 along one edge with stitching or other suitable joining means. Fastening means 96 is joined to a face of short flap 94 with stitching, or other suitable joining means (joining means not shown). Long flap 98 is joined to the edge of pouch body 80 opposite and parallel to the edge receiving short flap 94. Connection means 100 is joined to a face of long flap 98 with stitching, or other suitable means (joining means not shown). Long flap 98 is of approximately equal width to pouch body 80. When angle θ is approximately equal to zero, the leading edge of long flap 98 should fall proximate the receiving edge of short flap 94. Short flap 94 folds down onto long flap 98 to engage fastening means 96 with connection means 100. Flaps 94 and 98 help to better secure the pouch to strap 70. Connection and fastening means 96 and 100 are preferably Velcro® strips but could also be other releasable connection means such as buttons, zippers, and the like. Short flap 94 allows user 56 to disengage the connection formed between 96 and 100 without having to pry their fingers underneath strap 70 when carrying a load.

Referring now to FIG. 7A and FIG. 7B, connection means 90 is slidably disposed along strap 70. Connection means 90 is preferably constructed from rigid, wear resistant, lightweight materials known not to trigger metal detector alarms—thereby allowing user 56 to pass through security systems efficiently. Suitable materials include but are not limited to plastics such polyethylene and woods such as oak. Referring now to FIG. 9A and FIG. 9B connection means 90 is generally a D-ring preferably comprised of ring 102 coupled to base 106. Slot 108 is preferably rectangular with dimensions large enough to allow strap 70 to pass through with sufficient clearance to allow slidable positioning of connection means 90. Brake 110 sits within opening 136. Control means 112 is joined to brake 110 through groove 114. By actuating control means 112 along groove 114, user 56 can engage or disengages brake 92 to and from strap 70. Another variation of this design comprises rollers (not shown) embedded in base 106 and brake means (not shown) to allow or disallow rotation of said rollers. Though the embodiment of connection means 90 described above is preferred, many other possibilities exist. For example, FIG. 10A to FIG. 10D show circular, oval, simple D-ring, and triangular connection means respectively. Each preferably has a circular cross-section (not shown).

Referring now to FIG. 7A and FIG. 7B, fastening means 92 releasably engages connection means 90 on one end and engages loop 20 on the other. In the preferred embodiment fastening means 92 is manifested as a carabiner. However other connection means such as clips and buckles (FIG. 11A and FIG. 11B) may be used in conjunction with various forms of connection means 90. If a carabiner is used as shown in FIG. 7A, it is clipped onto ring 102 in a fashion well known in the art. Note that more than one fastening means 92 can be releasably coupled to ring 102 to facilitate transport or navigation of more than one item.

Still referring to FIG. 7A and FIG. 7B, loop 20 is preferably attached to fastening means 92 with a knot (not shown) opposite connection means 90. Of course other joining means such as crimping and clamping may be used instead. Loop 20 is preferably constructed from wear resistant, non-elastic but highly flexible materials. The material must possess sufficient strength to safely convey relevant loads. Examples include but are not limited to nylon, polyester, and polypropylene cords. Loop 20 preferably has a substantially circular cross section to minimize tangling while attaching, detaching, pulling, pushing, and carrying articles (FIG. 1C). Loop 20 can be pre-fabricated as one continuous piece of material (FIG. 1A) or cut from a spool to a determined length then joined at the ends using joining means 22 (FIG. 1B). Joining can be performed using methods well known in the art including but not limited to tying, clamping, and crimping.

Referring now to FIG. 11A and FIG. 11B, an alternate method of connecting loop 20 to body strap 70 is disclosed. A buckle 124 is used in lieu of the D-ring connection means 90. A buckle 126 is used in lieu of the carabiner fastening means 92. Strap 128 is threaded through the end of buckle 126 and secured with stitching 130. The other end of strap 128 wraps around loop 20 and is also secured by stitching 130. A variation of this theme is disclosed in FIG. 11B. Here strap 140 connects body strap 70 to buckle 124. Strap 140 is joined fixedly to body strap 70 on one end with stitching 132. The other end of strap 140 is threaded through the end of buckle 124 then secured with stitching 142.

Referring now to FIG. 12A to FIG. 12C, a method to incorporate additional fastening means to loop 20 is disclosed. FIG. 12A and FIG. 12B respectively show carabiner fastening means 92 and buckle fastening means 126 joined to loop 20 as previously described. However, loop 20 is not yet closed but instead has open ends 138. Fastening means 144 are bound to open ends 138 to increase the overall carrying capacity of the invention. Referring now to FIG. 12C, joining means 22 is added to form a closed loop if desired. In the open loop configuration, fastening means 144 allow miscellaneous articles to be carried whose shape or size make the attachment methods described in FIG. 2A to FIG. 5C difficult. In the closed loop configuration fastening means 144 allow a larger variety of articles to be carried while loop 20 is engaged with a primary article to be carried as shown in FIG. 2A to FIG. 5C. For example, while loop 20 is used to navigate wheeled luggage 40 fastening means 144 could be used to secure a smaller item of luggage.

