Title:
Sleeping bag with integrated air mattress
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress includes outer and inner shells, an inflatable tube grid, insulation, and means for selectively inflating the tube grid. Both the outer and inner shells have inner and outer surfaces, and each defines an opening. The inner shell's outer surfaces are positioned adjacent the outer shell's inner surfaces, and the inner shell's opening is aligned adjacent the outer shell's opening. The tube grid defines a plurality of grid cavities and is sandwiched between the outer and inner shells. Insulation is positioned in the grid cavities and sandwiched between the outer and inner shells. When the tube grid is inflated, the user may enter the sleeping bag through the inner shell's opening. To pack the sleeping bag, the tube grid is deflated, causing the tube grid and insulation to shift from an expanded to a compressed configuration, taking up a minimal amount of space.



Inventors:
Lavigne, William F. (Wisconsin Dells, WI, US)
Application Number:
10/899710
Publication Date:
02/02/2006
Filing Date:
07/27/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G9/08
View Patent Images:
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20030061659Stadium blanket constructionApril, 2003Dunlap et al.
20030009828Bath pillow and seatJanuary, 2003Julien
20050114998Inflatable bedrestJune, 2005Leventhal et al.
20070107134Heated air mattressMay, 2007Pittman
20090205137Method of enhancing sleep accomodations for a guestAugust, 2009Escalante
20030046765Polyurehane foam and down fillingMarch, 2003Brown
20090190859Bag that becomes a sitting matJuly, 2009Simhony et al.
20080244828Mattress foundation with perimeter structureOctober, 2008Kuchel et al.



Primary Examiner:
SPAHN, GAY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ream Law Firm, L.L.C. (OTTAWA, KS, US)
Claims:
Thus having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is as follows:

1. A sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress, comprising: an outer shell having top and bottom portions and opposed first and second ends with said first end defining an opening, said top and bottom portions each having respective inner and outer surfaces; an inner sheet situated in said outer shell adjacent said inner surface of said outer shell bottom portion; an inflatable tube grid sandwiched between said inner surface of said outer shell bottom portion and said inner sheet, said inflatable tube grid defining a plurality of grid cavities; and means for selectively imparting a stream of air to said inflatable tube grid for inflating said inflatable tube grid.

2. The sleeping bag as in claim 1 further comprising insulation positioned in said respective grid cavities.

3. The sleeping bag as in claim 2 further comprising bottom insulation sandwiched between said inner surface of said outer shell bottom portion and said inner sheet.

4. The sleeping bag as in claim 1 further comprising insulation sandwiched between said inner surface of said outer shell bottom portion and said inner sheet.

5. The sleeping bag as in claim 1 wherein said means for selectively imparting a stream of air to said inflatable tube grid for inflating said inflatable tube grid is a hand pump operatively connected to said inflatable tube grid.

6. The sleeping bag as in claim 1 wherein said means for selectively imparting a stream of air to said inflatable tube grid for inflating said inflatable tube grid is a foot pump operatively connected to said inflatable tube grid.

7. The sleeping bag as in claim 1 wherein said means for selectively imparting a stream of air to said inflatable tube grid for inflating said inflatable tube grid is a compressor operatively connected to said inflatable tube grid.

8. The sleeping bag as in claim 1 further comprising means for selectively releasing air from said inflatable tube grid for deflating said inflatable tube grid.

9. A sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress, comprising: an outer shell having opposed top and bottom portions and opposed first and second ends with said first end of said outer shell defining an opening, said top and bottom portions of said outer shell each having respective inner and outer surfaces; an inner shell having opposed top and bottom portions and opposed first and second ends with said first end of said inner shell defining an opening, said top and bottom portions of said inner shell each having respective inner and outer surfaces, said outer surfaces of said top and bottom portions of said inner shell being positioned adjacent said inner surfaces of said top and bottom portions of said outer shell, said opening defined by said inner shell registering with said opening defined by said outer shell; an inflatable tube grid sandwiched between said inner surface of said outer shell bottom portion and said outer surface of said inner shell bottom portion, said inflatable tube grid defining a plurality of grid cavities; and means for selectively imparting a stream of air to said inflatable tube grid for inflating said inflatable tube grid.

