Title:
Hammock
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hammock including an opposing pair of hinge brackets. Each of the hinge brackets includes a pair of slots formed therein. Support poles having opposing top and bottom ends are disposed within the slots formed in the opposing hinge brackets. The top ends of the opposing support poles are joined at opposing apexes. A sling is connected to the support poles. The support poles are angularly movable within the slots formed in the opposing hinge brackets in response to the weight of a user wherein the opposing apexes move angularly apart for stabilizing the hammock.



Inventors:
Stoll, Stephen (Rochester Hills, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/247741
Publication Date:
04/12/2007
Filing Date:
10/11/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/127
International Classes:
A45F3/22; A45F3/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LEE, GILBERT Y
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DINSMORE & SHOHL LLP (TROY, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A hammock comprising: an opposing pair of hinge brackets, each of the hinge brackets having a pair of slots formed therein; support poles having opposing top and bottom ends, the support poles disposed in the slots formed in the opposing hinge brackets, the top ends of the opposing support poles joined at opposing apexes; a sling connected to the support poles; the support poles angularly moveable within the slots formed in the opposing hinge brackets in response to the weight of a user wherein the opposing apexes move angularly apart for stabilizing the hammock.

2. The hammock of claim 1 wherein the slots formed in the hinge brackets are oval shaped.

3. The hammock of claim 1 wherein the slots formed in each hinge plate are offset relative to each other.

4. The hammock of claim 1 wherein the support poles include multiple sections joined by telescoping couplings for adjusting a length of the support poles.

5. The hammock of claim 1 wherein the sling includes a plurality of grommets disposed about an edge of the sling.

6. The hammock of claim 5 including an attachment cable woven through the plurality of grommets and about the support poles for suspending the sling from the support poles.

7. The hammock of claim 5 including a plurality of rings coupled to the plurality of grommets, the plurality of rings disposed about the support poles for suspending the sling from the support poles.

8. The hammock of claim 1 including end caps attached at the top ends of the opposing support poles.

9. The hammock of claim 1 including feet attached to the bottom ends of the opposing support poles.

10. The hammock of claim 1 wherein the support poles are angularly moveable in the slots of the opposing hinge members in a range of from 10 to 75 degrees measured from a horizontal plane.

11. The hammock of claim 1 including an additional support pole connected at the opposing apexes, the additional support pole having a cover disposed thereon.

12. A hammock comprising: a bag; an opposing pair of hinge brackets, each of the hinge brackets having a pair of slots formed therein; support poles moveable within the slots formed in the opposing hinge brackets; a sling connected to the support poles; the hammock moveable from a use position supporting a user to a stowed position wherein the support poles are positioned adjacent each other for disposing the support poles, hinge brackets, and sling within the bag.

13. The hammock of claim 12 wherein the support poles include multiple sections joined by telescoping couplings for adjusting a length of the support poles for disposal of the support poles within the bag.

14. The hammock of claim 12 wherein the sling includes a plurality of grommets disposed about an edge of the sling.

15. The hammock of claim 14 including an attachment cable woven through the plurality of grommets and about the support poles for suspending the sling from the support poles and allowing sliding movement of the sling about the support poles.

16. The hammock of claim 12 including flexible end caps attached at the top ends of the opposing support poles allowing adjacent positioning of the support poles in the stowed position.

17. The hammock of claim 12 including feet attached to the bottom ends of the opposing support poles.

18. The hammock of claim 12 wherein the support poles are angularly moveable in the slots of the opposing hinge members in a range of from 10 to 75 degrees measured from a horizontal plane.

19. A hammock comprising: A hammock comprising: an opposing pair of hinge brackets, each of the hinge brackets having a pair of slots formed therein; support poles having opposing top and bottom ends, the support poles disposed in the slots formed in the opposing hinge brackets, the top ends of the opposing support poles joined at opposing apexes; a sling connected to the support poles; the support poles angularly moveable within the slots formed in the opposing hinge brackets wherein the weight of a user is translated into a plurality of reaction forces for stabilizing the hammock.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to hammocks and with more particularity to freestanding hammocks.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Known hammocks include the type that has a sling or bed portion with two ropes extending from the ends of the sling. The ropes may be tied or attached to opposing supports such as trees or hooks or other supporting type structures. The ropes suspend the sling above the ground from the appropriate support structures. Hammocks of this design have a drawback in that they can only be used when suspended between opposing support structures. Such a hammock design cannot be used without the support structures.

In an effort to alleviate the problem with support structures outlined above, it is known in the art to provide hammocks with a self-supporting stand or structure. Such support structures and stands are usually large and are not easily moved or transported to another location.

