Title:
CONVERTIBLE ATHLETIC RUNNING PANTS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Convertible athletic running/cycling pants facilitate a rapid change from full-length pants to shorts in response to temperature changes encountered during an activity. Garments according to the invention feature an upper portion with a waistband and two full-length leg portions, each leg portion having a lower section terminating in an open end. Each leg portion includes a circumferential line of detachment located generally above a wearer's knee, enabling the lower sections to be removed and the upper section retained to be worn as a pair of shorts. Each lower leg portion further includes a line of separation extending between the circumferential line of detachment and the open end, enabling the lower portions to be removed from the upper portion, thereby converting the garment into shorts. In the preferred embodiments, the line of separation on each lower portion is a zipper or other fastener that operates from top to bottom, enabling a rapid conversion without bunching of the material making up each lower portion. In one configuration, the lines of separation are located on the outer sides of the lower portions, enabling the user to reach down on each side and remove the lower portions even while engaged in an athletic activity. In an alternative configuration, the lines of separation are located on the inner sides of the lower portions, with a second line of separation being provided on the outer sides. This second line of separation terminates before reaching the circumferential line of detachment, enabling the pants with the lower sections attached to be donned and removed over one's shoes. The embodiments just discussed may be provided on running pants, which are generally loose-fitting, or cycling pants, which are generally tight-fitting.



Inventors:
Marshall, Robert M. (Plymouth, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/531396
Publication Date:
04/24/2008
Filing Date:
09/13/2006
Assignee:
Diggsportswear, Inc.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/267, 2/227
International Classes:
A41D1/06; A41D27/26
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DINSMORE & SHOHL LLP (TROY, MI, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. Convertible athletic pants for running, cycling and other activities, comprising: an upper portion with a waistband; two leg portions, each leg portion having an outer side, an inner side, and upper section, and a lower section terminating in an open end above a foot of the wearer; a circumferential line of detachment located generally above each knee of a wearer, each circumferential line of detachment connecting the upper portion to a respective one of the leg portions; a first line of separation located along the inner or outer side of each lower leg portion, each first line of separation extending between a respective one of the open ends and a circumferential line of detachment, the lines of detachment and separation enabling the leg portions to be removed from the upper portion as separate panels of material, with the upper section retained as a pair of shorts.

2. The convertible athletic pants of claim 1, wherein the lines of separation are operated from top to bottom.

3. The convertible athletic pants of claim 1, wherein the lines of separation are zippers operated from top to bottom.

4. The convertible athletic pants of claim 1, wherein: the first lines of separation are located along the inner sides of the leg portions; and further including a second line of separation on the outer side of each leg portion, each second line of separation terminating before reaching the circumferential line of detachment, enabling the pants with the leg sections attached to be donned and removed over one's shoes.

5. The convertible athletic pants of claim 1, wherein the upper portion includes a back portion with one or more pockets to hold the leg portions following removal.

6. The convertible athletic pants of claim 1, wherein the circumferential lines of detachment are implemented with zippers.

7. The convertible athletic pants of claim 1, wherein the circumferential lines of detachment are implemented with snaps.

8. The convertible athletic pants of claim 1, wherein the first lines of separation are implemented with zippers.

9. The convertible athletic pants of claim 4, wherein the second lines of separation are implemented with zippers.

10. The convertible athletic pants of claim 4, wherein the second lines of separation are implemented with snaps.

11. The convertible athletic pants of claim 1, wherein each circumferential line of detachment and each line of separation is covered with an inner flap of material, an outer flap of material, or both.

12. The convertible athletic pants of claim 1, wherein the upper portion and the leg portions are intentionally loose-fitting, but for the waistband.

13. The convertible athletic pants of claim 1, wherein: the upper portion and the leg portions are intentionally tight-fitting; and further including a padded seat portion for cycling use.

14. The convertible athletic pants of claim 1, wherein: the upper portion and the leg portions are intentionally tight-fitting; and further including a circumferential band of elastic material located at or above each circumferential line of separation.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to athletic pants and, in particular, to convertible athletic running/cycling pants.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

While convertible trousers do exist, they are not optimized for running and cycling activities. U.S. Pat. No. 4,766,613 discloses trousers having a flexible upper part with two lower portions intending for covering the upper leg of the wearer. The trousers also include a pair of flexible lower parts each intended for encompassing a lower leg of the user. The pair of lower parts is detachably connected to the upper portion lower parts by the use of a pair of strips of pile fastening material connected to the inner surface of the lower portions of the flexible upper part, and a pair of hook fastening material strips connected to the outer surface of the pair of flexible lower parts. No vertical lines of separation are provided, however.

