Title:
Screened cot enclosure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
According to one aspect of the present invention, a net accessory for use with a cot includes (a) a net having an inner surface with a pair of open ended sleeves formed along the inner surface for receiving tension rods; and (b) a plurality of support straps for attachment to a frame of the cot. Each support strap has a feature that permits the strap to be tightened and secured to the frame, as well as a pocket formed proximate one end. The pocket is configured to receive an end of the tension rod so as to suspend and support the net above a sleeping area of the cot.



Inventors:
Gadd, Richard (Lake Ariel, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/495849
Publication Date:
02/01/2007
Filing Date:
07/27/2006
Assignee:
SCS Ltd (Lake Ariel, PA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/424
International Classes:
A47C17/64; A47C29/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CONLEY, FREDRICK C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DARBY & DARBY P.C. (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A net accessory for use with a cot comprising: a net having an inner surface with a pair of retaining members formed along the inner surface for receiving tension rods; and a plurality of support straps for attachment to a frame of the cot, each support strap having a first end and an opposite second end, each strap having an opening formed proximate the first end and a pocket formed proximate the second end, wherein the opening is configured to receive the second end of the strap to permit the strap to be secured to the frame and the pocket is configured to receive one end of the tension rod.

2. The accessory of claim 1, wherein the retaining members comprise open ended sleeves formed along the inner surface.

3. A cot assembly with an insect barrier comprising: a cot frame having a head end and a foot end with a first support cross member disposed at the head end and a second support cross member disposed at the foot end, each of the first and second support cross members having distal ends that extend beyond side support frame members; a net having an inner surface with a pair of retaining members formed along the inner surface, the retaining members receiving flexible tension rods; and a plurality of support straps for attachment to a frame of the cot, each support strap having a first end and a pocket formed proximate an opposite second end, wherein the strap includes a feature that permits it to be tightened and secured to the frame and the pocket is configured to receive an end of the tension rod so as to space and support the net above a sleeping area of the cot.

4. The assembly of claim 3, wherein the retaining members comprise open ended sleeves.

5. The cot assembly of claim 3, wherein the straps are disposed at corners of the cot frame and in locations at the distal ends of the first and second support cross members outside of the side support members.

6. The cot assembly of claim 3, wherein the strap comprises an elongated fabric member formed of a synthetic material and the strap feature is in the form of a D-ring buckle construction that permits tightening of the strap for attachment to the frame.

7. The cot assembly of claim 3, wherein the strap feature is in the form of a slit formed in the strap to receive the second end of the strap therethrough for tightening the strap and attaching it to the frame.

8. The cot assembly of claim 3, wherein the straps are orientated such that the pockets thereof face in directions away from the cot frame.

9. The cot assembly of claim 7, wherein a length of the slit is equal to or greater than a width of the strap.

10. The cot assembly of claim 3, wherein the straps are attached to the first and second support cross members with the second end of the strap being received through the strap feature such that the strap is wrapped around and securely attached to one of the first and second support cross members.

11. The cot assembly of claim 3, wherein the pocket is formed along one face of the strap.

12. The cot assembly of claim 3, wherein the tension rod extends between and is held within two straps disposed on the same side of the cot frame.

13. The cot assembly of claim 3, wherein the tension rod extends between and is held within two straps that are diagonally disposed with respect to one another.

14. The cot assembly of claim 3, wherein the net is dimensioned so that when the net is mounted above the cot frame, an edge of the net extends to a ground surface.

15. An assembly with an insect barrier comprising: a flexible base cloth having a plurality of receiving members formed therewith in predetermined locations; and a net structure having an inner surface with a pair of retaining members formed along the inner surface and a plurality of flexible tension rods that are received through the retaining members so as to be captured thereby, the tension rods having distal ends being received through the receiving members to suspend and support the net above the base cloth.

16. The assembly of claim 15, wherein the base cloth comprises a sleeping surface and the receiving members are one of grommets and sockets provided in corners of the base cloth.

