Title:
WAIST WORN POUCH
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A waist worn pouch assembly device for use in gardening or other tasks that provides an unobtrusively positioned pouch for filling, transporting, and unloading waste products. The pouch also includes at least one zipper for partially detaching a panel proximate the bottom of the pouch to permit any contents of the pouch to be readily emptied from the bottom of the pouch.



Inventors:
Fishman, Julie (Glen Allen, VA, US)
Application Number:
11/619492
Publication Date:
07/05/2007
Filing Date:
01/03/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/676
International Classes:
F42B39/02; A45C1/04; A45F3/00; F41C33/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LANDOLFI, JR., STEVEN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FREDRIKSON & BYRON, P.A. (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US)
Claims:
1. A waist worn pouch assembly, comprising: a pouch having a partially detachable front panel and an open top; at least one zipper integrated into the pouch for at least partially detaching the front panel from the pouch, the detachable portion of the front panel being adjacent to the bottom of the pouch to permit any contents of the pouch to be readily emptied from the bottom of the pouch; and means for connecting the pouch to a user to wear the pouch.

2. The pouch assembly of claim 1, wherein the pouch includes a partially detachable bottom panel, the at least one zipper for at least partially detaching the bottom panel from the pouch.

3. The pouch assembly of claim 1, wherein the pouch includes opposing side panels, the side panels including stiffening members to retain the shape of the pouch.

4. The pouch assembly of claim 1, wherein the at least one zipper includes two zippers.

5. The pouch assembly of claim 1, wherein the means for connecting the pouch includes a waist belt.

6. The pouch assembly of claim 1, wherein the pouch is formed of layers of nylon.

7. The pouch assembly of claim 1, wherein the pouch includes a back panel opposite the front panel and adapted for placement against the wearer, the back panel including a layer of padding.

8. The pouch assembly of claim 7, wherein the back panel includes a stiffening member to retain the shape of the pouch.

9. The pouch assembly of claim 1, wherein the at least one zipper includes only one zipper pull.

10. A waist worn pouch assembly, comprising: a pouch having a partially detachable bottom panel and an open top; at least one zipper integrated into the pouch for at least partially detaching the bottom panel from the pouch to permit any contents of the pouch to be readily emptied from the bottom of the pouch; and a waist belt for connecting the pouch to a user to position the open top proximate the user's waist.

11. The pouch assembly of claim 10, wherein the pouch includes opposing side panels, the side panels including stiffening members to retain the shape of the pouch.

12. The pouch assembly of claim 11, wherein one of the side panels includes a storage pocket.

13. The pouch assembly of claim 10, wherein the pouch is collapsible into a generally compact configuration.

14. The pouch assembly of claim 10, further comprising a tool holster slidably mounted to the waist belt.

15. The pouch assembly of claim 10, wherein the pouch is slidably mounted to the waist belt via at least two belt loops on the pouch.

16. A waist worn pouch assembly, comprising: a pouch having a front panel, a back panel opposite the front panel, a bottom panel, opposing side panels, and an open top, at least one of the front panel and bottom panel being at least partially detachable from the pouch, the detachable portion of the panel being adjacent to the bottom of the pouch to permit any contents of the pouch to be readily emptied from the bottom of the pouch; stiffening panels supported by at least one of the back panel and the opposing side panels to hold open the top of the pouch; and means for connecting the pouch to a user to position the open top proximate the user's waist.

17. The pouch assembly of claim 16, wherein the bottom panel is partially detachable from the pouch.

18. The pouch assembly of claim 16, further including at least one zipper integrated into the pouch for at least partially detaching the at least one partially detachable front panel and bottom panel.

19. The pouch assembly of claim 16, further including a layer of padding supported by the back panel, the back panel being adapted for placement against the wearer during use.

20. The pouch assembly of claim 16, wherein the stiffening panels help retain the shape of the pouch.

Description:

PRIORITY CLAIM

The present application claims priority to co-pending provisional application Ser. No. 60/755,686, entitled The “Waistie” Bag filed on Jan. 3, 2006, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a waist worn pouch assembly, and more particularly to such a pouch for use in gardening or other tasks that provides an unobtrusively positioned reservoir for filling, transporting, and unloading waste products.

