Title:
Combination beach device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A combination beach device has a main section formed as a panel of flexible cloth material having a vertical length longer than a horizontal width forming four corners. The main sling member can be unfurled and used as a beach towel. The main sling member has four attachment points, one near each of four corners of the main section, and each four attachment points are formed of rings. A detachable fabric strap has a pair of clips, each attachable to each attachment point. A second panel is coplanar to the main section, and forms a storage area between the second panel and main section. The storage area forms a closeable pocket on the main section. The main section can be inverted, folded and stowed within the storage area along with other articles.



Inventors:
Iannini, Mark (Newport Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/166020
Publication Date:
10/27/2005
Filing Date:
06/25/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F3/15; A45F4/02; B63B35/79; A45C3/10; A45F3/02; (IPC1-7): A45F4/00; A45C15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COGILL, JOHN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NEWHOPE LAW, PC (Los Alamitos, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A combination beach device comprising: a main section formed as a substantially rectangular panel of flexible cloth material having a vertical length longer than a horizontal width forming four corners, whereby the main sling member can be unfurled and used as a beach towel; four attachment points, one near each of four corners of the main section, each four attachment points formed of rings; a detachable fabric strap having a pair of clips, each attachable to each attachment point; a second panel coplanar to the main section, forming a storage area between the second panel and main section, wherein the storage area forms a closeable pocket on the main section; wherein the main section can be inverted, folded and stowed within the storage area along with other articles.

2. The combination beach device of claim 1, wherein two rings are D rings and two rings are fabric loops, wherein the fabric loops fit over the D rings that connect to the clips on the strap.

3. The combination beach device of claim 1, wherein a central opening is openable by a zipper to convert the combination beach device into a wearable poncho.

4. The combination beach device of claim 1, further comprising a belt hook and loop tape fastener comprising: an elongated loop strip at one lateral edge of the main section and a hook strip oriented to mate with the loop strip to make a secure belt fastener.

5. The combination beach device of claim 1, further comprising a third panel coplanar to the second panel and coplanar to the main section, forming a second storage area between the second panel and third panel, wherein the second storage area forms a closeable pocket on the second panel; wherein the second panel receive small articles.

6. The combination beach device of claim 1, further comprising a fifth attachment point mounted on the main section cooperating with a sixth attachment point mounted on the main section; and further comprising a third clip on the strap engagable to the fifth attachment point and sixth attachment point, allowing a user to wear the strap over both shoulders as a backpack for surfboard.

7. The combination beach device of claim 1, wherein the storage area is rectangular; and further comprising two rings on the upper inside corners of the closeable pocket, allowing the pair of clips on the strap to be clipped to the rings when the combination beach device is being used as a carry pouch.

8. The combination beach device of claim 1, wherein the storage area is rectangular; and further comprising four rings on the inside corners of the closeable pocket; and further comprising a second strap allowing the two pair of clips on the two straps to be clipped to the rings when the combination beach device is used as a backpack.

9. A combination beach device comprising: a main section formed as a non-rectangular panel of flexible cloth material having a vertical length longer than a horizontal width forming four corners, whereby the main sling member can be unfurled and used as a beach towel; four attachment points, one near each of four corners of the main section, each four attachment points formed of rings; a detachable fabric strap having a pair of clips, each attachable to each attachment point; a second panel coplanar to the main section, forming a storage area between the second panel and main section, wherein the storage area forms a closeable pocket on the main section; wherein the main section can be inverted, folded and stowed within the storage area along with other articles.

10. The combination beach device of claim 9, wherein two rings are D rings and two rings are fabric loops, wherein the fabric loops fit over the D rings that connect to the clips on the strap.

11. The combination beach device of claim 9, wherein a central opening is openable by a zipper to convert the combination beach device into a wearable poncho.

12. The combination beach device of claim 9, further comprising a belt hook and loop tape fastener comprising: an elongated loop strip at one lateral edge of the main section and a hook strip oriented to mate with the loop strip to make a secure belt fastener, whereby a user may wear the device as a skirt.

