Title:
Utility Belt
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A utility belt for use in supporting and retaining cooking utensils and cooking accessories. The utility belt (10) has a waistband (11). At least one holster (16) is coupled to the waistband (11). A removable tool insert (22) is located in the holster (16). The tool insert (22) is configured to receive a part of a cooking implement or tool (23, 25) to retain the cooking implement or tool. In a preferred form of the invention there are a plurality of holsters (16) at least some of which have a removal insert (22). The holster (16) can be attached to an upper pocket (14). The insert (22) has an uppermost mouth opening (28) into an otherwise enclosed space, which is configured to receive the part of the cooking tool or implement (23, 25) and in a preferred form to receive same in an interference fit.



Inventors:
Logan, Steven Eric (Wellington, NZ)
Brown, Alister Douglas Malcolm (Wellington, NZ)
Hovey, Richard Sidney (Wellington, NZ)
Application Number:
11/662247
Publication Date:
04/24/2008
Filing Date:
09/07/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/300, 224/236, 224/245, 224/251, 224/663
International Classes:
A45F5/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20030201287Electrical cord holding apparatusOctober, 2003Fisher
20120080467SLIDING SUPPORT FOR A TRANSPORTABLE BARBEQUEApril, 2012Irwin et al.
20060266779FOLD-UP TRAYNovember, 2006Mozer et al.
20130248571FASTENERSeptember, 2013Jones
20160000211PIGGYBACK CARRYING SYSTEM WITH CLOSABLE CIRCULAR WEBBED HARNESSJanuary, 2016Reyes
20150321593Cup Holder SupportNovember, 2015North
20070215657Model T. sleever bar holderSeptember, 2007Stewart
20170042313Handy ClipFebruary, 2017Brammer
20130292433WEARABLE SUPPORTSNovember, 2013Maguire et al.
20060243767Magnetic padNovember, 2006Mcmillan
20070267454Golf accessories interchange systemNovember, 2007Baiz



Primary Examiner:
LARSON, JUSTIN MATTHEW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Blakely Sokoloff Taylor & Zafman (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A utility belt including a waistband, at least one holster coupled to the belt and a removal tool insert in the holster, the tool insert being configured to receive a part of a cooking implement or tool to retain the cooking implement or tool.

2. A utility belt as claimed in claim 1 wherein there is a plurality of holsters at least some which each have a removable insert.

3. A utility belt as claimed in claim 1 wherein the insert includes an uppermost mouth opening into an otherwise enclosed space, the enclosed space being configured to receive said part of the cooking implement or tool.

4. A utility belt as claimed in claim 1 wherein the insert includes an uppermost mouth opening into an otherwise enclosed space, the enclosed space being configured to receive said part of the cooking implement or tool, and wherein the part of the cooking implement or tool is received in an interference fit.

5. A utility belt as claimed in claim 4 wherein the insert includes a body and a flap or wall hingedly coupled thereto.

6. A utility belt as claimed in claim 3 or 4 wherein the insert includes a body and a flap or wall is hingedly coupled to the body such that it is moveable from an “open” position to a “closed” position, the latter forming the enclosed space in which said part of the cooking implement or tool is engaged.

7. A utility belt as claimed in claim 5 wherein the holster within which the insert is located applies a force to the hinged wall to set up an interference fit between the insert and said part of cooking implement or tool.

8. A utility belt as claimed in claim 7 wherein the insert is made of a plastic material and the holster is made of a fabric material.

9. A utility belt as claimed in claim 7 further including at least one pocket for retention of cooking accessories.

10. A utility belt as claimed in claim 9 wherein one or more of the holsters are coupled to the pocket, the pocket being coupled to the belt.

11. A utility belt as claimed in claim 9 or 10 wherein the position of the pocket on the belt is adjustable.

12. A utility belt as claimed in claim 9 wherein one or more of the inserts each include a separate removable partition.

13. A utility belt as claimed in claim 12 wherein the insert is formed from a combination of plastic and metal materials.

14. A utility belt as claimed in claim 9 wherein the holsters are coupled to the waistband separate from the, at least one pocket.

15. A utility belt as claimed in claim 3 wherein the insert includes a channel for reception of part of an implement in the form of tongs.

16. A utility belt as claimed in claim 3 wherein a back wall extends upwardly beyond the mouth opening.

17. (canceled)

Description:

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a utility belt and more particularly a tool belt for holding grilling/barbecuing tools, utensils and grilling accessories.

Barbecue tool belts are known. For example, holster belts of the type normally associated with a builders tool belt are known from US design patents D384,809 D485,062 and D479,769. These known belts provide one or more holsters in which cooking implements and accessories (condiment, sauce and the like bottles) can be installed. With the belt extending the waist of a user the user has ready access to the cooking tools, implements as well as accessories such as sauce bottles, condiment containers etc.