BACKGROUND

The task of gardening and the collecting of gardening waste, growing items (such as seeds or plant cuttings), fresh floral cuttings or herbs is often associated with dragging a bucket, tray or trash can along for the job as the work is done or leaving piles along the way to later be swept up. This work can be done as a hobby or a professional job and can take place in many settings from the front yard of a home to a greenhouse or picking field. Some jobs are small and tedious and dragging a bucket or trashcan around is a nuisance and overkill for the job at hand.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Certain embodiments of the waist worn pouch assembly of the invention include a pouch having a partially detachable front panel and an open top. At least one zipper is integrated into the pouch for at least partially detaching the front panel from the pouch. The detachable portion of the front panel is located generally adjacent to the bottom of the pouch to permit any contents of the pouch to be readily emptied from the bottom of the pouch. The pouch assembly of such embodiments also includes means for connecting the pouch to a user to wear the pouch.

Some of the embodiments of the waist worn pouch assembly of the invention include a pouch having an at least partially detachable bottom panel and an open top. At least one zipper is integrated into the pouch for at least partially detaching the bottom panel from the pouch to permit any contents of the pouch to be readily emptied from the bottom of the pouch. The pouch assembly of such embodiments also includes a waist belt for connecting the pouch to a user to position the open top proximate the user's waist.

Some of the embodiments of the waist worn pouch assembly of the invention include a pouch having a front panel, a back panel opposite the front panel, a bottom panel, opposing side panels, and an open top. At least one of the front panel and bottom panel are at least partially detachable from the pouch. The detachable portion of the panel or panels is located adjacent to the bottom of the pouch to permit any contents of the pouch to be readily emptied from the bottom of the pouch. The pouch also includes stiffening panels supported by at least one of the back panel and the opposing side panels to hold open the top of the pouch. The pouch also includes means for connecting the pouch to a user to position the open top proximate the user's waist.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The following drawings are illustrative of particular embodiments of the present invention and therefore do not limit the scope of the invention. The drawings are not to scale (unless so stated) and are intended for use in conjunction with the explanations in the following detailed description. Embodiments of the present invention will hereinafter be described in conjunction with the appended drawings, wherein like numerals denote like elements.

FIG. 1 is a front view of a pouch assembly as worn during typical use, according to some embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a magnified front view of the pouch of FIG. 1, being filled with garden items, such as garden waste and other clippings;

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view taken from a side and the front of the pouch of FIG. 1, where the pouch contents are emptied into a trashcan;

FIG. 4 shows a side view of the pouch of FIG. 1 illustrating how the front panel may be rejoined to the side panels by raising a zipper towards the open top of the pouch;

FIG. 5 shows a diagrammatic front plan view of a pouch with the front and bottom panels partially detached, according to some embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of a pouch assembly with the front and bottom panels partially detached, according to some embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 7 shows a rear perspective view of a pouch with the panels attached together, according to some embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 8 shows a rear view of a pouch collapsed upon itself, according to some embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 9 shows a diagrammatic front plan view of a pouch with the front panel partially detached, according to some alternate embodiments of the invention; and

FIG. 10A shows a diagrammatic front perspective view of a pouch with the bottom panel partially detached, according to some alternate embodiments of the invention; and

FIG. 10B shows a diagrammatic front perspective view of the pouch of FIG. 10A with the bottom panel partially attached to the pouch.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following detailed description is exemplary in nature and is not intended to limit the scope, applicability, or configuration of the invention in any way. Rather, the following description provides practical illustrations for implementing exemplary embodiments of the present invention. Examples of constructions, materials, dimensions, and manufacturing processes are provided for selected elements, and all other elements employ that which is known to those of skill in the field of the invention. Those skilled in the art will recognize that many of the examples provided have suitable alternatives that can be utilized.

Certain embodiments of the present invention relate to a pouch that attaches to a belt that clips around the waist for the collection of garden debris or agriculture products. With reference to FIG. 1, a front view of an embodiment of the waist worn pouch is shown in use, belted to a person who is gardening. FIG. 2 shows a magnified front view of the pouch embodiment of FIG. 1, being filled with garden items, such as garden waste and other clippings. FIG. 3 shows a perspective view taken from a side and the front of the pouch embodiment of FIG. 1, where the pouch contents are emptied into a trashcan. FIG. 3 illustrates how a front flap of the pouch may be unzipped from its side panels and pulled downward, providing a convenient method of emptying the contents of the pouch into a waste receptacle. In some embodiments, the front edge zippers shown in FIG. 3 extend to the bottom panel, allowing both the front and bottom panel to drop downward for easy emptying of the pouch contents.