10. The sleeping bag as in claim 9 further comprising insulation positioned in said respective grid cavities.

11. The sleeping bag as in claim 10 further comprising bottom insulation sandwiched between said inner surface of said outer shell bottom portion and said outer surface of said inner shell bottom portion.

12. The sleeping bag as in claim 11 further comprising top insulation sandwiched between said inner surface of said outer shell top portion and said outer surface of said inner shell top portion.

13. The sleeping bag as in claim 9 further comprising insulation sandwiched between said inner surface of said outer shell bottom portion and said outer surface of said inner shell bottom portion.

14. The sleeping bag as in claim 9 further comprising insulation sandwiched between said inner surface of said outer shell top portion and said outer surface of said inner shell top portion.

15. The sleeping bag as in claim 9 wherein said means for selectively imparting a stream of air to said inflatable tube grid for inflating said inflatable tube grid is a hand pump operatively connected to said inflatable tube grid.

16. The sleeping bag as in claim 9 wherein said means for selectively imparting a stream of air to said inflatable tube grid for inflating said inflatable tube grid is a foot pump operatively connected to said inflatable tube grid.

17. The sleeping bag as in claim 9 wherein said means for selectively imparting a stream of air to said inflatable tube grid for inflating said inflatable tube grid is a compressor operatively connected to said inflatable tube grid.

18. The sleeping bag as in claim 9 further comprising an air escape valve for selectively releasing air from said inflatable tube grid for deflating said inflatable tube grid.

19. An air mattress comprising: an outer shell having top and bottom portions; and an inflatable tube grid sandwiched between said outer shell top and bottom portions, said inflatable tube grid defining a plurality of grid cavities.

20. The air mattress as in claim 19 further comprising insulation positioned in said respective grid cavities.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to a sleeping bag. In particular, the present invention relates to a sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress.

Camping and hiking are currently enjoying a surge in popularity. However, people now have enhanced expectations of comfort and convenience while camping, and a large demand exists for products providing this comfort and convenience. Further, there are many different ways in which people like to camp. Some carry their equipment to remote places and require light and easily packed equipment, while others camp alongside their vehicles and primarily require comfort. While a tradeoff between ultra-comfort and ultra-light construction has previously seemed inevitable in sleeping bag design, the current invention provides more comfort in a lightweight sleeping bag.

Two primary considerations for comfort are the sleeping bag's ability to retain heat and the sleeping bag's ability to firmly support the user, even though the sleeping bag may be placed on uneven ground. While air mattresses have been found to support the user well, regardless of imperfections in the ground, the large air pockets currently used allow convective currents to form, robbing heat from the mattress. Foam, goose down, synthetic fibers, and other insulation are merely a means to hold small pockets of air. If an air mattress can be made with small pockets of air instead of large pockets, convective currents will not be able to form and the air mattress will retain more heat.

Various proposals for sleeping bags that incorporate air mattresses are found in the art. U.S. Pat. No. 3,887,092 discloses a self-inflatable air mattress and sleeping bag that traps air inside an airtight jacket filled with foam. Means are included to manually increase the air pressure inside the foam-filled jacket.

Many sleeping bag devices have been suggested that use a plurality of parallel and longitudinally extended elongate air compartments along with various improvements over the prior art. Such devices may be found in U.S. Pat. No. 4,996,733, U.S. Pat. No. 5,528,779, U.S. Pat. No. 5,553,339, U.S. Pat. No. 5,740,565, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,974,608.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,640,725 discloses a sleeping bag with removable components, including an air mattress.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,321,400 discloses an air mattress sleeping bag that includes a self-contained powered air inflation device. The air mattress sleeping bag is capable of converting to a full air mattress when not in use as a sleeping bag.

