Title:
Personal carrier
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus suitable for carrying personal items is described. The apparatus includes a partial vest body and a shoulder strap. The partial vest body is formed from one or more flexible materials and defines an arm hole therethrough. The vest body includes a front portion configured to lie over a portion of a wearer's chest and a rear portion configured to lie over a portion of the wearer's back, with a first arm of the wearer extending through the arm hole. The front portion of the partial vest body includes a first material forming a forward face and defining at least one pouch opening therethrough, and a second material disposed rearward of the first material and defining, together with the first material, at least one pouch accessible through the pouch opening. The shoulder strap extends from the rear portion of the partial vest body.



Inventors:
Menzel, Gregory P. (Belmont, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/477702
Publication Date:
01/17/2008
Filing Date:
06/28/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/00
View Patent Images:
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20040199975Water protective over garmentOctober, 2004Kehrli et al.
20100031428Evaporative Cooling Clothing System for Reducing Body Temperature of a Wearer of the Clothing SystemFebruary, 2010Paull
20070083984Bottle carrying trousersApril, 2007Wagenknecht et al.
20030159192Wheelchair blanket/jacket/slickerAugust, 2003La Scala
20060143766Ergonomic, temple-vented, lightweight, anti-glare eye shield & method of manufacture thereofJuly, 2006Ramsey



Primary Examiner:
HELVEY, PETER N.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FISH & RICHARDSON P.C. (SV) (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for carrying one or more personal items, the apparatus comprising: a partial vest body formed from one or more flexible materials and defining an arm hole therethrough, the vest body including a front portion configured to lie over a portion of a wearer's chest and a rear portion configured to lie over a portion of the wearer's back, with a first arm of the wearer extending through the arm hole, where: the front portion of the partial vest body comprises: a first material forming a major forward face of the front portion and defining at least one pouch opening therethrough; and a second material disposed rearward of the first material and defining, together with the first material, at least one pouch accessible through the pouch opening, wherein the second material is of a greater flexibility than the first material, such that the second material is more conformable to an item placed in the pouch than the first material; and a shoulder strap extending from the rear portion of the partial vest body and of a length selected to enable the strap to be extended across the wearer's back, over and under an opposite shoulder of the wearer and to extend back to the rear portion of the partial vest body.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, where when the at least one pouch is empty the first and second materials lie substantially flat to one another and when the at least one pouch contains an item, the second material stretches to substantially conform to a shape of the item.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, where the at least one pouch is configured to contain a cellular telephone, a personal digital assistant, a camera and/or a portable digital media player.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, where the shoulder strap includes one or more adjusters configured to adjust the length of the strap.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, where the partial vest body further comprises: an adjuster attached to the front portion and the rear portion and configured to adjust the relative positions of the front and rear portions to adapt to different wearer sizing.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, where the rear portion of the partial vest body includes an adjuster configured to adjust a length of the rear portion to adapt to different wearer sizing.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, where the front portion and the rear portion are integral to one another.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, where the front portion and the rear portion are at least partially integral to one another and together include an adjuster configured to adapt to different wearer sizing.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, where the shoulder strap is connected at a first end to an upper location on the rear portion of the partial vest body and at a second end to a lower location on the rear portion of the partial vest body, and is configured to be worn with the first end near a wearer's first shoulder and extending behind the wearer's neck to the front of the wearer and underneath the wearer's opposite armpit and extending across the wearer's back to the second end positioned on the wearer's back near the first armpit.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, where the second material is at least partially comprised of spandex.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, where the second material comprises a stretchy and resilient material.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, where the shoulder strap comprises a stretchy and resilient material.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, where the first material comprises a flexible fabric.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, where the first materials comprises one or more of leather, vinyl or nylon.

