Title:
Strapping system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Various embodiments of the present invention are directed to a strapping system that can be converted into multiple configurations for carrying different types of items, and that can be unobtrusively carried when the strapping system is not used for carrying items. In one embodiment of the present invention, the strapping system can be worn by a strapping-system user in a number of different ways, including as a single-shoulder-harness carrier, a dual-shoulder-harness carrier, and as a belt. When used as a single-shoulder-harness carrier or a double-shoulder-harness carrier, one or more attachment loops attach the strapping system to the strapping-system user, and one or more adjustable-length carrying loops carry items placed in the carrying loops. When used as a belt, the strapping system can be worn around the strapping-system user's waist.



Inventors:
Balakier, Alfred R. (Santa Monica, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/321226
Publication Date:
12/07/2006
Filing Date:
12/28/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/257, 224/579
International Classes:
A45C15/00; A45F3/14; A45F4/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LARSON, JUSTIN MATTHEW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OLYMPIC PATENT WORKS PLLC (Gig Harbor, WA, US)
Claims:
1. A strapping system for carrying items, the strapping system comprising: a series of interconnected straps that can be reversibly converted into a belt configuration that can be worn around the waist of an individual; a dual-shoulder-harness configuration that can be worn around the shoulders of an individual; and a single-shoulder-harness configuration that can be slung over one shoulder of an individual.

2. The strapping system of claim 1 wherein the series of interconnecting straps further includes a first attachment loop, a second attachment loop, and a sliding strap connecting the first attachment loop to the second attachment loop.

3. The strapping system of claim 2 wherein the sliding strap passes through a first plastic loop interconnected to the first attachment loop and a second plastic loop interconnected to the second attachment loop.

4. The strapping system of claim 2 further including a first adjuster strap attached to the first attachment loop and a second adjuster strap attached to the second attachment loop.

5. The strapping system of claim 2 further including a first fastener and a second fastener, the first fastener and the second fastener each having a male end and a female end.

6. The strapping system of claim 5 wherein the male end of the first fastener is capable of being mated with the female end of either the first fastener or the second fastener, and the male end of the second fastener is capable of being mated with the female end of either the first fastener or the second fastener.

7. The strapping system of claim 6 wherein the male end of the first fastener is interconnected to the first attachment loop and the female end of the first fastener is interconnected to the second attachment loop.

8. The strapping system of claim 6 wherein the female end of the second fastener is interconnected to the first adjuster strap and the male end of the second fastener is interconnected to the second adjuster strap.

9. The strapping system of claim 8 wherein a first carrying-loop fastener on a first carrying loop is created when the female end of the first fastener mates with the male end of the second fastener.

10. The strapping system of claim 9 wherein the first carrying loop further comprises a first cinching mechanism that provides friction to promote the tightening of a number of items placed within the first carrying loop when the male and female ends of the first carrying-loop fastener are mated together

11. The strapping system of claim 8 wherein a second carrying-loop fastener on a second carrying loop is created when the male end of the first fastener mates with the female end of the second fastener.

12. The strapping system of claim 11 wherein the second carrying loop further comprises a second cinching mechanism that provides friction to promote the tightening of a number of items placed within the second carrying loop when the male and female ends of the second carrying-loop fastener are mated together

13. A strapping system comprising: a first-strap loop having a male end of a first fastener and an interconnected first adjuster strap; a second-strap loop having a female end of the first fastener that mates with the male end of the first fastener, and an interconnected second adjuster strap; and a sliding strap interconnecting the first loop with the second loop.

14. The strapping system of claim 13 wherein the sliding strap passes through a first plastic loop interconnected to the first-strap loop and a second plastic loop interconnected to the second-strap loop.

15. The strapping system of claim 13 wherein the first adjuster strap further includes a female end of a second fastener and a first cinching mechanism that can be used to adjust and maintain the length of the first adjuster strap, and the second adjuster strap further includes a male end of the second adjuster strap and a second cinching mechanism to adjust and maintain the length of the second adjuster strap.

16. The strapping system of claim 15 wherein the strapping system can be configured into an adjustable-length belt loop by mating the male end of the first fastener on the first-strap loop to the female end of the first fastener on the second-loop strap, and by mating the female end of the second fastener on the first adjuster strap to the male end of the second fastener on the second adjuster strap.

17. The strapping system of claim 15 wherein the male end of the first fastener can be mated with the female end of the second fastener to create a first carrying-loop fastener on a first carrying loop.

18. The strapping system of claim 17 wherein the first cinching mechanism provides friction to promote the tightening of a number of items placed within the first carrying loop when the male and female ends of the first carrying-loop fastener are mated together.

