Title:
Daypack with improved comfort shoulder straps
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A daypack has a body portion having a pouch and a pair of straps attached to the body portion. Each of the straps has a first, outer side and a second, inner side. Between the first and second sides are a comfort strip and a pad. The comfort strip is positioned between the first and second sides and has a plurality of protuberances formed thereon. The protuberances extend outwardly from the comfort strip in the direction of the first side. The pad is located between the comfort strip and the second, inner side such that the protuberances extend into the pad.



Inventors:
Nykoluk, Cory O. (Ballwin, MO, US)
Application Number:
10/847512
Publication Date:
11/17/2005
Filing Date:
05/17/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F3/12; A45F3/04; (IPC1-7): A45F3/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VANTERPOOL, LESTER L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard, PC (St. Louis, MO, US)
Claims:
1. A daypack comprising: a body portion having a pouch; and a pair of straps attached to the body portion, each of the straps comprising: a first, outer side; a second, inner side; a comfort strip positioned between the first and second sides having a plurality of protuberances formed thereon, the protuberances extending outwardly from the comfort strip in a direction of the second side; and a pad located between the comfort strip and the second, inner side such that the protuberances extend into the pad when the comfort strip and the pad are assembled against one another.

2. The daypack of claim 1 wherein the pad has a plurality of holes therein located in generally the same positions as the protuberances of the comfort strip and wherein the protuberances extend into the holes of the pad when the comfort strip and the pad are assembled against one another.

3. The daypack of claim 1 wherein the second, inner side comprises a mesh panel located over at least some of the protuberances of the comfort strip.

4. The daypack of claim 3 wherein the second inner side further comprises an upper inner panel attached to the mesh panel and a lower inner panel attached to the mesh panel.

5. The daypack of claim 1 wherein the comfort strip comprises three rows of protuberances distributed evenly across a width of the strap.

6. The daypack of claim 5 wherein a center row of protuberances has a height greater than other rows of protuberances.

7. The daypack of claim 1 wherein a ratio of a distance between adjacent protuberances to a height of the protuberances is between about 0.6:1 to about 3:1.

8. The daypack of claim 7 wherein the ratio of the distance between adjacent protuberances and the height of the protuberances is between about 1.25:1.

9. The daypack of claim 1 wherein the protuberances have a tapered profile such that the protuberances have a greater diameter at their base than at their peak.

10. A daypack comprising: a body portion having a pouch; and a pair of straps attached to the body portion, each of the straps comprising: a first, outer side; a second, inner side; a comfort strip positioned between the first and second sides having a plurality of protuberances formed thereon, the protuberances extending outwardly from the comfort strip in a direction of the second side, wherein a ratio of a distance between adjacent protuberances and a height of the protuberances is between about 0.6:1 to about 3:1.; and a pad located between the comfort strip and the second, inner side such that the protuberances extend into the pad when the comfort strip and the pad are assembled against one another and wherein the pad has a plurality of holes located therein in generally the same positions as the protuberances of the comfort strip and wherein the protuberances extend into the holes of the pad.

11. The daypack of claim 10 wherein the second, inner side comprises a mesh panel located over at least some of the protuberances of the comfort strip.

12. The daypack of claim 11 wherein the second inner side further comprises an upper inner panel attached to the mesh panel and a lower inner panel attached to the mesh panel.

13. The daypack of claim 10 wherein the comfort strip comprises three rows of protuberances distributed evenly across the width of the strap.

14. The daypack of claim 13 wherein a center row of protuberances has a height greater than the other rows of protuberances.

15. The daypack of claim 10 wherein the ratio of the distance between adjacent protuberances and the height of the protuberances is between about 1.25:1.

16. The daypack of claim 10 wherein the protuberances have a tapered profile such that the protuberances have a greater diameter at their base than at their peak.

17. A daypack comprising: a body portion having a pouch; and a pair of straps attached to the body portion, each of the straps comprising: a first, outer side; a second, inner side; a comfort strip positioned between the first and second sides having a plurality of protuberances formed thereon, the protuberances extending outwardly from the comfort strip in a direction of the second side, the protuberances arranged in at least three rows across the width of the strap, wherein a center row of protuberances has a height greater than the outer rows of protuberances, wherein a ratio of a distance between adjacent protuberances to a height of the protuberances is between about 0.6:1 to about 3:1; and a pad located between the comfort strip and the second, inner side such that the protuberances extend into the pad when the comfort strip and the pad are assembled against one another, wherein the pad has a plurality of holes therein located in generally the same positions as the protuberances of the comfort strip and wherein the protuberances extend into the holes of the pad.