15. An apparatus for carrying one or more personal items, the apparatus comprising: a partial vest body formed from one or more flexible materials and defining an arm hole therethrough, the vest body including a front portion configured to lie over a portion of a wearer's chest and a rear portion configured to lie over a portion of the wearer's back, with a first arm of the wearer extending through the arm hole, where: the front portion of the partial vest body comprises: a first material forming a major forward face of the front portion and defining at least one pouch opening therethrough; and a second material disposed rearward of the first material and defining, together with the first material, at least one pouch accessible through the pouch opening, wherein the second material is conformable to an item placed in the pouch; and a shoulder strap extending from the rear portion of the partial vest body and of a length selected to enable the strap to be extended across the wearer's back, over and under an opposite shoulder of the wearer and to extend back to the rear portion of the partial vest body.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, where when the at least one pouch is empty the first and second materials lie flat to one another and when the at least one pouch contains an item, the second material stretches to substantially conform to a shape of the item.

17. The apparatus of claim 15, where the shoulder strap is connected at a first end to an upper location on the rear portion of the partial vest body and at a second end to a lower location on the rear portion of the partial vest body, and is configured to be worn with the first end near a wearer's first shoulder and extending behind the wearer's neck to the front of the wearer and underneath the wearer's opposite armpit and extending across the wearer's back to the second end positioned on the wearer's back near the first armpit.

18. An apparatus for carrying one or more personal items, the apparatus comprising: a partial vest body formed from one or more flexible materials and defining an arm hole therethrough, the vest body including a front portion configured to lie over a portion of a wearer's chest and a rear portion configured to lie over a portion of the wearer's back, with a first arm of the wearer extending through the arm hole, where: the front portion of the partial vest body comprises: a first material forming a major forward face of the front portion and defining at least one pouch opening therethrough; and a second material disposed rearward of the first material and defining, together with the first material, at least one pouch accessible through the pouch opening, wherein the first material is of a greater flexibility than the second material, such that the first material is more conformable to an item placed in the pouch than the second material; and a shoulder strap extending from the rear portion of the partial vest body and of a length selected to enable the strap to be extended across the wearer's back, over and under an opposite shoulder of the wearer and to extend back to the rear portion of the partial vest body.

19. The apparatus of claim 18, where when the at least one pouch is empty the first and second materials lie flat to one another and when the at least one pouch contains an item, the first material stretches to substantially conform to a shape of the item.

20. The apparatus of claim 18, where the shoulder strap is connected at a first end to an upper location on the rear portion of the partial vest body and at a second end to a lower location on the rear portion of the partial vest body, and is configured to be worn with the first end near a wearer's first shoulder and extending behind the wearer's neck to the front of the wearer and underneath the wearer's opposite armpit and extending across the wearer's back to the second end positioned on the wearer's back near the first armpit.

21. An apparatus for carrying one or more personal items, the apparatus comprising: a partial vest body comprising a front portion and a rear portion configured to be positioned about a wearer such that the front portion is configured to lie over a portion of the wearer's chest and the rear portion is configured to lie over a portion of the wearer's back and a wearer's arm extends through an armhole defined therebetween, where: the front portion includes: a forward face formed from a first material; a rear face formed from a second material; and one or more integral pouches, where each integral pouch is accessible from the forward face and formed within a void created between the forward face and the rear face such that when the integral pouch is empty the forward and rear faces lie substantially flat to one another and when the integral pouch contains an item, at least a portion of the rear face that forms the integral pouch stretches to substantially conform to a shape of the item thereby substantially securing the item and minimizing relative movement between the item and the apparatus during physical activity of the wearer; and a shoulder strap connected at a first end to an upper location on the rear portion of the partial vest body and at a second end to a lower location on the rear portion of the partial vest body, where the strap is configured to be worn with the first end near the wearer's first shoulder and extending behind the wearer's neck to the front of the wearer and underneath the wearer's second armpit and extending across the wearer's back to the second end positioned on the wearer's back near the first armpit.

22. The apparatus of claim 21, where at least one integral pouch is configured to contain a cellular telephone, a personal digital assistant, a camera and/or a portable digital media player.

