Title:
Wristband for holding carbohydrate gel packs
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A food packet assembly consists of a wristband having at least two slots, formed by elements of an elastically expansible material, and a carbohydrate energy gel pack securely, but removably, held in each of the wristband slots.



Inventors:
Toce, Denise J. (South Windsor, CT, US)
Application Number:
11/542448
Publication Date:
04/03/2008
Filing Date:
10/03/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C13/30
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SKURDAL, COREY NELSON
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
IRA S. DORMAN, Esq. (Manchester, CT, US)
Claims:
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed is:

1. A food packet assembly comprised of a band and a plurality of food-containing sealed packets; said band comprising a base strip having opposite end portions joined to one another, and a plurality of elongate elements made from an elastically expansible material and having opposite end portions that are effectively affixed to said base strip so as to dispose said elongate elements in endwise, effectively adjacent relationship to one another and so as to form, with said base strip, a plurality of slots, one of said food-containing packets being removably held within each of said slots.

2. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said band has a circumferential length of about 6½ to 8½ inches.

3. The assembly of claim 2 consisting of two of said elongate elements, two of said slots, and two of said packets, each of said slots being about 1¾ to 2¼ inches long.

4. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said base strip is made from an elastically expansible material.

5. The assembly of claim 4 wherein said elastically expansible material of said base strip has a roll-resisting character.

6. The assembly of claim 4 wherein said opposite end portions of at least said base strip are permanently joined to one another.

7. The assembly of claim 6 wherein said means of affixation is sewing.

8. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said plurality of elongate elements are all provided by a single, second strip of elastically expansible material affixed in superposed relationship on one face said base strip, the means of affixation of said second strip to said base strip defining said effectively adjacent opposite end portions of said elongate elements.

9. The assembly of claim 8 wherein said base strip and said second strip are both of regular rectilinear form, wherein said second strip is substantially narrower than said base strip, wherein said strips have longitudinal centerlines that are substantially aligned with one another, and wherein said strips are of substantially the same length.

10. The assembly of claim 9 wherein said base strip has a width of about 1 inch and said second strip has a width of about 1½ inch.

11. The assembly of claim 8 wherein said base strip and said second strip are both made from an elastic fabric.

12. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said packets contain a carbohydrate energy gel.

13. A band for holding a plurality of food-containing sealed packets, said band comprising a base strip having opposite end portions joined to one another, and a plurality of elongate elements made from an elastically expansible material and each having opposite end portions that are effectively affixed to said base strip so as to dispose said elongate elements in endwise, effectively adjacent relationship to one another and so as to form, with said base strip, a plurality of slots, each of said slots being constructed to removably hold a food-containing packet and thereby to enable the provision of a food packet assembly.

14. The band of claim 13 consisting of two of said elongate elements, each of said slots being about 1¾ to 2¼ inches long.

15. The band of claim 14 wherein said base strip of material is about 7 to 9 inches long.

16. The band of claim 13 wherein said base strip is made from an elastically expansible material.

17. The band of claim 16 wherein said elastically expansible material has a roll-resisting character.

18. The band of claim 16 wherein said opposite end portions of base strip are permanently joined to one another.

19. The band of claim 18 wherein the means for affixing said elongate elements and for joining said opposite end portions of said base strip is sewing.

20. The band of claim 13 wherein said plurality of elongate elements are all provided by a single, second strip of elastically expansible material affixed in superposed relationship on one face of said base strip, the means of affixation of said second strip to said base strip defining said effectively adjacent opposite end portions of said elongate elements.

21. The band of claim 20 wherein said base strip and said second strip are both of regular rectilinear form, wherein said second strip is substantially narrower than said base strip, wherein said strips have longitudinal centerlines that are substantially aligned with one another, and wherein said base strip and second strip are of substantially the same length and are both made from an elastic fabric.