17. The assembly of claim 15, wherein the retaining members comprise open ended sleeves.

18. A method of attaching an insect barrier to a cot frame assembly comprising the steps of: positioning a net accessory relative to the cot frame assembly that includes a head end and a foot end with a first support cross member disposed at the head end and a second support cross member disposed at the foot end, each of the first and second support cross members having ends that extend beyond side support frame members; attaching a plurality of support straps to the first and second support cross members of the cot frame assembly, wherein each support strap has a first end and a pocket formed proximate an opposite second end; inserting one end of the tension rod into the pocket of one support strap, through one sleeve formed along the inner surface of the net and then inserting the other end of the tension rod into a pocket of another support strap; repeating the above step until each tension rod is securely held within the pockets of two support straps; and disposing the net over the tension rods which support the net above a sleeping area of the cot.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

The present application claims the benefit of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 60/703,793, filed Jul. 28, 2005, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to cots and the like, and more particularly, relates to a protective screen or net support structure that can easily be incorporated and removably attached to an existing cot frame (including “folding” cots, standard cots/beds, sleeping bag, stretchers, etc.) to provide emergency temporary or permanent protection from unwanted elements, such as insects, in unscreened facilities in the outdoors or indoors.

BACKGROUND

There are a number of different types of products that are available to a user who wishes or is required to sleep in an unscreened or unsecured environment. For example, when sleeping in an outdoor environment, such as in a tent or camper, or when a conventional bed is not available, a folding cot provides a good alternative to a conventional mattress bed. A typical cot includes a frame that is typically formed of a number of frame elements that are foldable in nature and support a sleeping support surface, such as a durable fabric, that is attached to the cot frame in a way that permits the entire cot structure to be neatly and compactly folded for easy storage. The cot structure and support of the body will typically provide more comfort than a sleeping bag placed on the floor of the tent, camper, etc.

One large scale purchaser of cots is the United States government which purchases cots for emergency preparedness, recreational areas, as well as for personnel in the armed forces. In many of these applications, the personnel using the cots are forced to sleep unprotected and exposed to undesired foreign matter, such as debris, as well as insects. For example, mosquitos are very prevalent during nighttime and thus, they are at least a nuisance and at worst, they can be a carrier of disease, etc. The presence of insects at night, especially the biting types, makes it difficult for the person using the cot to get a good night's sleep. There are a number of net type enclosures that can be used with a tent like structure to alleviate the problems associated with insects; however, these enclosures suffer from a number of associated disadvantages, such as being overly complex and difficult to attach to the cot frame. In addition, many net enclosures are designed specifically for use with a single type of cot frame and therefore, can only be used with this exact frame type. This limits the versatility and degree of application of the net enclosure.

SUMMARY

According to one aspect of the present invention, a net accessory for use with a cot includes (a) a net having an inner surface with a pair of open ended sleeves formed along the inner surface for receiving flexible tension rods; and (b) a plurality of support straps for attachment to a frame of the cot. Each support strap has a first end and an opposite second end and includes a feature that permits the strap to be tightened and secured to the frame, as well as a pocket formed proximate the second end. In one embodiment, the feature is in the form of an opening formed through the strap proximate the first end. The opening is configured to receive the second end of the strap to facilitate tightening of the strap and a pocket or socket member is provided and configured to receive an end of the tension rod. In another embodiment, the feature is in the form of a D-ring buckle arrangement that permits attachment of the strap.

In another aspect, a cot assembly with an insect barrier includes a cot frame having a head end and a foot end with a first support cross member disposed at the head end and a second support cross member disposed at the foot end. Each of the first and second support cross members has ends that extend beyond side support frame members. The assembly further includes a net having an inner surface with a pair of open ended sleeves formed along the inner surface for receiving flexible tension rods. It will be understood that the sleeves are merely one type of retaining members and instead, the sleeves can be replaced by several tie straps/cords for retaining the rods in place.

The assembly further includes a plurality of support straps for attachment to a frame of the cot or some other similar type of structure. Each support strap has a first end and an opposite second end and a feature to permit tightening and attachment of the strap to the frame, as well as a pocket formed proximate the second end.

In yet another aspect, a method of attaching an insect barrier to a cot frame assembly includes the steps of positioning a net relative to the cot frame assembly. The cot frame assembly includes a head end and a foot end with a first support cross member disposed at the head end and a second support cross member disposed at the foot end. Each of the first and second support cross members has ends that extend beyond side support frame members.

The method also includes the step of attaching a plurality of support straps to the first and second support cross members of the cot frame assembly. Each support strap has a first end and an opposite second end, with a pocket formed proximate the second end. The support strap is attached to one of the first and second support cross members so as to tighten the strap about the support cross member with the pocket facing away from the cot frame.

One end of the tension rod is inserted into the pocket of one support strap, through one sleeve formed along the inner surface of the net and then the other end of the tension rod is inserted into a pocket of another support strap. The above step is repeated until each tension rod is securely held within the pockets of two support straps. The net is then disposed over the tension rods which support the net above a sleeping area of the cot and allows the protective net to make contact with the floor surface, thus forming the enclosure.

