Title:
PANTS WITH COOLING FEATURE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pair of pants including ventilation openings is disclosed. In one aspect, the pants include a right front panel connected to a right rear panel to form a right leg of the pants and a left front panel connected to a left rear panel to form a left leg of the pants. The right rear panel and the left rear panel each include a vent which extends downwardly from each rear panel and terminates at a downwardly directed opening, facilitating airflow through the pair of pants.



Inventors:
Dahan, Patricia Elizabeth (Temecula, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/680456
Publication Date:
05/22/2008
Filing Date:
02/28/2007
Assignee:
Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D1/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ANDERSON, AMBER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KLARQUIST SPARKMAN, LLP (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A pair of pants, comprising: a right front panel connected to a right rear panel to form a right leg of the pants; and a left front panel connected to a left rear panel to form a left leg of the pants, wherein the right rear panel and the left rear panel each includes a vent which extends downwardly from each rear panel and terminates at a downwardly directed opening to permit air to flow into and out of the left and right legs.

2. The pair of pants of claim 1, wherein each rear panel vent is covered with a mesh material.

3. The pair of pants of claim 2, wherein each leg includes a flap that at least substantially overlaps the mesh material.

4. The pair of pants of claim 3, wherein each flap extends beyond a lower edge of the mesh material.

5. The pair of pants of claim 1, wherein each rear panel vent extends downwardly from a point generally above the backside of a user's knee and terminates at an opening located generally below the backside of a user's knee.

6. The pair of pants of claim 5, wherein each rear panel vent terminates at approximately a user's mid-calf.

7. The pair of pants of claim 1, wherein each leg has an inseam and an outseam, and each rear panel vent extends substantially horizontally from the inseam to the outseam.

8. The pair of pants of claim 1, wherein each pant leg terminates at approximately below a user's ankle.

9. The pair of pants of claim 1, wherein each pant leg terminates above a user's ankle.

10. The pair of pants of claim 1, further comprising a waist-encircling waistband and a waistline vent extending substantially horizontally across the rear portion of the pants and proximate to the waistband to facilitate airflow through the pair of pants.

11. The pair of pants of claim 10, wherein the waistline vent is covered with a mesh material.

12. The pair of pants of claim 11, further comprising a waistline vent flap wherein the waistline vent flap at least substantially overlaps the mesh material.

13. The pair of pants of claim 12, wherein the waistline vent flap has a first edge and a second edge, the first edge is attached to the rear portion of the pants and the second edge is substantially free of attachment.

14. The pair of pants of claim 12, wherein the waistline vent flap includes a mid-portion, and the mid-portion of the waistline vent flap is secured to the rear portion of the pants by at least one fastening mechanism to control vent movement.

15. The pair of pants of claim 14, wherein the fastening mechanism is one selected from the group of a stitch, a hook and loop fastening material, a hook and eye latch, a snap, a button or a combination thereof.

16. The pair of pants of claim 15, wherein the fastening mechanism is a stitch.

17. The pair of pants of claim 1, wherein the panels of the pants are made of a breathable material.

18. The pair of pants of claim 17, wherein the breathable material is Climacool® fabric.

19. A pair of pants, comprising: a right front panel connected to a right rear panel to form a right leg of the pants; and a left front panel connected to a left rear panel to form a left leg of the pants, wherein the right rear panel and the left rear panel each include a vent which extends from a point above the backside of a user's knee to an opening located below the backside of the user's knee, each vent including an interior mesh material and a vent flap that covers the mesh material and at one end defines a generally downwardly directed opening to facilitate airflow through each leg.

20. The pair of pants of claim 19, wherein each vent flap extends at least slightly below a lower edge of the mesh material.

21. The pair of pants of claim 19, wherein each vent extends downwardly from a point above a user's back of a knee and terminates at an opening located below the user's back of the knee.

22. The pair of pants of claim 19, wherein each rear panel vent terminates at approximately a user's mid-calf.

23. The pair of pants of claim 19, wherein each pant leg terminates at approximately below a user's ankle.

24. The pair of pants of claim 19, wherein each pant leg terminates above a user's ankle.

25. The pair of pants of claim 19, further comprising a waistband that encircles a waist of a wearer of the pants and a waistline vent extending substantially horizontally across the rear portion of the pants and proximate to the waistband to facilitate airflow through the pair of pants.

26. The pair of pants of claim 25, wherein the waistline vent is covered with a mesh material.

27. The pair of pants of claim 26, further comprising a waistline vent flap wherein the waistline vent flap at least substantially overlaps the mesh material.

