Title:
Helmet strap pad
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A helmet strap pad for sliding over a helmet strap and buckle. The strap pad includes a soft exterior layer, a tear resistant inner layer, and padding between the exterior and the inner layers. The inner layer prevents or reduces damage to the strap pad when the pad is positioned over the strap buckle. The soft exterior layer and padding eliminate or reduce a wearer's discomfort caused by the helmet strap and the buckle. The strap pad may have a range of lengths and widths for use by adults and children and for use with helmets for motorcycles, bicycles, skateboards, horseback riding, or for any helmet having a helmet strap. The strap pads may further be used over straps used to secure merchandise having surfaces which may be damaged by, for example, tie-down straps.



Inventors:
Kaiser, John D. (Whittier, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/527944
Publication Date:
04/19/2007
Filing Date:
09/26/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B1/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SUTTON, ANDREW W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
AVERILL & GREEN (Whittier, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A helmet strap pad comprising: a tubular body between approximately two inches and approximately five inches in length and between approximately one inch and approximately four inches wide when laying flat; a tear resistant inner layer of the body for resisting tearing; and a soft outer layer of the body for providing comfort to a helmet wearer.

2. The helmet strap of claim 1, wherein the tubular body is between approximately one inch and approximately four inches wide when laying flat.

3. The helmet strap of claim 2, wherein the tubular body is approximately one inch wide when laying flat.

4. The helmet strap of claim 1, wherein the tubular body is between approximately three inches and approximately five inches long.

5. The helmet strap of claim 4, wherein the tubular body is approximately four and one half inches long.

6. The helmet strap of claim 4, wherein the tubular body is configured to slide over a helmet strap.

7. The helmet strap of claim 1, further including padding between the inner layer and the outer layer.

8. The helmet strap of claim 7, wherein the padding is thin foam padding.

9. The helmet strap of claim 1, wherein the outer layer is felt.

10. A helmet strap pad comprising: a tubular body between approximately two inches and approximately five inches in length and between approximately one inch and approximately four inches wide when laying flat; a tear resistant inner layer of the body for resisting tearing; a soft outer layer of the body for providing comfort to a helmet wearer; and padding residing between the inner layer and the outer layer.

11. A method for wearing a helmet strap pad, the method comprising: sliding a helmet strap pad over a first buckle half residing on a first helmet strap end and over the first helmet strap end; joining the first buckle half with a second buckle half residing on a second helmet strap end, under a wearer's chin; sliding the helmet strap pad over the joined buckle halves; approximately centering the helmet strap pad under the wearer's chin; maintaining a tear resistant inner surface of the helmet strap pad against the first buckle half and against the first helmet strap end while sliding the helmet strap pad; and maintaining a soft outer surface of the helmet strap pad away from the first buckle half and away from the first helmet strap end while sliding the helmet strap pad.

Description:

The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/720,286 filed Sep. 26, 2005, which application is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to helmets and in particular to providing padding for helmet straps.

Many helmets for various uses include a helmet (or chin) strap for holding the helmet in place on a wearer. In order to provide a snug fit, the strap generally comprises a right strap and a left strap joined by a buckle. The straps generally also include a tightening means which may either be integrated into the buckles or at a point along the strap.

Some uses of helmets, for example bicycle riding, require a fairly snug helmet due to motion of the wearer's head. Other uses, for example racing, may require an even tighter helmet because of the substantial risk of injury from high speed collisions. When the straps are tightened, the buckles or the straps themselves often result in discomfort and chaffing of skin, which is particularly annoying to women. As a result, a helmet may not be worn, or may not be worn properly (i.e., with a tight strap) resulting in safety issues.

Further, the helmet strap buckles often include one or more edge and while a simple fabric tube may be provided to slide over a helmet strap and buckle to provide comfortable use of the helmet strap, such simple tube is likely to quickly fray or tear, and not provide long and useful service.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention addresses the above and other needs by providing a helmet strap pad for sliding over a helmet strap and buckle. The strap pad includes a soft exterior layer, a tear resistant inner layer, and padding between the exterior and the inner layers. The inner layer prevents or reduces damage to the strap pad when the pad is positioned over the strap buckle. The soft exterior layer and padding eliminate or reduce a wearer's discomfort caused by the helmet strap and the buckle. The strap pad may have a range of lengths and widths for use by adults and children and for use with helmets for motorcycles, bicycles, skateboards, horseback riding, or for any helmet having a helmet strap. The strap pads may further be used over straps used to secure merchandise having surfaces which may be damaged by, for example, tie-down straps.

In accordance with one aspect of the invention, there is provided a helmet strap pad including a tubular body with a tear resistant inner layer for resisting tearing, a soft outer layer of the body for providing comfort to a helmet wearer, and padding residing between the inner layer and the outer layer. The tubular body is between approximately two inches and approximately five inches in length and between approximately one inch and approximately four inches wide when laying flat.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, there is provided a method for wearing a helmet strap pad. The method includes steps of sliding a helmet strap pad over a first buckle half residing on a first helmet strap end and over the first helmet strap end, joining the first buckle half with a second buckle half residing on a second helmet strap end, under a wearer's chin, sliding the helmet strap pad over the joined buckle halves, and approximately centering the helmet strap pad under the wearer's chin. To avoid damage to the strap pad, a tear resistant inner surface of the helmet strap pad is maintained against the first buckle half and against the first helmet strap end while sliding the helmet strap pad, and a soft outer surface of the helmet strap pad away from the first buckle half and away from the first helmet strap end while sliding the helmet strap pad.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

The above and other aspects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more apparent from the following more particular description thereof, presented in conjunction with the following drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 shows a helmet and helmet strap with a buckle residing on a wearer's head.

