Title:
Protective headgear
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Described is a protective headgear for sports and recreational activities. The protective headgear is designed to provide a user protection against impact or collision due to a fall or contact with a static or moving object, while at the same time providing the user the maximum amount of comfort and style. The headgear may comprise an inner, intermediate, and outer section. The inner section is formed of a material providing ventilation and/or shock absorption, the intermediate section is formed of a hardened material, and the outer section is formed of a fabric material intended to give the headgear an aesthetically pleasing appearance.



Inventors:
Wasserkrug, Stan (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Wilson, Kevin (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
11/302093
Publication Date:
06/14/2007
Filing Date:
12/12/2005
Assignee:
Stealth Headgear LLC
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SUTTON, ANDREW W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREENBERG TRAURIG (LV) (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A headgear, comprising: an inner section fabricated of a material operable to provide ventilation; an intermediate section comprising at least two members, wherein the two members are operable to accommodate varied head sizes; and an outer section fabricated of a fabric material.

2. The headgear of claim 1, wherein the material of the inner section is a polymeric foam.

3. The headgear of claim 1, wherein the inner section is further fabricated of a material operable to provide shock absorption.

4. The headgear of claim 3, wherein the material of the inner section is a polymeric foam.

5. The headgear of claim 1, wherein the thickness of the inner section is about 5 mm.

6. The headgear of claim 1, wherein the at least two members of the intermediate section are fabricated of a polymeric material, a plastic material, or a polycarbonate material.

7. The headgear of claim 1, wherein the outer section further includes a polymeric coating.

8. The headgear of claim 1, further comprising a chin guard or a face guard.

9. The headgear of claim 1, further comprising one or more straps operable to secure the headgear to a user's head.

10. The headgear of claim 1, further comprising reinforced ridges integrated on said intermediate section.

11. The headgear of claim 1, wherein the intermediate section is operable to provide ventilation.

12. The headgear of claim 1, further comprising means for removably attaching said outer section to said inner or intermediate section.

13. A headgear, comprising: an inner section fabricated of a polymeric foam material operable to provide ventilation; and an outer section comprising at least two members, wherein the two members are operable to accommodate varied head sizes.

14. The headgear of claim 13, wherein the polymeric foam material is further operable to provide shock absorption.

15. The headgear of claim 13, wherein the thickness of the inner section is about 5 mm.

16. The headgear of claim 13, wherein the at least two members of the outer section are fabricated of a polymeric material, a plastic material, or a polycarbonate material.

17. The headgear of claim 13, further comprising a fabric material placed over the outer section.

18. The headgear of claim 17, wherein the fabric material further includes a polymeric coating.

19. The headgear of claim 13, further comprising a chin guard or a face guard.

20. The headgear of claim 13, further comprising one or more straps operable to secure the headgear to a user's head.

21. The headgear of claim 13, further comprising reinforced ridges integrated on said outer section.

22. A headgear, comprising: an inner section fabricated of a polymeric foam material operable to provide ventilation and shock absorption; an intermediate section comprising at least two members, wherein the two members are fabricated of a polymeric material and operable to accommodate a portion of a user's head; and an outer section fabricated of a fabric material.

23. The headgear of claim 22, wherein the thickness of the inner section is about 5 mm.

24. The headgear of claim 22, wherein the polymeric material of the intermediate section comprises a plastic material or a polycarbonate material.

25. The headgear of claim 22, wherein the outer section further comprises a polymeric coating.

26. The headgear of claim 22, wherein the intermediate section includes one or more reinforced ridges.

27. The headgear of claim 22, further comprising a chin guard or a face guard.

28. A headgear, comprising: an inner section fabricated of a polymeric foam material operable to provide ventilation; and an outer section comprising a mobile member and a protective member, wherein the mobile member engages the protective member such that the outer section is operable to accommodate varied head sizes.

29. The headgear of claim 28, further comprising a fabric-based material placed over the outer section.

30. The headgear of claim 28, wherein the polymeric foam material is operable to further provide shock absorption.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The embodiments of the present invention relate to personal protective equipment, and more particularly to a safety headgear for sports and recreational activities.

BACKGROUND

Studies have shown that helmets used by skiers or snowboarders can reduce serious brain injuries. Despite numerous studies and warnings, people still do not wear protective headgear when they engage in potentially dangerous sports and recreational activities. When people are asked why they do not wear helmets, one of the primary responses is because the helmet is heavy and uncomfortable, as illustrated in FIG. 1. Moreover, people refuse to wear helmets because they're not aesthetically pleasing. Appearance is especially important to the younger generation of risk-takers involved in snow-boarding, skateboarding and similar radical sports.

