Title:
Backpack and conversion kit particularly useful for children's school bags
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A backpack including a knapsack for holding a load, and a pair of shoulder harnesses for mounting the knapsack onto the shoulders and back of a wearer, characterized in that the backpack includes an inflatable bag attached to the knapsack on the side thereof to engage the back of the wearer, which bag is inflatable to cushion the load applied to the wearer's back and to adjust the backpack for the size of the wearer. The backpack further includes second and third inflatable bags, one for each shoulder harness, and attached to the respective shoulder harness on the side thereof to engage a shoulder of the wearer, the second and third inflatable bags being inflatable to cushion the load applied to the wearer's shoulders and to adjust the backpack to the size of the wearer. Also described is a conversion kit for converting an existing knapsack to a backpack having the above-described advantages.



Inventors:
Khorshid, Hanan (Tarshiha, IL)
Bitton, Alona (MaAlot, IL)
Application Number:
11/347254
Publication Date:
08/10/2006
Filing Date:
02/06/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/644, 224/643
International Classes:
A45F3/04; A45F3/12
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HELVEY, PETER N.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARTIN D. MOYNIHAN d/b/a PRTSI, INC. (Fredericksburg, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A backpack including a knapsack for holding a load, and a pair of shoulder harnesses for mounting the knapsack onto the shoulders and back of a wearer, characterized in that said backpack includes an inflatable bag attached to said knapsack on the side thereof to engage the back of the wearer, which bag is inflatable to cushion the load applied to the wearer's back and to adjust the backpack for the size and shape of the wearer's back.

2. The backpack according to claim 1, wherein said inflatable bag includes at least one strap for attaching the inflatable bag to the knapsack.

3. The backpack according to claim 2, wherein said inflatable bag includes at least one pair of straps each strap being attached at one end to the inflatable bag, and carrying at its opposite end a hook-and-loop fastener for securing the opposite ends of the straps together with the straps enclosing the knapsack.

4. The backpack according to claim 1, wherein said backpack further includes second and third inflatable bags, one for each shoulder harness and attached to the respective shoulder harness on the side thereof to engage a shoulder of the wearer, said second and third inflatable bags being inflatable to cushion the load applied to the wearer's shoulders and to adjust the backpack to the size and shape of the wearer's shoulders.

5. The backpack according to claim 4, wherein each of said second and third inflatable bags is attached to its respective shoulder by at least one strap.

6. The backpack according to claim 5, wherein each of said second and third inflatable bags includes at least one pair of straps, each strap being attached at one end to the respective inflatable bag and carrying at its opposite end a hook-and-loop fastener for securing the opposite ends of the straps together with the straps enclosing the respective shoulder harness.

7. The backpack according to claim 1, wherein said backpack further includes a hand pump manually operable by the wearer for inflating said inflatable bag.

8. The backpack according to claim 7, wherein said hand pump includes an air tube communicating with its respective inflatable bag for inflating same, and a control valve which is actuatable to a closed condition when the hand pump is to be used for inflating the bag, or to an open position to vent the pump to the atmosphere for deflating the bag.

9. The backpack according to claim 7, wherein said backpack further includes second and third inflatable bags, one for each shoulder harness and attached to the respective shoulder harness on the side thereof to engage a shoulder of the wearer, said second and third inflatable bags being inflatable to cushion the load applied to the wearer's shoulders and to adjust the backpack to the size and shape of the wearer's shoulders.

10. The backpack according to claim 9, wherein said backpack includes a separate hand pump for each inflatable bag and connected by a tube to its respective bag, each of said hand pumps including a control valve which is actuatable to a closed condition when the hand pump is to be used for inflating the respective bag, or to an open position to vent the pump to the atmosphere for deflating the respective bag.

11. A conversion kit for converting a knapsack having a pair of shoulder harnesses to a backpack for comfortable wearing by a wearer and convenient fitting to the wearer's size, said conversion kit comprising an inflatable bag constructed and configured for attachment to the knapsack on the side thereof to engage the wearer's back, said bag being inflatable to cushion the load applied by the knapsack to the wearer's back and to adjust the backpack for the size and shape of the wearer's back.