23. The apparatus of claim 21, where the shoulder strap includes one or more adjusters configured to adjust the length of the strap.

24. The apparatus of claim 21, where the partial vest body further comprises: an adjuster attached to the front portion and the rear portion and configured to adjust the relative positions of the front and rear portions to adapt to different wearer sizing.

25. The apparatus of claim 21, where the rear portion of the partial vest body includes an adjuster configured to adjust a length of the rear portion to adapt to different wearer sizing.

26. The apparatus of claim 21, where the front portion and the rear portion are integral to one another.

27. The apparatus of claim 21, where the front portion and the rear portion are at least partially integral to one another and together include an adjuster configured to adapt to different wearer sizing.

28. The apparatus of claim 21, where the second material comprises a stretchy and resilient material.

29. The apparatus of claim 21, where the first material comprises a flexible fabric.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to an apparatus suitable for carrying personal items.

BACKGROUND

With personal electronic devices like cellular telephones, portable music players, handheld computers and the like becoming increasingly affordable and available, more and more people are finding they cannot leave home without these devices in tow, in addition to the more traditional personal items, such as keys and wallets. Although some women may use a handbag to transport these personal items, other women as well as men and children typically do not use handbags. Keeping these often expensive personal items on one's person and in such a manner as not to be easily lost or stolen can be difficult. Certain carrying apparatus exist that are specific to certain electronic devices, for example, cellular telephone carriers that attach to a wearer's belt, or pouches or clips specifically designed for use with certain brands of portable music players. Other apparatus exist that can be worn like a shoulder harness that attaches to a wearer's waistband, or an apparatus attached to a wearer's limb, typically a leg, that can be used to hold various personal items. Some of these carriers are suited to different purposes, for example, traveling, hiking, policing, etc. and may not perform well for other purposes.

SUMMARY

This invention relates to an apparatus suitable for carrying personal items. In general, in one aspect, the invention features an apparatus for carrying one or more personal items. The apparatus includes a partial vest body and a shoulder strap. The partial vest body is formed from one or more flexible materials and defines an arm hole therethrough. The vest body includes a front portion configured to lie over a portion of a wearer's chest and a rear portion configured to lie over a portion of the wearer's back, with a first arm of the wearer extending through the arm hole. The front portion of the partial vest body includes a first material forming a major forward face of the front portion and defining at least one pouch opening therethrough, and a second material disposed rearward of the first material and defining, together with the first material, at least one pouch accessible through the pouch opening. Either the first material or the second material can be of a greater flexibility than the other material, such that the material of greater flexibility is more conformable to an item placed in the pouch than the other material. Alternatively, the first and second materials can have substantially the same flexibility. The shoulder strap extends from the rear portion of the partial vest body and is of a length selected to enable the strap to be extended across the wearer's back, over and under an opposite shoulder of the wearer and to extend back to the rear portion of the partial vest body.

Implementations of the invention can include one or more of the following features. When the at least one pouch is empty, the first and second materials can lie substantially flat to one another and when the at least one pouch contains an item, at least one of the first and second materials stretches to substantially conform to a shape of the item. The at least one pouch can be configured to contain a cellular telephone, a personal digital assistant, a camera or a portable digital media player. The shoulder strap can include one or more adjusters configured to adjust the length of the strap. The partial vest body can further include an adjuster attached to the front portion and the rear portion and configured to adjust the relative positions of the front and rear portions to adapt to different wearer sizing. The rear portion of the partial vest body can include an adjuster configured to adjust a length of the rear portion to adapt to different wearer sizing.

The front portion and the rear portion can be integral or partially integral to one another, and can together include an adjuster configured to adapt to different wearer sizing. The shoulder strap can be connected at a first end to an upper location on the rear portion of the partial vest body and at a second end to a lower location on the rear portion of the partial vest body, and can be configured to be worn with the first end near a wearer's first shoulder and extending behind the wearer's neck to the front of the wearer and underneath the wearer's opposite armpit and extending across the wearer's back to the second end positioned on the wearer's back near the first armpit.