In yet another aspect, the net enclosure is not used in combination with a cot but instead is used with a flexible base cloth that includes feature formed in predetermined locations for receiving ends of the tension rods so as to permit the net enclosure to be coupled to the base cloth. A mattress can be used in combination with the base cloth, with the base cloth either being disposed above the mattress or the mattress being received in the net enclosure and placed on top of the base cloth.

Further aspects and features of the present invention can be appreciated from the appended Figures and the accompanying written description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

The foregoing and other features of the present invention will be more readily apparent from the following detailed description and drawings of the illustrative embodiments of the invention wherein like reference numbers refer to similar elements and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cot assembly with a protective net enclosure according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an end elevation view of the cot assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a local perspective view of a support strap according to one embodiment of the protective net enclosure of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of the support strap of FIG. 3 in a fully elongated position;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the support strap being attached to a cross support frame member of the cot assembly;

FIG. 6 is another perspective view of the support strap being attached to the cross support frame member;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a cot assembly with a protective net enclosure according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a support strap according to a second embodiment attached to the cross support frame member; and

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a base cloth assembly with a protective net enclosure according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention according to one aspect is generally embodied in FIGS. 1-6 in which a cot assembly 100 is shown. The cot assembly 100 includes a cot frame 110 that is formed of a number of frame elements that cooperate with one another in such a way that the cot 100 can be easily folded into a compact structure for storage or transport. The cot frame 110 has a plurality of feet support assemblies 120 as well as a plurality of side (longitudinal) support members 130 that are operatively coupled to the feet support assemblies 120. In the illustrated cot 100 and as is typically the case, there are three feet assemblies 120, namely a first end foot assembly 122, an opposite second end foot assembly 124, and an intermediate or center foot assembly 126 between the two end foot assemblies 122, 124.

For example, each foot assembly 120 is formed of a first foldable leg member 128 and a second foldable leg member 129 that criss-cross one another so as to form an X shape when the cot 100 is in the fully opened position as shown in FIG. 1. The first and second leg member 128, 129 can be pivoted with respect to one another to close the foot assembly 120 into a compact form.

Each side support member 130 is typically formed of one elongated frame member that is pivotably attached to one or more other side support members 130 to once again, permit the entire cot 100 to be folded into a compact form. Each side support member 130 has a first end 132 that is operatively coupled to the first end foot assembly 122 and an opposite second end 134 that is operatively coupled to the second end foot assembly 124. The side support members 130 lie substantially parallel to one another when the cot 100 is placed in the fully opened position of FIG. 1. Between the two side support members 130 lies the sleep area.

The cot 100 further includes a first transverse end frame member 140 disposed at or near the first end foot assembly 122 and a second transverse end frame member 150 disposed at or near the second end foot assembly 124. The first transverse end frame member 140 extends between the first ends of the two opposing side support members 130 and the two ends of the frame member 140 define a pair of extending frame sections 142, 144 that extend/protrude beyond the side support members 130 as shown in the Figures. The extending frame sections 142, 144 thus represent fingers or arms that extend beyond the frame members and the sleeping area and in the illustrated embodiment, there are a pair of sections 142, 144 at each end of the cot 100 and thus, there are four in total for the entire cot 100. The second transverse end frame member 150 also includes the sections 142, 144 at the distal ends.

Typically, the foot assemblies 120 and the side support members 130 are formed of tubular structures having a selected cross-sectional shape, such as circular or square, and are made of a metal material, such as aluminum, or wood, etc.

The cot 100 also has a pliable body support surface 160 that is operatively attached to the cot frame 120, 130 and provides a sleeping area for the user of the cot 100. The body support surface 160 is thus most often made of a durable fabric or the like that is cut to the specific shape of the sleeping area. For example, the support surface 160 can include a number of side pockets that receive the side support members 130, as well as a number of end pockets that receive the first and second transverse end frame members 140, 150. The support surface 160 also can include a number of arcuate shaped cut outs which surround and go around joints of the cot 100 where different frame elements come together. When the fabric support surface 160 is attached to the side support members 130 and the transverse end frame members 140, 150, the surface 160 is stretched to provide a taut sleeping area that can support a person of a specified weight.