12. The conversion kit according to claim 11, wherein said inflatable bag includes at least one strap for attaching the inflatable bag to the knapsack.

13. The conversion kit according to claim 12, wherein said inflatable bag includes a pair of straps, each attached at one end to the inflatable bag, and carrying at its opposite end a hook-and-loop fastener for securing the opposite ends of the pair of straps together with the straps enclosing the knapsack.

14. The conversion kit according to claim 11, wherein said conversion kit further comprises second and third inflatable bags, each constructed and configured for attachment to a shoulder harness on a side thereof to engage a shoulder of the wearer, said second and third inflatable bags being inflatable to cushion the load applied to the wearer's shoulders and to adjust the backpack for the size of the wearer.

15. The conversion kit according to claim 14, wherein each of said inflatable bags is attached to its respective knapsack and shoulder harness by at least one pair of straps.

16. The conversion kit according to claim 15, wherein each strap of each of said pair of straps is attached at one end to the respective inflatable bag and carries at its opposite end a hook-and-loop fastener for securing the opposite ends of the straps together while the strap encloses the respective knapsack or shoulder harness.

17. The conversion kit according to claim 11, wherein said conversion kit further includes a hand pump manually operable by the wearer for inflating said inflatable bag.

18. The conversion kit according to claim 17, wherein said hand pump includes an air tube communicating with said inflatable bag for inflating same, and a control valve which is actuatable to a closed condition when the hand pump is to be used for inflating the bag, or to an open position to vent the pump to the atmosphere for deflating the bag.

19. The conversion kit according to claim 18, wherein said conversion kit further includes second and third inflatable bags, one for each shoulder harness and attached to the respective shoulder harness on the side thereof to engage a shoulder of the wearer, said second and third inflatable bags being inflatable to cushion the load applied to the wearer's shoulders and to adjust the backpack to the size and shape of the wearer's shoulders.

20. The conversion kit according to claim 19, wherein said conversion kit includes a separate hand pump for each inflatable bag and connected by a tube to its respective bag, each of said hand pumps including a control valve which is actuatable to a closed condition when the hand pump is to be used for inflating the respective bag, or to an open position to vent the pump to the atmosphere for deflating the respective bag.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/650,145, filed on Feb. 7, 2005, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to backpacks commonly worn by persons to facilitate carrying a load. The invention is particularly useful as a backpack for school children to enable them to carry their school books in a more comfortable manner, and is therefore described below particularly with respect to that application. The present invention also relates to a conversion kit particularly useful for converting existing knapsacks to backpacks having the above advantage, as will be described more particularly below.

School children frequently carry their books to and from school in knapsacks strapped to their backs. Such school books generally involve a considerable load, and therefore this method of carrying books on a child's back is not only uncomfortable for the school child, but can also damage the bone structure of a school child particularly in younger school children. In addition, since children grow in size relatively rapidly, a knapsack which may have been suited for a child of a particular size, may quickly become unsuited for the child as the child grows in size, thereby aggravating not only the discomfort to the child, but also the possibility of damaging the bone structure of the child.

Many kinds of orthopedic backpacks and wheeled carriages have been developed to avoid this problem. However, such orthopedic backpacks and wheeled carriages are generally relatively expensive, and are therefore not widely used. Moreover, orthopedic backpacks may be suitable for a particular size and shape of a person's back, but their suitability quickly diminishes as the wearer's back changes in size and shape.

OBJECTS AND BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a backpack particularly useful for school children having advantages in the above respects. Another object of the invention is to provide a backpack which can be more conveniently worn by a school child, and which can be conveniently adjusted to the size and shape of the wearer's back. A further object of the present invention is to provide a conversion kit which enables existing knapsacks to be easily converted to backpacks having the above advantages.