The second material can be a stretchy and resilient material and in one implementation can be at least partially comprised of spandex. The shoulder strap can be formed from a stretchy and resilient material. The first material can be a flexible fabric, e.g., leather, vinyl or nylon.

In general, in another aspect, the invention features an apparatus for carrying one or more personal items. The apparatus includes a partial vest body and a shoulder strap. The partial vest body includes a front portion and a rear portion configured to be positioned about a wearer such that the front portion is configured to lie over a portion of the wearer's chest and the rear portion is configured to lie over a portion of the wearer's back. The front portion includes a forward face formed from a first material, a rear face formed from a second material, and one or more integral pouches. Each integral pouch is accessible from the forward face and formed within a void created between the forward face and the rear face. When the integral pouch is empty, the forward and rear faces lie substantially flat to one another and when the integral pouch contains an item, at least the portion of the rear face forming the integral pouch stretches to substantially conform to a shape of the item thereby substantially securing the item and substantially minimizing relative movement between the item and the apparatus during physical activity of the wearer. The shoulder strap is connected at a first end to an upper location on the rear portion of the partial vest body and at a second end to a lower location on the rear portion of the partial vest body. The strap is configured to be worn with the first end near the wearer's first shoulder and extending behind the wearer's neck to the front of the wearer and underneath the wearer's second armpit and extending across the wearer's back to the second end positioned on the wearer's back near the first armpit.

Implementations of the invention can include one or more of the following features. At least one integral pouch can be configured to contain a cellular telephone, a personal digital assistant, a camera or a portable digital media player. The shoulder strap can include one or more adjusters configured to adjust the length of the strap. The partial vest body can further include an adjuster attached to the front portion and the rear portion and configured to adjust the relative positions of the front and rear portions to adapt to different wearer sizing. The rear portion of the partial vest body can include an adjuster configured to adjust a length of the rear portion to adapt to different wearer sizing. The front portion and the rear portion can be integral to one another and can together include an adjuster configured to adapt to different wearer sizing. The second material can be a stretchy and resilient material. The first material can be a flexible fabric.

Implementations of the invention may realize one or more of the following advantages. The personal carrier is not only functional to keep important personal items in a safe and easily accessible location to a wearer, but is discrete and comfortable. The personal carrier can easily be worn underneath clothing with little or no visibility. For wearers wearing an outer layer of clothing, e.g., a suit jacket, the carrier can be worn beneath the suit jacket, while permitting the suit jacket to lie flat against the wearer's chest and not provide any visible evidence of the carrier and personal items stored therein. The pouches integrated into the personal carrier prevent unnecessary movement of the personal items stored therein, which can be particularly advantageous if used when exercising, for example, while running or biking. Although the wearer's body may be moving up and down, the personal items are held secure within the pouch by the stretchy fabric forming the pouches, preventing excess shaking and other undesirable motion. Further, the pouches can conform to the shape of various items, and are therefore not limited to particular types or brands of devices. A wearer may carry a cellular telephone and car keys one day and a personal digital assistant and portable digital media player the next.

The details of one or more embodiments of the invention are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features, objects, and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A shows a front view of a personal carrier.

FIG. 1B shows a rear view of the personal carrier of FIG. 1A.

FIGS. 2A and 2B show front views of a wearer wearing the personal carrier shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B.

FIG. 3 shows a rear view of a wearer wearing the personal carrier shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B.

FIG. 4 shows a front view of a wearer wearing the personal carrier shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B.

FIG. 5 shows an alternative embodiment of a personal carrier.

FIG. 6 shows an alternative embodiment of a personal carrier.