FIG. 2 shows a helmet strap pad according to the present invention residing over the helmet strap and buckle to provide comfort to the wearer.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the helmet strap pad according to the present invention.

FIG. 3A is a side view of the helmet strap pad.

FIG. 3B is an end view of the helmet strap pad.

FIG. 4A is a cross-sectional view of the helmet strap pad taken along line 4A-4A of FIG. 3B.

FIG. 4B is a cross-sectional view of the helmet strap pad taken along line 4B-4B of FIG. 3B.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the helmet strap pad taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 3A.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of a three-layered material used to make the helmet strap pad.

FIG. 7 is a method for wearing the helmet strap pad.

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding components throughout the several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following description is of the best mode presently contemplated for carrying out the invention. This description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of describing one or more preferred embodiments of the invention. The scope of the invention should be determined with reference to the claims.

A helmet 10 having a helmet strap 14 with a buckle 16 is shown residing on a wearer's head 12 in FIG. 1. The helmet strap 14 and buckle 16 are tightened against the wearer's chin 10a to firmly hold the helmet 10 in place. Such firm contact of the helmet strap 14 and buckle 16 with the wearer's chin 10a often results in discomfort.

A helmet strap pad 18 according to the present invention is shown residing over the helmet strap 14 and buckle 16 (not shown) in FIG. 2. The helmet strap pad 18 prevent direct contact of the helmet strap 14 and buckle 16 with the chin 10a to provide comfort to the wearer.

A perspective view of the helmet strap pad 18 according to the present invention is shown in FIG. 3. The helmet strap pad 18 is tube like having a tubular body 19, but made of fabric and may be flattened in use. The helmet strap pad 18 is configured to slide over the buckle 16 and helmet strap 14 and has a width W preferably between approximately one inch and approximately four inches wide when laying flat, and is more preferably approximately one inch wide when laying flat. The strap pad 18 further is configured to reside over the buckle 16 and over a length of the strap 14 sufficiently to cup the wearer's chin 10a to provide a comfortable fit. The strap pad 18 has a length L of preferably between three inches and approximately five inches, and more preferably approximately four and one half inches.

A side view of the helmet strap pad 18 is shown in FIG. 3A and an end view of the helmet strap pad 18 is shown in FIG. 3B. End stitching 20 holds folded end portions 22 (see FIGS. 4A and 4B) in place to prevent or reduce fraying. The end stitching is preferably single needle stitching.

A cross-sectional view of the helmet strap pad 18 taken along line 4A-4A of FIG. 3B is shown in FIG. 4A, a cross-sectional view of the helmet strap pad 18 taken along line 4B-4B of FIG. 3B is shown in FIG. 4B, and a cross-sectional view of the helmet strap pad 18 taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 3A is shown in FIG. 5. The tubular body 19 is preferably formed from a single flat piece of material 28 (see FIG. 6) which is folded along opposing ends to create the end portions 22 and stitched 20, and then folded in half and stitched with stitching 26 along one edges 24a and 24b to create the tubular body 19. The tubular body 19 is then turned in-side-out to complete construction of the helmet strap pad 18. The stitching 26 is preferably overlay stitching.

A cross-sectional view of a preferred three-layered material 28 used to make the helmet strap pad 18 is shown in FIG. 6. The material 28 comprises a soft outer layer for providing comfort to a wearer, a tear resistant inner layer for resisting tearing, padding between the outer layer and the inner layer, and is preferably approximately 0.1 inches thick and preferably approximately 0.05 inches thick when compressed. A suitable outer layer is a knit nylon fabric or other soft material such as velvet. A suitable padding is thin foam padding and a preferable foam core is a polyester foam core. A suitable tear resistant inner layer is a nylon jersey. An example of a suitable material 28 is Tempo® fabric available from Lockfast, Inc. in Mason, Ohio.

A method for using the strap pad 18 is described in FIG. 7. The method includes steps of sliding a helmet strap pad over a first buckle half residing on a first helmet strap end and over the first helmet strap end, joining the first buckle half with a second buckle half residing on a second helmet strap end, under a wearer's chin, sliding the helmet strap pad over the joined buckle halves, and approximately centering the helmet strap pad under the wearer's chin. To avoid damage to the strap pad, a tear resistant inner surface of the helmet strap pad is maintained against the first buckle half and against the first helmet strap end while sliding the helmet strap pad, and a soft outer surface of the helmet strap pad away from the first buckle half and away from the first helmet strap end while sliding the helmet strap pad.

While the invention herein disclosed has been described by means of specific embodiments and applications thereof, numerous modifications and variations could be made thereto by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention set forth in the claims.