19. The strapping system of claim 15 wherein the female end of the first fastener can be mated with the male end of the second fastener to create a second carrying-loop fastener on a second carrying loop.

20. The strapping system of claim 19 wherein the second carrying-loop fastener includes a cinching mechanism to that provides friction to promote the tightening of a number of items placed within the second carrying loop when the male and female ends of the second carrying-loop fastener are mated together.

21. A method for constructing a series of interconnected straps to hold items, the method comprising; providing a first attachment loop, a second attachment loop, and a sliding strap connecting the first attachment loop to the second attachment loop; attaching a first adjuster strap to the first attachment loop and a second adjuster strap to the second attachment loop; interconnecting a female end of a first fastener to the first attachment loop and a male end of the first fastener to the second attachment loop; and interconnecting a male end of a second fastener to the first adjuster strap and a female end of the second fastener to the second adjuster strap.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of provisional patent application No. 60/686,693 filed on Jun. 3, 2005.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to the field of strapping systems, and, in particular, to a strapping system that can be placed in multiple configurations and used to carry items.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many people engage in physical activities that involve carrying awkward, difficult-to-carry items, or involve carrying items that are used intermittently throughout an extended period of time and that are burdensome to carry when not in use. Consider, for example, an individual spending the day snowboarding. The individual drives to a ski resort and parks his or her car some distance from a ski lodge. The individual needs to carry his or her snowboard and snowboarding boots from the car to the ski lodge to purchase a lift ticket and put on the snowboarding boots. Snowboards and snowboarding boots are large awkwardly-shaped items that can represent a significant burden to carry across a slushy parking lot in inclement weather.

In continuation of the snowboarding example, the snowboarder starts in the morning and is cold riding up the ski lift and during the first couple of runs. Accordingly, the snowboarder is wearing a suitable cold-weather jacket. Later in the day, after snowboarding for awhile, the snowboarder begins to warm up and desires to remove the cold-weather jacket. Unfortunately, there is not a convenient location to securely place the cold-weather jacket. One option is for the individual to hold the cold-weather jacket in his or her hands while snowboarding. Another option is to place the cold-weather jacket inside a backpack worn by the snowboarder. However, backpacks may be perceptually bulky and restrict freedom of movement. The snowboarder may consider wearing an empty, or nearly empty, backpack to be a burden. People that carry items during physical activities have, therefore, recognized a need for a convenient and unobtrusive way to transport awkward, over-sized loads and to transport items that are used intermittently during the activity when there is no secure and convenient place to store the items while the items are not in use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Various embodiments of the present invention are directed to a strapping system that can be converted into multiple configurations for carrying different types of items, and that can be unobtrusively carried when the strapping system is not used for carrying items. In one embodiment of the present invention, the strapping system can be worn by a strapping-system user in a number of different ways, including as a single-shoulder-harness carrier, a dual-shoulder-harness carrier, and as a belt. When used as a single-shoulder-harness carrier or a double-shoulder-harness carrier, one or more attachment loops attach the strapping system to the strapping-system user, and one or more adjustable-length carrying loops carry items placed in the carrying loops. When used as a belt, the strapping system can be worn around the strapping-system user's waist.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A illustrates an exemplary strapping system in a belt configuration that represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 1B illustrates a front view of an individual wearing the exemplary strapping system in the belt configuration shown in FIG. 1A that represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 1C illustrates a back view of an individual wearing the exemplary strapping system in the belt configuration shown in FIG. 1A that represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2A-2E illustrate conversion of a strapping system from a belt configuration that represents one embodiment of the present invention to a dual-shoulder-harness configuration that represents another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3A illustrates an exemplary strapping system in a dual-shoulder-harness configuration that represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3B illustrates a back view of an individual carrying a rolled-up jacket in the exemplary strapping system in the dual-shoulder-harness configuration shown in FIG. 3A that represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3C illustrates a back view of an individual carrying a snowboard in the exemplary strapping system in the dual-shoulder-harness configuration shown in FIG. 2E that represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4A illustrates an exemplary strapping system in a single-shoulder-harness configuration that represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4B illustrates an individual carrying in-line skates held by the exemplary strapping system in the single-shoulder-harness configuration shown in FIG. 4A that represents one embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Various embodiments of the present invention are directed to a strapping system that can be converted into multiple configurations for carrying different types of items. FIG. 1A illustrates an exemplary strapping system in a belt configuration that represents one embodiment of the present invention. Strapping system 100 includes first belt loop 102, second belt loop 104, and sliding strap 106. First belt loop 102 further includes first plastic loop 108, first friction slider 110, first adjuster strap 112, and the male end 114 of first fastener 116. Second belt loop 104 further includes second plastic loop 118, second friction slider 120, second adjuster strap 122, and the female end 124 of first fastener 116. First adjuster strap 112 further includes the female end 126 of second fastener 128. Second adjuster strap 122 further includes the male end 130 of second fastener 128.