Like reference symbols in the various drawings indicate like elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

An apparatus is described for carrying one or more personal items. The apparatus, referred to herein as a “carrier”, includes a partial vest body and a shoulder strap. The partial vest body includes a front portion configured to lie over a portion of a wearer's chest and a rear portion configured to lie over a portion of the wearer's back. The partial vest body is formed from a front portion and a rear portion and an arm hole is defined therethrough; an arm of the wearer extends through the arm hole. The front portion is formed from a first material forming a major forward face and defining at least one pouch opening therethrough. The front portion is further formed from a second material disposed rearward of the first material and defining, together with the first material, at least one pouch accessible through the pouch opening. The first and second materials can be bonded together to form a boundary for the pouch. Examples of bonding techniques include, but are not limited to, stitching the materials together, forming an adhesive bond between the materials, e.g., with glue or another adhesive, or heat bonding the materials to each other, especially when one or both materials can be melted.

The second material can be of a greater flexibility than the first material, such that the second material is more conformable to an item placed in the pouch than the first material. Because the rear face of the pouch conforms to the personal item placed therein, the forward face of the front portion can maintain a substantially smooth front profile. Additionally, the vest-like configuration keeps the carrier close to the wearer's body. Having the carrier close to the wearer's body and the pouch formed from a material that conforms to, and thereby substantially holds in place, items placed therein can provide a significant advantage. Movement (e.g., bouncing, shaking, rattling, and the like) of the carrier, and the personal items contained therein, can be substantially minimized during activity of the wearer. The carrier is therefore well suited to use during physical activity such as running, biking, playing racket sports, or any number of other rigorous activities, in addition to everyday use that can involve bending over (e.g., to tie shoes) or random sudden movements. The wearer can be assured that the items contained in the carrier will not fall out, therefore reducing the risk or loss or damage, and that movement of the items within the pouch(s) will be substantially minimized, again reducing the risk of damage.

Referring to FIGS. 1A-1B, one implementation of such a carrier is shown. In this implementation, the carrier 100 includes a partial vest body 102 formed from one or more flexible materials. An arm hole 104 is defined through the partial vest body 102. The partial vest body 102 includes a front portion 106 and a rear portion 108. The front portion 106 of the partial vest body 102 is formed from a first material forming a major forward face 116 of the front portion 106. In this implementation, three pouch openings 118 are defined through the first material. A second material is disposed rearward of the first material so as to form a rearward face 119 of the front portion 106. The first material of the forward face 116 together with the second material of the rearward face 119 define three pouches 122 that are accessible through the pouch openings 118. Stitching 121 holding the first and second materials together defines boundaries of the pouches 122. Other implementations can include more or fewer pouches of the same or different configurations.

The second material can exhibit properties which include a greater flexibility than that of the first material. As a result, the second material can be substantially more conformable than the first material to an item placed in the pouches 122, such that the “bulge” formed from the item placed therein tends to project out the rearward face 119 rather than the forward face 116, maintaining a substantially smooth forward face 116. For example, when a personal data assistant (PDA) 124 is placed into one of the pouches 122 (as shown in FIG. 1A), the second material 120 substantially conforms to the shape of the PDA 124. The PDA 124 substantially bulges or protrudes from the rearward face 119 of the front portion 102 rather than from the major forward face 116, thus providing a substantially smooth appearance to the major forward face 116. As a result, visibility of the carrier 100 under a layer of clothing (e.g., a sport coat, suit jacket, or the like) can be minimized.