There are many situations where an individual needs full pant coverage at the beginning of an extended exercise session, but desires a change into shorts to allow for proper cooling as body temperature increases. These situations intensify with changing temperatures and environmental conditions. During such times, many active individuals participate in competitive events and/or activities which require fuller coverage to warm up before deciding to change into shorts. A system that effectively accommodates this need and expedites this transition would be highly welcome by the athletic community.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention is directed to convertible athletic running/cycling pants that facilitate a rapid change from full-length pants to shorts in response to temperature changes encountered during an activity. Garments according to the invention feature an upper portion with a waistband and two full-length leg portions, each leg portion having a lower section terminating in an open end. Each leg portion includes a circumferential line of detachment located generally above a wearer's knee, enabling the lower sections to be removed and the upper section retained to be worn as a pair of shorts.

Each lower leg portion further includes a line of separation extending between the circumferential line of detachment and the open end, enabling the lower portions to be removed from the upper portion, thereby converting the garment into shorts. In the preferred embodiments, the line of separation on each lower portion is a zipper or other fastener that operates from top to bottom, enabling a rapid conversion without bunching of the material making up each lower portion.

In one configuration, the lines of separation are located on the outer sides of the lower portions, enabling the user to reach down on each side and remove the lower portions even while engaged in an athletic activity. In an alternative configuration, the lines of separation are located on the inner sides of the lower portions, with a second line of separation being provided on the outer sides. This second line of separation terminates before reaching the circumferential line of detachment, enabling the pants with the lower sections attached to be donned and removed over one's shoes.

The embodiments just discussed may be provided on running pants, which are generally loose-fitting, or cycling pants, which are generally tight-fitting. The latter configurations further include a reinforced seat and optional elastic leg bands at or near the circumferential line of detachment to prevent the material from riding up, particularly when converted to shorts. One or more rear pockets provide a convenient place for the lower portions of the pants to be stored after removal, thus eliminating a need to leave behind any unneeded garments. Flaps of material are preferably provided on the outside and inside over the lines of separation, thereby keeping out moisture and acting as a protective barrier between the pants and individual especially when zippers are used for separation purposes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 1B is a perspective view of FIG. 1A showing areas of separation;

FIG. 2A is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2B is a perspective view of FIG. 1A showing areas of separation;

FIG. 3 shows the pants of FIG. 2 converted into shorts with lower leg portions removed;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the back side of the embodiment of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the back side with the lower leg portions stored in respective rear pockets;

FIG. 6A is a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention intended for cycling;

FIG. 6B is a perspective view of FIG. 6A showing areas of separation;

FIG. 7A is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the invention suited to cycling;

FIG. 7B is a perspective view of FIG. 1A showing areas of separation; and

FIG. 8 is drawing that shows protective cover flaps.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

This invention generally relates to athletic pants that can be easily converted into shorts during sporting events or exercise sessions. FIG. 1A is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the invention, and FIG. 1B shows areas of separation. The pants, depicted generally at 2, include an upper portion 4 with an upper waistband 6 and two lower leg portions 8, 10 terminating in open ends 30, 32. Each lower leg portion 8, 10 is separable from the upper portion 4 at respective circumferential lines of detachment 12, 14.

Each lower leg portion 8, 10 further includes lines of separation extending upwardly from a respective one of the open ends 30, 32. These lines of separation, only one of which (24) is visible in FIG. 1, terminate at the circumferential line of detachment, enabling the lower portions to be removed from the upper portion as separate generally rectangular panels of material. The circumferential lines of detachment are positioned at or above the knees of a wearer, preferably on the order of 3-8 inches above the knees. The lines of separation are preferably aligned on or near the outer seams, shown at 20 with respect to the upper portion 4. An inseam is shown at 22.

The various lines of detachment and separation may be implemented using any appropriate mechanism, including zippers, snaps, or hook & loop fasteners, either continuous or intermittent. In the preferred embodiment, the circumferential lines of detachment use snaps or zippers; whereas the vertical lines of separation are implemented with zippers. When zippers are used for removal purposes, they may operate from bottom-to-top or top-down. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, a bottom-up operation allows the outer sides to be opened partially, for over over-shoe donning or removal. More preferably, however, operation occurs from top-to-bottom, allowing the user to pull zipper tab 26 away from the top portion 4 without the material bunching or resistance that might occur through pulling up. In all embodiments, all zipper or snap portions preferably incorporate an inner 402 and outer 404 flap of material covering to prevent any chaffing or discomfort from pull tab 400 of other components during activity.

FIG. 2A is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the invention, and FIG. 2B is a perspective view of FIG. 2A showing areas of detachment and separation. The pants, depicted generally at 102, include an upper portion 104 with an upper waistband 106 and two lower leg portions 108, 110 terminating in open ends 130, 132. Each lower leg portion 108, 110 is separable from the upper portion 104 at respective circumferential lines of detachment 112, 114. Each lower leg portion 108, 110 in this case includes first and second lines of separation extending upwardly from a respective one of the open ends 130, 132.