Referring now to FIG. 13A and FIG. 13B, additional connection means are disclosed in lieu of loop 20. FIG. 13A shows buckle 126 joined to hook 146 by strap 128. One end of strap 128 is threaded through buckle 126; the other end of strap 128 is threaded through hook 146. Stitching 130 secures the free ends. Referring now to FIG. 13B buckle 126 is connected to buckle 152 through strap 150. Strap 150 is threaded through buckle 126 and secured with stitching 130. The other end of strap 150 is threaded through buckle 152 and secured with stitching 151, or allowed to remain free for adjustment means 153. Strap 131 is threaded through buckle 148 and secured by stitching 130, thereby positioning buckle 148 between buckle 126 and buckle 152. Buckle 152 engages buckle 148 to facilitate attachment to articles.

Operation—FIG. 14A to FIG. 16C—Preferred Embodiment

Referring now to FIG. 14A the preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown being worn over shoulder 58 and attached to luggage 40. To operate, user 56 preferably places padding 134 onto a left or right shoulder 58 while the other end of strap 70 rests against side 60. This can be achieved either by lifting strap 70 over the head 64, or by disengaging connection/fastening means 76/74, then re-engaging them in front of chest 62. User 56 then attaches loop 20 to an article as shown in FIG. 2A to FIG. 5C. Next user 56 couples fastening means 92 (126) to connection means 90 (124). Connection means 90 (124) can be translated along strap 70 and have its position fixed with brake 110. Connection means 90 (124) can also be allowed to slide freely along strap 70. If desired, user 56 can then change the fit of strap 70 using adjustment means 72 to maximize comfort and performance. When the preferred embodiment is used to navigate wheeled luggage, strap 70 can be adjusted before or after luggage 40 is inclined. Decreasing the diameter of strap 70 increases angle φ (FIGS. 6B and 14A). Conversely increasing the diameter of strap 70 decreases angle φ (FIGS. 6B and 14A). Preferably user 56 adjusts the diameter of strap 70 such that φ (FIG. 6B) is slightly less than the incline of luggage 40 when pulled by hand. Also note that as angle φ (FIGS. 6B and 14A) decreases the perceived weight experienced by user 56 increases, while increasing angle φ (FIGS. 6B and 14A) decreases the perceived weight experienced by user 56. A maximum angle φ (FIGS. 6B and 14A) exists when using the invention with wheeled luggage that, if exceeded, causes luggage 40 to tilt back and away from user 56. Optimum angle φ (FIGS. 6B and 14A) and strap 70 diameter will vary for each user 56.

Referring now to FIG. 14B the preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown worn around the hips 61. To operate, strap 70 can be pulled over the head 64 or pull down to hips 61 from shoulder 58. Alternatively fastening means 74 can be coupled to connection means 76 along hips 61. Preferably strap 70 is oriented such that pouch 80 is disposed along the front or sides of hips 61 for easy access to articles therein. Strap 70 is tightened around hips 61 using adjustment means 72. User 56 then attaches loop 20 to an article as shown in FIG. 2A to FIG. 5C. Next user 56 couples fastening means 92 (126) to connection means 90 (124). Connection means 90 (124) can be translated along strap 70 and have its position fixed with brake 110, or connection means 90 (124) can be allowed to slide freely along strap 70. Preferably angle φ (FIGS. 6B and 14A) is slightly less than the incline of luggage 40 when pulled by hand. Angle φ (FIGS. 6B and 14A) can be changed slightly by increasing and decreasing the diameter of strap 70 using adjustment means 72. However, because allowing the diameter of strap 70 to become too large would result in the invention slipping off of hips 61, adjusting the effective length of loop 20 is desirable (FIG. 15A to FIG. 16C).

Referring now to FIG. 14C and FIG. 14C′, an addition method of using fastening means 92 with loop 20 is disclosed. User 56 may attach loop 20 to belt loops, belts, and the like via directly or through connection means 92. This configuration is lighter and more portable than using the body strap 70 assembly. Referring now to FIG. 14C′ connection means 156 is joined to fastening means 92 via coupling means 154. Loop 20 is joined to fastening means 158 via strap 160. One end is threaded through fastening means 158, while the other end of strap 160 is threaded through loop 20. Stitching 162 secures both loose ends. By engaging and disengaging fastening means 158 to and from connection means 156, user 56 is able to quickly remove a load without having to fully disengage connection means 92 from the body. Of course the alternate embodiment shown in FIG. 14C′ can also be substituted into any design for the simple connection means 92/loop 20 combination.