As a result of being based on the conventional builders tool belt these holster type belts are not particularly suited for holding all of the tools which are found to be necessary for a person cooking a grill or barbecue. Furthermore, the holsters do not provide secure retention of the cooking tools. This can potentially constitute a danger to physical injury (to both the griller and bystanders) in the event of a tool (e.g. a knife or other tool with a sharp edge) slipping from the belt.

Still further the known belts become, because of the nature of the grilling/barbecue cooking procedure, dirty and stained. Known tool belts are extremely difficult to clean in order to provide a hygienic environment for retention of tools which during the grilling/barbecuing procedure come in contact with the foodstuffs being cooked.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a utility belt for use in supporting and retaining cooking utensils and cooking accessories whereby the problem of soiling of the tool belt by coming into contact with utensils carrying cooking fats, oils and the like and food residues is reduced.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a tool belt of the aforesaid type which provides a hygienic means of retaining utensils during normal grilling/barbecuing cooking procedures.

According to one broad aspect of the invention there is provided a utility belt including a waistband, at least one holster coupled to the belt and a removable tool insert in the holster, the tool insert being configured to receive a part of a cooking implement or tool to retain the cooking implement or tool.

In a preferred form of the invention there are a plurality of holsters at least some of which have a removable insert.

According to a preferred form of the invention the insert includes an uppermost mouth opening into an otherwise enclosed space, the enclosed space being configured to receive said part of the cooking implement or tool in an interference fit.

Preferably the insert is made of a body and a flap or wall hingedly coupled thereto. In the preferred form of the invention the holster within which the insert is located applies a force to the hinged wall to set up the interference fit between the insert and said part of the implement or tool.

The insert can be of a plastic material and the holster a fabric material.

Preferably the utility belt further includes at least one pocket for retention of cooking accessories. In one form of the invention one or more holsters are coupled to the pocket, the pocket being coupled to the belt. Preferably the position of the pocket on the belt is adjustable.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following more detailed description of the invention according to one embodiment reference will be made to the accompanying drawings in which: —

FIG. 1 is a perspective illustration of the utility belt in conjunction with cooking utensils and cooking accessories,

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a removable tool pocket removed from the utility belt,

FIG. 3 is a view of the tool pocket in its open configuration for cleaning purposes, and

FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 are illustrations of the tool pocket showing how different implements can be fitted within the tool pocket.

DESCRIPTION OF ONE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

The utility belt 10 has a waistband 11 which preferably has padded areas 12. A quick release buckle arrangement 13 is provided for assembling together the free ends of the waistband 11 when the waistband has been positioned about the waist of a user. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that different forms of quick release buckles can be used.

As can be seen in FIG. 1 the waistband supports an upper pocket 14 and to this is attached a lower pocket 15. In a preferred form of the invention the upper pocket 14 is adjustable in position on the waistband 11. In the preferred form of the invention the upper pocket 14 and lower pocket 15 are joined together as can be seen in FIG. 1. However, in another embodiment the pockets 14 and 15 could be separately coupled to the waistband 11.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the waistband 11 will, in accordance with conventional techniques, provide for adjustment of the length of the waistband 11.

In the preferred form of the invention the lower pocket 15 provides one, but preferably a plurality of holsters 16. In the illustrated form of the invention two holsters are provided by the pocket 15.

The two pockets 15 do not need to be of identical configuration and layout. For example, the other pocket 15 could be provided with maybe one holster for a tool insert (as hereinafter described) and another holster for a cooking accessory such as an oil bottle or the like. The actual configuration of the pockets 14 and 15 can vary, as will appreciated by those skilled in the art, and the present disclosure simply provides one of a variety of different configurations. However, as explained later, the shape and size of the holster 16 relative to a removable tool insert can have a bearing on the correct functionality of the tool insert.

For example, in the upper pocket 14, which is more readily visible in FIG. 1, there is provided two sleeves 17 (which can be adjustable by being, for example, elasticised) for condiment containers such as salt/pepper containers 18. Within this pocket 14 can also reside a smaller sleeve 19 for a cooking accessory such as a pocket or wine knife 20. Furthermore, there can be provided a pocket with a cover or flap 21, which provides a means of protecting and securing contents.

According to the present invention the holsters 16 into which cooking utensils or tools are located have a removable insert 22 (see FIG. 2). The insert 22 is removably located within the holster 16 and provides a pocket or enclosed space within which part of a cooking implement can be inserted. For example, in FIG. 1 one of the inserts 22 contains a pair of tongs 23, while the other insert 22 has a spatula or flipper 24. These tool inserts 22 with the associated tools are also shown in FIGS. 4 and 6 respectively. FIG. 5 shows the insert with a knife 25 located therein.