28. The pair of pants of claim 27, wherein the waistline vent flap has a first edge and a second edge, the first edge is attached to the rear portion of the pants and the second edge is substantially free of attachment.

29. The pair of pants of claim 27, wherein the waistline vent flap includes a mid-portion, and the mid-portion of the waistline vent flap is secured to the rear portion of the pants by at least one fastening mechanism to control vent movement.

30. The pair of pants of claim 19, wherein the panels of the pants are made of a breathable material.

31. The pair of pants of claim 19, wherein the breathable material is Climacool® fabric.

32. A pair of pants, comprising: a waist-encircling waistband; a pair of leg portions; and a mid-section encircling portion located between and connected to the waistband and leg portions, the mid-section encircling portion having a front portion and a rear portion, wherein the mid-section encircling portion has a vent extending substantially horizontally across the rear portion and proximate to the waistband to facilitate airflow through the pair of pants.

33. The pair of pants of claim 32, wherein the waistline vent is covered by a mesh material secured to the waistband and rear portion.

34. The pair of pants of claim 33, further comprising a waistline flap that at least substantially overlaps the mesh material.

35. The pair of pants of claim 34, wherein the waistline flap has a first edge and a second edge, and the first edge is attached to the waistband and the second edge is substantially free of attachment.

36. The pair of pants of claim 35, wherein the waistline flap includes a mid-portion, the mid-portion being secured to the mid-section circling portion below the mesh material by at least one fastening mechanism.

37. The pair of pants of claim 36, wherein the fastening mechanism is a stitch, a hook and loop fastening material, a hook and eye latch, a snap, a button or a combination thereof.

38. The pair of pants of claim 37, wherein the fastening mechanism is a series of stitches.

39. The pair of pants of claim 32, wherein the leg portions of the pants are made of a breathable material.

40. The pair of pants of claim 39, wherein the breathable material is Climacool® fabric.

41. The pair of pants of claim 32, wherein each pant leg terminates approximately at or above a user's knee.

42. The pair of pants of claim 32, wherein each pant leg terminates above a user's ankle.

Description:

REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of priority under 35 U.S.C. §119 to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/859,686 filed on Nov. 16, 2006, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD

The present disclosure relates to the field of apparel, and more particularly, to a pair of pants having a cooling feature.

BACKGROUND

One concern of individuals engaged in outdoor activities during moderate to high temperature conditions, is body heat. As a result of physical activity and exertion, substantial heat may be generated by a person's body. Thus, individuals engaged in outdoor activities, such as sporting events, often are concerned about heat generated from the external environment and heat generated internally due to physical exertion.

The human body relies upon evaporative cooling to combat excessive heat. For example, the human body begins to sweat once core body temperature reaches a certain level. The cooling action associated with sweat evaporation functions to lower body temperature. Sweat evaporation is dependent upon the relative humidity or water vapor pressure of the air in contact with the skin surface. Inadequate air flow (ventilation) causes the humidified air to become trapped in areas surrounding the skin, thereby inhibiting evaporation and cooling of the body. Inability to dissipate body heat during exercise, especially in a warm environment, can lead to an increase in body temperature and possibly adverse health conditions such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

A number of known body garments including body suits, jackets, shirts, pants, and the like have been designed to facilitate airflow by including one or more openings, generally referred to as vents, in the garment to allow additional air to flow through the garment. These garments are typically designed for bicyclists and motorcyclists. The vents are often adjustable so that a user may adjust the amount of airflow depending upon the surrounding conditions.

In addition to utilizing garments with specific airflow features, the body can be cooled by wearing less clothing. For example, a sports participant may choose to wear shorts instead of pants when competing or training in high temperatures. However, certain outdoor sporting events, such as golf, often require participants to abide by a particular dress code and therefore, do not allow participants to alter their clothing depending upon the weather. For example, male golfers are typically required to wear trousers (not shorts) when playing in a professional tournament or at a specific golf course. These requirements often result in golfers experiencing discomfort ranging from mild to severe when faced with playing in high temperatures for long periods of time.

Therefore, it would be desirable to provide an article of clothing that allows additional air to flow through the clothing, especially when the article is a pair of pants.

SUMMARY

A pair of pants including vents for cooling a wearer of the pants is disclosed. In one aspect, the pants include a right front panel connected to a right rear panel to form a right leg of the pants and a left front panel connected to a left rear panel to form a left leg of the pants. The right rear panel and the left rear panel each include a vent which extends downwardly from each rear panel and terminates at a downwardly directed opening, facilitating airflow through the pair of pants. In another aspect, the pants include a vent located in the vicinity of the waistband.