Each first line of separation, located at or near each inseam, extends to a respective one of the circumferential lines of detachment, enabling the lower portions to be removed from the upper portion as separate panels of material, as shown in the lower portion of FIG. 3, One such line of detachment is depicted at 118 (FIG. 2B), below inseam 122. While this line of separation may operate from bottom to top, it is preferably undone from top-to-bottom to minimize bunching and expedite removal. Second lines of separation, 116, 117, extend for 6-8 inches, more or less, and terminate before reaching a respective one of the circumferential lines of detachment. These second lines of detachment, located at or near the outer seams such as 120, enable the pants with the lower sections attached to be donned and removed over one's shoes past open edges 124.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the back side of the embodiment of FIG. 2. Two rear pockets 108, 110, located below the waistband 106 act as storage compartments for the detached lower leg portions. FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the back side with the lower leg portions stored in respective rear pockets. This feature enables the athlete to continue activity conveniently and reattach the lower pants as desired while not requiring any additional equipment to store clothing such as an external storage back, thereby not increasing an individual's weight which may hinder performance. The rear pockets could be made of a mesh material but ideally would incorporate a waterproof lining in order to eliminate moisture accumulation during activity. In the preferred embodiment the top edge of the pocket would be 0-1 inch below the elastic waistband. The pockets should be approx. 6-8 inches in horizontal length below the elastic waistband and 5-8 inches in vertical depth. Although FIGS. 4 and 5 apply directly to FIG. 2, the same pocket configurations would be provided on the other embodiments despite the different detachment and separation configurations.

For running, jogging and other such activities, the pant material can be comprised of nylon, polyester, cotton, Lycra® or a combination thereof. The pants may also be lined with a mesh, cotton, waterproof or moisture-wicking material to enhance comfort and prevent chaffing. The mesh lining would be optional, depending on the season and/or weather conditions, or the need for increased comfort, warmth or to remain dry.

In the alternative embodiments depicted in FIGS. 6 and 7, the athletic pants may be geared toward cycling. These garments are typically tighter-fitting and are composed of Lycra® or other elastic materials. FIG. 6A is a perspective view of one such embodiment, and FIG. 6B is a perspective view showing areas of separation. The pants, depicted generally at 200, include an upper portion 204 with an upper waistband 206 and two lower leg portions 208, 210 terminating in open ends 230, 232. Each lower leg portion 208, 210 is separable from the upper portion 204 at respective circumferential lines of detachment 212, 214.

Each lower leg portion 208, 210 further includes lines of separation extending upwardly from a respective one of the open ends 230, 232. These lines of separation, only one of which (224) is visible in FIG. 6, terminate at the circumferential line of detachment, enabling the lower portions to be removed from the upper portion as separate generally rectangular panels of material shown in FIG. 6B. The circumferential lines of detachment are positioned at or above the knees of a wearer, preferably on the order of 3-8inches above the knees. The lines of separation are preferably aligned on or near the outer seams, shown at 220 with respect to the upper portion 204. An inseam is shown at 22. Though not visible in the Figure, a circumferential band of elastic material is optionally provided at or above each circumferential line of detachment to keep the lower edges from riding up following conversion into shorts.

The various lines of detachment and separation may be implemented using any appropriate mechanism, including zippers, snaps, or hook & loop fasteners, either continuous or intermittent. In the preferred embodiment, the circumferential lines of detachment use snaps or zippers; whereas the vertical lines of separation are implemented with zippers. When zippers are used for removal purposes, they may operate from bottom-to-top or top-down. In the embodiment of FIG. 6, a bottom-up operation allows the outer sides to be opened partially, for over over-shoe donning or removal. More preferably, however, operation occurs from top-to-bottom, allowing the user to pull the zipper tab away from the top portion 204 without the material bunching or encountering resistance that might occur through pulling up. In all embodiments, all zipper or snap portions preferably incorporate the flaps of material shown in FIG. 8. A chamois type pad 236 would cover the groin area, allowing for increased comfort during cycling. The chamois may be comprised of gel or foam or other applicable material.

FIG. 7A is a perspective view showing a different cycling embodiment, and FIG. 7B shows areas of detachment and separation associated therewith. Each lower leg portion is separable from the upper portion at respective circumferential lines of detachment 312, 314. Each lower leg portion in this case includes first and second lines of separation such as 334 extending upwardly from a respective one of the open ends. Each first line of separation, low located at or near each inseam, extends to a respective one of the circumferential lines of detachment, enabling the lower portions to be removed from the upper portion as separate panels of material, as shown in FIG. 7B. While this line of separation may operate from bottom to top, it is preferably undone from top-to-bottom to minimize bunching and expedite removal. Second lines of separation, such as 324, extend for 6-8 inches, more or less, and terminate before reaching a respective one of the circumferential lines of detachment. These second lines of detachment, located at or near the outer seams, enable the pants with the lower sections attached to be donned and removed over one's shoes.





 
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