The carrier 100 further includes a shoulder strap 126. The shoulder strap 126 extends from the rear portion 108 of the partial vest body 102. In the embodiment shown, the length of the shoulder strap 126 is selected so as to enable the strap 126 to extend from a first end 128 connected to the rear portion 108 of the vest body 102 across a portion of a wearer's back and over and under a wearer's opposite shoulder and back to connect to the rear portion 108 at a second end 132. Referring to FIG. 3, the strap 126 connects at the first end 128 to an upper location on the rear portion 108 of the vest body 102 and is configured to be worn with the first end 128 near the wearer's first shoulder 210. The strap 126 extends behind the wearer's neck 212 to the front of the wearer and underneath the wearer's opposite armpit 216 and then extends across the wear's back to the second end 132 attached at a lower location to the rear portion 108. The second end 132 is positioned on the wearer's back near the first armpit 219. In the implementation shown, the strap 126 includes an adjuster 218 of a ring and loop friction style buckle, although other configurations of adjuster can be used.

Referring again to FIGS. 1A and 1B and to FIGS. 2A and 2B, the pouches 122 are substantially flush to the forward face 116 of the partial vest body 102. When a pouch 122 is empty, the forward and rearward faces 116, 119 lie substantially flat to one another. When the pouch 122 contains an item, for example, the PDA 124 (e.g., a Blackberry®), a cell phone, a portable digital media player (e.g., an iPod® or an MP3 player), or other item, the flexibility of the second material forming the rearward face 119 allows the pouch 122 to accommodate the item while keeping the major forward face 116 as flat as possible.

As previously mentioned, the pouches 122 can be accessed through the pouch openings 118 formed in the major forward face 116 of the partial vest body 102. The pouch openings 118 can be slits or holes. Optionally, a mechanism to ensure the pouches 122 can stay secured shut if desired can be employed. For example, in the implementation shown, the forward face 116 includes flaps 134 over each pouch opening 118. The flaps 134 can be free to move or can be secured, for example, by snaps, hook and loop fasteners (e.g., Velcro®), zippers, buttons, or other.

While the embodiment of the carrier 100 shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B includes three pouches 122, it should be noted that the carrier 100 can have any number of pouches 122 with various sized openings 118. Additionally, the pouch openings 118 can be substantially horizontal (as shown in FIG. 1A), or the pouch openings 118 can be, for example, angled so as to provide easier access for the wearer to the one or more items that can be contained within each pouch 122. In one implementation, if a pouch opening is angled, the orientation of the corresponding pouch itself is similarly angled.

In one implementation, the pouches 122 and pouch openings 118 can be configured so as to be substantially ideal for use with electronic devices. The carrier 100 can provide the one or more electronic devices contained within the pouches 122 with substantial protection against theft, loss, damage, or other. As previously mentioned, in the current embodiment of FIGS. 1A and 1B, one of the three pouches 122 is configured to contain the PDA 124. Other pouches can be configured to contain a cellular telephone, a camera, a portable digital media player, or other. In addition to containing electronic devices, the pouches 122 can be configured for use with keys, money, or other personal items.

Referring to FIGS. 2A, 2B, 3, and 4, a wearer 200 wearing the carrier 100 is shown such that a first arm 201 of the wearer 200 extends through the arm hole 104 of the carrier 100. The shoulder strap 126 extends from the rear portion 108 of the vest body 102, across a portion of the wearer's back 202, over and under a wearer's opposite shoulder 204, and across a second portion of the wearer's back 202 terminating at the rear portion 108 of the partial vest body 102.

Referring to FIG. 4, the carrier 100 is shown being worn by the wearer 200 beneath a suit jacket 216. As previously mentioned, the second material forming the rearward face 119 of the front portion 106 substantially conforms to the shape of the one or more items contained in pouches 122 of the carrier 100. As a result, the major forward face 116 of the carrier remains as substantially flat as possible, and the carrier 100 can be substantially invisible beneath the suit jacket 216. While the current embodiment shows the carrier 100 being worn by the wearer 200 beneath a suit jacket 216, it should noted that the carrier can be comfortably worn under or over other types of clothing, for example, a sweatshirt, a wind breaker, a shirt, a fleece jacket, a fleece pull over, or other, or alternatively, can be worn directly against the wearer's skin.

