Title:
AMPHIBIOUS SELF-BAILING BACKPACK
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A backpack includes a tight fitting wetsuit style vest with a low profile pack attached to the back. The backpack is configured with closures and compartments that are accessible when the backpack is worn. The backpack has a slight positive buoyancy enabling it to float with contents, but not enough to interfere with water activities. Mesh material allows water to readily escape from the storage compartments and prevents trapping of air in the compartments.



Inventors:
Miller, Samuel (Atlantic Beach, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/277940
Publication Date:
10/05/2006
Filing Date:
03/29/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/576, 441/108
International Classes:
A41D1/04; A45C15/00; B63C9/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090078501Floating Harness with Continuous LoopMarch, 2009Mordecai et al.
20100024094Easy on and off collar for a protection garmentFebruary, 2010Halseth
20080092279Baseball batter's helmet with adjustable protective padding systemApril, 2008Chiang
20090210994HeadgearAugust, 2009Cicchinelli
20070199128EL LIGHTED GARMENT WITH TEAR AWAY FEATUREAugust, 2007Golle
20080052807BriefsMarch, 2008Lai
20050034204Clothes for infantFebruary, 2005Kassai et al.
20060059599Method for reducing cost of waterproof breathable clothes and improving breathing quality of waterproof non-breathable clothesMarch, 2006Lai
20090077704Waterproof and High Heat Resistant Coated GlovesMarch, 2009Duncan et al.
20050177965Waterproof scrubbing gloveAugust, 2005Edoh
20100058508Convertible swimwearMarch, 2010Hersh



Primary Examiner:
PATEL, TAJASH D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mark Young, P.A. (JACKSONVILLE, FL, US)
Claims:
Having thus described the present invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is as follows:

1. A backpack comprised of a tight fitting vest, said vest being comprised of a stretchable material and having a front and a back, and a pack with at least one compartment attached to the back of the vest, said pack including a mesh bottom in fluid communication with the at least one compartment.

2. A backpack according to claim 1, further comprising a zipper closure adapted to provide access to said at least one compartment.

3. A backpack according to claim 1, further comprising a spring clip operably coupled to said backpack within the at least one compartment.

4. A backpack according to claim 1, further comprising a material that provides a net positive buoyancy sufficient to maintain the backpack and its contents afloat in water but not sufficient to maintain a wearer afloat in water.

5. A backpack according to claim 1, said at least one compartment being accessible while the backpack is worn.

6. A backpack according to claim 1, said vest including a bottom inside band, said bottom inside band being comprised a material adapted to frictionally engage a wearer's waist.

7. A backpack according to claim 1, further comprising a material that provides a net positive buoyancy sufficient to maintain the backpack and its contents afloat in water but not sufficient to maintain a wearer afloat in water; and said vest including a bottom inside band, said bottom inside band being comprised a material adapted to frictionally engage a wearer's waist.

8. A backpack according to claim 7, further comprising a zipper closure adapted to provide access to said at least one compartment.

9. A backpack according to claim 8, further comprising a spring clip operably coupled to said backpack within the at least one compartment.

10. A backpack according to claim 9, said at least one compartment being accessible while the backpack is worn.

11. A backpack comprised of a tight fitting vest, said vest being comprised of a stretchable material and having a front and a back, and a pack with at least one compartment attached to the back of the vest, said pack including a self-bailing means in fluid communication with the at least one compartment.

12. A backpack according to claim 11, further comprising a zipper closure adapted to provide access to said at least one compartment.

13. A backpack according to claim 11, further comprising a spring clip operably coupled to said backpack within the at least one compartment.

14. A backpack according to claim 11, further comprising a material that provides a net positive buoyancy sufficient to maintain the backpack and its contents afloat in water but not sufficient to maintain a wearer afloat in water.

15. A backpack according to claim 11, said at least one compartment being accessible while the backpack is worn.

16. A backpack according to claim 11, said vest including a bottom inside band, said bottom inside band being comprised a material adapted to frictionally engage a wearer's waist.

