Title:
Backpack with security feature
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Backpacks, book bags and day packs have advantages over conventional luggage in that the user's hands are free from carrying the backpack since the backpack is carried on the back of the user. However, this places the backpack out of line of sight from the user, and thus subjects the user to pickpocket or other thieves accessing goods carried in the backpack. The inventive backpack disclosed herein limits access to the packing compartment of the backpack (2) by continuing the zipper tracks (20, 56) for those compartments (12, 50) and terminating them on the back face (6) of the backpack which is normally contacting the upper back of the user. These zipper tracks terminate in a pouch (22) secured by a releasable closure, such as a hook and loop fastener (29). This pouch is primarily defined by a flap (28) which is covered by or constructed of the same padded textile material that covers the back face of the backpack to provide comfort to the user. Thus, the backpack is not easily opened by sneak thieves.



Inventors:
Miles, Richard (London, GB)
Wooller, Timothy (Surrey, GB)
Deboes, Sofie (Gent, BE)
Application Number:
10/558913
Publication Date:
03/22/2007
Filing Date:
08/19/2004
Assignee:
SAMSONITE CORPORATION (Denver, CO, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F3/04; A45C13/10; A45C13/18; A45F
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VANTERPOOL, LESTER L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHARLIE EVERITT, HEAD OF IP (HAYES, GB)
Claims:
1. A backpack or daypack having at least one shoulder strap attached to a back face thereof for carrying the backpack on one's back with an upper portion of the backpack normally above a lower portion thereof, at least one packing compartment located between the back face of the backpack and a front face of the backpack for containing things to be carried in the backpack, and a zippered opening into the at least one main packing compartment through which the things to be carried may be placed into the at least one main packing compartment, the zippered opening having at least one zipper slider and a zipper track along a least a portion of the zippered opening, the improvement comprising a pouch located adjacent the back face of the backpack into which the zipper track passes, the pouch being sized to receive the zipper slider when the zipper slider is positioned in the pouch on the zipper track.

2. The backpack as set forth in claim 1 wherein the pouch has a flap mounted on the surface of the back face of the backpack, the flap having a first edge affixed to the back face and a releasable edge releasably attached to the back face.

3. The backpack as set forth in claim 1 wherein the zipper track terminates within the pouch.

4. The backpack as set forth in claim 1 wherein the back face of the backpack includes padding which normally contacts the back of the user when the user is carrying the backpack with the shoulder strap on the user's shoulder, the pouch having a surface with similar padding which also normally contacts the back of the user when the user is carrying the backpack with the shoulder strap on the user's shoulder.

5. The backpack as set forth in claim 1 wherein the at least one packing compartment is a main packing compartment.

6. The backpack as set forth in claim 5 wherein a major portion of the zipper track is located on the front face of the backpack such that the zippered opening is located on the front face of the backpack, whereby access to the main packing compartment can be had through the front face of the backpack.

7. The backpack of claim 6 wherein the zipper track includes a minor portion that extends from the front face of the backpack to the back face of the backpack.

8. The backpack of claim 7 wherein the minor portion of the zipper track is located on the lower portion of the backpack, and the major portion of the zipper track is located on the upper portion of the backpack.

9. The backpack of claim 8 wherein the zipper track comprises two rows of interengagable zipper teeth arranged on a pair of textile tapes, the textile tapes in the minor portion of the zipper track being attached together whereby when the zipper sliders are manipulated to open the zippered opening into the packing compartment, the zippered opening is defined substantially only by the major portion of the zipper track.

10. The backpack of claim 9 wherein the textile tapes in the minor portion of zipper track are attached together by a narrow textile ribbon extending from the pouch on the back face of the backpack and terminating at the zippered opening.