To allow the carrier 100 to accommodate wearers of substantially varying body size and clothing styles, the carrier 100 can include one or more adjusters to provide for sizing the carrier 100. For example the carrier 100 include an adjuster 218 on the shoulder strap 126. The adjusters can include, for example, a friction buckle, a cam lock buckle, a ring and loop buckle, a side release buckle, a multiple hole and pin buckle, a multiple hole and loop buckle, hook and loop fastener, snaps, buttons, or other. Referring specifically to FIGS. 1A, 1B and 3, in the embodiment shown, the shoulder strap includes an adjuster 218 configured to allow the wearer 200 to adjust the length of the shoulder strap 126. In the current embodiment, the shoulder strap 126 includes an adjuster 218 of a ring and loop friction style buckle, although as discussed above, other configurations of adjuster can be used.

Referring now to FIGS. 1A and 1B, in the embodiment shown, the front portion 106 and the rear portion 108 of the partial vest body 102 are integral to one another. That is, the front and rear portions 106, 108 are continuous to one another at the top and bottom of the carrier 100. In other implementations, the front and rear portions 106, 108 can be separable from one another at either or both of the top and bottom of the carrier. Optionally, an adjuster can be positioned between the front and rear portions 106, 108 at either or both of the top and bottom of the carrier, as shall be described further below in reference to the embodiments shown in FIGS. 5 and 6.

The components of the carrier 100 can be formed from various materials suited to the function of the particular component. The first material forming the front portion 106 can be a substantially flexible material that allows the partial vest body 102 to comfortably lie over a portion of the chest 214 and back 202 of the wearer 200 and to move with the wearer 200 as the wearer carries on his/her activities. Examples of suitable materials include, but are not limited to, leather, vinyl, nylon, synthetic knits, cotton or combinations thereof. The second material is also substantially flexible and is somewhat resilient so as to return substantially to its original shape after stretching to conform to various differently configured personal items. Examples of suitable materials include, but are not limited to, elastic, spandex, nylon, synthetic knits, or blends or combinations thereof. In certain embodiments, the first and second materials can be the same or can be similar in flexibility and resilience.

The rear portion 108 can be formed from a flexible material that can be the same as or different than either the first or second material forming the front portion 106. The shoulder strap 126 can be formed from a somewhat flexible material that is either stretchable or not stretchable. Preferably if the material is flexible, the material is also somewhat resilient. Examples of stretchable materials include, but are not limited to, rubber, elastic or spandex.

Referring to FIG. 5, an alternative embodiment of a carrier 500 is shown. The carrier 500 includes a partial vest body 502 having a front portion 506 and a rear portion 508. Pouches 522 with flaps 534 are formed between a forward face and rearward face of the front portion 506. The front portion 506 and the rear portion 508 define an arm hole 507 therebetween. An adjuster 514 adjustably attaches the rear portion 508 to the front portion 506 so as to adjust the relative positions of the front portion 506 and the rear portion 508 allowing the carrier 500 to adapt to different wearer sizing. In this implementation, the front portion 506 and rear portion 508 are separate portions joined to one another. At the top of the carrier 500 the front and rear portions are sewn together and at the bottom of the carrier 500 the front and rear portions are connected by the adjuster 514. In other implementations, the front and rear portions can be detachable from one another at either or both of the top and bottom of the carrier 500.

The carrier 500 further includes a shoulder strap 526 attached to the rear portion 508. The strap 526 is configured to be worn in a similar manner as the shoulder strap 126 described in reference to the carrier 100 shown in FIG IA. The strap 526 includes an adjuster 530 in this implementation, a ring and loop friction style buckle.

The front portion 506 is formed from a first material forming a forward face and a second material forming a rearward face. The first material of the forward face together with the second material of the rearward face define the three pouches 522 that are accessible through the pouch openings formed in the forward face. Other implementations can include more or fewer pouches of the same or different configurations. The second material can exhibit properties which include a greater flexibility than that of the first material. As a result, the second material can be substantially more conformable than the first material to an item placed in the pouches 522, such that a “bulge” formed from the item placed therein tends to project out the rearward face rather than the forward face, maintaining a substantially smooth forward face.