First belt loop 102 is interconnected to second belt loop 104 by sliding strap 106. One end of sliding strap 106 passes through first plastic loop 108 on first belt loop 102, while the opposite end of sliding strap 106 passes through second plastic loop 118 on second belt loop 104. Both ends of sliding strap 106 include end blockers, such as strapping material that is rolled over on itself and stitched together, to prevent sliding strap 106 from passing completely through first plastic loop 108 and/or second plastic loop 118. First belt loop 102 can also be interconnected to second belt loop 104 by mating the male end 114 with the female end 124 of first fastener 116 and by mating the male end 130 with the female end 126 of second fastener 128.

Both the male end 130 and the female end 126 of second fastener 128 include a cinching mechanism through which first and second adjuster straps 112 and 122, respectively, pass. The cinching mechanism utilizes friction to cinch the first and second adjuster straps 112 and 122, respectively, at a desired length. The free ends 132 and 134 of first and second adjuster straps 112 and 122, respectively, can be pulled to shorten the length of the strapping system 100, and the cinching mechanism maintains the length. When unclasped, male end 130 and female end 126 of second adjuster strap 128 can be rotated to release the cinching mechanism and the first and second adjuster straps 112 and 122, respectively, can be loosened to increase the length of strapping system 100. In alternate embodiments of the present invention, first fastener 116 contains an integrated friction-sliding mechanism that can be used in lieu of friction sliders 110 and 120.

FIG. 1B illustrates a front view of an individual wearing the exemplary strapping system in the belt configuration shown in FIG. 1A that represents one embodiment of the present invention. First fastener 116 of strapping system 100 is fastened on the front side of strapping-system user 136. FIG. 1C illustrates a back view of an individual wearing the exemplary strapping system in the belt configuration shown in FIG. 1A that represents one embodiment of the present invention. Second fastener 128 is fastened on the back side of strapping-system user 136. First and second adjuster straps 112 and 122, respectively, are pulled to tighten strapping system 100 around the waist of the strapping-system user 136, and the cinching mechanisms integrated in second fastener 128 maintain a snug fit around the waist of the strapping-system user 136.

FIG. 2A-2E illustrate conversion of a strapping system from a belt configuration that represents one embodiment of the present invention to a dual-shoulder-harness configuration that represents another embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 2A shows strapping system 100 in a belt configuration. In FIG. 2B, first fastener 116 is unclasped and second fastener 128 is unclasped and loosened by sliding second fastener 128 along first and second adjuster straps 112 and 122, respectively, away from the sliding strap 106.

In FIG. 2C, first and second friction sliders 110 and 120, respectively, are slid along first belt loop 102 and second belt loop 104, respectively, until first and second friction sliders 110 and 120, respectively, are in the proximity of first and second plastic loops 108 and 118, respectively. Male and female ends, 114 and 124, respectively, of first fastener 116 are likewise brought closer to first and second plastic loops 108 and 118, respectively, creating first and second shoulder-attachment loops 202 and 204, respectively. First and second shoulder-attachment loops 202 and 204 interconnect via sliding strap 106. Sliding strap 106 passes through first plastic loop 108 on first shoulder-attachment loop 202 and second plastic loop 118 on second shoulder-attachment loop 204.

In FIG. 2D, the male end 114 of first fastener 116 is mated with the female end 126 of second fastener 128 to create first shoulder-harness carrying loop 206. Likewise, the female end 124 of first fastener 116 is mated with the male end 130 of second fastener 128 to create second shoulder-harness carrying loop 208. In FIG. 2E, first and second shoulder-attachment loops 202 and 204, respectively, are rotated inward and first and second shoulder-harness carrying loops 206 and 208, respectively, are positioned over first and second shoulder-attachment loops 202 and 204, respectively, to complete the transition of strapping system 100 from a belt configuration, to a dual-shoulder-harness configuration. The process of converting the strapping system from the belt configuration to the dual-shoulder-harness configuration shown in FIGS. 2A-2E can also be performed in reverse to convert the strapping system from the dual-shoulder-harness configuration to the belt configuration.

