Title:
Lace-up protective elbow pad
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A protective elbow pad is provided. The elbow pad comprises an outer protective portion and an inner retention portion engaged together along at least one pair of adjacent side edges. The outer protective portion is configured to cover at least the elbow joint of the wearer and circumferentially extends around an outer portion thereof. The inner retention portion circumferentially extends around an inner portion of the wearer's arm. A means for fastening the elbow pad to the wearer's arm connects the outer protective portion and the inner retention portion together and includes at least one laced attachment extending therebetween. The laced attachment has a lace that can be tightened to fasten the elbow pad to the wearer's arm, and that can be loosened to permit removal of the elbow pad.



Inventors:
Castonguay, Alain (Blainville, CA)
Desjardins, Mathieu (Montreal, CA)
Application Number:
11/398714
Publication Date:
10/11/2007
Filing Date:
04/06/2006
Assignee:
SPORT MASKA INC.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PATEL, TAJASH D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT CANADA LLP (MONTREAL, QC, CA)
Claims:
1. A protective elbow pad comprising: an outer protective portion configured to cover at least the elbow joint of a wearer, the outer protective portion having first and second longitudinal side edges, and a top proximal edge extending between said first and second side edges; an inner retention portion adapted to overly and cover an inner region of the wearer's arm distally of the elbow joint, the inner retention portion being engaged to said first side edge of the outer protective portion and connected with said second side edge thereof by a fastening system; and the fastening system including at least one lace extending between the inner retention portion and the outer protective portion, wherein when tightened the lace draws the inner retention portion towards the outer protective portion thereby fastening the elbow pad in position on the elbow joint of the wearer, the elbow pad being removable from the wearer's arm upon loosening of the lace, the fastening system further including a lace fastening device including a quick-release toggle and disposable in one of a closed position and an open position, the lace fastening device being engaged with the lace when disposed in said closed position such as to retain the lace in a selected position, and the lace fastening device being disengaged from the lace when disposed in said open position such as to allow the lace to be loosened or tightened.

2. (canceled)

3. The elbow pad as defined in claim 1, wherein the lace fastening device is biased in said closed position.

4. (canceled)

5. The elbow pad as defined in claim 1, wherein the toggle is engaged to one of the outer protective portion and the inner retention portion.

6. The elbow pad as defined in claim 5, wherein the toggle is fixed in position on said one of the outer protective portion and the inner retention portion.

7. The elbow pad as defined in claim 1, wherein a free end of the lace has a fastener engaged thereto, the fastener being removably fastenable to a mating fastening element located on one of the outer protective portion and the inner retention portion, the fastener and the fastening element being engaged together such as to keep the free end of the lace in a fixed position when the elbow pad is installed on the arm of the wearer.

8. The elbow pad as defined in claim 1, wherein the inner retention portion is hingedly engaged to said first side edge of the outer protective portion.

9. The elbow pad as defined in claim 1, wherein the fastening system includes at least one elastic member extending between the inner retention portion and the outer protective portion.

10. The elbow pad as defined in claim 1, wherein a second outer protective portion is hingedly engaged to said top proximate edge of said outer protective portion, the second outer protective portion being adapted to protect an outer region of the wearer's arm proximal of the elbow joint.

11. The elbow pad as defined in claim 10, wherein the second outer protective portion includes a fastening strap for engaging the second outer protective portion to the arm of the wearer.

12. The elbow pad as defined in claim 11, wherein the fastening strap is fixed at one end thereof to a first side of the second outer protective portion and is removably fastenable to a second opposed side of the second outer protective portion.

13. An elbow pad adapted for covering and protecting at least an elbow joint of a wearer when installed in place on the wearer's arm, the elbow pad comprising: an outer protective portion and an inner retention portion engaged together along at least one pair of adjacent side edges thereof, the outer protective portion being configured to cover at least the elbow joint of the wearer and circumferentially extending around an outer portion of the wearer's arm, and the inner retention portion circumferentially extending around an inner portion of the wearer's arm; and a means for fastening the elbow pad to the wearer's arm, the means for fastening connecting the outer protective portion and the inner retention portion together and including at least one laced attachment extending therebetween, the laced attachment having a lace being tightenable to fasten the elbow pad to the wearer's arm, and loosenable to permit removal of the elbow pad from the wearer's arm, the laced attachment including a lace fastening device at least partially enclosing a portion of the lace, the lace fastening device being disposable in either a clamped or open position, the portion of the lace being grasped by the lace fastening device in the clamped position such as to retain a given tautness of the lace, and the lace being free to slide relative to the lace fastening device in the open position such as to allow the tautness in the lace to be changed.

14. (canceled)

15. The elbow pad as defined in claim 13, wherein the lace fastening device is biased in the clamped position.

16. The elbow pad as defined in claim 13, wherein the lace fastening device is fixed in place on one of the outer protective portion and the inner retention portion.