There is therefore a need in the art for a hammock that is self-standing and does not require separate support structures for use. Additionally, there is a need in the art for a hammock that is portable and stowable such that it can be easily moved from one location to another.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In a first aspect, there is disclosed a hammock including an opposing pair of hinge brackets. Each of the hinge brackets includes a pair of slots formed therein. Support poles having opposing top and bottom ends are disposed within the slots formed in the opposing hinge brackets. The top ends of the opposing support poles are joined at opposing apexes. A sling is connected to the support poles. The support poles are angularly movable within the slots formed in the opposing hinge brackets in response to the weight of a user wherein the opposing apexes move angularly apart for stabilizing the hammock.

In another aspect of the present invention, there is disclosed a hammock kit including a bag and an opposing pair of hinge brackets. Each of the hinge brackets includes a pair of slots formed therein. Support poles are disposed in the slots formed in the opposing hinge brackets. A sling is connected to the support poles. The hammock is movable from a use position supporting a user to a stowed position wherein the support poles are moved within the slots of the hinge bracket for disposing the support poles, hinge brackets, and sling within the bag.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of a hammock in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the hammock of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of a hammock in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3A is a partial enlarged view of an end cap connecting two support poles;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of a hinge bracket along the line 4-4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a hammock shown with the support poles and sling in a stowed position;

FIG. 6 is a front perspective view of a hammock in the stowed position detailing the support poles in an adjacent position;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of a support pole taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is an end view of a hammock with the support poles telescopically shortened;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view showing a hammock kit disposed within a bag;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the hammock having joining members attached at the bottom of the support poles;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the hammock having a top cover.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and. 3, there is shown a hammock 5 in accordance with the present invention. The hammock 5 includes an opposing pair of hinge brackets 10. Each of the hinge brackets 10 includes a pair of slots 15 formed therein. Support poles 20 having opposing top and bottom ends 25, 30 are disposed within the slots 15 formed in the opposing hinge brackets 10. The top ends 25 of the support poles are joined at opposing apexes 35. A sling 40 is connected to the support poles 20. The support poles 20 are angularly movable within the slots 15 formed in the opposing hinge brackets 10 in response to the weight of a user denoted by FBin FIG. 1, such that the opposing apexes 35 move angularly apart to stabilize the hammock 5.

In one aspect of the invention, the opposing pair of hinge brackets 10 include multiple pieces joined by fasteners 45. The multiple pieces include, as best shown in FIG. 2, a central piece 47 surrounded by two outer pieces 49. The pieces are coupled by an appropriate fastener 45, such as bolts, screws or other removable type fasteners to facilitate separation of the pieces, when necessary. The hinge brackets 10 may also be a single solid piece having the slots 15 described above formed therein.

Referring to FIG. 4, there is shown a section of the hinge bracket 10 taken through the line 4-4 shown in FIG. 1. As can be seen in the figure, the slots 15 formed in the hinge brackets 10 are preferably oval shaped, although other shapes allowing for angular movement of the support poles 20 within the slots 15 can be utilized by the present invention. It can also be seen that the pair of slots 15 are preferably offset from one another allowing for the support poles 20 to be offset from one another to support the hammock 5 in a stabilized manner. Additionally, the oval-shaped slots 15 formed in the hinge brackets 10 allow for the apexes 35 of the opposing joined support poles 20 to move apart in response to the weight of a user, as will be discussed in more detail below.

The bottom ends 30 of the support poles 20 may include feet 32 disposed thereon to facilitate engagement of the support poles 20 with the ground. Additionally, the bottom ends 30 of the support poles 20 may be connected by joining members 24, as shown in FIG. 10. The joining members 24 may be a pole or rod or may be a rope or other structure that prevents the support poles 20 from moving beyond a certain position, similar to the slots 15 formed in the hinge brackets 10. In an embodiment of the hammock 5 using the joining members 24, the hinge brackets 10 need not be used, as the joining members 24 prevent the movement of the support poles 20 beyond an unstable point. The joining members may be articulated in the case of a rod or pole, allowing stowing of the hammock 5.

As stated above, the support poles 20 include opposing top and bottom ends 25, 30, and are disposed within the slots 15 formed in the opposing hinge brackets 10. In one aspect of the invention, the top ends 25 of the opposing support poles 20 are joined at opposing apexes 35 by end caps 50, as best shown in FIG. 3A. The end caps 50 are preferably flexible and allow for variation in the angle formed by the adjoining support poles 20. In another aspect of the invention, as shown in FIG. 3, the opposing support poles 20 may be joined at the top ends 25 by the cable or rope 55 that is utilized to fasten the sling 40 to the support poles 20, as will be discussed in more detail below. It should be realized that either the end caps 50 or the cable or rope 55 may be utilized by the present invention.