13. The combination beach device of claim 9, further comprising a third panel coplanar to the second panel and coplanar to the main section, forming a second storage area between the second panel and third panel, wherein the second storage area forms a closeable pocket on the second panel; wherein the second panel receive small articles.

14. The combination beach device of claim 9, further comprising a fifth attachment point mounted on the main section cooperating with a sixth attachment point mounted on the main section; and further comprising a third clip on the strap engagable to the fifth attachment point and sixth attachment point, allowing a user to wear the strap over both shoulders as a backpack for surfboard.

15. The combination beach device of claim 9, wherein the storage area is rectangular; and further comprising two rings on the upper inside corners of the closeable pocket, allowing the pair of clips on the strap to be clipped to the rings when the combination beach device is being used as a carry pouch.

16. The combination beach device of claim 9, wherein the storage area is rectangular; and further comprising four rings on the inside corners of the closeable pocket; and further comprising a second strap allowing the two pair of clips on the two straps to be clipped to the rings when the combination beach device is used as a backpack.

Description:

This is a continuation in part, of application Ser. No. 10/246,935, filed Sep. 19, 2002.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a combination carrier device, and more particularly to a transporting sling and backpack combined with a body wear which can be used around beach or water sports facilities.

B. Description of the Prior Art

Surfing in the ocean is a popular sport that requires a surfboard. Surfboards are watercrafts that are stored out of water and must be portaged to the ocean for use. In the history of surfing, some surfboards have regularly exceeded the users' height. Carrying an elongated load such as a surfboard can be cumbersome and walking an extended distance with a board can be tiring. Often times, the best surfing spots in the world require an extended hike across treacherous terrain to reach the ocean. A variety of devices have been invented to carry an elongated load such as a surfboard.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,823,551 by Conroy shows a lightweight carrier for transporting a surfboard. The carrier is fastened to into one end of the load by a padded cross member, which carries the load. The surfer can then carry the opposite end of the load. This invention helps surfers carry surfboards across long distances of road where the road is paved. Unfortunately, it requires the use of at least one hand and does not go up steps.

A board carrying apparatus was invented by Silberberg as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,724,989 and includes a handle connected to a rigid carrier bar. The carrier bar holds a plurality of straps that support a sailboard or surfboard.

Inventor Frietze in U.S. Pat. No. 5,695,101 describes a body board carrying device comprising a plurality of adjustable straps fashioned into loops to encircle various sports equipment that can hold a variety of miscellaneous items. This configuration has the drawback of a complex system of straps that would be compromised by particles of silica sand from the beach.

Another attempt at a surfboard carrying device was invented by Savage in U.S. Pat. No. 5,094,344. A carrying case includes a flexible soft portion and a rigid hard portion for transporting a surfboard so as to prevent damage to the surfboard fins. The carry case is constructed so that at least one surf board can be carried, with a tail portion of the surfboard, including the fans, protectively encapsulated within a the hard case portion thereby preventing damage due to impact and mishandling of the case during transport. The Savage invention is an improvement on the surfboard bag allowing transportation on airplanes and buses.

Yet another device for carrying recreational boards is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,492,254 issued to inventor Challoner. The carrier case for a recreational board contains a base and a first and second engagement pouch or compartment for securing a recreational board to the base. This carrying case has the advantage of protecting the ends of a board while in transport.

Although it is remote from being a water sports accessory, U.S. Pat. No. 5,251,945 discloses a device for protecting and transporting articles wherein a main panel with fixed handles to wrap up items for transportation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is a primary object of the invention to offer a sling device that allows a surfer to carry a surfboard hands free while walking to and from a surfing destination over an extended distance, riding a bicycle or traversing terrain that requires use of both hands.

It is a secondary object of the invention to offer a beach sling that can be used as a body protection to assist in changing clothes at the destination.

It is a third object of the invention to offer a beach sling that can be used also as a backpack that carries personal belongings such as a wet suit or other water sports accessories.

It is a fourth object of the invention to offer a beach sling with improved shoulder strap and the method of using the same.