22. The band of claim 21 wherein said base strip of material is about 1 inch wide and each of said plurality of elongate elements is about ½ inch wide.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Carbohydrate gel products, contained in individual sealed packets, are widely used by long-distance runners, and others, to supply a quick energy charge. It is common practice for runners to pin several such packets (so-called “carbohydrate energy gel packs”) under the waistbands of their shorts, to make them readily accessible while still being somewhat confined.

This practice is less than satisfactory, however, for a number of reasons: the packets tend to become displaced, and to move and flap about in a distracting and annoying manner; they are not optimally accessible; and the tricky process of opening a safety pin (by which the gel pack is usually attached) while running sometimes causes loss of the gel pack and may cause sticking of the runner.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is a broad object of the present invention to provide a novel, body-worn device for securely, but releasably, holding a plurality of food-containing packets, and to provide a novel assembly of such a device and a plurality of packets.

More specific objects of the invention are to provide such a device and assembly wherein the device is in the form of a cuff or wristband for encircling the wearer's lower arm, adjacent to his or her wrist, and wherein the food-containing packets are carbohydrate energy gel packs.

It is also an object of the invention to provide such a wristband which is comfortable to wear, is of incomplex construction, and is readily and inexpensively manufactured.

It has now been found that certain of the foregoing and related objects of the invention are attained by the provision of a food packet assembly comprised of an arm-encircling band and a plurality of food-containing sealed packets. The band comprises a base strip of material, which will preferably be elastically expansible, having opposite end portions joined to one another, and a plurality of elongate elements made from an elastically expansible material and having opposite end portions that are effectively affixed to the base strip so as to dispose the elongate elements in endwise, effectively adjacent relationship to one another and so as to form, in cooperation with the base strip, a plurality of slots. One of the food-containing packets is removably held within each of the slots of the band.

When the base strip of material is elastically expansible, its opposite end portions will desirably be permanently joined to one another. The base strip will preferably be made from an elastic fabric, which will most desirably have a roll-resisting character.

In certain embodiments of the invention the plurality of elongate elements will all be provided by a single overlying strip of elastically expansible material, affixed in superposed relationship to one face of the base strip, the means of affixation serving to define the adjacent end portions of the elongate elements. The overlying strip of material will preferably be substantially narrower than the base strip, with the longitudinal centerlines of regular rectilinear strips being substantially aligned with one another.

In especially desirable embodiments, the base strip and the overlying strip will be of substantially the same length, will both made from an elastic fabric, and will be affixed to one another by sewing. The wristband itself will normally have a circumferential length, in its unexpanded state, of about 6½ to 8½ inches, the base strip will be about 1 inch wide, and each of the plurality of elongate elements will be about ½ inch wide and about 2 inches long, so as to provide slots that are about 1¾ to 2¼ inches in length. In the most preferred embodiments, the wristband will have two slots and the food packets will contain a carbohydrate energy gel.

Additional objects of the invention are attained by the provision of a wristband having the foregoing features and advantages.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view showing a wristband embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view, drawn to a reduced scale, showing the strips of material from which the wristband is constructed;

FIG. 3 is a rear perspective view of the wristband, drawn to the scale of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a top (or bottom) view of the wristband;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing an assembly embodying the invention, consisting of the wristband described and two carbohydrate energy gel packs held therein; and

FIG. 6 depicts a runner wearing, on each arm, a wristband assembly embodying the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED AND ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT

Turning now in detail to the appended drawings, therein illustrated (in FIGS. 1, and 3 through 6) is a wristband, generally designated by the numeral 10, embodying the present invention and comprised (as best seen in FIG. 2) of a relatively wide base strip 12 made of an elastically expansible fabric material having non-roll properties, and a relatively narrow overlying strip 14 that is also made of an elastically expansible material, the wider strip 12 being slightly longer than the narrower strip 14. As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 3, top strip 14 is superposed against the outer face of base strip 12, and is sewn thereto by two parallel lines of stitching 16; the lines of stitching 16 extend along opposite end portions of the assembly only, each such portion constituting about one quarter of the entire strip length.

