Title:
Pocketed front pack
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The pocketed front pack is a pack used by a skier or snowboarder to hold items. The pack has a body of unitary construction with a front cover, shoulder harnesses, and a back cover. The pack also includes a waist band to which the shoulder harnesses are attached. The pack is slipped over a user's head and attached about the user's torso with the waist band. The back cover is attached to the harnesses and rests against a user's back. The front cover has a large compartment built into it with additional pockets situated both on the large compartment and on the front cover itself. The front cover is secured to the waist band with hook and loop fasteners. Hand-warming compartments may be built into the pack. The pack may include a tailbone pad connected to the waist band and a spine protector connected to the back cover.



Inventors:
Bareno, David G. (Ramona, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/174577
Publication Date:
01/19/2006
Filing Date:
07/06/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/148.2, 224/652
International Classes:
A45F3/04; A45F3/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SKURDAL, COREY NELSON
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A pocketed front pack, comprising: a body of unitary construction, the body having a front cover and a plurality of shoulder harnesses, the front cover having a top end and a bottom end, the shoulder harnesses extending from the top end of the front cover; a waist band having a first end and a second end, the waist band being removably attached to the shoulder harnesses; a first coupling means for affixing the first end of the waist band to the second end of the waist band; and at least one compartment integrally connected to the front cover for storing items.

2. The pocketed front pack according to claim 1, wherein the first coupling means comprises a strip of hook and loop fastening material attached to an inward-facing surface of the first end of the waist band and a corresponding mating strip of hook and loop fastening material attached to an outward-facing surface of the second end of the waist band.

3. The pocketed front pack according to claim 1, further comprising a second coupling means for affixing the bottom end of the front cover to the first end of the waist band.

4. The pocketed front pack according to claim 3, wherein the second coupling means comprises a strip of hook and loop fastening material attached to an outward-facing surface of the first end of the waist band and a corresponding mating strip of hook and loop fastening material attached to the bottom end of an underside of the front cover.

5. The pocketed front pack according to claim 1, wherein the body of the pack is made from a waterproof material.

6. The pocketed front pack according to claim 1, further comprising a plurality of small pockets disposed on the at least one compartment.

7. The pocketed front pack according to claim 1, further comprising a back cover extending between the shoulder harnesses.

8. The pocketed front pack according to claim 7, wherein the back cover is padded over at least the portion of the back cover abutting a spinal column of a user when the pack is worn.

9. The pocketed front pack according to claim 7, further comprising a spine protector integrally attached to the back cover, the spinal protector being made from a plurality of spinal links, the links being connected to one another.

10. The pocketed front pack according to claim 1, further comprising a tailbone pad integrally connected to the first end and the second end of the waist band.

11. The pocketed front pack according to claim 1, further comprising a plurality of compartments integrally attached to an underside of the front cover.

12. The pocketed front pack according to claim 1, further comprising a fluid pouch removably attached to the front cover of the pack.

13. A pocketed front pack comprising: a body of unitary construction, the body having a front cover and a plurality of shoulder harnesses, the front cover having a top end and a bottom end, the shoulder harnesses extending from the top end of the front cover; a waist band having a first end and a second end, the waist band being integrally attached to the shoulder harnesses; a first coupling means for affixing the first end of the waist band to the second end of the waist band; and at least one compartment integrally connected to the front cover for storing items.

14. The pocketed front pack according to claim 13, wherein the first coupling means comprises a strip of hook and loop fastening material attached to an inward-facing surface of the first end of the waist band and a corresponding mating strip of hook and loop fastening material attached to an outward-facing surface of the second end of the waist band.

15. The pocketed front pack according to claim 13, further comprising a second coupling means for affixing the bottom end of the front cover to the first end of the waist band.

16. The pocketed front pack according to claim 15, wherein the second coupling means comprises a strip of hook and loop fastening material attached to an outward-facing surface of the first end of the waist band and a corresponding mating strip of hook and loop fastening material attached to the bottom end of an underside of the front cover.

17. The pocketed front pack according to claim 13, further comprising a back cover extending between the shoulder harnesses.

18. The pocketed front pack according to claim 17, wherein the back cover is padded over at least the portion of the back cover abutting a spinal column of a user when the pack is worn.