It is a fifth object of the invention to offer a beach sling incorporating a beverage cooler.

It is a sixth object of the present invention to offer a beach sling that can be used as a baby sling to carry a baby with ease around the beach.

It is a seventh object of the invention to offer a washing machine compatible sling.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the sling according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a view of the sling of FIG. 1 unfurled into a beach towel mode.

FIG. 3 is a view of the sling of FIG. 1 converted to a beach bag mode with two straps attached.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the sling according to a second embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the sling wear used as a beach poncho.

FIG. 6 is a view of the third embodiment sling according to a third embodiment of the invention in its operation to carry a surfboard.

FIG. 7 is a view of a user operating the third embodiment sling while riding a bicycle.

FIG. 8 is a view of the third embodiment sling of FIG. 6 when it is opened and laid flat.

Embodiments of the invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The combination device is shown first in FIG. 1. The main sling member 10 can be configured for a wide variety of functionality. Referring to FIG. 1, the beach sling of the present invention has a main sling member 10 made of terry cloth towel material. Although the main member panel is usually rectangular, it can also be made in a non-rectangular shape. Non-rectangular shapes can be useful when conforming to surf boards or to a user wearing the panel as a backpack, poncho or skirt. However, the best mode is to have a rectangular main panel.

In FIG. 1, the main member 10 is of rectangular shape and in essence a beach towel developed to have practical versatility. The vertical or longitudinal dimension of the sling member 10 is preferably 48 in. long and the horizontal or latitudinal dimension is preferably 27 in. wide. Besides being a beach sling another primary use of the combination device is for a beach towel, a necessity in the beach activities and other water sports. The main sling member 10 creates a cavity fold 15 about its latitudinal middle line 16 to hold a surfboard. Other recreational boards such as boogie boards, and sailboards can also be held and transported in the sling.

When the main sling member 10 is folded as shown in FIG. 1, it has a first panel 20 with a first edge 21 parallel to the horizontal dimension and a second panel 22 with a second edge 23, which is also parallel to the horizontal dimension. Preferably, strip 24 of polypropylene fabric reinforces the edge 21 and strip 25 of the same material reinforces the edge 23. The strips of polypropylene fabric 24 and 25 being linearly shaped are preferably rectangular.

Also preferably, the strips 24 and 25 are sewn over the edges 21 and 23 respectively, when two loops 30a and 30b are sewn together on the edge 21 to provide a fastening means. The loops 30a and 30b extend upward from the longitudinal edge of the strip 24 near its lateral ends. The loops 30a and 30b may be of the same material as the strip 24. The fastening means also comprises the corresponding number of rings such as D-rings 31a and 31b fixed along the longitudinal edge of the strip 25 in opposing locations from the loops 30a and 30b. Each of the D-rings 31a and 31b is attached via a loop stitched to the strip 25. The rings shown such as the D-ring is preferably made of plastic for durability and corrosion-resistance.

A detachable strap 32 provides a convenient handle means with its length adjustable at an adjusting member 33. The strap 32 may be made of a strip 34 of polypropylene fabric, which is used for the strips 24 and 25. The strap 32 has two identical locking hooks 35a and 35b to be engaged releasable with the D-rings 31a and 31b of the main sling member 10. The hook 35a is threaded to the strap loop formed by the adjusting member 33 while the hook 35b is attached to the strap 32 at the end loop closed by stitching.

Therefore, in one mode of the invention, as shown in FIG. 1, the end hook 35b may engage the D-ring 31b with the mating loop 30b wrapping over the D-ring 31b. Likewise, another end hook 35a may join the other couple of the loop 30a and the D-ring 31a. The fabric loop wrapping over the D-ring provides a single attachment of the end hook 35a to the D-ring 31a and supports both the fabric loop side and the hook side. The D-ring provides a durable connection, but can be replaced by an equivalent sized fabric loop.

