Title:
Child carrying convertible suitcase
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
There is disclosed a suitcase which may be converted into a child carrying stroller assembly, the suitcase including a top, bottom, rear and front, and having at least a pair of rear wheels and a pair of front stabilizer legs, the suitcase having a rear compartment formed along the rear of the suitcase, the rear compartment supporting a child carrying seat sub-assembly, the rear compartment provided with upper and lower support braces supporting a pair of opposed vertical support tubes there between, and a pair of telescoping tubular members within the vertical support tubes and movable between a lower rest position and a raised use position, the opposed tube telescoping tubular member supporting a seat member pivotally secured thereto and a seatback secured between the telescoping tubular members above the seat member, the telescoping tubular members interconnected by a handlebar at the top end thereof whereby the child carrying seat sub-assembly may be retracted into the rear compartment of the suitcase in its rest position, and alternatively, raised to a use position by raising the telescoping tubular members upwardly until the seat pivots into a use position on the top portion of the suitcase and having the seatback in a position above the seat member.



Inventors:
Herbst, Walter (Lake Evrest, IL, US)
Haack, Lance William (US)
Hand, Jim (Glen Ellyn, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/255518
Publication Date:
04/26/2007
Filing Date:
10/21/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
190/18A, 190/18R, 190/115
International Classes:
A45F4/00; A45C5/14; A45C13/30; A45F3/44; A47C13/00
View Patent Images:
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20020008043Shoe boxJanuary, 2002Gunter
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20060283679DEVICE TO IMMOBILIZE CLOTHES AND OTHER ITEMS IN A SUITCASE DURING TRIPSDecember, 2006Randle
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Primary Examiner:
MAI, TRI M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Demeur & Samlan (Oak Park, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A child carrying convertible suitcase of the type constructed with a top, bottom, rear and front and having at least a pair of rear wheels and a pair of front stabilizer legs, the suitcase having a plurality of compartments including a rear compartment, said rear compartment formed along the rear of the suitcase, said rear compartment supporting a child carrying seat sub-assembly comprising, a rear compartment provided with an upper support brace and a lower support brace supporting a pair of opposed vertical support tubes there between a pair of opposed telescoping tubular members telescopically carried by said vertical support tubes and movable between a lower rest position within said rear compartment and a raised use position, said pair of opposed telescoping tubular members supporting a seat member pivotally secured thereto and seatback secured between two of opposed telescoping tubular members are positioned above-said seat member, said pair of opposed telescoping tubular members interconnected by a handlebar at the top end thereof, whereby said opposed telescoping tubular members may be raised from the lower rest position within said rear compartment to a raised use position by grasping said handlebar to raise said telescopic tubular members until said seat member is withdrawn from said rear compartment and pivots into a seat position on the top of the said suitcase and said seatback rises to a seatback position above said seat member, thereby to provide a child wheeled roller assembly.

2. The child carrying convertible suitcase as set forth in claim 1 above, wherein said upper support bracket and lower support bracket are mounted within said rear compartment in a manner to support said vertical support tubes therein.

3. A child carrying convertible suitcase as set forth in claim 1 above, wherein said seat member automatically pivots into a used position when said opposed telescoping tubular members are raised to the use position, the top of said suitcase providing a support platform for said seat member in the use position and provide a child carrying seat.

4. The child carrying convertible suitcase as set forth in claim 1 above, wherein said front stabilizer legs each including a contractible outrigger ledge, said outrigger ledge being movable between an extended use position and a retracted rest position, and each of said outrigger ledges providing a footrest for a child being carried on said convertible suitcase.

5. The child carrying convertible suitcase as set forth in claim 1 above, wherein said rear compartment is provided with closure means for closing said child carrying seat sub-assembly when said sub-assembly is retracted into its rest position within said rear compartment.

6. The child carrying convertible suitcase as set forth in claim 4 above, wherein each of said outrigger ledges is provided a spring-loaded retraction mechanism whereby said spring-loaded retraction mechanism will withdraw the outrigger ledge to rest position when the stabilizer leg is raised from the ground, and alternatively, said spring mechanism will extend said outrigger ledge when weight is applied in a downward direction against said stabilizer leg.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a suitcase which is convertible into a child carrying wheeled stroller. The sub-assembly forming the child carrying seat assembly is conveniently stored in the rear compartment of the suitcase when not in use, and may be extended into a use position by merely withdrawing the handle portion upwardly until a seat pivots into a seat position on the top portion of the suitcase and having a seatback carried between the tubular members and immediately rearward of and above the seat member.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a suitcase which is a convertible into a child carrying wheeled stroller assembly. It has become well established in the suitcase art field that it is desirable to have a suitcase which incorporates wheels at the bottom thereof, and a retractable handle located in a rear compartment of the suitcase. These features enable the user to easily extend the handle upwardly, and pulling backwardly on the suitcase, the suitcase then pivots onto its rear wheels and provides the user with an easy and convenient method of transporting the suitcase. This has been determined to be far more preferable than forcing the user to either use a shoulder strap or a handle for lifting the suitcase. In some cases, the wheels are retractable into concealed compartments on the underside of the suitcase, although this is not necessary for the efficient use of such a suitcase.