The sling 40 is connected to the support poles 20 such that the sling 40 is suspended above the ground to support a user. In one aspect of the invention, the sling 40 includes a plurality of grommets 60 disposed about an edge of the sling 40. The cable or rope 55 is then woven through the plurality of grommets 60 and about the support poles 20 for suspending the sling 40 from the support poles 20. The cable or rope 55 is also disposed about the end cap 50, as best shown in FIG. 3A, when the end cap 50 is utilized by the present invention. The sling 40 may also be connected to the support poles 20 using rings disposed about the support poles 20. The rings would pass through the grommets 60 and support the sling 40 on the support poles 20.

The support poles 20 of the present invention may include multiple sections 22 joined by telescoping couplings 65 such that a length of the support poles 20 can be adjusted. The telescoping couplings 65 allow one of the multiple sections 22 to slide within the hollow inner core 24 of another support pole section 22, as detailed in FIG. 7. Such telescoping couplings 65 may be locked and unlocked by a twisting action allowing movement of one of the support pole sections 22 within the hollow space 24 of another. Additionally, the support poles 20 may include multiple sections 22 that interlock and are joined by a coupling member, such as a bungee cord or rod. As the support poles 20 have an adjustable length, they may be shortened for easy storage and to enhance the portability of the hammock 5, as will be discussed in more detail below.

As discussed above, the support poles 20 are angularly movable within the slots 15 of the opposing hinge brackets 10. The slots 15 allow movement of the support poles 20 in a range of from 10 to 75 degrees as measured from a horizontal plane. This range of motion assures that the hammock 5 will be in a stable position for supporting a user.

In another aspect of the invention, the hammock 5 of the present invention can include a bag 70, as well as the hinge brackets 10, support poles 20 and sling 40 discussed above. As stated above, the hammock 5 may be movable from a use position supporting a user to a stowed position where the support poles 20 are moved within the slots 15 of the hinge bracket 10 such that they may be disposed within the bag 70, as best shown in FIG. 9.

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, the hammock 5 of the present invention is shown in a stowed position in various states of assembly of the hammock 5. FIG. 6 details the hammock 5 in a position where the support poles 20 are moved within the slots 15 of the hinge brackets 10 allowing the support poles 20 to be collapsed upon each other while the support poles 20 are still joined at opposing apexes 35. In FIG. 5, the end caps 50 or joining of the support poles 20 at the apexes 35 have been flexed such that the support poles 20 and sling 40 can be placed side by side in a compact area. Additionally, the support poles 20 may be telescopically shortened utilizing the couplings 65, as described above.

In use, a user, as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, sits in a central portion of the sling 40 which is attached to the support poles 20. The weight of the user, as denoted by the force FB, pushes down on the sling 40; thereby generating additional reaction force vectors F1-F4 from translation of the force from the sling 40 to the support poles 20, as seen in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. The additional forces cause the support poles 20 to move within the slots 15 formed in the hinge brackets 10 until they reach the terminal edges of the slots; thereby preventing further movement of the support poles 20. The weight of the user causes the opposing apexes 35 of the joined support poles 20 to move apart thereby stabilizing the hammock 5. F5 is a force generated by the weight of the hammock 5 and is limited by the attachment of the sling 40 to the support poles 20. All of the forces F1-F5 act in concert to stabilize the hammock 5, when in the use position and occupied by a user.

After a user is done sitting in the hammock 5, the hammock 5 may be moved from a use position, as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, to a stowed position, as shown in various forms in FIGS. 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. The support poles may be moved within the slots 15 of the hinge brackets 10 allowing the support poles 20 to be positioned on top of each other as shown in FIG. 6. Next, the hammock 5 may be then moved to the position shown in FIG. 5, where the end caps 50 are flexed or in the case where end caps 50 are not utilized, the rope or cable 55 may be flexed allowing for adjacent positioning of the support poles 20. The support poles 20 may then be telescopically shortened, as shown in FIG. 8, such that the length of the support poles 20 is reduced to facilitate positioning of the support poles 20 and sling 40 within the bag 70, as shown in FIG. 9. The bag 70 may include appropriate closure and carrying features such as a drawstring and handle to facilitate transport by a user.

In another aspect of the invention, the hammock 5 may include a cover 100 disposed about the hammock 5, as shown in FIG. 11. The cover 100 may include an additional support pole 105 attached between the opposing apexes 35. The additional support pole 105 would support the cover 100 above the hammock 5. The cover 100 may be in the form of a canopy having no sides, or it may include sides extending down about the hammock 5. The sides would be associated with the support poles 20 and the additional support pole 105 to enclose the hammock 5. The sides may include a zipper or other such structure to facilitate entry into the hammock 5, with the ability to close the cover 100 once inside. Additionally the cover 100 may include portions that have a mesh or screen to facilitate air circulation.

The invention has been described in an illustrative manner. It is to be understood that the terminology which has been used is intended to be in the nature of words of description rather than limitation. Many modifications and variations of the invention are possible in light of the above teachings. Therefore, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced other than as specifically described.





 
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