18. The daypack of claim 17 wherein the second, inner side comprises a mesh panel located over at least some of the protuberances of the comfort strip.

19. The daypack of claim 18 wherein the second inner side further comprises an upper inner panel attached to the mesh panel and a lower inner panel attached to the mesh panel.

20. The daypack of claim 17 wherein the comfort strip comprises three rows of protuberances distributed evenly across the width of the strap.

21. The daypack of claim 17 wherein the ratio of the height of the protuberances to the distance between adjacent protuberances is about 1.25:1.

22. The daypack of claim 17 wherein the protuberances have a tapered profile such that the protuberances have a greater diameter at their base than at their peak.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A. Field of the invention

The invention relates to the field of body-worn baggage. More specifically, the invention relates to a daypack having shoulder straps with improved comfort.

B. Description of Related Art

In the past, multiple attempts have been made at daypacks with improved comfort shoulder straps. VICTORINOX branded daypacks having included a shoulder comfort system called the Z-FORCE comfort strap system. Referring to FIGS. 1-3, this system utilizes a shoulder strap comprising an outer nylon fabric 1 covering a soft, flexible thermoplastic rubber (TPR) strip 2 having a plurality of nodules 5 protruding from it. A high-density foam lining 3 provides additional padding and is placed against the TPR strip against a side opposite the nodules 5. Finally, a fabric 4 is placed against a side of the TPR strip 2 having the nodules 5 protruding from it. FIGS. 2-3 show a top and side view of a sample of the TPR strip 2 having nodules 5 protruding from it. It can be seen from FIGS. 1-3 that even the largest diameter nodules 5 have a length X that is greater than the diameter Y of the nodules 5. Additionally, the nodules 5 are spaced very closely to one another, thus limiting the airflow under the shoulder strap and trapping perspiration against the wearer. In the sample of FIGS. 1-3 the largest nodules are roughly ¼″ in diameter with a gap of no more than roughly 1/16″ to ⅛″ between adjacent nodules. Additionally, the length X of the nodules 5 is roughly ¼″.

Another prior art system intended to increase the comfort of daypack shoulder straps is the AIRLIFT system used in JANSPORT branded daypacks. Referring to FIG. 4, the AIRLIFT system comprises a shoulder strap having an outer material 10 which envelopes a honeycomb material 12 formed from a soft, thermoplastic material. This system allows no airflow to pass between the shoulder strap and the wearer to allow perspiration to evaporate.

In spite of these efforts, prior art daypack shoulder strap systems do not provide sufficient comfort. Therefore, there is a need for an improved shoulder strap comfort system for a daypack.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A daypack comprising a body portion comprising a pouch and a pair of straps attached to the body portion. Each of the straps comprises a first, outer side and a second, inner side. Between the first and second sides are a comfort strip and a pad. The comfort strip is positioned between the first and second sides and has a plurality of protuberances formed thereon. The protuberances extend outwardly from the comfort strip in a direction toward the second, inner side. The pad is located between the comfort strip and the second, inner side such that the protuberances extend into the pad.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a shoulder strap according to the prior art;

FIG. 2 is a side view of nodules of a TPR strip of a shoulder strap according to the prior art;

FIG. 3 is a top view of nodules of a TPR strip of a shoulder strap according to the prior art;

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of a shoulder strap according to the prior art,

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a daypack according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a side view of a daypack according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of a shoulder strap of a daypack according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a diagram of the shoulder strap of a daypack according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a plan view of a comfort strip according to an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 10 is a plan view of a shoulder strap pad according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail preferred embodiments of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the broad aspect of the invention to the embodiments illustrated.