According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a backpack including a knapsack for holding a load, and a pair of shoulder harnesses for mounting the knapsack onto the shoulders and back of a wearer, characterized in that the backpack includes an inflatable bag attached to the knapsack on the side thereof to engage the back of the wearer, which bag is inflatable to cushion the load applied to the wearer's back and to adjust the backpack for the size and shape of the wearer's back.

According to further features in the described preferred embodiment, the backpack further includes second and third inflatable bags, one for each shoulder harness and attached to the respective shoulder harness on the side thereof to engage a shoulder of the wearer, the second and third inflatable bags also being inflatable to cushion the load applied to the wearer's shoulders and to adjust the backpack to the size and shape of the wearer's shoulders.

According to still further features in the described preferred embodiment, the backpack further includes a hand pump manually operable by the wearer for inflating and deflating the bag.

According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a conversion kit for converting a knapsack having a pair of shoulder harnesses to a backpack for comfortable wearing by a wearer and convenient fitting to the wearer's size, the conversion kit comprising an inflatable bag constructed and configured for attachment to the knapsack on the side thereof to engage the wearer's back, the bag being inflatable to cushion the load applied by the knapsack to the wearer's back, and to adjust the backpack for the size and shape of the wearer's back. Preferably, such a conversion kit further includes second and third inflatable bags, each constructed and configured for attachment to a shoulder harness on a side thereof to engage a shoulder of the wearer, the second and third inflatable bags being inflatable to cushion the load applied to the wearer's shoulders and to adjust the backpack for the size and shape of the wearer's shoulders.

As will be described more particularly below, backpacks may be constructed in accordance with the foregoing features of the present invention, or existing knapsacks may be conveniently converted to backpacks, enabling a more comfortable carrying of the load (e.g., school books) by the wearer, and also a more comfortable fitting of the backpack to the particular size and shape of the wearer's back and shoulders.

Further features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the description below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is herein described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates one form of backpack constructed in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 2 schematically illustrates a conversion kit which may be supplied for converting an existing knapsack to one having the advantages of the backpack of FIG. 1.

It is to be understood that the foregoing drawings, and the description below, are provided primarily for purposes of facilitating understanding the conceptual aspects of the invention and possible embodiments thereof, including what is presently considered to be a preferred embodiment. In the interest of clarity and brevity, no attempt is made to provide more details than necessary to enable one skilled in the art, using routine skill and design, to understand and practice the described invention. It is to be further understood that the embodiments described are for purposes of example only, and that the invention is capable of being embodied in other forms and applications than described herein.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The backpack illustrated in FIG. 1 includes a knapsack 10 of a conventional construction for holding a load, such a plurality of school books, and having a pair of shoulder harnesses 20, 30, for mounting the knapsack 10 onto the shoulders and back of a wearer.

Knapsack 10 may be made of any suitable material, such cloth or plastic. It is formed with a plurality of pockets 10a, each closable by a zipper-type fastener 10b, to define a plurality of compartments for carrying the books or other articles to be held by the knapsack. Knapsack 10 is further formed with a handle 10c to facilitate hand-gripping, and with a flat back 10b or under-face engageable with the back of the wearer when mounted by means of the shoulder harnesses 20 and 30.

The two shoulder harnesses 20, 30 are of a similar construction. Each includes a soft or padded section 20a, 20b, which is to be applied over the shoulders of the wearer, and an adjustable section 20b, 30b adjustable by clasps 20c, 30c to the size of the wearer.

Such knapsacks, as illustrated in FIG. 1, are well known and in widespread use, and therefore further details of its construction and manner of use are not set forth herein.

According to the present invention, knapsack 10 is provided one or more, and preferably three, inflatable bags, shown in FIG. 1 at 11, 21 and 31, respectively, attached to the knapsack 10 and to the two shoulder harnesses 20, 30, respectively. Bags 11, 21 and 31 are inflatable by the wearer to cushion the load applied by the knapsack to the wearer, and also to firmly adjust the backpack for the size and shape of the wearer's back and shoulders.