Not all of the holsters need include an insert. While the holsters 16 shown in FIG. 1 both include an insert 22 the holster 16 in the other pocket 15 may or may not include an insert. For example, one holster 16 without an insert could accommodate a cell phone.

The removable insert 22 is made from a material whereby it is durable, provides an enclosed space in which any food residues, cooking oils, fats or the like can be retained and thereby not come into contact with material from which the holster 16 is constructed. The insert is preferably made of a plastic material of a type whereby the insert 22 can be removed from the holster 16 and can be subjected to hot water such as in a dishwasher.

In the preferred form of the invention the insert 22 includes a moulded body 26 and a flap or wall 27 hingedly connected thereto. In the preferred form of the invention the body 26 and hinged wall 27 are moulded in one piece with an integral hinge 27a joining the ends thereof which are lowermost when the insert 22 is located in the holster 16.

In a preferred form of the invention the hinged wall 27 engages with the body 26 so as to provide a sealed joint between the edge of the hinged wall 27 and a surrounding wall of the body 26. In this manner an enclosed space is provided within the insert to not only receive and retain the cooking tool but also to retain any residue food material, fats, oils etc.

In a preferred form of the invention the insert 22 has an outwardly flared mouth 28. Not only does this provide for a wide opening through which the end of the cooking tool can be inserted (so as to guide the tool into the insert) but it also minimises, as far as possible, any contact between the tool and the surrounding material of the holster 16. To this end the insert 22 includes as part of wall 27 an upwardly projecting wall portion 29 which, once again, protects against any dirty part of the cooking tool coming in contact with surrounding material of the pocket 15/holster 16.

In the preferred form of the invention the dimensions and shape of the pocket 15, which will generally be formed from a suitable fabric, is such that when the insert 22 is inserted in to the holster 16, a tension is developed by the fabric pocket on the insert 22. This ensures that the hinged wall 27 remains in sealing contact with the body 26.

However, the tension developed by the fabric holster 16 can have a further function namely to apply a force to the insert 22 whereby the insert 22 securely grips the tool in an interference fit when the tool is placed in the insert. Consequently, the dimensional tolerances within the insert 22 when it is located within the holster 16 is such that the cooking tool needs to be firmly pushed into the insert 22. This is because the fabric and constructional dimensions/shape of the holster 16 ensure that a tension is developed when the tool is inserted so as to ensure that the insert 22 securely grips the tool. In this way the possibility of the tool accidentally falling out of the belt 10 is removed.

The insert 22 is, however, further configured so that the insert is multifunctional i.e. it can receive and retain various tool types. Consequently, the body 26 incorporates a channel or groove 30 into which the ends of tongs 23 can be engaged. The tongs are, therefore, retained within the channel 30 by the space between the floor of the channel and the wall 27 being slightly less than the cross-sectional dimension of the part of the tongs located in the insert. The give in the fabric of the holster allows the tongs to be pushed into the insert. However, the tension which is set up provides a reactive force which securely holds the tongs in the insert.

Furthermore, lands are provided either side of the channel 30 so as to provide a pair of surfaces 31 which oppose the inside surface 32 of the hinged wall 27. The space between surfaces 31 and 32 provides an area for reception of the blade of a knife 25 or blade of a flipper 24. The distance between surfaces 31 and 32 can be slightly less than the thickness of that part of the knife 25 or flipper 24 to be inserted into the insert 22.

Therefore, according to the present invention the removable inserts 22 provide for secure retention of tools and at the same time provide a removable and washable tool pocket which, substantially in normal use, prevents material of the utility belt which might otherwise become dirty or stain from coming into contact with the implement/tool.

The utility belt according to the present invention is thus safe and hygienic in that it holds tools securely yet enables parts of the belt which can, in normal use, become dirty to be removed and washed. In addition to this the utility belt provides for purpose-built pouches and pockets which can hold cooking accessories such as pepper grinders, salt dispensers, oil dispensers, containers for spice mixes, wine/pocket-knife, cell phone and any other accessory that the particular user may wish to have handy during the grilling operation. The belt provides for secure and hygienic retention of tools such as knife, flipper, spatula, tong set etc.

As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art the utility belt is open to modification yet still incorporate the inventive concepts. For example the insert 22 can be constructed in other forms. One form is have the insert made of pressed steel, or a combination of plastic and pressed steel. The two components of the insert can be separate and lock, or couple together prior to or during insertion into the holster. The join of the components would still ensure retention of any grease, cooking oil etc.

In a further modified form, a separate planar insert partition can be located in the insert against the lands 31 and ensure better retention of the knife. A partition of this type, or possibly a shaped partition, could also be useful for retaining other items like skewers, basting brush, thermometer etc.