19. The pocketed front pack according to claim 17, further comprising a spine protector integrally attached to the back cover, the spinal protector being made from a plurality of spinal links, the links being connected to one another.

20. The pocketed front pack according to claim 13, further comprising a tailbone pad integrally connected to the first end and the second end of the waist band.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/585,586, filed Jul. 7, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to carrying packs, and more particularly to a pocketed front pack for carrying items.

2. Description of the Related Art

Individuals often use backpacks and vests with pockets to hold and carry items easily. Backpacks generally allow the user free movement of the arms, while holding cumbersome items within a compartment situated against the user's back. However, backpacks require the user to go through the steps of taking off the pack, unzipping the back compartment, and retrieving the items from within the compartment. Backpacks therefore do not provide an easy and convenient way to access stored items. Pocketed vests, on the other hand, allow users to hold smaller items within pockets on the front surface of the vest. The pockets provide the individual with easier access to the items without having to go to the trouble of taking off the vest.

As skiers and snowboarders ski and snowboard for hours on end, they often have need for immediate access to various personal items, such as water, food, music players, tools or the like. While a pocketed vest may work in holding some of these items, the small pockets of a vest do not allow much space to hold a number of items or large items. Many skiers and snowboarders instead use backpacks to carry their belongings. Numerous problems arise for skiers and snowboarders when using backpacks. When they are riding on the ski lift, the backpacks may be too bulky to comfortably and safely sit in the lift chair. Backpacks require the skier or snowboarder to take off the packs to retrieve their possessions, which may prove unwieldy when attempting to hold ski poles or balance on a snowboard. Necessitating the removal of the backpack involves extra time and unnecessary effort for the skier or snowboarder.

Additionally, backpacks do not offer back support for the skier for crashes that may occur in the course of skiing. The backpacks do not generally provide a spine protector to aid in preventing injuries to the spinal column.

Accordingly, what is needed is a pack with a large accessible compartment for larger or more numerous items and additional smaller pockets for smaller items, where the compartment and pockets are located on a front portion of the pack. What is further needed is a pack that provides back support and a spine protector to protect against injury.

U.S. Patent Publication No. 2002/0040493, published on Apr. 11, 2002, describes a pocketed vest and backpack combination. The vest comprises a back portion joined to two front portions with the front portions being releasably connected to each other. Large pockets are disposed on the front and back; the combined volume of the front pockets equals the volume of the rear pocket.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,669,127, issued Jun. 2, 1987 to R. Swanson, describes a vest for carrying loads. The vest has front and back compartments disposed on the garment to carry the loads. The vest has two front portions releasably joined to each other with a zipper.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,195,187, issued to C. Yang on Mar. 23, 1993, describes a garment having front and back pieces with large pockets disposed on both the front and the back. The front piece has two portions, the portions being releasably connected to one another.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,675,391, issued Jan. 13, 2004 to G. Morrison describes a vest for holding a plurality of small, cylindrical weights. A front portion and a back portion of the vest are strapped together. The front portion and back portion both have pockets with chambers to hold the weights.

Other patents showing carrying packs or vests include U.S. Des. Pat. No. 316,172, issued Apr. 16, 1991 to J. Hanson (combined vest and backpack); U.S. Pat. No. 4,870,706, issued Oct. 3, 1989 to K. Ketcham et al. (sports protection garment); U.S. Pat. No. 5,014,359, issued May 14, 1991 to J. Hanson (vest and backpack combination); U.S. Pat. No. 5,278,998, issued Jan. 18, 1994 to S. Book (combination garment and tote bag); U.S. Pat. No. 5,328,447, issued Jul. 12, 1994 to F. Kapounek et al. (spine protector); U.S. Pat. No. 5,365,614, issued Nov. 22, 1994 to D. Perkins (sports vest); U.S. Pat. No. 5,909,802, issued Jun. 8, 1999 to A. Puco (vest backpack); U.S. Pat. No. 6,233,739, issued May 22, 2001 to A. Spence (vest for a golfer); U.S. Pat. No. 6,314,579, issued Nov. 13, 2001 to P. Marcon (personal survival vestpac); U.S. Pat. No. 6,446,273, issued Sep. 10, 2002 to S. Gillen et al. (protective body vest); U.S. Pat. No. 6,625,814, issued Sep. 30, 2003 to P. Veh (protective vest); and U.S. Pat. No. 6,722,543, issued Apr. 20, 2004 to K. Fitzgerald (backpack with adjustable lumbar support belt).