In addition, an optional support pad 37 of soft cloth, foam or gel padding alleviate stress concentration around the user's shoulders and slide freely along the strap 32 at a convenient location for the user. The supporting pad 37 is of planar shape and has a padding portion and a flexible portion although a variety of pads currently in widespread use and known in the industry can be employed for the present beach sling.

A substantial area of the second panel 22 is in two-ply formed either by folding an extra longitudinal length of the main sling member 10 or by adding a third panel 38 of the same terry cloth towel material to stitch their edges together except the lower edge of the panel 38, which is close to the middle line 16. The line at 38 also means to show the stitch line of the lower edge of the panel 38. Longitudinal stitch lines 39 are made from the lower edge of the panel 38 up to the strip 23 to form a pocket storage area 40 between the second and third panels 23 and 38.

A slide fastener 41 such as a zipper formed in the third panel 38 extending parallel to the strip 23 defines a top opening of the storage area 40. The fastener 41 is made of plastic material and has a double-headed slider also made of a plastic. A smaller pocket 42 is made separately out of a waterproof nylon material and then stitched to the inside of the second panel 22. The pocket 42 has the common location of its top opening with the fastener 41 and it may have the fastening means of hook and loops, which will resist water damage on the items in the pocket with the assistance of the closed fastener 41.

At the interior corners of the storage area 40 there are D-rings 43 attached, of which only the left one 43 is shown in FIG. 1 at a location 43 inside of the storage area 40 while FIG. 3 clearly shows all four D-rings 43 having two straps 32 attached thereto. Preferably, the upper inside corners have rings such as D-rings 43 attached allowing the pair of clips on the strap to be clipped to the rings when the combination beach device is being used as a carry pouch.

The purpose the storage area 40 is to store personal belongings including the sling itself. First, the strap 32 is detached. Then, the first panel 20 is folded or rolled into a smaller size. Next, the slide fastener 41 is opened to turn the storage area 40 inside out swallowing the first panel 20 and the rest exposing the internal D-rings 43 to make hooking engagements with two or more of the hooks 35a-35c. Because of the large capacity of the storage area 40, the sling now becomes a bag to carry small articles for beach life including surfing accessories like surf wax.

FIG. 2 shows a beach towel mode of the device. As a top view, the central opening 44 is closed and loops 30a, 30b oppose D rings 31a, 31b. The compartment 40 is closed along the closing edge 41.

FIG. 3 shows a backpack configuration when the pouch 40 is inverted so that the previously inner surface of the pouch 40 in the towel configuration becomes the outside surface having the waterproof pocket 42 on the outside of the backpack. A pair of straps 32 connect attachment points 43 allowing a backpack configuration whereby shoulders fit under straps 32. The previous opening 41 allows a user to open the pouch hollow portion of the backpack for storage of articles. Removal of one of the straps 32 allows a user to convert the backpack into a purse pouch. As seen in FIG. 3 the right strap can be removed so that the opening is upward.

FIG. 4 shows a second embodiment of the present invention wherein the main sling member 10 has a first panel 20 with a first edge 21 parallel to the horizontal dimension and a second panel 22 with a second edge 23, which is also parallel to the horizontal dimension. Preferably, strip 24 of polypropylene fabric reinforces the edge 21 and strip 25 of the same material reinforces the edge 23. The strips of polypropylene fabric 24 and 25 being linearly shaped are preferably rectangular.

Also preferably, the strips 24 and 25 are sewn over the edges 21 and 23 respectively, when three loops 30a-30c are sewn together on the edge 21 to provide a fastening means. One of the loops is loop 30c in the center of the edge strip 24 extending upward from the longitudinal edge of the strip 24 and the loops 30a and 30b are similarly fixed at locations distanced equally from the center to near the lateral ends of the strip 24. The loops 30a-30c may be of the same material as the strip 24. The fastening means also comprises the corresponding number of D-rings 31a-31c fixed along the longitudinal edge of the strip 25 in opposing locations from the loops 30a-30c. Each of the D-rings 31a-31c is attached via a loop stitched to the strip 25. The D-ring is preferably made of plastic for durability and corrosion-resistance.