In FIGS. 5 and 6, there is shown a daypack 20 having a body portion 22 and a pair of shoulder straps 24. The body portion 22 comprises a pouch that may be opened and closed by means of a zipper and a plurality of outer compartments for storing items. The body portion 22 does not differ from the prior art and, as such, will not be further described herein. The straps 24 generally comprise a first outer side 26 and a second inner side 28. The first outer side 26 does not contact the body of a wearer and generally comprises a decorative fabric that fits within the particular stylistic theme of the daypack 20. The second inner side 28 contacts the body of the wearer and comprises a breathable, wicking material that allows air to pass between the body of the wearer and strap 24.

Referring to FIG. 7, the wicking material preferably comprises a mesh panel 30 attached to an upper inner panel 32 and a lower inner panel 34. As can be seen in FIGS. 6 and 7, the mesh panel 30 is located on the inner side 28 of the shoulder strap 24 such that it contacts the wearer from near the top of the wearer's shoulder to the front of the wearer's shoulder approximately even with the wearer's armpit.

As shown in FIG. 8, between the first outer side 26 of the shoulder strap 24 and the second inner side 28 of the shoulder strap 24 is located a resilient comfort strip 36 (FIG. 9) and a resilient foam pad 38 (FIG. 10). The comfort strip 36 comprises a plurality of protuberances 40. The pad 38 has a plurality of holes 42 which correspond in location to the protuberances 40 so that when the pad 38 is placed over the comfort strip 36 the protuberances extend into the holes 42. Moreover, the protuberances 40 and holes 42 are located in the same general position on the strap 24 as the mesh panel 30. As such, the comfort strip 36 of the present invention is readily visible and provides a visual element. The comfort strip can be provided in various colors that complement the style and design of the bag.

Referring to FIG. 9, the outer periphery of the comfort strip 36 generally conforms to the shape of the shoulder strap 24. The protuberances 40 form three rows across the width of the strap 24 and five columns along the length of the strap 24, although more or fewer rows and columns are within the scope of the present invention. The protuberances 40 of a center row 46 have larger diameters C than the diameters D of the protuberances 40 of outer rows 48, 50

The rows and columns of protuberances 40 are arranged such that distances A and B between adjacent protuberances 40 are substantially larger than the distances between the nodules of known prior art daypacks. Additionally, the diameters (or widths) C and D of the large and small protuberances, respectively, are substantially larger than the nodules of known prior art daypacks.

In a preferred embodiment, the distances A and B in FIG. 9 are preferably between about ¼″ and about ⅜″ and most preferably about 5/16″, the diameter C of the center row 46 of protuberances 40 is preferably between about 7/16″ and about 9/16″ at the base and most preferably about ½″ at the base, and the diameter D of the outer rows 48, 50 of protuberances 40 is preferably between about ¼″ and about ⅜″ at the base and most preferably about 5/16″ at the base. Moreover, height E (FIG. 8) of the protuberances 40 in the center row 46 is roughly ¼″ and the height E of the protuberances 40 of the outer rows 48, 50 is roughly 3/16″. As such, a ratio of the distances A or B between the protuberances 40 to the height E of the center row 46 of protuberances is preferably between about 0.6:1 to about 3:1, more preferably about 0.7:1 to about 2.5:1, yet more preferably about 0.8:1 to about 2.25:1, yet more preferably about 0.9:1 to about 2.0:1, yet more preferably about 1:1 to about 1.75:1, yet more preferably about 1.1:1 to about 1.5:1, yet more preferably about 1.2:1 to about 1.3:1, and most preferably about 1.25:1. A ratio of the distances A or B between the protuberances 40 to the height E of the outer rows 48, 50 of protuberances is preferably between about 0.6:1 to about 3:1, more preferably about 0.7:1 to about 2.5:1, yet more preferably about 0.8:1 to about 2.25:1, yet more preferably about 0.9:1 to about 2.0:1, yet more preferably about 1:1 to about 1.75:1, yet more preferably about 1.5:1 to about 1.7:1, and most preferably about 1.67:1.

In FIG. 7, the first side 26 of the strap 24 and the second side 28 of the strap 24 are attached to one another with a binding material 44 and sewn together with the comfort strip 36 and pad 38 therebetween. However, the present invention is not limited to a bound construction and a turned construction or a combination of a turned and bound construction may be used within the scope of the present invention.

In view of the above, it will be seen that several advantages of the present invention have been achieved and other advantageous results have been obtained.