17. A backpack according to claim 11, further comprising a material that provides a net positive buoyancy sufficient to maintain the backpack and its contents afloat in water but not sufficient to maintain a wearer afloat in water; and said vest including a bottom inside band, said bottom inside band being comprised a material adapted to frictionally engage a wearer's waist.

18. A backpack according to claim 17, further comprising a zipper closure adapted to provide access to said at least one compartment.

19. A backpack according to claim 18, further comprising a spring clip operably coupled to said backpack within the at least one compartment.

20. A backpack according to claim 19, said at least one compartment being accessible while the backpack is worn.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of priority of U.S. Provisional Application 60/594,319, filed Mar. 29, 2005, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to a backpack. More particularly, this invention relates to a backpack for use during water activities such as surfing, swimming and snorkeling.

BACKGROUND

Participants in water activities such as surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling require a safe place to store possessions, such as keys, wallets, jewelry, footwear and the like. Leaving such items unattended on a beach or in a vehicle risks theft. Conventional backpacks and wearable pouches tend to interfere with such water activities and may separate from the wearer and become lost during use.

A low profile backpack that fits securely, does not provide excessive buoyancy or excessive weight, and does not present a physical obstacle to performing water activities is needed. The invention is directed towards solving one or more of the problems identified above.

SUMMARY

It is therefore an object of a preferred embodiment of the present invention to provide a backpack for use during water activities. To achieve these and other objects, a backpack in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention includes a tight fitting wetsuit style vest with a low profile pack attached to the back. The pack is configured with closures and compartments that are accessible when the backpack is worn. The backpack has a slight positive buoyancy, barely enabling it to float with a few contents. Mesh material allows water to readily escape from the storage compartments and prevents trapping of air in the compartments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following description, appended claims, and accompanying drawings, where:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view conceptually depicting an open pack with a plurality of zipper closures and compartments for a backpack in accordance with an exemplary implementation of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a back view of an exemplary backpack in accordance with principles of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a front view of an exemplary backpack showing a vest portion in accordance with principles of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to FIG. 1, a perspective view conceptually depicting an open pack 100 with a plurality of zipper closures 105, 110 and 130 and compartments 135 and 140 for a backpack in accordance with an exemplary implementation of the invention is shown. While the exemplary pack 100 includes two compartments 135 and 140, any number of compartments, sub-compartments and pockets and other storage means may be provided within the scope of the invention. A spring clip 145 allows attachment of keys and the like. Additionally, while closure mechanisms other than zippers 105, 110 and 130, such as hook and loop fasteners, snaps and the like may be used in addition to or in lieu of zipper closures, and are intended to come within the scope of the invention, zipper closures are preferred for convenience, accessibility, and durability. The bottom of the pack includes a mesh material 125 in fluid communication with each compartment 135 and 140. The compartments may be separated by mesh material or other material 135 and 140. However, mesh material is preferred because it does not trap water and facilitates viewing the contents of each compartment. The bottom mesh material 125 provides a self-bailing functionality to the backpack, allowing engulfed water to readily escape. Thus, for example, a surfer would not have to endure substantial added weight on his or her back from entrapped water. Such added weight would otherwise interfere with intended water activities.

Other materials and structures may be used in addition to or in lieu of mesh to enable self-bailing. By way of example and not limitation, grommets, other openings, porous fabrics and other structures and materials that allow water to readily evacuate may be used. A backpack having such other materials and structures comes within the scope of the invention.

The meshing may be comprised of any mesh material suitable for water activities. By way of example and not limitation, nylon mesh may be used. The mesh material may also have a protective coating such as a polyvinyl chloride (pvc) coating.