It has been observed, however, that for the traveling public which travels with children, such suitcases are convenient, and eliminates the need for carrying the suitcase, nevertheless, for those with young children, it is necessary to travel with a collapsible stroller as well as a suitcase. The present invention attempts to solve the problem of having parents carry a collapsible stroller by providing a suitcase which incorporates therein with compartments for carrying clothing, laptop computers and the like, but is further provided with a rear compartment which carries a sub-assembly movable between a retracted rest position, and an extended use position wherein a child carrying seat sub-assembly may be easily extended into a use position, utilizing the suitcase top as a support platform for the child carrying seat member. In this manner, the suitcase can function as a wheeled stroller and eliminates the requirement that parents traveling with young children carry a collapsible stroller as well as a suitcase. The present invention provides a convenient and easy to use suitcase convertible into a child stroller for easy transportation of the unit once the child is seated thereon, but nevertheless, is retractable into a rest position totally within the confines of a rear compartment of the suitcase.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

The principal object of the present invention is to provide a suitcase which is convertible into a child carrying wheeled stroller assembly. The invention provides a suitcase which remains a suitcase, but includes a rear compartment having a retractable child carrying seat sub-assembly which may be extended into a use position utilizing the body of the suitcase as the support platform for the child carrying seat back.

In conjunction with the foregoing object, a further object of the present invention is to provide a suitcase convertible into a child carrying wheeled stroller assembly wherein the suitcase includes a rear compartment, the rear compartment having an upper and a lower horizontally mounted support bracket supporting a pair of vertical support tubes, the support tubes carrying a pair of opposed telescoping tubular members supported on the vertical tube supports, the telescoping tubular members being movable between a retracted rest position, and an extended use position, with a seat back, mounted across a pair of opposed telescopic tubular members, and further having a seat member carried on a pivot bar mounted between the telescoping support members, such that when the telescoping tubular members are extended upwardly into a use position, the seat member may pivot into a use position on top of the top portion of the suitcase, while the seat back is in position at a point immediately behind and above the pivoted seat member.

In conjunction with the foregoing objects, a further object is to provide a suitcase convertible into a child wheeled stroller assembly, wherein the entire child carrying seat sub-assembly is retractable into the rear compartment, and the rear compartment may be closed by means of a closure member such as a zipper, thereby providing a total concealment of the sub-assembly when not in use.

A further object is to provide a child carrying seat sub-assembly within a suitcase, which may further be provided with a pair of forward retractable wheels mounted into the underside of the forward portion of the suitcase, when used in conjunction with the rear wheels, and thereby provide a four wheeled child carrying stroller assembly for ease of use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In summary, the present invention provides a convenient and easy to use suitcase convertible into a child carrying wheeled stroller. The suitcase is provided with a plurality of compartments, but includes a rear compartment which is generally closed by means of a zipper closure member. The rear compartment is provided with an upper and a lower support bracket mounted within the compartment, the upper and lower support brackets supporting a pair of opposed vertical tubular members which in turn carry a pair of opposed telescoping tubular members thereon. The opposed telescoping tubular members carry a seat member which is pivotally secured thereto by means of a pivot bar such that the seat member may pivot relative to the telescopic tubular members, and the telescoping tubular members are further provided with a seat back secured there between. The upper portion of the telescoping tubular members are interconnected by means of a handlebar which provides a grasp bar for the user. When not in use, the seat member is pivoted upwardly, and entire assembly is retracted into the rear compartment, and the rear compartment is enclosed by means of a zipper. In use, the user would grasp the handlebar to extend the telescoping tubular members upwardly, thereby bringing the seat member up above the suitcase body, such that the top of the suitcase provides a support platform for the seat when pivoted downwardly, and presents a seatback immediately behind the seat member to provide a seat and seatback in order to carry a child.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partly in cross section, of a suitcase with rear wheels, and rear compartment with a child carrying seat sub-assembly in its retracted stored position;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view, partly in cross section, showing the suitcase having the rear wheels, and the front stabilizer legs, including a rear compartment having the child carrying seat sub-assembly in its retracted stored position;

FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view, in cross section, showing the child carrying seat sub-assembly in its fully extended use position;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view, partly in cross section, showing the extension of the telescoping tubular members and the child carrying seat in its pivoted position;

FIG. 5A is a detailed cross sectional view showing the front stabilizer leg including a spring-loaded retractable outrigger ledge which extends between an extended stabilizing position;

FIG. 5B is a detailed cross sectional view showing the front stabilizer leg including a spring-loaded retractable outrigger ledge in its retracted position; and

FIG. 6 is an elevational view in cross section showing the handlebar interconnecting the telescoping members including a spring-loaded latch assembly therefore.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

With particular reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, there is shown a suitcase 10 having general construction as is commonly known. The suitcase 10 includes a top 11, bottom 12, a rear wall 13, and a front 14. As is known with traveling suitcases in the present state of the art, the suitcase is provided with a first rear wheel 16 and a second rear wheel 18 to facilitate transporting the suitcase.