Referring now to FIG. 15A to FIG. 16C, methods to adjust the effective length of loop 20 are disclosed. FIG. 15A shows that positioning joining means 22 in different locations relative to loop top 26 changes the effective diameter and length of loop 20. Referring now to FIG. 15B, loop 20 is shown wound into spool means 164. A mode of control means 166 allows additional length of loop 20 to be pulled from spool means 164. Control means 166 can also be used to fix the diameter of loop 20, as well as retract loop 164 back into the body of spool 164. Referring now to FIG. 15C, spring loaded clip 170 can be position to increase or decrease the effective diameter and length of loop 20. Referring now to FIG. 16A to FIG. 16C, loop top 26 is pull taut as it is rotated counter clockwise. Each revolution decreases the effective diameter and length of loop 20, while every clockwise rotation increases the effective diameter and length.

Advantages—FIG. 7A to FIG. 16C—Preferred Embodiment

The preferred embodiment described above incorporates all the advantages of the simplest embodiment. The preferred embodiment is also extremely compact, simple to construct, and cheap to manufacture. The methods disclosed to attach loop 20 to wheeled luggage (FIG. 2A to FIG. 2C), articles with handles (FIG. 3A to FIG. 3C), and articles without handles (FIG. 4A to FIG. 4C) are very quick and easy to perform. These methods are also very flexible in accommodating handles and articles of different size, shape, and type.

Another notable advantage to the methods disclosed above is the quick and easy formation of gripping loops 30′ and 32′. Gripping loops 30′ and 32′ make navigating wheeled luggage very stable and responsive to turning. This is achieved by holding both sides of handle grip 34 without having to engage and disengage two separate attachment means—thereby saving time and effort. 30′ and 32′ provide a firm towing connection without slippage in the +/−Y direction (FIG. 2A to FIG. 2D). Also connecting to both sides of handle grip 34 creates a restoring force that counters rotation of wheeled luggage about the +/−Z axis during use.

Other advantages of the preferred embodiment over the simplest embodiment of the present invention and the prior art follow. Referring to FIG. 7A to FIG. 16C loop 20 is shown as separable from body strap 70 by connection/fastening means 90/92. This allows user 56 to efficiently add and remove loads. Slidable positioning of connection means 90 allows loads to be placed to the back, side, and front of user 56 while in motion or at rest. This is done without moving pouch body 80 and connection/fastening means 76/74 out of reach. Connection/fastening means 76/74 allow strap 70 to be added and removed from user 56 without having to lift a closed loop 20 over the head. Connection/fastening means 76/74 is also an important safety feature in that it allows user 56 to quickly disengage the harness entirely from the body. Adjustment means 72 allows the harness to comfortably accommodate different sized users and loads. When used with wheeled luggage adjustment means 72 is used to achieve an optimum luggage incline angle φ. Pouch body 80, pockets 82 and 84, and utility loops 88 allow users to keep critical articles readily available while in motion or at rest. Easily engaging and disengaging pouch body 80 from strap 70 allows the harness to be more or less portable, as desired.

Description—FIG. 17A to FIG. 19B—Additional Embodiments

Referring to FIG. 17A, an alternate embodiment of the present invention is disclosed in which loop 20 is coupled to a backpack 172. Coupling is facilitated by the addition of connection means 174 to the bottom of backpack 172. It acts as a receptacle for fastening means 92. In FIG. 17B a coupling is conceived which involves buckles. Strap 140 is joined to the bottom of backpack 172 by stitching 176 on one end, while the other end is threaded through connection means 124 and secured with stitching 142. Fastening means 126 is engaged with connection means 124 to join a load to user 56.

Referring now to FIG. 18A and FIG. 18B, an alternate embodiment of the present invention is disclosed in which loop 20 is coupled to a dual strap harness 178. Coupling is facilitated by the addition of connection means 174 to the back of dual strap harness 178. It acts as a receptacle for fastening means 92. In FIG. 18B a coupling is conceived which involves buckles. Strap 140 is joined to the back of dual strap harness 178 by stitching 176 on one end, while the other end is threaded through connection means 124 and secured with stitching 142. Fastening means 126 is engaged with connection means 124 to join a load to user 56.

Referring now to FIG. 19A to FIG. 19C, alternate embodiments of the present invention comprises a hip strap 180 with tail 188 and connection and fastening means 182/184 intermediate its ends. FIG. 19A shows a tail 188 folding on itself and secured with connection and fastening means 190, such as Velcro®, forming opening 194 used to engage articles to be carried or navigated. FIG. 19B shows tail 188 terminated with a hook 192 used to engage articles to be carried or navigated. FIG. 19C shows strap 196 with connection and fastening means 198/200 intermediate its ends. Base 202 is fixedly joined to strap 196 with rivets or other suitable means. Curved arm 206 is joined to base 202 at hinge 204 on one end, and joined to loop 20 on the other.

CONCLUSION

While the invention has been described in detail and with reference to specific examples thereof, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope thereof.