Consequently, there is a need for a helmet that not only protects a user, but also has an attractive appearance without substantially compromising the safety of the user.

SUMMARY

Accordingly, one embodiment of the present invention is headgear comprising an inner section fabricated of a material operable to provide ventilation; an intermediate section comprising at least two members, wherein the two members are operable to accommodate varied head sizes; and an outer section fabricated of a fabric material. The headgear not only provides adequate protection against falls and collisions, but also provides user comfort and a fashionable look at the same time.

In other embodiments, the inner section comprises a polymeric foam material that provides protection and shock absorptive qualities, as well as ventilation and moisture wicking for a cool and comfortable experience for the user, the intermediate section comprises a durable plastic material that not only provides protection, but also allows the user to adjust the headgear for a comfortable fit, and the outer section comprises a flexible fabric or cloth material for concealing the inner and intermediate sections while creating a fashionable appearance. Additionally, the outer section may be interchangeable and may be updated at anytime without users having to purchase multiple headgears. In doing so, the headgear not only integrates the latest fashion into a light-weight and protective helmet, but is also readily interchangeable thereby allowing the user to keep up with seasonable fashion trends. In an alternative embodiment, the outer section may be eliminated.

Other variations, embodiments and features of the present invention will become evident from the following detailed description, drawings and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a prior-art protective helmet;

FIG. 2 illustrates the various sectional components of a presently disclosed headgear invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates an inner section of the headgear of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 illustrates an intermediate section of the headgear of FIG. 2; and

FIGS. 5A-5C illustrate three models of an outer section of the headgear of FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

It will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that the invention can be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential character thereof. The presently disclosed embodiments are therefore considered in all respects to be illustrative and not restrictive.

Reference is now made to FIG. 2, which illustrates the three different sections of a presently disclosed protective headgear 100. As shown, the headgear 100 comprises three sections: an inner section 200 that provides comfort and ventilation and shock absorptive qualities, an intermediate section 300 that provides protection and is sizable to adapt to a user's head, and an outer section 400 that is both stylish and aesthetically pleasing. Although in FIG. 2 the three sections 200, 300, 400 of the headgear 100 are separate units, some of the sections 200, 300, 400 may be constructed as a single unit. For example, the inner section 200 and the intermediate section 300 may be fabricated as a single unit. Furthermore, by using known materials and methods, additional complements such as a chin guard (not shown) and/or a face guard (not shown) may be integrated in the headgear 100.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, the outer section 400 is designed to fit over the intermediate section 300, which is designed to fit over the inner section 200. Although the sections 200, 300, 400 are illustrated as fitting over one another, the overlying sections 300, 400 need not completely cover the underlying sections 200, 300. In another embodiment, the outer section 400 may be eliminated entirely. In other words, the headgear 100 can be constructed of only two sections: the inner section 200 and the intermediate section 300. Additional details and explanation of the various sections 200, 300, 400 are provided in subsequent figures and discussion. The sections 200, 300, 400 may be removably attached to one another or may be fabricated of such tolerances that friction causes the sections to maintain a final configuration. Alternatively, sections 200 and 300 may be glued together.

FIG. 3 illustrates the inner section 200 of the headgear 100. The inner section 200 may also be termed the comfort zone because the inner section 200 provides comfort and protection to and for a user's head. The inner section 200 may be constructed of a polymeric foam material or other shock-absorbent materials. In one embodiment, the inner section 200 is constructed of a memory foam material that conforms to the shape of a user's head for added comfort. Ideally, the inner section 200 has a thickness 230 of about 1 to 10 mm and more specifically, the inner section 200 has a thickness 230 of about 5 mm.

In addition to providing shock absorption, the inner section 200 also provides ventilation for a user's head through ventilation holes 210. These ventilation holes 210 may be distributed throughout the inner section 200 so as to provide air flow and relief from body heat exiting through a user's head. Additionally, the ventilation holes 210 allow for moisture wicking thereby resulting in a cool and comfortable experience for the user. In another embodiment, the ventilation holes 210 may be eliminated or changed in the configuration.

FIG. 4 illustrates an intermediate section 300 of the headgear 100. The intermediate section 300 may be termed the protective zone because the intermediate section 300 provides protection for the user's head. The intermediate section 300 comprises two members: a protective member 300a and a mobile member 300b. It is possible that the protective member 300a is made of a substantially harder material relative to the mobile member 300b, and it is conceivable that the mobile member 300b is made of a more flexible type of material. As explained in more detail below, the two members 300a, 300b are designed to engage one another. In another embodiment, a size of the intermediate section 300 is capable of being adjusted to comfortably accommodate different size heads. The adjustments are made by adjusting the protective member 300a relative to the mobile member 300b.