As is typical with suitcases intended for modern travel, the suitcase includes a plurality of compartments which is not particularly relevant to the present invention. However, the suitcase 10 of the present invention is shown to include a rear compartment 20 which is enclosed by means of a zipper 21. The rear compartment is shown to contain a child carrying seat sub-assembly 25, and as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, is in its retracted rest position.

The seat sub-assembly 25 is carried within the rear compartment by means of an upper support bracket 27, and a lower support bracket 29, both of which are secured to the rear compartment by means of rivets 31 as shown. The upper and lower support brackets 27 and 29 respectively carry a pair of opposed vertical support tubes 33 and 35 respectively. Each of the vertical support tubes 33 and 35 are shown to accommodate a pair of opposed telescoping tubular members represented by the numerals 37 and 39 respectively. The top of the telescoping tubular members 37 and 39 are inter-connected by a handlebar 40. As is also shown in FIG. 3, a seat member 42 is mounted between the opposed telescoping tubular members 37 and 39 by means of a pair of pivot rods 43 and 44 respectively. As is shown in FIG. 4, when the telescoping tubular members 37 and 39 are fully extended, the seat member 42 will pivot downwardly into a use position resting on the top 11 of the suitcase 10. As is also shown in FIG. 3 of the drawings, a seatback 47 is mounted by a pair of mounting brackets 48 and 49 respectively, between the opposed telescoping tubular members 37 and 39.

It can be observed from FIGS. 2 and 3, that the suitcase in its normal position when being used as a suitcase will be in the position as illustrated in FIG. 2. In order to utilize the sub-assembly 25, the user would unzip the zipper 21, and grasp the handlebar from 40. By pulling up on the handlebar 40, the opposed telescoping tubular members 37 and 39 are raised to their fully extended position as shown in FIG. 3. This raises the seatback 47 to its use position, and brings the seat member 42 into a position above the top 11 of the suitcase 10. As shown in FIG. 4, the seat member 42 will automatically pivot downwardly and rest on the top 11 of the suitcase 10 which forms a support platform for the seat member 42. A user may then pivot the entire suitcase with the seat sub-assembly in its extended position downwardly onto the wheels 16 and 18 respectively, thus creating a two wheel stroller for a child.

As is further illustrated in FIG. 3, the telescoping tubular members 37 and 39 telescope completely into the rear compartment 20 as shown in FIG. 2. The seatback 47 remains affixed to a pair of the opposed tubular members 37 and 39, and the seat member 42 is merely pivoted upwardly incident to the retraction process such that it lays flat against the seatback 47 to accommodate the retraction of the entire assembly into the rear compartment 20.

As illustrated in FIG. 5, the suitcase is also provided with a pair of front stabilizer legs. As an optional feature, the stabilizer leg may include a spring-loaded outrigger leg 52. The outrigger leg 52 is designed to be coordinated with the stabilizer leg 50 such that the stabilizer leg 50 is provided with a spring-loaded latch 53 which is designed to extend the outrigger leg 52 when weight and pressure is pushed down onto the stabilizer leg 50, and to retract the outrigger leg 52 when the forward portion of the suitcase 10 is lifted off of the ground. The extended position of the outrigger leg is shown in FIG. 5A, while the retracted position is shown in FIG. 5B.

FIG. 6 illustrates a further picture which may be incorporated into the present invention, and simply discloses that the handlebar 40 may be included with a spring-loaded latch mechanism 55 which, upon depression of the spring-loaded latch 55, will actuate a pair of opposed latch catches 56 and 57 respectively in order to extend the telescoping tubular members upwardly when it is desired to place the sub-assembly in its use position. The latch assemblies of the type described herein are commonly known in the art and are employed in such extendable handle assemblies.

It is also contemplated by the present invention that the suitcase 10 may be designed with a pair of retractable forward front wheels retracted under the front wall 14 of the suitcase 10. This feature, when incorporated into the suitcase of the present invention, permits the suitcase to be converted to a 4-wheel stroller for further ease of use when carrying a child. It is contemplated that when this feature is incorporated in the suitcase, the front wheels when extended, would raise the level of the front wall 14 of the suitcase 10 slightly greater than the rear wheel 16 and 18 respectively. In this manner, when the device is being used to carry a child, the child will be tilted such that the child will be tilted slightly backward so the back of the child is well rested into the seatback.

It is also contemplated that the sub-assembly may further include child support straps for strapping the child to the seat once the sub-assembly has been extended to its use position and the child has been placed on the seat member and against the seat back.

While there has been disclosed what is at present considered to be the preferred embodiment of the invention, various improvements may be made hereto and incorporated into the invention. All such obvious modifications and variations are intended to be covered by the appended claims.