While assumably effective for their intended purposes, none of the above proposals provide an air mattress that can effectively retain heat by reducing large air pockets, provides a comfortable place to sleep, is lightweight and not bulky, and can be easily packed. Instead, the above proposals use air mattresses with large air pockets or completely filled with foam.

Therefore, it is desirable to have a sleeping bag with an air mattress that effectively retains heat, is comfortable, is lightweight and compact, can be easily packed, is convenient to use, and does not require an excessive volume of air.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress according to the present invention includes an outer shell, an inner shell, an inflatable tube grid, insulation, and means for selectively imparting a stream of air to the inflatable tube grid (air input means). The outer shell has inner and outer surfaces and defines an opening, and the inner shell has inner and outer surfaces and defines an opening. The outer surfaces of the inner shell are positioned adjacent the inner surfaces of the outer shell, and the opening defined by the inner shell is aligned adjacent the opening defined by the outer shell. The inflatable tube grid defines a plurality of grid cavities and is sandwiched between the outer and inner shells. Insulation is positioned in the grid cavities. Additional insulation may be sandwiched between the outer and inner shells.

In use, the sleeping bag with integrated air mattress is placed where its user wants to sleep, and the air input means are used to impart a stream of air to the inflatable tube grid, thus inflating the inflatable tube grid. When the inflatable tube grid is inflated, the insulation positioned in the grid cavities is stretched to an expanded configuration. The user may then enter the sleeping bag with integrated air mattress through the opening defined by the inner shell. When the user is ready to pack up the sleeping bag with integrated air mattress, the inflatable tube grid is deflated, causing the inflatable tube grid and the insulation positioned in the grid cavities to shift to a compressed configuration. The sleeping bag with integrated air mattress may then be easily packed, taking up a minimal amount of space.

Therefore, a general object of this invention is to provide a sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress that effectively retains heat.

Another object of this invention is to provide a sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress, as aforesaid, that is comfortable to use.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress, as aforesaid, that is lightweight and compact.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress, as aforesaid, that can be easily packed for transport or storage.

A further object of this invention is to provide a sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress, as aforesaid, that is convenient to use.

A still further object of this invention is to provide a sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress, as aforesaid, that does not require an excessive volume of air.

Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein is set forth by way of illustration and example, embodiments of this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective cut-away view of a sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress according to the present invention with a hand pump;

FIG. 2a is a top view of the sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress as in FIG. 1;

FIG. 2b is a sectional view of the sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress taken along line 2b-2b of FIG. 2a;

FIG. 2c is a sectional view of the sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress taken along line 2c-2c FIG. 2a;

FIG. 3a is a sectional view on an enlarged scale of the inflatable tube grid and insulation taken from FIG. 2c in an expanded configuration;

FIG. 3b is a sectional view on an enlarged scale of the inflatable tube grid and insulation as in FIG. 3a in a deflated configuration;

FIG. 4a is a perspective view of the sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress as in FIG. 1 with a compressor; and

FIG. 4b is a perspective view of the sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress as in FIG. 1 with a foot pump.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress according to the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to FIGS. 1 through 4b of the accompanying drawings. More particularly, a sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress 100 includes an outer shell 110, an inner shell 120, an inflatable tube grid 130, insulation 140, 142 and means 150 for selectively imparting a stream of air to the inflatable tube grid 130.

The outer shell 110 has top and bottom portions 112, 116 and opposed first and second ends 111, 115. The first end 111 defines an opening 119. The top portion 112 has inner and outer surfaces 113, 114, and the bottom portion 116 has inner and outer surfaces 117, 118.