The support surface 160 can be formed of any number of different materials, including but not limited to natural and synthetic fabrics. The material should have sufficient pliability since the entire cot 100, including the support surface 160, must be folded up into a compact form.

The illustrated cot assembly 100 is one which is commonly used in the armed forces and is made to military specifications for the Department of Defense. The cot assembly 100 must be constructed in such a way that it can fold into a compact form to permit a soldier to carry the folded structure with other military gear in the backpack of the soldier. This type of cot assembly 100 is commercially available from Reyes Industries of San Antonio, Texas.

It will be understood that the depicted cot assembly 100 is merely exemplary in nature and is not limiting of the present invention in any way. In other words, there are a number of different styles of cots, especially in terms of the cot frame assemblies and the pliable support (sleeping) surfaces, and therefore, it will be understood that the net enclosure of the present invention is not merely limited to the disclosed application but can be used in other applications so long as the cot utilizes foot and head cross supports, or lateral side supports, such as with a stretcher.

In accordance with the present invention, a net enclosure 200 is provided for use with the cot assembly 100, as well as other cot assemblies and other sleeping assemblies since the net enclosure 200 is designed to be directly attached to a wide variety of types of cots and sleeping surfaces. The net enclosure 200 is thus not only configured to be sold with new cot assemblies 100 but it also can be retrofitted for use with used cot assemblies and the like 100.

The net enclosure 200 is in the form of a net 210 that is shaped and cut to predetermined dimensions. The net 210 thus can take any number of different forms but typically is rectangular or square shaped and is oversized such that when the net enclosure 200 is properly installed on the cot frame assembly, the net 210 extends below the fabric support surface 160 and can extend to touch the ground, thus forming the sleeping enclosure. This ensures that the person that is resting on the fabric support surface 160 is fully enclosed by the net 210 and it is more difficult for insects to enter the sleeping area even by flying underneath the bottom edge of the net 210 and into the sleeping area.

The net 210 is in the form of a sheet of net material that includes an inner surface 212 that faces and is positioned over the fabric support surface 160 and an opposite outer surface 214. The net enclosure 200 has at least a pair of spaced sleeves or pockets 220 formed in select locations along the inner surface 212 for receiving tension rods 300 that are part of the net enclosure 200. The individual sleeves or pockets 220 can be formed by simply sewing an elongated piece or strip of fabric onto the inner surface 212 with the ends of the strip of fabric being open so as to permit the tension rod 300 to enter and pass freely through the sleeve 220. The sleeves 220 are typically not spaced parallel to one another but are rather angled relative to one another in the manner shown in FIG. 1 so as to permit the tension rods 300 to be routed as shown. Generally, one sleeve 220 and the associated tension rod 300 serves to support one half of the net 210, while the other sleeve 220 and the associated tension rod 300 serves to support the other half of the net 210. As shown in FIGS. 1-2, the sleeves 220 preferably extend a substantial length of the cot frame assembly 110 and the fabric support surface 160 when the net 210 is properly positioned over the cot frame assembly 110. This permits the net 210 to be securely held in a desired location over the frame and provides ample support to retain the net 210 in place even during adverse weather, such as wind, where otherwise, the net 210 may become separated from the rods 300 and become wind whipped which could lead to damage.

The sleeves 220 are merely one example of a type of retaining member which can be used to position and hold the rods in place along the inner surface of the net 210. Alternatively, a number of tie straps or cords can be formed along the inner surface of the net 210 and can be used to position and hold the rods.

The tension rod 300 is an elongated rod that is flexible in nature and has a first end 302 and an opposing second end 304. Typically, the tension rod 300 is formed of a flexible synthetic material, such as a plastic, that offers the necessary flexibility. This type of tension rod 300 is commercially available from a number of different sources that sell camping equipment and in particular, this type of tension rod 300 is of the type that is commonly used with tents, or the like. In addition, in applications where the entire assembly must be very compact, such as a military application, the tension rod 300 can be designed to be foldable in nature so that it can fold up similar to how the cot frame assembly 110 folds. In one embodiment, the tension rod 300 is in the form of a shock-corded fiberglass rod.

The net enclosure 200 also includes a plurality of support straps 400 that serve to securely position and hold the ends 302, 304 of the tension rods 300 in place during assembly and use of the cot 100. For each end 302, 304 of one tension rod 300, one support strap 400 is provided. Each support strap 400 is in the form of a flexible strap that is typically formed of fabric, such as a synthetic fabric, e.g., nylon, that is elongated in form and is defined by a first end 402 and an opposing second end 404. The strap 400 also has a first face or surface 406 and an opposing second face or surface 408. Typically, and as illustrated, the strap 400 has a rectangular shape with a length L and a width W.