11. The backpack of claim 8 wherein the major portion of the zipper track mostly extends along a first plane at the front face of the backpack, and the minor portion of the zipper track follows a curved path from the major portion of the zipper track to extend in a second plane which is substantially perpendicular to the first plane.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This inventive backpack relates to the field of backpacks, daypacks, or book bags in general. Such backpacks are of the type which are generally non-structured textile packs carried by at least one shoulder strap on the back of the user. Also, this invention relates to backpacks which are used in an environment where the user may be subjected to pickpockets and the like who could secretly access the contents of the packing compartment in such a backpack when it is being carried on the back of the user. Without special provisions, it is quite easy for a thief or pickpocket to deftly open the usual zipper access opening into the packing compartment and remove some of the contents.

There have been efforts by others to reduce such access, for example, by replacing the usual zippered access with a complex hook and loop closure. The sneak thief would have to struggle with the hook and loop closure making the attempt at the thievery known to the wearer of the backpack at least by the noise of the hook and loop opening being tampered with. Also, Karry-Safe Ltd., a company in the United Kingdom, has one backpack with a removable hood to envelop at least the upper portion of the backpack containing the conventional zippered access. This hood serves at least as an extra barrier against sneak thievery.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The inventive backpack disclosed herein has at least one shoulder strap attached to a back face of the backpack for carrying the backpack on one's back, as is conventionally done. The backpack has an upper portion which is normally above a lower portion thereof, and the backpack has a main packing compartment located between this back face and a front face for containing things to be carried in the backpack by the user. There is a zippered opening into this main packing compartment through which things to be carried may be placed in the main packing compartment. This zippered opening has at least one zipper slider and a zipper track along at least a portion of this zippered opening.

The improved backpack has a pouch located adjacent the back face of the backpack into which the zipper track passes. This pouch is sized to receive at least the one zipper slider when the zipper slider is positioned in the pouch on the zipper track. In this way, access into the main packing compartment through the zippered opening is extremely restricted, especially when the user is carrying the backpack on the user's back by at least one shoulder strap.

More specifically, the inventive backpack's pouch, as mentioned above, has a flap mounted on the surface of the back face of the backpack. This flap has a first edge affixed to the back face and a second, releasable edge that is releasably attached to the back face, so that the zipper slider positioned therein can be accessed when the releasably attached edge is released. Preferably, the zipper track terminates within the pouch.

As with many backpacks, the back face of the backpack includes padding, provided for comfort, which normally contacts the back of the user when the user is carrying the backpack with one shoulder strap on one shoulder or both shoulder straps on both of the user's shoulders. The pouch has a surface with similar padding which normally also contacts the back of the user when the user is carrying the backpack with the shoulder strap or straps on the user's shoulder or shoulders.

The inventive backpack has a major portion of the zipper track (for the zippered opening) located on the front face of the backpack such that the zippered opening is located on the front face of the backpack, and the main packing compartment can be accessed through the front face of the backpack. A relatively small or “minor” portion of the zipper track extends from this front face to the back face of the backpack. This minor portion of the zipper track is located on the lower portion of the backpack, with the major portion of the zipper track located on the upper portion of the backpack, preferably, as stated above, on the front face of the backpack.

The zipper track of the inventive backpack comprises two rows of inter-engageable zipper teeth that are arranged on a pair of textile tapes, as is conventional. Here, however, the textile tapes in the minor portion of the zipper track that extends from the front face of the backpack to the back face thereof are attached together, whereby, when the zipper slider is manipulated to open the zippered opening into the main packing compartment, the zippered opening is defined substantially only by the major portion of the zipper track, and not at all by the minor portion of the zipper track. This minor portion of the zipper track is attached together by a narrow textile ribbon extending from the location of the pouch on the back face of the backpack to the zippered opening of the main packing compartment. The major portion of the zipper track extends along a first plane at the front face of the backpack, and the minor zipper portion of the zipper track follows a curved path from the major portion of the zipper track to extend along a second plane which is substantially perpendicular to the first plane. This second plane cuts across the thickness of the main packing compartment from the front face to the back face of the backpack.