FIG. 4 illustrates how the front panel may be rejoined to the side panels by raising the zipper towards the open top of the pouch, thereby zipping the panels together. As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the pouch may include side pockets for carrying personal items and tools. In addition, the pouch may also include a holster for tools (e.g., garden shears or clippers) that slides onto the same belt that retains the pouch. Use of the pouch assembly avoids the necessity to drag a trashcan around or leave piles as work is performed. The zippers allow dumping without requiring the pouch to be turned over to be emptied. The zippers also permit the use of the side pockets, because such pockets would otherwise empty with the debris when the pouch was inverted for emptying. Zippers provide advantages over some types of connecting mechanisms, because the zipper connection is continuous, durable, and flexible enough to turn corners.

Additional details regarding the pouch design and construction may be seen with reference to a diagrammatic view of an embodiment of the pouch shown in FIG. 5. As shown, the pouch 10 includes two side panels 12, 14, a back panel 16, and a combined front and bottom panel 18 that, together, form a generally rectangular waist worn pouch with an open top 20 for receiving and holding items such as garden waste. The panels 12, 14, 16, and 18 may be constructed separately and sewn together or they may be integrally formed.

FIG. 5 also shows that pouch 10 includes two zippers. Each zipper has a zipper pull 22, a row of teeth 24 extending along the bottom and front edges of a respective side panel 12, 14, and a row of teeth 26 extending along the side edges of the front and bottom panel 18. The zipper pulls may be actuated by a user to join the respective rows of teeth together, thereby joining the side edges of the front and bottom panel 18 to the bottom and front edges of a respective side panel 12, 14. That is, the zippers may be used to form the pouch 10 and to open the pouch 10, as shown for instance in FIG. 3, for convenient dumping of the pouch contents.

In certain embodiments, such as the one shown in FIG. 5, the zippers run along the entire bottom and front side edges of the pouch to permit the front panel and bottom panel to be partially detached from the pouch. However, the zippers need not run the entire length of these edges as shown. For instance, in one embodiment, the zippers run along the bottom side edges of the pouch to permit the bottom panel to be at least partially detached from the pouch. Detaching just the bottom panel would still permit the pouch contents to be conveniently emptied into an underlying waste receptacle. In another embodiment, the zippers run along a portion of the front side edges of the pouch to permit the front panel to be at least partially detached from the pouch, such as that shown in FIG. 3.

Certain embodiments of the pouch 10 of the invention are constructed of multiple layers of material for comfort and protection. For instance, the pouch 10 may be made of water and dirt resistant materials, such as nylon taffeta with a PVC backing, making it durable for the outdoor environment. Other fabrics and materials may also be appropriate. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 5, the back panel 16 is constructed of an outer layer of nylon for contact against the wearer's body, a first intermediate layer of padding adjacent to the outer nylon layer for wearer comfort, a second intermediate layer formed by a plastic stiffener 28 (as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 5) to help maintain the rectangular shape of the pouch and to protect the wearer from thorns, sticks or other sharp objects, and an interior layer of nylon. The side panels 12, 14 are made of an outer layer of nylon, an intermediate layer formed by a plastic stiffener 30 (as shown in dotted lines) to hold the shape of the pouch and to protect the wearer, and an inner lining of nylon. The front and bottom panel 18 is constructed of two equal layers of nylon. In certain embodiments, the front and bottom panel 18 remains flexible without a stiffener, so it can be folded over and flat for compact storage and shipping as shown in FIG. 8.

Referring to FIG. 6, the pouch 10 is shown assembled and worn about a wearer's waist. The pouch assembly includes a waist belt 32 that is worn around the wearer's waist and connected to the pouch 10. In certain embodiments, the waist belt 32 is adjustable with a male-female clip closure. It may be constructed of flexible nylon materials with a hard clip and slide adjuster. The belt is extra long to accommodate most waist sizes. It is slidably disposed on the pouch 10 by two belt loops 34 (FIG. 7) that enable the pouch to be moved to any point around the waist, which is particularly useful in settings such as a greenhouse where, if facing forward on the users body, the pouch could damage delicate flowers if it has not been shifted to the hip as work is done, and then easily shifted back to the front to empty and re-zip. The pouch 10 can also be removed from the waist belt 32 for use detached from the wearer. Other mechanisms besides or in addition to a belt could be employed to wear the pouch 10. For instance, hooks, snaps, suspenders, ties, etc. could be used to connect the pouch to a user. In many of such embodiments, the mechanisms are positioned relative to the pouch to permit the open top to be located approximately waist-high on the user.