17. The elbow pad as defined in claim 13, wherein the free ends of the lace are fixed to a fastener, the fastener being removably fastenable to a mating fastening element located on one of the outer protective portion and the inner retention portion.

18. The elbow pad as defined in claim 13, wherein the inner retention portion and the outer protective portion are engaged together along two substantially parallel edge joints, the laced attachment being disposed along at least one of the two edge joints.

19. The elbow pad as defined in claim 13, wherein the means for fastening includes at least one elastic member extending between the inner retention portion and the outer protective portion.

20. A protective elbow pad comprising: an outer protective portion configured to cover at least the elbow joint of a wearer, the outer protective portion having first and second longitudinal side edges, and a top proximal edge extending between said first and second side edges; an inner retention portion adapted to overly and cover an inner region of the wearer's arm distally of the elbow joint, the inner retention portion being engaged to said first side edge of the outer protective portion and connected with said second side edge thereof by a fastening system; and the fastening system including at least one lace extending between the inner retention portion and the outer protective portion, wherein when tightened the lace draws the inner retention portion towards the outer protective portion thereby fastening the elbow pad in position on the elbow joint of the wearer, the elbow pad being removable from the wearer's arm upon loosening of the lace, wherein a second outer protective portion is hingedly engaged to said top proximate edge of said outer protective portion, the second outer protective portion being adapted to protect an outer region of the wearer's arm proximal of the elbow joint.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to protective equipment, more particularly to protective pads such as are used in contact sports. In particular, the present invention relates specifically to an elbow pad which may be used for a variety of contact or semi-contact sports such as ice hockey, inline-skate hockey, lacrosse or with any other activity which requires the elbows of a player to be protected, such as motocross.

BACKGROUND ART

In contact sports such as hockey or lacrosse and in potentially dangerous sporting activities such motocross, skateboarding, etc., players usually wear protective pads to reduce the risk of injury. Such pads often include knee and elbow pads, for example. As arm injuries are common in many of such activities, elbow pads are particularly frequently worn for a variety of different sports and activities.

Typical elbow pads generally include a protective portion, such as a rigid outer shell or a padded region, which is held in place on the elbow and/or arm of the wearer by retaining means such as several straps. These straps are commonly made of an extendible elastic material and are engaged to at least one side of the protective portion by a removable fastener, which may include a hook-and-loop type fastener (such as one made of Velcroâ„¢) for example. Some elbow pads have fixed straps which are not detachable from either side of the padded or protective portion (i.e. they are permanently fastened thereto), however as they are made of an elastic-type material the straps are thus extendible in order to permit the pad to be installed in place on the wearer's elbow. However, such known pads having elastic straps and/or hook-and-loop type fastener systems, while being relatively easy to put on, can nonetheless become displaced out of their intended position on the elbow of the wearer (i.e. they have a tendency to move around slightly) and can even become dislodged by an impact or by vigorous movements of the wearer.

Other protective pad designs have also been known to employ buckles in which non-extendible straps are engaged in order to retain the pad in place on the wearer, however these types of attachments are relatively long to put on and fix in place and additionally are not the most secure in that once such straps have loosened no additional elastic and/or other retaining means retain the pad in place.

Improvement is therefore sought for a protective elbow pad which is quick and easily to put on, and yet which remains securely fixed in place until such time as the pad is to be removed.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

It is therefore an aim of the present invention to provide an improved protective elbow pad.

Therefore, in accordance with the present invention, there is provided a protective elbow pad comprising: an outer protective portion configured to cover at least the elbow joint of a wearer, the protective portion having first and second longitudinal side edges, and a top proximal edge extending between said first and second side edges; an inner retention portion adapted to overly and cover an inner region of the wearer's arm distally of the elbow joint, the inner retention portion being engaged to said first side edge of the outer protective portion and connected with said second side edge thereof by a fastening system; and the fastening system including at least one lace extending between the inner retention portion and the outer protective portion, wherein when tightened the lace draws the inner retention portion towards the outer protective portion thereby fastening the elbow pad in position on the elbow joint of the wearer, the elbow pad being removable from the wearer's arm upon loosening of the lace.