A detachable strap 50 provides a convenient handle means with its length adjustable at an adjusting member 33. The strap 32 may be made of a strip 34 of polypropylene fabric, which is used for the strips 24 and 25. The strap 32 has three identical locking hooks 35a-35c to be engaged releasable with the selected D-rings of the main sling member 10 depending on the mode of actual use of the beach sling. The hook 35a is threaded to the strap loop formed by the adjusting member 33 while the hooks 35b and 35c are attached to the strap 32 at the local loops closed by stitching the strap folds.

Therefore, in one mode of this embodiment of the invention, as shown in FIG. 4, the end hook 35b may engage the D-ring 31b with the mating loop 30b wrapping over the D-ring 31b. Likewise, another end hook 35a may join the other couple of the loop 30a and the D-ring 31a. The use of more than a pair of engagement hooks allows connection in a third location such as shown in FIG. 4 being the middle hook 35c attached to the middle connection area formed by 31c and 30c allowing the device to be worn over the shoulders as a backpack while carrying a surf board formed in the space 15.

In addition, two optional support pads 37 made of soft cloth, foam or gel padding alleviate stress concentration around the user's shoulders and slide freely along the strap 32 at convenient locations for the user. The supporting pad 37 is of planar shape and has a padding portion and a flexible portion although a variety of pads currently in widespread use and known in the industry can be employed for the present beach sling.

The invention also contemplates to incorporate an insulation padding in the storage area 40 in order to carry cold beverages and the like in cool temperature for an extended period of time. The optionally insulated pouch area allows carrying of insulated articles.

Also, it is possible to modify the shape and volume of the storage area 40 and use breathable light cotton for the third panel 38 to extend the functional application of the beach sling into a baby sling to transport a baby with ease and security.

Further, in a backpack mode of the sling of the present invention to carry a heavier items, the strap 32 can join the main member 10 with all the three hooks 35a-35c to make two strap sections centered about the D-ring 31c. Each shoulder can pass each strap section for a balanced support of the load in the sling.

The device is also wearable when the zipper 44 is opened forming an opening for a user's head. Longitudinally sliding fastener 44 is to open the center of the beach sling for the user's head in its poncho mode of use. In case of raining or when warming is desired, this beach sling may be worn as a poncho through the fastener 44 slid open with an adjusted extent using the attached slider as shown in FIG. 5.

To facilitate the use of this sling as a skirt body wear or for a changing veil to be belt secured around a human waist, the main member 10 also has an auxiliary fastening means, here shown by hook and loop tape. FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 show at one lateral edge of the first panel 20 an elongated loop strip 45 is attached extending longitudinally from the edge 21 to near the middle line 16 while a mating hook strip 46 is attached to the same lateral side of the second strip 25 but facing away from the first panel 20. Therefore, when the sling member 10 is wrapped around the body of the wearer with the loop strip 45 oriented to the top facing forward, the mating hook strip 46 will be brought into contact with the loop strip 45 to close the wear. By adjusting the tightness of the sling wear through the position of contact of the hook strip 46 along the loop strip 45 it can be a secure covering for the wearer or a loose protection with enough room to change clothes without needing to go back to the changing facilities. Optionally, the storage area 40 can be closed by hook and loop tape sewn into opposite sides of the opening of third panel 38.

The third embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 6, wherein the beach sling has a main sling member 101 made of terry cloth towel material. The main member is of rectangular shape having a vertical dimension greater than a horizontal dimension. The vertical dimension is preferably 48 in. long and the horizontal dimension is preferably 27 in. wide. The best mode consists of using the main sling member 101 as a beach towel, as they are widely available. The main sling member creates a cavity fold 150 between an upper and lower edge to hold a surfboard. Other recreational boards such as boogie boards, and sailboards can also be held and transported in the sling.

A top edge 310 of FIG. 6 main sling member 101 parallel to the horizontal dimension opposes a bottom edge 320 of the main sling member, also parallel to the horizontal dimension. Preferably, respective strips 311 of polypropylene fabric reinforce the top 310 and bottom edge 320. A strip of polypropylene fabric 311 being linearly shaped is preferably rectangular and has two ends.