The inner shell 120 has top and bottom portions 122, 126 and opposed first and second ends 121, 125. The bottom portion 126 of the inner shell 120 may also be referred to as the inner sheet 126. The first end 121 defines an opening 129. The top portion 122 has inner and outer surfaces 123, 124, and the bottom portion 126 has inner and outer surfaces 127, 128. The outer surface 124 of the inner shell top portion 122 is positioned adjacent the inner surface 113 of the outer shell top portion 112, and the outer surface 128 of the inner shell bottom portion 126 is positioned adjacent the inner surface 117 of the outer shell bottom portion 116. The opening 129 defined by the inner shell 120 is aligned adjacent the opening 119 defined by the outer shell 110.

The inflatable tube grid 130 is a network of inflatable tubes 132 arranged in a grid pattern and defines a plurality of grid cavities 134 (FIG. 1). The design of the inflatable tube grid 130 eliminates convection currents that can form in large air pockets and requires less volume of air to inflate than conventional air mattresses. Further, as long as the network of inflatable tubes 132 are not too far apart, the inflatable tube grid 130 provides support that is at least as good as conventional air mattresses. The inflatable tube grid 130 is sandwiched between the inner surface 117 of the outer shell bottom portion 116 and the outer surface 128 of the inner shell bottom portion 126 (FIG. 2c).

Insulation 140 is positioned in the grid cavities 134 (FIGS. 3a and 3b). The insulation 140 is more effective than its thickness may indicate. In ordinary sleeping bags, the material directly underneath the user is compressed and loses much of its insulative value. With the current sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress 100, however, all of the user's weight is carried by the inflatable tube grid 130. Since the insulation 140 is not compressed, it is highly effective.

Insulation 142 is sandwiched between the inner surface 117 of the outer shell bottom portion 116 and the outer surface 128 of the inner shell bottom portion 126 and may also be referred to as bottom insulation. Additional insulation 142 is also sandwiched between the inner surface 113 of the outer shell top portion 112 and the outer surface 124 of the inner shell top portion 122 and may also be referred to as top insulation (FIGS. 2b and 2c).

The means 150 for selectively imparting a stream of air to the inflatable tube grid 130 for inflating the inflatable tube grid 130 are very diverse. A hand pump 151 (FIG. 1), a foot pump 152 (FIG. 4b), or a compressor 153 (FIG. 4a) may be operatively connected to the inflatable tube grid 130. Further, a valve may be incorporated into the inflatable tube grid 130 that allows a user to inflate the inflatable tube grid 130 manually. Of course, other air input devices would also be suitable, and the air input devices may be interchangeable.

Means are also provided for selectively releasing air from the inflatable tube grid 130 for deflating the inflatable tube grid 130. A simple air escape valve or release valve may be used, or the air input means 150 may also function as a vacuum, drawing the air out of the inflatable tube grid 130.

In use, the sleeping bag with integrated air mattress 100 is placed where its user wants to sleep, and the air input means 150 are used to impart a stream of air to the inflatable tube grid 130, thus inflating the inflatable tube grid 130. When the inflatable tube grid 130 is inflated, the insulation 140 is stretched to an expanded configuration (FIG. 3a). The user may then enter the sleeping bag with integrated air mattress 100 through the opening 129 defined by the inner shell 120. It is understood that heat is efficiently retained by the inflatable tubes 132 which reduce the size of pockets of air. When the user is ready to pack up the sleeping bag with integrated air mattress 100, the inflatable tube grid 130 is deflated as described above, causing the inflatable tube grid 130 and the insulation 140 to shift to a compressed configuration (FIG. 3b). The sleeping bag with integrated air mattress 100 may then be easily packed, taking up a minimal amount of space.

A sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress (not shown) according to another embodiment of the present invention includes a construction substantially similar to the construction previously described except as specifically noted below. More particularly, the sleeping bag with an integrated air mattress according to this embodiment includes a zipper for selectively attaching the top portions 112, 122 of the outer and inner shells 110, 120 with the bottom potions 116, 126 of the outer and inner shells 110, 120.

It is understood that while certain forms of this invention have been illustrated and described, it is not limited thereto except insofar as such limitations are included in the following claims and allowable functional equivalents thereof.