The foregoing and other features and advantages of the disclosure will become more apparent from the following detailed description, which proceeds with reference to the accompanying figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is front view of a pair of pants illustrating a waistline vent extending substantially horizontally across a rear portion of the pants and proximate to the waistband.

FIG. 2 is rear view of the pair of pants shown in FIG. 1, with one section thereof removed for purposes of illustration, in which the pants include a vent on each leg portion of the pant in addition to the waistline vent.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the pair of pants shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the pair of pants shown in FIG. 3 with sections thereof removed for purposes of illustration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

I. Introduction

The present disclosure provides a pair of pants with ventilation openings that allow additional air to flow through the clothing to provide cooling ventilation. In one embodiment, the ventilation openings are covered with mesh. In a preferred embodiment, the vents are positioned to provide additional ventilation to skin areas that produce more sweat than other areas such as the back of a user's knees. For example, vents are positioned to extend from the back of each knee to openings located below the knees. In a further example, a vent extends substantially horizontally across the rear portion of the pants and proximate to a waistband to facilitate airflow through the leg portions of the pants as well as to the lower back region of the user.

The vents included within the presently disclosed pants can be substantially concealed by flaps. The flaps can be formed out of the same fabric as the pants as a whole. This design allows the pants to appear as traditional pants while having the benefit of the additional cooling feature(s). For example, the disclosed pants in the form of trousers can be worn by a golfer who is participating in certain professional golf tournaments having a dress code that prohibits shorts. Further, the vents provide additional airflow through the trousers to help cool the golfer and thereby reduce or eliminate the discomfort often caused by high temperatures and/or high humidity.

II. Terms

Unless otherwise explained, all technical terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the disclosed subject matter belongs. As used herein, the singular terms “a,” “an,” and “the” include plural referents unless context clearly indicates otherwise. Similarly, the word “or” is intended to include “and” unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. Also, as used herein, the term “comprises” means “includes.” Hence “comprising A or B” means including A, or B, or A and B. In addition, the materials and examples described herein are illustrative only and not intended to be limiting.

As used herein, the term “pants” includes clothing for the body below the waist. In one example, “pants” refer to a long outer garment worn over the hips and legs that terminates below a user's ankle. Such “pants” with long pant legs can be referred to as trousers or slacks. In an additional example, “pants” denote an outer garment worn over the hips and legs that terminates above a user's ankle. For example, cropped pants or Capri pants. In a further example, “pants” denote an outer garment worn over the hips and legs that terminates approximately at slightly below, at or above a user's knee. Such “pants” can be referred to as a shorts, a skort or a skirt. Therefore, as defined herein, the term pants is used generically to include trousers, slacks, cropped pants, Capri pants, shorts, skorts or skirts. In the description of the present invention it will be appreciated from the context in which the term “pants” is used that the described features may not apply to all species of pants as defined herein. For example, the waistband vent is suitable for trousers, slacks, cropped pants, Capri pants, shorts, skorts, skirts, and the like, whereas the leg vents are suitable for trousers, slacks, cropped pants and Capri pants, but not for wearable bottoms lacking pant legs or pant legs of sufficient length (e.g., legs terminating approximately at or below a user's mid-calf).

III. Description of Several Embodiments

The present disclosure provides a pair of pants 100 including vents. In an embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the pair of pants 100 includes a right front panel 102 and left front panel 104. As shown in FIG. 2, the pair of pants 100 includes a left rear panel 106 and a right rear panel 108. In an example, the right front panel 102 is connected to the right rear panel 108 to form a right leg of the pants 100 and the left front panel 104 is attached to the right rear panel 106 to form a left leg of the pants 100. In an additional embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the pair of pants 100 can include a waistband 109 that partially encircles the wearer's waist.

With continued reference to FIG. 2, the left rear panel 106 and the right rear panel 108 of each preferably includes a rear panel vent or “knee” vent 110 (one shown) to facilitate airflow through the pants 100. The knee vents permit air to enter and exit the interior of the pants in the area behind each knee and areas adjacent each knee (as, for example, the lower hamstring and upper calf areas), each rear panel or knee vent 110 is covered with an air permeable material that permits passage of air therethrough.