With reference to FIG. 6, the pouch assembly may optionally include a holster 34 slidably mounted to waist belt 32 for carrying of clippers or shears. Pouch 10 may also include a side pocket 36 formed on one or both side panels 12, 14. Side pockets may be formed, for instance, of net-like webbing or from a layer of nylon.

For ease of storage, shipping and marketing, the zippers unzip all the way to the back panel 16 of the pouch 10, as shown in FIG. 5. Such a design permits the side panels 12, 14 and front panel to fold inward and lay flat on the back panel 16 as shown in FIG. 8. In certain embodiments, interlocking sections of hook and loop panels may be connected to the panels to hold the panels flat for storage and shipping. In certain embodiments, a loop 38 is placed at the top of the back wall, as shown in FIG. 8, to allow the pouch 10 to be hung for sales or storage purposes.

In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-4, the pouch measures approximately 13 inches wide, 11 inches high, and 8.5 inches deep. Other dimensions and non-rectangular shapes are within the scope of the invention. In certain embodiments, the pouch height is chosen such that, when worn, the pouch 10 remains above the wearer's knees. Accordingly, in such embodiments, the height is between about 9-18 inches. By remaining above the wearer's knees, the wearer is able to kneel while wearing the pouch and the pouch remains in its same orientation. That is, the wearer is able to kneel without the bottom panel touching the underlying ground surface. For instance, in an embodiment of the pouch intended for use in greenhouses, the pouch may be only 4 inches deep, so that it remains closer to the body, and yet 15-16 inches high, so that the overall volume is adequate for normal use.

FIGS. 9 and 10 show two alternate embodiments of the pouch design 10′, 10″ that use a single zipper to partly detach a front and/or bottom panel for emptying the contents of the pouch. Like numerals (except for the inclusion of a single or double prime) included in FIGS. 9 and 10 denote like elements of figures described above. That is, like numbered components are the same unless otherwise indicated. For instance, FIG. 9 shows a pouch 10′ that includes two side panels 12′, 14′, a back panel 16′, a partially detachable front panel 40′, and a bottom panel 42′ that, together, form a generally rectangular waist worn pouch with an open top 20′. Pouch 10′ includes only a single zipper with a single zipper pull 22′. The zipper is formed by a row of teeth 24′ extending along the front edge of side panel 12′, and the front edge of the bottom panel 42′, and a row of teeth 26′ extending along the side and bottom of front panel 40′. The zipper pull may be actuated by a user to join the respective rows of teeth together, thereby joining the front panel to the bottom and side panels. That is, a single zipper may be used to form the pouch 10′ and to open the pouch 10′, for convenient dumping of the pouch contents.

FIG. 10A shows another alternate embodiment of pouch 10″ with a ‘trap door’ configuration. FIG. 10 shows a pouch 10″ that includes two side panels, a back panel, front panel 44″, and a partially detachable bottom panel 46″ that, together, form a generally rectangular waist worn pouch with an open top 20″. Pouch 10″ includes only a single zipper with a two zipper pulls 22″. The zipper is formed by a row of teeth 24″ extending along the bottom edges the side panels and the front panel 44″, and a row of teeth 26″ extending along the front and side edges of bottom panel 46″. The zipper pulls may be actuated individually or together by a user to join the respective rows of teeth together, thereby joining the bottom panel to the pouch as shown in FIG. 10B.

In the foregoing detailed description, the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments. However, it may be appreciated that various modifications and changes can be made without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims. Although embodiments of the invention are described in the context of gardening, it is contemplated that some embodiments of the invention may be used in other environments. For instance, the pouch assembly is described for use in gardening. However, it should be understood that the pouch can be used for many purposes, including floral or greenhouse work, farming, interiorscape and personal indoor use, such as collecting small household items or waste. Thus, some of the features of preferred embodiments described herein are not necessarily included in preferred embodiments of the invention which are intended for alternative uses.