A secondary packing compartment is defined by a second zippered opening that runs along the upper and side portions of the back face of the backpack. As does the zippered opening of the main packing compartment, the second zippered opening also terminates within the pouch. A benefit of the present invention is that multiple packing compartments may be secured at a single location by one security pouch. Additional compartments of various sizes may be located on the front face, back face, sides, or any other location on the backpack that may have horizontal, vertical, or other directional zippers that also terminate in the same security pouch. Examples of compartments include change purse compartments or compartments sized for specific objects such as passports, credit cards, or wallets. Of course, any number of packing compartments may be associated with the present invention; however, for the purposes of this application, two packing compartments are disclosed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the backpack embodying the inventive features detailed herein.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the opposite side of the backpack revealing more of the zipper track.

FIG. 3 is a close-up of the pouch attached to the back face of the backpack.

FIG. 4 shows the interior of a secondary packing compartment, with shoulder straps flipped over the front face of the backpack to better show this secondary packing compartment, and the pouch in a released condition.

FIG. 5 shows the minor portion of the zipper track extending along the right side of the lower portion of the backpack.

FIG. 6 shows a close-up of the minor portion of the zipper track and how it is sewn closed.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the back face of the backpack with a second zippered opening into the secondary packing compartment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the figures, which show a single preferred embodiment, the inventive backpack 2 has an overall conventional textile fabric construction, but could be made of any relatively flexible laminate material. The preferred backpack 2 includes a pair of shoulder straps 4 forming a yoke or harness for hands-free carrying of the backpack 2 on the back of the user. It is also understood that the backpack 2 could be carried by a single shoulder strap 4 or could be provided with only a single shoulder strap 4 that extends across the front of the user's body from the top portion of the backpack 2 to a lower or opposite back corner thereof, although the conventional 2-shoulder strap backpack configuration is preferred.

This backpack 2 has a front face 14, as shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, and a back face 6 which normally contacts a back or upper back portion 8 of the user, with the shoulder straps 4 extending over the tops of the shoulders of the user and down the chest of the user to attachment points on the lower portion 10 of the back face 6. The front face 14 includes a zipper track 20 which extends from a mid-portion 9 of the front face 14 up over the upper portion 8, and back down the right side. Zipper track 20 and the resulting zippered opening 16 defined by zipper track 20 permit ready access to the interior of the main packing compartment 12 defined by the normal textile portions of the backpack 2.

An unusual feature of the preferred embodiment is shown in FIG. 2 and elsewhere. This zipper track 20 includes a further, relatively small or “minor” portion 34 which extends from a major portion 36 of the zipper track 20 described above, across the thickness of the backpack 2 to the back face 6 thereof. Thus, the zipper track 20 includes a major portion 36, which defines the opening into the main packing compartment 12, and a minor portion 34, which follows a curved path 48 along a plane that is substantially perpendicular to the plane that substantially contains the major portion 36 of the zipper track 20 to a pouch 22 located on the back face 6 of the backpack 2. This pouch 22 consists of a flap 24 which is permanently attached on the back face 6 of the backpack 2 by a self-hinged edge 26 (see FIGS. 3 and 7) and a releasable edge 28. Releasable edge 28 may be attached to and released from back face 6 by any mechanism, including snaps, hook and loop mechanisms, ribbons, other ties, or any other mechanism. In this preferred embodiment of the present invention, releasable edge 28 preferably comprises an arrangement of hook fasteners 29 located on or along the opposite releasable edge 28 thereof.

Referring to FIG. 3, the flap 24 is primarily made of padded textile material similar to the padded textile material that covers the back face 6 of the backpack 2. This is because flap 24 and the pouch 22 defined thereby are normally positioned between the back of the user and the back face 6 of the backpack 2. Of course, flap 24 could be made of any relatively flexible laminate material. The hook fastener 29 is arranged along the releasable edge 28 of the flap 24. The hook fastener 29 extends along the entire releasable edge 28 while two loop portions 31 are located on either side of the minor portion 34 of zipper track 20 as zipper track 20 terminates inside pouch 22.