As shown in FIG. 2, the air permeable material preferably is a mesh or perforated material 112. Most preferably, the mesh material is a stretchable mesh type of fabric so that the material will stretch with movement by the wearer. For example, the mesh material 112 may have a substantially open, stretchable texture such as a polyester mesh, nylon mesh, cotton mesh or a combination thereof. The use of stretchable fabric is particularly desirable for individuals that are engaged in physical activities such as playing golf which require large and/or rapid movement of their legs, arms, torso, and the like. The stretchable material improves the comfort and flexibility of the pants and thereby allows a wearer's movement not to be constrained by the pants 100.

It will be appreciated that the air permeable material preferably provides airflow openings large enough to promote easy airflow therethrough. Since the air permeable material preferably is covered by another fabric, such as a “breathable” fabric (e.g., ClimaCool® material; ClimaCool® is a registered trademark of adidas), it is not necessary for the air permeable material to have significant “wind breaking” or heat insulating properties.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, the mesh material 112 is secured to each rear panel, and preferably includes a first end 116 and a second end 118. The first end 116 preferably is secured to the rear panel in the area of the knee or above the knee while the second end 118 is secured to the rear panel below the knee. It is contemplated that the mesh material 112 may be secured to the rear panel by a variety of mechanisms including stitching, hook and loop fastening material, and other securing mechanisms known by one of ordinary skill in the art.

In a further embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, each rear panel includes a rear panel flap 114 that overlaps the mesh material 112. Each rear panel flap 114 includes a first end 119 and a second end 120. The first end 119 is attached to the rear panel, while the second end 120 is substantially free from attachment and provides a wide opening to facilitate airflow into and out of the interior of the pants in the area of the knee, calf or hamstring. In a preferred embodiment, each rear panel flap 114 substantially overlaps the mesh material 112 and is formed of the same material as the remaining pants in order to conceal or reduce the visibility of the vent 110. For example, each rear panel flap may extend about one inch below the second (lower) end of the mesh material. It will be appreciated that if the rear panel flap extends, for example, twelve inches below the mesh material, the ventilation feature likely will be less effective. A rear panel flap that terminates along the same line as the mesh material or above the lower end of the mesh material would expose the mesh and give the pants an unattractive appearance. The overlap and common fabric features are advantageous because they allow a wearer to appear to be wearing traditional pants while still having the benefit of the cooling feature.

It is contemplated that the pants and the rear panel flap 114 can be made of any material suitable for the particular activity for which the pants are designed. For example, nylon or other synthetic fibers either alone or in blend with cotton or other fibers can be used for the rear panel flap and pants. For instance, the pants and the rear panel flap may be constructed from ClimaCool® (registered trademark of adidas) material. ClimaCool® material is designed to conduct heat and sweat away from the body through a combination of heat and moisture-dissipating materials, micro-ventilation channels, and three-dimensional fabrics that allow air to circulate close to the skin. Water- and/or wind-resistant materials may be used, depending on the application.

With continued reference to FIGS. 3 and 4, each rear panel vent 110 extends downwardly and terminates at a downwardly directed opening. In one example, the rear panel vent extends from a point above the back of a knee and terminates at an opening located below the back of the knee. In an additional example, each rear panel vent terminates at approximately a user's mid-calf. Each rear panel vent preferably terminates at an opening that extends substantially horizontally across the rear panel and extends about one-half way around the leg, from inseam to outseam, to provide a relatively large vent and provide a construction conducive to causing the rear panel vent to lie largely against the rear panel (and not in a state of perpetual billowing). The location and construction of the vent is believed to create a certain amount of forced airflow as the wearer's normal walking movement moves the flap toward and away from the back of the knee. It will be appreciated that certain types of pants or wearable bottoms, such as skirts, skorts, and shorts, do not have pant legs of sufficient length to form leg vents in accordance with the present invention. Further, such types of pants already offer sufficient leg ventilation.

In another embodiment, airflow through each of the rear panel vents 110 is controllable by moving each vent from a first position to a second position. The first position may be an open position in which air is allowed to flow through the vent, and the second position may be a closed or partially closed position in which air is prevented from passing through the vent. This control feature is advantageous for it allows a wearer of the pants to alter the amount of ventilation depending upon the conditions. A golfer (for example) may prefer to close the knee vents at the start of a round of golf, when the golfer is not fully warmed up or weather conditions are cool, but partially open or fully open the vents as the golfer becomes warmed up or the ambient air temperature increases. In one example, the control mechanism is located at the knee vent opening to attach the open end of the knee vent to the rear panel to close the opening. This configuration allows vent movement to be controlled while still maintaining the general appearance of conventional pants. It is contemplated that various attachment mechanisms can be employed including a zipper, hook and loop fastening material, and a series of fasteners such as snaps, buttons, and the like.