The pack is preferably comprised of materials that provide a slight net positive buoyancy bias which would keep the backpack afloat, with ordinary contents, in the unlikely event the backpack separates from the wearer. The slight positive buoyancy should essentially negate the weight of the pack when in water, thus making the pack transparent to a wearer. In contrast, a wearer of a non-buoyant pack would experience added weight that may interfere with intended water activities. Likewise, a wearer of a highly buoyant pack would experience a considerable upward force that may also interfere with intended water activities.

To achieve a desired net buoyancy, in an exemplary embodiment, the pack includes some panels of buoyant material 115 and 120, and other panels of material that do not provide are not-buoyant in water (i.e., have a greater density than water). By way of example and not limitation, buoyant panels 115 and 120 may be comprised of neoprene or other flexible, buoyant elastomer foam materials. Neoprene is generally buoyant. Different types of neoprene provide different buoyancies based upon the amount of enclosed air cells. The neoprene may be laminated on each side with a coating, skin or fabric to help to protect it against abrasion. Illustratively, approximately 15 to 50 square inches of 2 to 8 mm neoprene should provide adequate buoyancy. Of course, the amount of buoyant material will depend upon the size, weight and density of other materials comprising the backpack.

The various panels and zipper closures of the backpack are attached by conventional stitching. Single or double zippers may be used to facilitate opening and closing of the various compartments. The zippers may optionally be waterproof. Additionally, seams may optionally be heat sealed to keep moisture or sand from penetrating through the stitching.

Referring now to FIG. 2, a back view of an exemplary backpack in accordance with principles of the invention is shown. The pack 100, as discussed above, is securely attached to the back of a wetsuit style vest 200. The exemplary vest is comprised of a back panel 240 and a pair of front panels 310 and 315 (as shown in FIG. 3) adjoined by stitching along shoulder and side seams in a conventional manner. Openings 225-235, 245 are provided at the top and bottom and on each side to accommodate a wearer's neck, waist and arms. An adjustable waist belt 210 with a releasable buckle is also provided to prevent the bottom of the vest from riding up a user's torso during use. However, as an alternative to a belt, a drawstring may be provided to allow a wearer to adjust the snugness of the vest around his or her waist. In such case, drawstring cord locks or clamps may be used to secure the drawstring at a desired position.

Additionally, the inner side of vest may include a bottom seam 215 configured to frictionally engage a wearer's torso. Illustratively, the bottom seam may be comprised of a neoprene rubber or other material that is comfortable against the wearer's skin, yet provides a relatively high coefficient of friction. As shown in FIG. 2, additional accessories may also be provided. Illustratively, snap rings 220 and D-rings and the like may be provided for hanging the article and for hanging or attaching items (e.g., keys, lanyards) to the article.

The vest may be comprised of various lightweight materials suitable for use in constructing garments for water activities. Illustratively, the vest may be made primarily from stretchable materials, such as a mesh fabric, Lycra® (Invista North America S.A.R.L.), and the like., a stretch nylon material having a polyurethane, pvc or other coating; although other suitable materials that are water and weather resistant may be used. A lining may also be provided to provide comfort and/or warmth.

An advantage of an exemplary embodiment of a backpack according to principles of the invention is that the pack and its closures are positioned to facilitate opening and closing to access a compartment and its contents while the backpack is worn. Thus items may be added to or removed from a compartment without requiring removal of the backpack.

In one alternative embodiment, one or more easy to reach separate compartments may be provided. By way of example and not limitation, a backpack according to principles of the invention may include a bottom compartment with single or double zippers for access. Such a compartment may be easily accessed by a wearer, while the backpack is worn, to store or remove selected items.

In yet another embodiment, a backpack according to principles of the invention may include one or more watertight compartments to help keep contents dry. In such an embodiment, a purge valve or one-way vent is provided to force air from the compartment, but prevent water from entering the compartment. Removal of air prevents excessive buoyancy.

While the invention has been described in terms of its preferred embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention can be practiced with modifications within the spirit and scope of the foregoing detailed description. Such alternative embodiments and implementations are intended to come within the scope of the present invention.