Thus, as shown in FIG. 1, inflatable bag 11 is attached to the flat back or under-face 10d of knapsack 10 so as to engage the back of the wearer and thereby to cushion the load applied by the knapsack to the wearer's back. Inflatable bag 11 is attached to knapsack 10 by a pair of straps, one of which is shown at 12, each having one end secured to the inflatable bag, and the opposite end carrying a hook-and-loop fastener, (e.g. “Velcro” fasteners, as will be described below with respect to inflatable bags 21, 31) for securing the opposite ends of the straps together with the straps enclosing the knapsack, as shown in FIG. 1.

Inflatable bags 21, 31 are applied in a similar manner to their respective shoulder harnesses 20, 30. In this case and as shown in FIG. 1, inflatable bag 21 includes two pairs of straps 22, 23, with each pair including two straps each having one end secured to bag 21, and the opposite end carrying a hook-and-loop fastener, as shown at 22a, 23a, for securing the two ends together while the straps enclose section 20a of shoulder harness 20. Similarly, inflatable bag 31 also includes a pair of straps 32, 33, each pair including a strap secured at one end to bag 31, and the opposite end carrying a hook-and-loop fastener 32a, 33a, for securing the two ends together while the straps enclose section 30a of shoulder harness 30.

When the three inflatable bags 11, 21 and 31 are applied to knapsack 10 and the two shoulder harnesses 20, 30, respectively, in the manner described above, they are inflatable by a hand pump 40. In the example illustrated in FIG. 1, hand pump 40 is connected, via tubes 41, 42 and 43, to bags 11, 21 and 31, respectively, such that the one hand pump may be used for inflating all three bags. Hand pump 40 further includes a control valve, in the form of a depressible button 44, which is actuatable to either a closed position to enable the hand pump to inflate the bags 11, 21, 31, or to an open position to vent the pump to the atmosphere for deflating the bags. The control valve is normally in a closed position so that squeezing the hand pump 40 will effectively inflate the three bags, but may be actuated to an open position by depressing control button 44.

The manner of using the illustrated backpack will be apparent from the above description. Thus, the three inflatable bags 11, 21 and 31, including the hand pump 40 and its connections to the bags, may be conveniently applied to virtually any type of knapsack in the manner described above. When so applied, inflatable bag 11 cushions the load applied by the knapsack to the back of the wearer, whereas inflatable bags 21 and 31 cushion the load applied by the shoulder harnesses 20, 30, to the shoulders of the wearer. In addition, if the shoulder harnesses have not been properly adjusted for the size of the respective wearer, this adjustment will also be automatically effected by the inflation of the bags 11, 21 and 31. Accordingly, the inflatable bags 11, 21, 31 are effective to substantially cushion the load forces applied by the knapsack to the back and shoulders of the wearer and to more comfortabely fit the backpack to the size and shape of the wearer, thereby not only enabling the wearer to carry the knapsack more comfortably, but also reducing the possibility of damaging the bone structure of the wearer particularly in the case of younger school children carrying substantial book loads.

It will be appreciated that the three inflatable bags 11, 21, 31, including the hand pump 40 and its connections to the three bags, can be supplied with the knapsack 10 when purchased. However, the three inflatable bags including the pump 40 can also be supplied in the form of a conversion kit to be applied to an existing knapsack 10 in order to provide the advantages of the invention as discussed above.

FIG. 2 illustrates a modification particularly applicable when the three inflatable bags 11, 21 and 31, are supplied in the form of a conversion kit to be attached by the user to an existing knapsack. In the modification illustrated in FIG. 2, a separate hand pump, therein designated 40a, 40b, 40c, respectively, is supplied for each of the three inflatable bags 11, 21, 31, to permit each bag to be separately applied to the knapsack 10 and shoulder harnesses 20 and 30, respectively, and to be independently inflated and deflated if desired. In all other respects, the conversion kit illustrated in FIG. 2 is constructed and used in the same manner as described above with respect to FIG. 1.

While the invention has been described with respect to two preferred embodiments, it will be appreciated that many other variations, modifications and applications of the invention may be made.