The carrier 500 and carrier 100 are somewhat similar embodiments, but there are some differences. For example, the configuration of the rear portion 108 in the carrier 100 is wider than the rear portion 508 of the carrier 500 and is integrated with the front portion 106. The rear portion 508 of the carrier 500 is formed more like a strap, which can be preferable for some applications. For example, a carrier 500 configured for a child may benefit from the narrower rear portion 508. Also, the more strap-like rear portion 508 may make the carrier 500 even less visible underneath a layer of clothing. The pouch 522 at the lower right of the front portion 506 does not include a flap closure 534, but rather has an exposed opening 535, for example, to minimize excess fabric in this region of the carrier 500. An adjuster 514 is used in this carrier 500 as compared to the carrier 100. The adjuster is a friction buckle, although, as previously mentioned, any different configuration of adjuster can be used. There is also an aesthetic difference between the carriers 100 and 500, in that the carrier 500 has been styled with square corners and straight lines. A carrier as described herein can be formed with any different variation on the styling, and the embodiments shown are merely exemplary and not limiting.

Referring to FIG. 6, another alternative embodiment of a carrier 600 is shown. The carrier 600 includes a partial vest body 602 having a front portion 606, a rear portion 608 and pouches 622, some of which are secured closed by flaps 634. The front portion 606 and the rear portion 608 define an arm hole 607 therethrough. The carrier 600 further includes a shoulder strap 626 configured to worn by the wearer in a similar manner as the shoulder strap 126 described in reference to the carrier 100 shown in FIG. 1A.

The front portion 606 is formed from a first material forming a forward face and a second material forming a rearward face. The first material of the forward face together with the second material of the rearward face define the three pouches 622 that are accessible through the pouch openings formed in the forward face. Other implementations can include more or fewer pouches of the same or different configurations. The second material can exhibit properties which include a greater flexibility than that of the first material. As a result, the second material can be substantially more conformable than the first material to an item placed in the pouches 622, such that a “bulge” formed from the item placed therein tends to project out the rearward face rather than the forward face, maintaining a substantially smooth forward face.

The rear portion 608 includes an adjuster 618. In this implementation, the adjuster 618 is a multiple hole and pin style buckle. The adjuster 618 adjusts the length of the rear portion 608. Holes 619 allow the adjuster 618 to adjust the relative length of the rear portion 608 allowing the carrier 600 to adapt to different wearer sizing. The configuration and position of the adjuster 618 is a major difference between the embodiment of the carrier 500 shown in FIG. 5 and the embodiment shown here in FIG. 6. The rear portion 608 is connected to the front portion 606 by an aperture 628 formed in the bottom of the front portion 606, and the rear portion 608 is free to move within the aperture 628. The rear portion 608 is fixedly attached to the front portion 606 at the top, in this embodiment, by sewing the two portions together. The adjuster 618 is positioned approximately midway along the length of the rear portion 608, just below where the shoulder strap 626 connects to the rear portion. Adjusting the length of the rear portion 608 either pulls the shoulder strap 626 closer to or pushes the shoulder strap 626 away from the front portion 606.

In certain embodiments, the front face of the front portion of the partial vest body may be made from the same material as the rearward face of the front portion. In certain embodiments, the materials used to make the front face and the rearward face of the front portion of the partial vest body can be the same or similar in flexibility and resilience. In certain embodiments, the front face of the front portion can be made of a material that exhibits greater flexibility than the rearward face of the front portion of the partial vest body.

We also claim the ornamental design for a carrier shown in FIGS. 1A-4, a carrier shown in FIG. 5 and a carrier shown in FIG. 6.

A number of embodiments of the invention have been described. Nevertheless, it will be understood that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.





 
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