As best shown in FIG. 4, the strap 400 includes several features that permit it to function as a support member for receiving and holding the tension rods 300. In particular, the strap 400 has a slit 410 formed therethrough near or at the first end 402 thereof. The slit 410 is merely a linear slit formed completely through the strap material. The length L of the slit 410 is preferably equal to or slightly greater than the width W of the strap 400; however, it is not limited to having such a configuration. As described below in greater detail, the slit 410 is constructed to receive the opposite end 404 of the strap 400 and therefore, the slit 410 should have sufficient dimensions to receive the width of the strap 400, while at the same time, the portion of the strap 400 that is received in the slit 410 should not have excess movement therein. In other words, the second end 404 of the strap 400 is snuggly received and held within the slit 410.

Near or at the opposite second end 404 of the strap 400, a pocket 420 is formed. The pocket 420 defines an inner compartment or space 422 that is enclosed except for along one open end and is constructed to receive one end 302, 304 of the tension rod 300. The pocket 420 can be formed in any number of different ways with one of the more common ways simply involving the sewing of a piece of fabric onto the strap 400 and then sewing the fabric piece to the strap 400 along three edges to form the pocket 420. Alternatively, the second end 404 of the strap 400 can simply be folded on top of itself and then the two side edges of the folded fabric are sewn so as to form the pocket 420. The pocket 420 should have sufficient depth so that it can securely receive and hold one end of the tension rod 300 even when the tension rod 300 is bent and flexed as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The pocket 420 preferably has approximately the same width W as the width W of the strap 400.

It will be appreciated that the slit 410 can be substituted with a “D” ring or sewn loop or any other suitable structure.

The typical steps for assembling the cot 100 will now be described. After the cot frame assembly 110 is assembled following the particular instructions specific to the cot frame, the cot frame 110 is in an opened, unfolded, assembled state. At this time, the first and second transverse end frame members 140, 150 (cross members) are disposed at the ends of the cot 100 and the extending frame sections 142, 144 extend outwardly at each end of the cot 100. Next, one strap 400 is positioned along one of the extending frame sections 142, 144 as shown in FIG. 5 with the pocket 420 facing away from the cot frame 110. As shown, the strap 410 is merely looped over the extending frame section 142, 144 with the slit end 402 on one side of the extending frame sections 142, 144 and the pocket end 404 on the other side. It will be appreciated that the strap 400 lies on the outside of the respective side (longitudinal) support member 130 of the cot frame 110.

Next, one end 402, 404 of the strap 400 is held in place, while the other end 404, 402 is fed through the slit 410. In FIG. 5, the first end 402 (slit end) is generally held in place, while the second end 404 (pocket end) is manipulated so that it is fed through the slit 410 with the pocket 420 still facing outward away from the cot frame 110 after it is fed through the slit 410. Alternatively, the second end 404 of the strap 400 can be held generally in place, with the pocket 420 facing outward, and then the first end 402 is pulled up so as to receive the second end 404 within and through the slit 410.

After having been received through the slit 410, the second end 404 of the strap 400 is pulled relative to the other end and the frame 110 itself as shown in FIG. 3. This results in the strap 400 being held snug against and along a section of the extending frame section 142, 144. Preferably, the strap 400 is positioned near or at the location where the side support member 130 intersects the respective first and second transverse end frame member 140, 150. The above steps are repeated for each of the straps 400 so that each corner of the frame assembly 110 has one strap 400 attached thereto.

Next the tension rods 300 are fed through the interior sleeves 220 associated with the net 210 such that the ends 302, 304 of the rods 300 clear the sleeves 220 and are free for insertion into respective pockets 420 formed in the straps 400. Once the tension rods 300 extend through the sleeves 220, the net 210 is positioned relative to the cot frame 110 such that the inner surface of the cot net 210 faces the cot frame 110 and is generally positioned over the fabric support surface 160. The end 302 of one tension rod 300 is inserted into the pocket 420 associated with the strap 400 that is positioned at this particular corner of the frame assembly 110. Once the end 302 is seated firmly in the pocket 420, the tension rod 300 is bent/flexed and the opposite end 304 is inserted into the pocket 410 of another strap 400. The tension rods 300 thus assume and define a pair of arches when ends 302, 304 are retained in the pockets 420, with the sleeves 220 keeping the rods 300 in the proper position for supporting the net 210.