In the preferred embodiment, this zipper track 20 includes two zipper sliders 18 so that the user may choose to position the closure elsewhere than within pouch 22 (underneath the hook and loop-fastened releasable flap 24). The zipper sliders 18 preferably include linkable openings to receive a conventional padlock type closure (not shown). Any pull tabs or ribbons 37 (ribbons 37 shown in FIG. 3) are also secured under, and thus hidden by, the flap 24 of the innovative pouch 22.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show this minor portion 34 of zipper track 20 in detail. Zipper track 20 is affixed to backpack 2 by textile tapes 40. Two rows of textile tapes 40 are attached to two rows of inter-engageable zipper teeth 38. The textile tapes 40 are attached to the backpack 2 by basting tape 41, which runs along the length of zipper track 20 within the inside perimeter of backpack 2. A textile ribbon 44 is sewn to the inner surfaces of textile tapes 40. This textile ribbon 44 is essentially an elongated rectangular piece of textile. Textile ribbon 44 prevents the minor portion 34 of zipper track 20 from opening in this area, even though the inter-engageable teeth 38 in this minor portion 34 can still be freely zipped and un-zipped depending on where the zipper slider 18 are positioned.

This construction has the following advantages, which will become apparent when viewing the other figures. The pouch 22, and the zipper sliders 18 secured thereunder while the backpack 2 is being carried, are located in the lower portion 10 of the backpack. The upper portion 8 of backpack 2 contains the major portion 36 of zipper track 20 and, thus, the access to the packing compartment can be had primarily only from the upper portion 8 of the backpack 2. The lower portion 10 of backpack 2 remains sealed and will not gap open even when the zipper slider 18 or zipper sliders 18 are positioned at this lowermost portion near the pouch 22. The textile ribbon 44 maintains the minor portion 34 of zipper track 20 closed. FIG. 4 shows the back face 6 of the inventive backpack 2 with a secondary compartment 50 opened, at zippered opening 52, via a second zipper track 56 that extends in a vertical plane around the periphery of the padded portion on the back face 6 of the backpack 2. The pouch 22 is sized to receive the terminating end of this second zipper track 56, as well as its respective zipper slider or sliders 54, as seen in the previous figures. Thus, the single pouch 22 can serve to provide extra security for not only limiting access to the main packing compartment 12, but to this secondary packing compartment 50 as well.

FIG. 7 is an illustration of the backpack 2 in a completely secure condition. Shown in FIG. 7 is the back face 6 of backpack 2 with secondary compartment 50 closed via second zipper track 56. Zipper track 56 securely terminates within pouch 22 behind the closed flap 24. Also shown in FIG. 7 is the minor portion 34 of zipper track 20, which similarly terminates behind closed flap 24.

Another feature of the inventive backpack 2 includes positioning a small elastic grommet 3, shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 5, in the portion of the main packing compartment 12 outer surface just above the curved path 48 of the minor portion 34 of zipper track 20. This is a convenient point through which a cable to headphones being used by the user can pass to a CD player or other source of audio programming normally contained in the main packing compartment 12. This access port or grommet 3 is above the path of the zipper track 20, thus keeping the headphone cable free from entanglement during the opening of the main packing compartment.

The present invention therefore provides a secure backpack that reduces thievery. Should a thief attempt to steal contents of the backpack, the noise generated by the release of the releasable edge of the flap alerts the user. Another inventive feature of the flap is that should the user forget to secure the releasable edge of the flap to the back face of the backpack, once the backpack comes into contact with the user's body (either by slinging the backpack over one shoulder or over two shoulders), the flap is pushed against the back face thereby engaging the hook and loop fasteners. Furthermore, when the backpack is worn on the user's back, a thief may only attempt access from the side. Not only will the thief therefore be in the user's peripheral vision, but upon attempting to release the flap, the user would feel the flap being pressed against the user's body. Even when the backpack is worn over one shoulder, a thief's access to the pouch is difficult.