Additional patents showing carrying packs or vests include U.K. Patent No. 2,110,542, published Jun. 22, 1983 (spine board system); German Patent No. 3,323,701, published Jan. 5, 1984 (protective vest for motorcyclists and their passengers); Japanese Patent No. 7-313,309, published Dec. 5, 1995 (seat cover which also serves as vest); Japanese Patent No. 2000-336,506, published Dec. 5, 2000 (supporter); and Japanese Patent No. 2001-224,423, published Aug. 21, 2001 (handbag with vest).

None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed. Thus a pocketed front pack solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The pocketed front pack is a pack used by a skier or snowboarder to hold items while skiing, snowboarding, or for any other outdoor uses. The pack is preferably made with a lightweight, waterproof material. The pocketed front pack has a body of unitary construction having a front cover, shoulder harnesses, and a back cover. The front pack additionally includes a waist band. The front cover has a large compartment built into it. The shoulder harnesses are attached to the waist band, which wraps about a user's waist. The back cover is attached to the harnesses and may extend to the waist band.

The pocketed front pack is slipped over a user's head, with the front cover resting against the user's chest. The shoulder harnesses are integrally connected to the front cover and extend from the front cover and connect to the waist band. The shoulder harnesses rest over a user's shoulders. Adjustable straps are disposed on the shoulder harnesses and attach to the waist band, allowing for the pack to the adjusted. The ends of the waist band are wrapped about the user's waist and fastened to one another using hook and loop fasteners. Then the front cover, which has a hook and loop fastener on its underside, is secured to an additional hook and loop fastener located on the outside of the waist band. The front cover is thus held in place against the waist band.

The front cover has a large compartment built into it and a number of small pockets situated both on the large compartment and on the front cover itself. The small pockets may be used for holding music players, tools, food and the like. A fluid pouch is attached to the front cover. A tube extends from the pouch to a spout that allows a user to drink fluids held within the pouch. Additionally the underside of the front cover has hand-warming compartments built into it.

The waist band may include a tailbone pad integrally connected to the waist band. The tailbone pad allows a user to sit on a ski lift more comfortably, as it protects the tailbone. The back cover is made with padding and may include a spine protector to support the user's back if crashes occur in the course of skiing or snowboarding.

One aspect of the invention is to allow skiers and snowboarders to sit in a lift chair more comfortably than if their items were stored in a compartment in the back of the pack. Another aspect of the invention is that the uniform construction allows a user to easily slip the pack over the user's head and quickly attach the pack about the individual's torso using the waist band fasteners. The front pack is also waterproof, allowing a user to fall onto the snow without the snow soaking through the pack.

A further aspect of the invention is that the padded back support protects against crashes that may occur. An additional aspect is that the spine protector aids in preventing injuries to the spinal column.

These and other aspects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a pocketed front pack according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the pocketed front pack according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the pocketed front pack according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the pocketed front pack according to a second embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of the pocketed front pack according to a third embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is an environmental rear view of the pocketed front pack according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is a pocketed front pack, designated generally as 10 in the drawings. The pocketed pack 10 has a body 12 of unitary construction, which may be made with a waterproof material, connected to a waist band 22. The body 12 has a front cover 14, a plurality of shoulder harnesses 16, and a back cover 18. The front cover 14 has a large compartment 20 built into the front cover 14. The shoulder harnesses 16 are attached to the waist band 22.

Referring first to FIG. 1, the pocketed front pack 10 is shown being worn by a user. The pack 10 is slipped over a user's head, with the front cover 14 resting against the user's chest. The front cover 14 has a top end 24 and a bottom end 26. The shoulder harnesses 16 are integrally connected to the front cover 14 and extend off of the top end 24 of the front cover 14. The shoulder harnesses 16 rest over a user's shoulders. The shoulder harnesses 16 are attached to a waist band 22, which is situated about a user's waist. The waist band 22 has a first end 28 and a second end 30 opposed to the first end 28. The first end 28 and the second end 30 of the waist band 22 are wrapped about the user's waist and fastened to one other.