In the illustrated embodiment and in order to increase the strength of the net enclosure, the two tension rods criss-cross one another at or near one end of the cot frame 110. In this embodiment, the other end of the tension rod 300 is inserted into a pocket 420 of strap 400 that is on the same side of the frame assembly 110 as shown in FIG. 1. This arrangement permits the sleeves to be formed along the inner surface of the net 210 in a non-intersecting manner.

FIG. 7 shows an alternative embodiment with the only change being how the tension rods 300 are routed along the inner surface of the net 210. In this embodiment, the tension rods 300 are arranged in a diagonal orientation, with the rods 300 crossing only at or near the central top area of the frame assembly 110. Access to the sleeping area at the other end of the cot is easier since the tension rods 300 do not criss-cross one another at the ends. In other words, the two tension rods 300 are diagonally seated such that the ends 302, 304 are seated in diagonally opposite straps 400. In this embodiment, each sleeve 220 may be partitioned into two distinct aligned sections to accommodate the criss-crossing of the tension rods 300.

The construction of the net enclosure 200 and the support straps 400 provide an effective yet easy to use system for providing a cot supported insect barrier. One of the advantages of the present invention is that the construction of the net enclosure 200 and the support straps 400 permits the present invention to fit any cot that utilizes a cross member (transverse frame member) at the head and foot end of the cot or lateral side member. This design permits the present invention to be easily retrofitted and used with conventional cots. The net enclosure 200 and the support straps 400 can thus not only be distributed with the cot frame assembly 110 itself but also it can be distributed separately and then later attached (retrofitted) to a cot frame assembly 110.

FIG. 8 illustrates a support strap 430 according to another embodiment and for use in any of the different embodiments of the present invention. The support strap 430 is similar to the strap 400 shown in FIG. 3 in that it includes a pocket 420 at one end thereof; however, the support strap 430 includes a D-ring type buckle arrangement 440 for securely tightening the strap 430 to hold the strap 430 to the frame section 142 (or other object). The illustrated arrangement 440 includes a D-ring and the strap itself is simply looped around the object to which the strap 430 is to be attached and is then looped through the D-ring and then tightened. The strap 430 is then used in the same way that the strap 400 is used in that the pocket 420 thereof receives an end of the tension rod.

FIG. 9 illustrates another embodiment of the net accessory of the present invention in which a base cloth 500 is used instead of a cot and therefore, the net enclosure 200 is attached to the base cloth 500 as opposed to a cot. The base cloth 500 is formed of a flexible material, such as a plastic material, that can be folded and unfolded and placed over a ground surface or other surface on which the person is to rest. In the illustrated embodiment, the base cloth 500 is formed of a flexible plastic sheet and includes a plurality of grommets 510 or similar type of reinforced opening that can receive an object. While the illustrated base cloth 500 has a rectangular shape and therefore, the grommets 510 are located in the four corners thereof, the base cloth 500 can have any number of other shapes, including oblong or oval or square, etc.

The base cloth 500 can be either placed on top of an existing mattress or cushion member 520 that is intended to be slept on or if the base cloth 500 can be laid on the ground surface and the mattress 520 is positioned within the net enclosure 200 on top of the base cloth 500 as shown in FIG. 9. However, it will be appreciated that any number of different arrangements can be used between the base cloth 500 and the mattress 520. Thus, the position of the mattress 520 on top of the base cloth 500 is merely exemplary and is not limiting of the relationship between these two components. The base cloth 500 could equally be placed on top of the mattress 520 or merely on top of some other support structure. In addition, the mattress 520 and the base cloth 500 do not have to be two different components but instead can be formed as a single integral structure.

In this embodiment, there are no pockets 420 formed as part of the straps to capture the ends of the tension rod and therefore, the ends of the tension rods 300 are received through the openings of the grommets 510. Once the tension rods 300 are received through the grommets 510 and they are released, the release of energy therefrom causes the base cloth 510 to be pulled outwardly in its corners, thereby becoming more stretched.

It will therefore be appreciated that the term “cot” used herein, including in the claims, covers a wide range of different type of cot structures, including folding cots, standard cots/beds, and any other type of structure that has a sleeping surface and a frame similar to the ones described herein and suitable for attachment to the net accessory of the present invention.

Having described embodiments of the invention with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to those precise embodiments, and that various changes and modifications may be effected therein by one skilled in the art without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention as defined in the appended claims.