FIG. 3A illustrates an exemplary strapping system in a dual-shoulder-harness configuration that represents one embodiment of the present invention. The strapping system 100 in a dual-shoulder-harness-configuration includes first and second shoulder-attachment loops 202 and 204, respectively, first and second shoulder-harness carrying loops 206 and 208, respectively, and sliding strap 106. First and second carrying-loop fasteners 302 and 304, respectively, can be unclasped and items can be placed inside first and second shoulder-harness carrying loops 206 and 208, respectively. The free ends 132 and 134 of first and second shoulder-harness carrying loops 206 and 208, respectively, can be pulled to tighten first and second shoulder-harness carrying loops 206 and 208, respectively, around held items.

FIG. 3B illustrates a back view of an individual carrying a rolled-up jacket in the exemplary strapping system in the dual-shoulder-harness configuration shown in FIG. 3A that represents one embodiment of the present invention. Strapping-system user 306 has first and second shoulder-attachment loops 202 and 204, respectively, around the user's shoulders with first and second shoulder-harness carrying loops 206 and 208, respectively, placed over the back of the strapping-system user 306. A jacket 308 is rolled up and held within first and second shoulder-harness carrying loops 206 and 208, respectively. The cinching mechanisms integrated into the male end 130 and the female end 126 of second fastener 128 allow the first and second shoulder-harness carrying loops 206 and 208 to maintain a snug fit around the jacket 308 when the free ends of the first and second shoulder-harness carrying loops 206 and 208, respectively, are pulled.

FIG. 3C illustrates a back view of an individual carrying a snowboard in the exemplary strapping system in the dual-shoulder-harness configuration shown in FIG. 2E that represents one embodiment of the present invention. Strapping-system user 306 has a snowboard 310 held within a single carrying loop 312. Single carrying loop 312 is created by mating the male end 130 of second fastener 128 with the female end 126 of second fastener 128. The cinching mechanisms integrated in second fastener 128 maintain a snug fit around the snowboard 310 when the free ends of the first and second shoulder-harness carrying loops 206 and 208, respectively, are pulled.

FIG. 4A illustrates an exemplary strapping system in a single-shoulder-harness configuration that represents one embodiment of the present invention. The single-shoulder-harness configuration is similar to the belt configuration described above with reference to FIG. 1A, with a single large carrying loop similar to the configuration described above with reference to FIG. 2B. When converted to a single-shoulder-harness configuration, strapping system 100 includes a single-shoulder-attachment loop 402, a single carrying loop 312, and sliding strap 106. Second fastener 128 can be unclasped and items can be placed inside single carrying loop 312. The free ends 132 and 134 of single carrying loop 312 can be pulled to cinch single carrying loop 312 tightly around the items placed within single carrying loop 312.

FIG. 4B illustrates an individual carrying in-line skates held by the exemplary strapping system in the single-shoulder-harness configuration shown in FIG. 4A that represents one embodiment of the present invention. Strapping system 100 is shown in a single-shoulder-harness configuration and worn by strapping-system user 404 while carrying in-line skates 406. In-line skates 406 are connected to single carrying loop 312 (not shown). Single-shoulder-attachment loop 402 is supported by the right shoulder of strapping-system user 404. In an alternate embodiment of the present invention, single-shoulder-attachment loop 402 is supported by the opposite shoulder from the side of the strapping-system user 404 containing the in-line skates 406.

Additional modifications within the spirit of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art. For example, the straps implemented by the strapping system can be constructed in various strap widths, sizes, and materials. The strapping system can be constructed from nylon webbing or other suitable lightweight, durable material. The strapping system can also be constructed from stretchable materials, including polypropylene, or Lycra®, Spandex®, or other stretchable material. Implementing a stretchable material into the strapping system may increase strapping-system user comfort by increasing the weight-load distribution, reducing friction, and ameliorating stress points. Padding can also be integrated into the strapping system to increase strapping-system user comfort. The plastic loops can be replaced with reinforced slits constructed directly into the first and second belt loops. The friction sliders can be replaced with cinching mechanisms integrated directly into the first fastener. A swivel can be implemented into the end of each carrying loop where the adjuster straps attach to the first and second belt loops to reduce stress when the carrying loops are twisted under load. Reflective strips can be included in various locations on the strapping system to increase visibility of the strapping-system user of when the strapping system worn at night or in a dark location. Accessory slots can be constructed into various positions along the strapping system through which various accessories can be attached, including mp3 players, cellular phones, keys, carry-all pouches, and stick-on strap loops.

The foregoing detailed description, for purposes of illustration, used specific nomenclature to provide a thorough understanding of the invention. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the specific details are not required in order to practice the invention. Thus, the foregoing descriptions of specific embodiments of the present invention are presented for purposes of illustration and description; they are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed. Obviously many modifications and variation are possible in view of the above teachings. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical applications and to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention and various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated.





 
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