The front cover 14 has a large compartment 20 built into the front cover 14. The large compartment 20 includes a zipper 32 to provide access to the inside of the compartment 20. The zipper 32 may be disposed vertically down the middle of the compartment 20 or alternatively be disposed in a horseshoe configuration about the compartment 20, as seen in FIG. 5. The zipper 32 may be substituted for a variety of fasteners, such as hook and loop fasteners, buttons, snaps and the like. A plurality of small pockets 34 is situated on the front cover 14. The pockets 34 may be situated either on the large compartment 20 or disposed directly on the front cover 14. A fluid pouch 40 is attached to the front cover 14. A tube 42 is extended from the fluid pouch 40 up to a spout 44, allowing a user to drink fluids held within the fluid pouch 40. A clip 48 is attached to the front cover 14 for attaching to miscellaneous items.

FIG. 2 shows the outer face of the pocketed front pack 10. FIG. 3 shows the inner face of the pocketed front pack 10. The shoulder harnesses 16 are integrally connected to the front cover 14 of the pack 10. Adjustable straps 46 are disposed on the shoulder harnesses 16 and attach to the waist band 22. The back cover 18 is attached to the shoulder harnesses 16. The back cover 18 may additionally be extended, stretching to the waist band 22. The back cover 18 may be omitted entirely. The waist band 22 includes a tailbone pad 70 integrally connected to the waist band 22 for protecting the user's tailbone.

The first end 28 of the waist band 22 has a first hook and loop fastening strip 50 on the outward-facing surface 52 of the first end 28. The first end 28 of the waist band 22 has a second hook and loop fastening strip 54 on the inward-facing surface 56 of the first end 28. The second end 30 of the waist band 22 has a third hook and loop fastening strip 58 on the outward-facing surface 60 of the second end 30. The inward-facing surface 62 of the second end 30 of the waist band 22 lacks a hook and loop fastening strip. The front cover 14 has a front side 72 and an underside 74. The underside 74 of the bottom end 26 of the cover 14 has a fourth hook and loop fastening strip 76.

After the user slips the pack 10 over his head, he first wraps the second end 30 of the waist band 22 about his waist, then wraps the first end 28 of the waist band 22 about his waist. The second hook and loop fastening strip 54 secures to the third hook and loop fastening strip 58, attaching the first end 28 of the waist band 22 to the second end 30. Then the front cover 14 is pulled down, and the fourth hook and loop fastening strip 76 secures to the first hook and loop fastening strip 50. The front cover 14 is thus held in place against the waist band 22. Although the first end 28 of the waist band 22 is shown having hook and loop fastening strips on both sides, it does not matter whether the first end 28 or the second end 30 of the waist band 22 has hook and loop fastening strips on both sides.

The fluid pouch 40 may be permanently attached to the front pack 10 or detachable from the front pack 10. It may be held to the pack 10 by uniting a first pouch hook and loop fastener 90 disposed on the front cover 14 of the pack 10 with a second pouch hook and loop fastener 92 disposed on the underside of the fluid pouch 40.

Additionally the underside 74 of the front cover 14 has a plurality of hand-warming compartments 80 built into the cover 14. Alternative fasteners may be used in place of the hook and loop fastening strips, such as buckles, zippers, snaps, buttons and the like.

Turning now to FIG. 4, the pocketed front pack 10 is shown with the addition of a spine protector 82. The spine protector 82 is built into the back cover 18. The spine protector 82 may be made with a padding material. The spine protector 82 may use spinal links 84 and is designed with a protective material, such as polyethylene or polyurethane. The spine protector 82 may be ridged or may include a gel insert.

FIG. 6 shows a rear view of the pocketed front pack 10 being worn by a user. The pack 10 is slipped over the user's head, and the waist band 22 is attached about the user's waist. The straps 46 are adjustable so that the user may raise or lower the waist band 22 according to the user's needs. The straps 46 are lowered, allowing the tailbone pad 70 to be situated against the user's tailbone to provide it protection.

The pocketed front pack 10 is preferably made from a lightweight, waterproof material.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.