As illustrated in FIG. 4, the mobile member 300b is attached to the protective member 300a through a series of screws 340b and/or rivets 350b. Alternatively, other means of attaching the two members 300a, 300b such as snaps may also be used. In one embodiment, rivets 350b of the mobile member 300b are attached to rivet points 350a of the protective member 300a. The rivets 350b maintain the mobile member 300b in place. Screw stems 340b of the mobile member 300b are attached to the appropriate adjustment holes 340a on either side of an opening 355 defined in the protective member 300a. Once the appropriate adjustment holes 340a to accommodate the user's head size have been determined, the screw stems 340b may be securely, but removably, screwed into the adjustment holes 340a. By selecting the outermost adjustment holes 340a, the size head that the protective member 300a will accommodate is reduced. More particularly, in order for the fixed screw stems 340b to insert through the outermost adjustment holes 340a the user must apply force to reduce the distance between the outermost adjustment holes 340a to receive the fixed screw stems 340b. By selecting the innermost adjustment holes 340a the protective member 300a is able to accommodate the largest head size.

The mobile member 300b is permanently attached to the protective member 300a with the rivets and rivet points 350a, 305b while maintaining the flexibility to accommodate different sized heads by means of the screw adjustments 340a, 340b. In an alternative embodiment, there may be more or less than two rivets/rivet points 350.

The protective members 300a, 300b may be constructed of a tough and durable material such as plastic. Optionally, the protective member 300a may also be constructed of shatter proof or heat resistant material. In one embodiment, the protective member 300a may be a polymeric material, such as polycarbonate, and can be specifically molded to fit a user's head for added comfort and protection. And like that of the inner section 200, the protective member 300a can also provide ventilation through ventilation holes 310. The ventilation holes 310 may be distributed throughout the protective member 300a and should be aligned with the ventilation holes 210 of the inner section 200 in order to provide ventilation for a user. In an alternative embodiment, ventilation holes 310 may be eliminated.

For added strength and durability, the protective member 300a may incorporate reinforced ridges 330. The reinforced ridges 330 may be distributed throughout the protective member 300a and may be formed of other durable composite or polymeric materials. The additional plastic or durable material of the reinforced ridges 330 provide the protective member 300a with extra strength against impact and collision providing further protection for a user's head. Although the reinforced ridges 330 are illustrated in the shape of a cross on a top of the protective member 300a, the reinforced ridges 330 may take a variety of shapes and designs to maximize user protection.

An elastic band 360 may be positioned near a rear portion of the protective member 300a as illustrated. The elastic band 360 may be bonded to the protective member 300a or attached using other materials and methods known in the industry. In one embodiment, the elastic band 360 has a width 370 of about 10 to 15 mm wide and is sufficiently flexible to accommodate a user's head and provide additional comfort. Optionally, the intermediate section 300 may also include straps (not shown) or other methods of securing the intermediate section 300 to a user's head.

FIGS. 5A-5C illustrate three models of aesthetically pleasing outer sections 400. The outer section 400 is the outermost layer of the headgear 100 and should comprise the latest fashion and style in headwear. The outer section 400 can be easily changed and updated at anytime without having to purchase a new helmet thereby allowing a user to update their helmet every year or as often as desired. Although only three models of outer sections 400 are illustrated, it will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that the models are meant to be illustrative and not exhaustive. The outer section 400 may be made of a flexible fabric-like material, such as cloth or wool. In FIG. 5A, the outer section 400 is designed to look like a knit cap 400a and is made of fabric or wool. In FIG. 5B, the outer section 400 is designed to look like a stocking cap 400b. In FIG. 5C, the outer section 400 is designed to look like a baseball cap 400c. Optionally, the outer section 400 may also include straps (not shown) or other methods of securing the outer section 400 to a user's head. Additionally, the outer section 400 may be attachable to the intermediate section 300 or inner section 200. The attachment may be facilitated by Velcro® or similar means.

As an added safety feature, the outer section 400 may be coated with a special polymeric spray, such as a Teflon® spray, to allow the headgear 100 to glide or slide over surfaces or objects it contacts thereby minimizing the likelihood of catching on something and causing a severe impact and/or collision.

Although the invention has been described in detail with reference to several embodiments, additional variations and modifications exist within the scope and spirit of the invention as described and defined in the following claims.