A pair of straps 120 is sewn on opposite ends of the main sling member 101 parallel to the horizontal width. Preferably, the straps 120 each has two connection points 325 at the two ends of the reinforcing polypropylene fabric 311. The straps 120 should be made of polypropylene fabric.

Optionally, as shown in FIGS. 6 to 8, pocket 210 made of the same material as the main sling member 101 can be sewn and attached to the main sling member. The pocket is preferably rectangular having a vertical dimension of 8 in and a horizontal dimension of 10 in. Preferably, the opening edge 212 of the pocket is 6 in. from the top edge of the main member 101.

The pocket 210 can be closed by hook and loop tape sewn into opposite sides of the opening of the pocket. The sling device can be unfurled and used as a beach towel. The pocket 210 allows the device to be folded upon itself and stowed into the 210 pocket for storage. The pocket 210 additionally allows a user to store accessory items such as surfboard wax. A surfboard fits into the folded cavity 150 formed by opposite ends of the vertical lengths of the substantially rectangular main section.

A user puts one strap over the shoulder while holding the opposite strap 120. This creates a cavity formed by the main sling member 101. The user then places one or two surfboards and optionally other equipment inside the cavity. A user places the middle portion of a surfboard inside the cavity 150 and balances the surfboard according to the user's natural center of gravity. The user then puts the other strap over the shoulder, which wraps the top and bottom ends of the 101 main sling member around the surfboard. The terry cloth material of the main sling member 101 conforms to the waxed and curved shape of the surfboard to maintain separation between ends of the straps and ends of reinforcing strips along the horizontal direction. With both straps 120 over the shoulder a user can carry a surfboard without using hands, which allows a user to ride a bicycle or carry other equipment while walking over sand. The opposing straps 120 connected to the top and bottom ends of the main member 101 can be connected to each other. Connecting the straps improve ease of use.

While the user carries the device hands free, the user can access the optional pocket 210. An optional support pad 250 made of soft cloth, foam or gel padding alleviates stress concentration around a user shoulder and slides along and relative to a strap for ease of adjustment. The supporting pad 250 is of planar shape when opened. The support pad 250 has a padding portion and a flexible portion. The flexible portion can open and close. The flexible portion can wrap around a strap and close by hook and loop tape at a pad connection point between the flexible portion and the support pad. Alternatively, hook and loop tape can be attached to the flexible portion alone according to configurations commonly known in the industry. The support pad 250 thus folds open to accommodate and attach to a strap 120 and can accommodate both straps 120. A variety of support pads 250 currently in widespread use and known in the industry can be used with the board sling.

After the user arrives at the surfing spot the user unfurls the device that is then used as a beach towel. After a day at the beach, the device may be covered with sand. A user can shake the sand loose from the device before going home.

The beach sling can be created by modifying an existing beach towel that is commonly and commercially available in a wide variety of styles and designs. The process of modification comprises several steps. The first step consists of selecting a desirable beach towel. The towel is used as the sling main section 101. A strap 120 is connected to the ends of the top edge of the beach towel board sling main section 101. The strap 120 is connected to the ends of the bottom edge of the beach towel board sling main section 101. Optionally, the top and bottom edges of the beach towel can be reinforced with reinforcing fabric strips 311. The left and right sides of the beach towel can be reinforced with fabric strips as well. The reinforcing fabric strips 311 have opposite ends 325 where fabric straps 120 can be connected.

Optionally, a pocket can be sewn in the main section of the beach towel. The pocket can be biased closed by affixing opposite strips of hook and loop tape across the opening of the pocket 212.

The present invention contemplates that many changes and modifications may be made. For example, the same skill described above for the surfboard sling can readily be applied to carry a snowboard with the use of a heavy-duty material. Therefore, while the presently preferred form of the beach sling has been shown and described, and several modifications thereof discussed, persons skilled in this art will readily appreciate that various additional changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention, as defined and differentiated by the following claims.





 
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