Also in accordance with the present invention, there is provided an elbow pad adapted for covering and protecting at least an elbow joint of a wearer when installed in place on the wearer's arm, the elbow pad comprising: an outer protective portion and an inner retention portion engaged together along at least one pair of adjacent side edges thereof, the outer protective portion being configured to cover at least the elbow joint of the wearer and circumferentially extending around an outer portion of the wearer's arm, and the inner retention portion circumferentially extending around an inner portion of the wearer's arm; and a means for fastening the elbow pad to the wearer's arm, the means connecting the outer protective portion and the inner retention portion together and including at least one laced attachment extending therebetween, the laced attachment having a lace being tightenable to fasten the elbow pad to the wearer's arm, and loosenable to permit removal of the elbow pad from the wearer's arm.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, showing by way of illustration a particular embodiment of the present invention and in which:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a protective elbow pad according to a particular embodiment of the present invention, shown on the arm of a wearer;

FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the elbow pad of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side perspective view of the elbow pad of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged side view of a portion of the elbow pad of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the elbow pad of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 6 is a rear view of the elbow pad of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PARTICULAR EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 5, a protective pad 10 such as one worn on the arm of a wearer to protect his or her elbow is shown. The elbow pad 10 of the present invention may be used for any one of a variety of contact and/or semi-contact sports such as ice hockey, inline-skate hockey, lacrosse, or alternately for use during any other activity which may require the elbows of a player to be protected, such as motocross, paintball, etc. The elbow pad 10 generally comprises a main elbow protecting portion 12 and an upper arm protecting portion 14 which are pivotally linked together by at least a pair of outer straps 15 extending between an upper end 13 of the main elbow protecting portion 12 and the lower end 16 of the upper arm protecting portion 14. The upper arm protecting portion 14 provides a second outer protective portion for the wearer's arm (the first outer protective portion being the main elbow protecting portion 12), generally covering and protecting the outer surface of the wearer's forearm 11 above the elbow joint. The upper arm protecting portion 14 is fastenable in place on the upper arm 11 (i.e. proximally of the elbow joint) of the wearer by an integrated strap 18, which is in the embodiment depicted permanently fixed at one end thereof to one side of the upper arm protecting portion 14 and has an opposed end which is detachably fastenable to the other side of the upper arm protecting portion 14 by a fastener system 20. The fastener system 20 may be a hook-and-loop type attachment system wherein each of the strap 18 and a portion of the upper arm protecting portion 14 has one of the hook and the loop portion. The upper arm protecting portion 14 is hingedly engaged with the main elbow protecting portion 12, which is itself attached to the forearm 9 of the wearer's arm (i.e. distally of the elbow joint) as will be described in further detail below, such that the wearer is free to bend his or her arm at the elbow joint thereof whilst the main elbow protecting portion 12 and the upper arm protecting portion 14 protect at least the outer surfaces of the wearer's arm proximate the elbow joint. While the upper arm protecting portion 14 is provided in the embodiment depicted, the protective elbow pad 10 may alternately comprise only the main elbow protective portion 12.

The main elbow protecting portion 12 of the elbow pad 10 includes a shock absorbing outer protective portion 20 which is configured to cover at least the elbow joint of the wearer's arm. In the present embodiment, the outer protective portion 20 includes an ulna protective portion 24 which extends distally away from the elbow joint protecting portion 22 thereof. The outer protective portion 20 of the elbow pad may included padding and/or a rigid or semi-rigid shell, whether disposed on the outermost surface of the pad or internally within the body of the outer protective portion 20, such as to protect the wearer's elbow and surrounding regions from impacts. The protective shell and padding of the elbow pad may be provided, varied and arranged as required and as will be understood by one skilled in the art, depending on the intended use of the elbow pad 10.

The main elbow protecting portion 12 of the elbow pad 10 further includes an inner retention portion 26, which is adapted to overly and cover a portion of an inner region of the wearer's forearm 9 distally of the elbow joint. The inner retention portion 26 is engaged to a first side edge 28 (see FIGS. 2 and 6) of the outer protective portion 20 by a first engagement means 30 and to an opposed second side edge 29 of the outer protective portion 20 by a second engagement means 32, the second engagement means 32 providing a fastening system or means for fastening at least the main elbow protecting portion 12 of the elbow pad 10 to the wearer's arm. Thus, the fastening system of the engagement means 32, which will be described further below, ensures that the elbow pad 10 is retained securely in place on the wearer's arm.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 to 4, the engagement means 32 of the elbow pad's main elbow protecting portion 12 comprises a lace-up fastening system 34 having at least one lace 36 that extends between the second side edge 29 of the outer protective portion 20 and the adjacent side edge 31 of the inner retention portion 26 extending substantially parallel thereto. The lace 36 is laced back and forth between the outer protective portion 20 and the inner retention portion 26, being fed through sets of corresponding lace loops 38 disposed on each of the portions of the main elbow protecting portion 12 opposite to each other. Thus, when the lace 36 is pulled tight, the two adjacent edges 29, 31 of the outer protective portion 20 and the inner retention portion 26 are drawn towards each other such as to enclose the main elbow protecting portion 12 more tightly around the wearer's arm, thereby securely fastening the elbow pad in place thereon. In the present embodiment, the outer protective portion 20 and the inner retention portion 26 envelope or wrap around a majority of the wearer's forearm. Thus, the main elbow protective portion 12 acts as a sleeve which is sized such that it can be slid onto the wearer's arm over the hand, and is fixed in place thereon by tightening the lace-up fastening system 34 of the elbow pad. In the depicted embodiment, at least one elastic member 40 also extends between the adjacent side edges 29, 31 of the outer protective portion 20 and the inner retention portion 26, such as to bias the two portions of the main protective portion 12 of the elbow pad 10 towards each other. Thus, even before the lace 36 of the lace-up fastening system 34 is tightened, the main protective portion 12 stays in a given position on the arm of the wearer. Thus, the elbow pad 10 can be located in a desired position by the wearer, and will stay substantially in place such that tightening the fastening system 34 is not made more difficult by unwanted sliding and/or other displacement of the elbow pad until the secure laced fastening system 34 can be tightened. The lace-up fastening system 34 thus provides a more secure means for fastening the elbow pad 10 in place on the elbow of a wearer, and helps retain the elbow pad in place even during contact and/or other physical sports.

