Title:
Garment bag with stabilizer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A garment bag is disclosed which is flexible and includes a suitable form of stiffened rear wall and/or frame. The garment bag incorporates a frame extension forming a stabilizer which increases the footprint of the bag when folded to provide a support base.



Inventors:
Myers, Jay E. (Newport Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/944343
Publication Date:
03/23/2006
Filing Date:
09/17/2004
Assignee:
Paragon Luggage, Inc.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/287.1, 190/127
International Classes:
B65D85/18; A45C13/36
View Patent Images:
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20020084159Convertible luggage bagJuly, 2002Hamlin



Primary Examiner:
MAI, TRI M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ORRICK, HERRINGTON & SUTCLIFFE LLP (IRVINE, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An elongated foldable garment bag, foldable at least in half, comprising an internal rigid frame within at least one end of the bag, wheels attached to and extending outward from the bag, and the frame including a rigid extension extending outwardly from the frame forming a stabilizer onto which an end of an outer fold section of the bag can rest during transport.

2. A bag as in claim 1 wherein the frame is L-shaped.

3. A bag as in claim 1 wherein the frame is U-shaped.

4. A bag as in claim 1 wherein this frame is a multi-component frame.

5. A bag as in claim 1 including a handle extendable from and supported by a back section of the frame.

6. A bag as in claim 1 including closure straps for retaining together the fold sections of the bag.

7. A bag as in claim 1 including a perimeter zipper for retaining together the fold sections of the bag.

8. A bag as in claim 1 including a plurality of internal and external pockets for holding objects to be transported with the bag.

9. A bag as in claim 1 comprising a tri-fold bag, and including straps for holding together the fold sections of the bag and retaining an outer fold section on an upper surface of the stabilizer.

10. A bag as in claim 1 comprising a tri-fold bag, and including straps for holding together the fold sections of the bag and retaining outer fold sections on an upper surface of the stabilizer.

11. A bag as in claim 1 comprising a tri-fold bag, and including zipper closure for holding together the fold sections of the bag and retaining an outer fold section on an upper surface of the stabilizer.

12. An elongated foldable garment bag, foldable at least in half, a body forming a clothes enclosure and including a frame within at least one end of the bag, the frame having sides or edges to which wheels are attached and extend outward from the bag, the frame including a back and an extensible handle secured thereto, and the frame including a base with a rigid extension extending outwardly from the frame forming a stabilizer onto which an end of an outer fold section of the bag can rest during transport.

13. A bag as in claim 12 wherein the frame is L-shaped.

14. A bag as in claim 12 wherein the frame is U-shaped.

15. A bag as in claim 12 wherein the frame is U-shaped.

16. A bag as in claim 12 comprising a tri-fold bag, and including closure members or perimeter zipper for holding together fold sections of the bag and retaining an outer fold section on an upper surface of the stabilizer.

17. A bag as in claim 12 comprising a tri-fold bag, and including zipper closure for holding together fold sections of the bag and retaining an outer fold section on an upper surface of the stabilizer.

18. A bag as in claim 16 including a plurality of internal and external pockets for holding objects to be transported with the bag.

19. A foldable garment bag comprising an internal rigid frame section at one end of the bag, wheels attached to and extending outward from the bag, the frame section including a rigid extension extending outwardly from the frame forming a stabilizer onto which an end of an outer fold section of the bag can rest during transport, at least one closure member for holding together fold sections of the bag and retaining an outer fold section on an upper service of the stabilizer, a plurality of internal and external pockets for holding objects to be transported with the bag, and a handle extendable from and supported by the bag.

20. A bag as in claim 19 wherein the frame is a rigid L-shaped frame.

21. A bag as in claim 19 wherein the frame is a rigid U-shaped frame.

22. A bag as in claim 19 wherein the handle is supported by a section of the frame section.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to garment bags, and more particularly to flexible or soft garment bags, typically without a perimeter zipper closure to connect various folded sections, which may include a suitable form of stiffened rear wall and/or frame. It particularly relates to an improved form of garment bag incorporating a frame extension forming a stabilizer which increases the footprint of the bag when the bag is folded and to provide a support base for the folded section of the bag.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Various forms of garment bags have been manufactured and used for years, and are very familiar to travelers. The typical bag can be hung or held vertically, and can be folded transversely between the ends of the bag either as a double fold or a tri-fold, and then carried by a handle like a suitcase. The inside of a bag of this type usually includes an upper hanger bracket onto which a coat hanger can be attached, and garment bags of this type are designed and configured to hold one or more suits, dresses or the like. Various internal and external pockets having suitable closures, such as zippers, are provided for holding accessory items such as underwear, socks, toiletries and the like. Some bags of this type include wheels and an extendable handle to allow the bag to be pulled or rolled much like a “roll-on” bag.