The ends of the strip assembly are sewn together at 18, to form a continuous band. Three crosswise lines of stitching are provided at 20a, 20b and 20c, and serve to define the opposite ends of two slots 22 formed between the cooperating elements of the strips 12, 14.

As seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, a carbohydrate energy gel pack, generally designated by the numeral 24 and comprised of a flexible container of peripherally heat-sealed foil/plastic laminate construction, is received in each slot 22 and securely held between the cooperating elastic elements provided by the strips 12, 14 and defined by the lines of stitching 20a, 20b and 20c. The gel packs are typically about 2½ inches wide, 5 inches long, and ½ inch thick, and contain 1.4 ounces of the gel; one such product is commercially available under the POWER BAR trademark. As seen in FIG. 6, a packet assembly is worn on each of the runner's forearms, making four gel packs available and readily accessible to her.

A wristband constructed to hold two gel packs is regarded to be optimal, as enabling both packs to be located on the upper side of the arm. However three, or even four, slots for packets may be provided, whether or not they are actually employed in practice.

As noted previously, the strips 12, 14 will typically be about 7 to 9 inches long and may suitably be used to form three different sizes of wristbands, having circumferential lengths of about 6½, 7½ and 8½ inches (about ¼ to ½ inch of the strip material being utilized in the overlapped sewn areas). The base and overlying strips will typically be about 1 inch and ½ inch in width, respectively, and the lines of crosswise stitching will typically be about 2 inches apart. Needless to say, to be elastically expansible the band, or the component strips, need not be made entirely of an elastic material, but may instead be comprised of one or more elastic sections connected to one or more nonelastic sections. Also, it will be appreciated that all of the dimensions disclosed herein may vary substantially, as may be deemed necessary or desirable.

As noted above, the food packet will usually be fabricated from foil or metal/plastic foil laminate materials, conveniently heat sealed to one another for containing of the packaged product. As seen in FIG. 5, the packet will typically be formed with a spout having notches formed in the peripheral heat-seal area for initiating tearing.

Albeit permanently formed wristbands made in accordance with the present invention will usually be preferred, it will be appreciated that the ends of the assembled strips may be disengageably attached to one another, as by the use of hook-and-loop type (Velcro) fasteners, buckle arrangements, arrays of hooks and eyes or snap fasteners, and the like, thus enabling a single structure to be formed into bands having a range of circumferential lengths. It will be appreciated that, in such a construction, elastic expansibility of the band itself may be less important than when the strip ends are permanently joined to one another, and that, albeit still desirable for affording a stable and comfortable fit, the inner, base strip may, in such embodiments, be made in whole or in part from a nonexpansible material. The two-ply elastic assembly described herein may however advantageously enhance comfort to the wearer while, at the same time, maximizing the lifetime of the elastic property.

While the strips from which the wristband is constructed are depicted herein as being of regular, rectilinear form, nominally of 1 and ½ inch widths, it will be appreciated that irregular and curvilinear components may be employed instead. Also, while the present disclosure stresses the use of the wristband for carrying food products and, in particular, carbohydrate energy gel products, it will be appreciated that an assembly made in accordance with the invention may comprise packets containing other products. Finally, it will be understood from the foregoing disclosure that the term “wristband” is used herein in a broad and nonlimiting sense since, as described, the packet assemblies will usually be worn most comfortably in a position displaced somewhat above the wrist, in the mid-forearm region.

Thus, it can be seen that the present invention provides a novel, body-worn device for securely, but releasably, holding a plurality of food-containing packets, and a novel assembly consisting of such a device and plurality of packets. More specifically, the device of the invention comprises a cuff or wristband for encircling the wearer's lower arm adjacent his or her wrist, and the food-containing packets are, in particular, carbohydrate energy gel packs; the wristband is comfortable to wear, is of incomplex construction, and is readily and inexpensively manufactured.