The lace 36 of the lace-up fastening system 34 provides excellent fastening of the elbow pad in place on the wearer's arm. While the lace-up fastening system 34 may simply be pulled tight and tied by hand, such as by making a shoe-lace type bow or knot in the lace 36 for example, the elbow pad 10 may include, in accordance with one embodiment, a lace-fastening device which can help retain a good tautness on the lace 34 when tightened, while nevertheless allowing quick and easy installation (i.e. tightening) and removal (i.e. loosing). Thus, the fastening device 42 of the lace-up fastening system 34 of the present embodiment makes it much faster and simpler for the wearer to tighten and/or loosen the lace 36 of the fastening system 34. The lace fastening device 42, which in the embodiment depicted is a quick-release toggle, is engaged with the lace 36 and can be disposed in one of a closed position, in which it is clamped on the lace 36 such as to retain the lace in position (i.e. and with a selected amount of tension or tautness therein), and an open position, in which the lace is disengaged and free to slide or otherwise move relative to the lace fastening device 42 such as to permit the lace to be loosened or tightened. In one embodiment, the lace fastening device 42 is biased in the closed position. Thus, when the lace fastening device 42 is a quick-release toggle which is normally biased in the closed position, the toggle locks the lace 36 in position with whatever amount of tautness is in the lace. Typically, this will be when the elbow pad 10 is installed in place on the arm of the wearer, and the lace 36 is pulled tight such as to fasten the elbow pad thereon. When the lace is to be loosened, such as when the wearer wishes to remove the elbow pad, the toggle 42 is actuated, such as by depressing the sprung button thereon for example, in order to dispose it in the open position thereby allowing the lace to be loosened sufficiently for the elbow pad to be slid off the wearer's arm. The lace fastening device 42 is, in the present embodiment, fixed in place on one of the outer protective portion 20 and the inner retention portion 26, such as by a dedicated pocket 44 within which it is contained. In the embodiment depicted, the toggle of the lace fastening device 42 is disposed on the outer protective portion 20. The pocket 44 for the lace fastening device 42, for example, may be simply a loop of material fixed to the outer surface of the pad within which the toggle is snuggly fit and having an opening through which the lace 36 may pass. Thus, when the lace fastening device is actuated and disposed in the open position and the free end 46 of the lace 36 is pulled, the lace 36 of the fastening system 34 becomes tight in order to securely fasten the elbow pad to the wearer's arm, while the lace fastening device 42 remains fixed in position on the pad. As it can be undesirable to have an extending length of lace when the elbow pad 10 is in use on the wearer's arm, the free end 46 of the lace 36 may include, such as in the present embodiment, a fastener 48 which may be removably engaged with a portion of the elbow pad, such as the strip 50 on the outer protective portion 20. (see FIG. 3). In the present embodiment, the fastener 48 is one half of a hook-and-loop type attachment system, the strip 50 on the outer protective portion 20 of the elbow pad 10 being the mating opposite half thereof.

Although the lace-up fastening system 34 is shown as being disposed on only one side of the engagement between the outer protective portion 20 and the inner retention portion 26, it is to be understood that the second engagement means 32 including a lace-up fastening system 34 may be provided on one or both sides of the connection between the two portions of the elbow pad's main elbow protection portion 12. As best seen in FIG. 6, in the embodiment depicted, the inner protective portion 26 is merely hindedly engaged with the side edge 28 of the outer protective portion 20 by the first engagement means 30, which in this embodiment includes a relatively non-stretchable material strip 27. However, the first engagement means 30 may alternately also comprise a stretchable material strip and/or another lace-up fastening system as on the opposite side of the elbow pad.

The embodiments of the invention described above are intended to be exemplary. Those skilled in the art will therefore appreciate that the foregoing description is illustrative only, and that various alternate configurations and modifications can be devised without departing from the spirit of the present invention. Accordingly, the present invention is intended to embrace all such alternate configurations, modifications and variances which fall within the scope of the appended claims.