One of the problems with many foldable garment bags is that the outer folded section of the bag lacks stability, and in the case of many bags with wheels this outer section may drag on the ground or other surface, thereby impeding mobility with the bag and increasing wear on the bag at this section.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a solution to the stability problem of bags, particularly those without perimeter zipper, by incorporating an extension forming a stabilizer at the base of the folded bag which increases the footprint and provides a support base for the folded section or sections. Preferably, the stabilizer comprises an extension of a lower internal frame member of the bag to which the wheels usually are mounted although the stabilizer can be a separate piece.

Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved garment bag.

The features and advantages of the present invention will become better understood through consideration of the following description and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a wheeled and flexible garment bag of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a further perspective view of the bag illustrating a frame extension providing a stabilizer at the lower or wheel end of the bag;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view particularly of the inside and ends of the garment bag and further illustrating the extended stabilizer;

FIGS. 4A-4c are diagrammatic illustrations of a conventional bi-fold or tri-fold garment bag of the prior art, and FIGS. 4D-4E are similar illustrations of a bag with a perimeter zipper;

FIGS. 5A-5c are similar diagrammatic illustrations but of the present bag including the stabilizer; and

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate examples of both internal L-shaped and U-shaped frames of the present garment bag.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Turning now to the drawings, FIGS. 1-3 illustrate a garment bag 10 according to the present invention typically formed of ballistic nylon or other suitable material. The bag 10 includes wheels 12 and 13 and a handle 15 for enabling the garment bag to be rolled on the wheels when the bag is folded as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. A U-shaped handle 16 also is provided to enable the bag to be carried like a suitcase. The bag 10 has a typical elongated shape as best seen in FIG. 3.

A tri-fold bag is illustrated, but the present concepts are equally applicable to other types of foldable garment bags such as bi-fold, and can be applied to bags with a perimeter zipper 70 as shown in FIGS. 4D and 4E.

Importantly, the bag includes a stabilizer 18 as best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3 and which comprises an extension of a lower box-like internal frame 20 as shown in FIG. 6 or 7 which is sewn into the end 40 of the bag.

In order to better understand the present inventive bag, reference is now made to FIGS. 4 and 5. FIG. 4A illustrates a conventional prior art garment bag including a pair of wheels, only wheel 24 being seen in FIG. 4, and an extendable handle assembly 26 for allowing the wheeled bag to be rolled, as well as a U-shaped handle 28 to allow the bag to be carried like a suitcase. Usual closure straps and quick-release hardware 29 are provided to hold the folded sections together.

With this type of bag 22, an outer fold section 30 tends to hang down vertically such that the lower end 32 thereof may drag thereby impeding transport of the bag via the wheels as well as adding wear to the bag. The bags of this type lack stability of the outer section 30 because of the absence of a solid interconnected wheel base to stabilize the bag when standing alone as is required for usability.

Turning now to FIG. 5, the same diagrammatically illustrates the current garment bag 10 and either as a bi-fold bag in FIG. 5B or as a tri-fold bag in FIG. 5c. Here, the outer fold section 30a and its lower end 32a are supported on top of the stabilizer 18. Thus, the extension forming the stabilizer 18 increases the “footprint” of the bag and provides a support base during transport for the outer fold section or sections of the bag. It is not necessary to include internal stiffening at 32a, because stabilizer 18 acts as a shelf to restrain 30 as along as buckle 29 holds the front section 30 in position above the stabilizer 18.

Turning again to FIGS. 6 and 7, these Figures illustrate diagrammatic perspective views of two types of internal frames 20 and 20a. The internal frame is provided at the end 40 of the bag as seen in FIG. 3 (which is the usual end that may be hung vertically from a hook in a closet or the like). This internal frame provides a rigid support base 21 and sides 22 for the wheels 12 and 13 at locations 42-43 in FIG. 6 or 42a-43a in FIG. 7, as well as tubes or other supports 46-47 or 46a-47a of respective FIGS. 6 and 7 on the backside 50 or cross-brace of the frames 20 and 20a. The frames can be a single component or formed of multiple components. Also, the stabilizer can be supported by and affixed to tubes 46 and 47 acting as a frame.

Turning again to FIGS. 1-3, preferably the stabilizer 18 includes a pair of feet 18a and 18b, and the frame 20 can include an extension 50 with a hook 51a. Conventional closure straps and quick-release hardware 60 and 62 are provided on the sides of the bag as are conventionally provided for holding folded bag sections together. Various pockets 66-71 typically also are provided in garment bags of this nature.

While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific examples thereof have been shown in the drawings and described herein in detail. However, it should be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the particular form or structure disclosed, but to the contrary the invention is to cover all modifications, equivalents and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.