In an additional embodiment, the pair of pants 100 includes an additional vent such as a waistline vent 121. For example, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the waistline vent 121 can extend substantially horizontally across the rear portion of the pants 100 and proximate to a waistband 109 to facilitate airflow through the waist area of the pants. It is contemplated that the waistline vent 121 may be covered with a mesh material 122 of a substantially open texture including polyester mesh, nylon mesh, cotton mesh or a combination thereof. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 4, the mesh material 122 has a first end 124 attached to the waistband 109 and a second end 126 attached to a seat portion of the pants 100. The mesh material can be attached by methods known to those of ordinary skill in the art including stitching. As with mesh material 112, the mesh material 122 preferably has openings large enough to facilitate easy airflow through the material. The primary purpose of the material is not to create a wind break barrier, heat insulation layer or water resistant barrier.

As illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the waistline vent 121 can be covered with a waistline vent flap 128. The waistline vent flap 128 includes a first edge 130 attached to the waistband 109 and a second edge 132 that is substantially free of attachment. This design facilitates airflow to the upper portion of the pants along the waistline as well as through the leg portions of the pants. In a preferred embodiment, the movement of the waistline vent flap 128 is controlled and the waistline vent flap 128 is configured to overlap or extend beyond the mesh material 122. In one example, the waistline vent flap extends below the lowermost edge of the mesh material by about one-half inch to hide the mesh material for aesthetic purposes and discourage external rain or moisture from entering the pants through the waistline vent. In another example, the waistline vent flap 128 optionally may be secured to a seat portion of the pants below the second end 126 by one or more fastening mechanisms to control vent movement. It is contemplated that various fastening mechanisms can be employed including a stitch, hook and loop fastening material, a hook and eye latch, a snap, a button or a combination thereof. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the fastening mechanism may consist of a seam 133 (FIG. 2) to secure a central portion of the vent flap 128 to the mesh material and/or one or more stitches 134 to tack the lower edge of the vent 121 to the seat portion of the pants. Further, as shown in FIG. 2, the waistline flap can be secured at multiple sites extending along the flap's lower edge to prevent the flap 128 from bellowing out under windy conditions. This optional feature and seam feature are advantageous for they allow the pants to appear as traditional pants (the waistline flap concealing or reducing the visibility of the waistline vent) while providing additional cooling to the wearer. They facilitate the vent lying flat against the pants while permitting airflow to enter and exit the vent openings.

In the illustrated embodiment, the waistline vent encircles about one-half of the waist, terminating at or in the vicinity of the left pocket line at one end and the right pocket line at the other end. It will be appreciated that the vent can be shortened.

In a further embodiment, a pair of pants including a pair of leg portions extending at least to the wearer's mid-thigh is disclosed (e.g., shorts or a skort). In this embodiment, the pair of pants includes a waistband that encircles a waist of a wearer of the pants and a mid-section encircling a portion located between and connected to the waistband and leg portions. The mid-section encircling portion can include a front portion and a rear portion. The mid-section encircling portion has a vent extending substantially horizontally across the rear portion and proximate to the waistband to facilitate airflow through the pair of pants. In an example, the vent is covered with mesh material which, in turn, is at least substantially overlapped with a flap as previously described above. It is contemplated that the vent and the body of the pants can be composed of breathable material such as Climacool® fabric.

In an additional embodiment, pants extending to at least to the wearer's mid-thigh are disclosed (e.g., a skirt). In this embodiment, the pants include a waistband that encircles a waist of a wearer of the pants and a mid-section encircling a portion located between and connected to the waistband and leg portions. The mid-section encircling portion can include a front portion and a rear portion. The mid-section encircling portion has a vent extending substantially horizontally across the rear portion and proximate to the waistband to facilitate airflow through the pants. In an example, the vent is covered with mesh material which, in turn, is at least substantially overlapped with a flap as previously described above. The vent and the body of the pants can be composed of breathable material such as Climacool® fabric.

Although the instant disclosure primarily concerns the use of the disclosed pants for an outdoor activity such as golf, it is contemplated that the pants are suitable for numerous activities such as hiking, tennis and walking.

In view of the many possible embodiments to which the principles of the disclosed invention may be applied, it should be recognized that the illustrated embodiments are only preferred examples of the invention and should not be taken as limiting the scope of the invention. Rather, the scope of the invention is defined by the following claims. We therefore claim as our invention all that comes within the scope and spirit of these claims.