Title:
Convertible bedding material cover system and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention comprises systems and methods of convertibly covering a bundle of bedding materials. The present invention's approach to covering a bedding material bundle maintains the bedding material bundle in a compacted state when the convertible cover is in an enveloping configuration. When the convertible cover is in a fillable disposition at least one of it's fillable integral compartments is available for providing multiple functionalities including being outspread and inflated to serve as a pillow, serving as a storage or transport container by being filled with a liquid, being configured with multiple fillable integral compartments separated by filters to serve as water purifier, and additional functions. The manner of converting involves at least partially closing at least one longitudinal seem to convert from the fillable disposition to the enveloping disposition, and at least partially opening at least one of the longitudinal seams to perform the opposite conversion.



Inventors:
Dreessen, Joel Adam (US)
Application Number:
11/656804
Publication Date:
07/24/2008
Filing Date:
01/22/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/658
International Classes:
A47G9/10; A47G9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TRETTEL, MICHAEL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KLOTZER PATENTS (ST. LOUIS, MO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A convertible cover for at least partially enveloping a bedding material bundle comprising: a convertibly configurable cover having an at least partially pliable exterior covering, a longitudinally extending openable first seam, and at least one fillable integral compartment with an interior capacity accessible through at least one closable first valve, said openable first seam being substantially opened when the convertible cover is in a first fillable configuration and at least partially closed when the convertible cover is in a first enveloping configuration, said fillable integral compartment being at least one of practically watertight and practically airtight when said first valve is closed; said first fillable configuration's substantially opened first seam permitting the convertible cover to be effectively outspread so that said bounded spatial volume is essentially unenveloped and said integral compartment's capacity is practically wholly fillable with a fluid; and said first enveloping configuration delimiting an at least partially bounded spatial volume adapted for a close cooperative interrelation with said bedding material bundle wherein said fillable integral compartment's interior capacity is largely vacant and said convertible cover and enveloped bedding material bundle are amply compacted.

2. The convertible cover according to claim 1, wherein said at least partially pliable exterior covering has at least first and second sides which said fillable integral compartment is disposed between, said first and second side's exterior surface constitutions differing in at least one relative attribute, said differing exterior surface attributes including said first side being more tactilely comfortable and said second side being more durable; and when the convertible cover is in said first enveloping configuration its externally exposed covering largely consists of said second side exterior surface while said at least partially bounded spatial volume's internally facing boundary largely consists of said first side exterior surface.

3. The convertible cover according to claim 1, wherein said at least partially pliable exterior covering has at least first and second sides which said fillable integral compartment is disposed between, said first side's exterior surface having a tactilely comfortable constitution; and said convertible cover, when outspread upon a supporting foundation in said first fillable configuration, can assume an arrangement corresponding to a conventional bed pillow with said first side exterior surface comprising a considerable majority of the convertible cover's upwardly exposed aspect and said fillable integral compartment dispositioned for inflating to provide cushioning underneath said considerable majority of the convertible cover's upwardly exposed aspect.

4. The convertible cover according to claim 1, wherein said convertible cover, when enveloping the bedding material bundle in said first enveloping configuration, assumes a spatial disposition that longitudinally extends comparably as far as said bedding material bundle's width and has relatively consistent transverse cross-sections, said transverse cross-sections oriented perpendicular to and continuing throughout a major fraction of the first enveloping configuration's longitudinal dimension; said convertible cover's first fillable configuration, when outspread in a generally prostrate disposition upon a generally planar foundation, extends at least a first span along said longitudinal dimension and at least a second span along a latitudinal dimension, said latitudinal second span being greater than twice the maximum diameter of said first enveloping configuration's transverse cross-sections.

5. The convertible cover according to claim 1, wherein said fillable integral compartment is disposed between first and second sides of said exterior covering, said first side adapted for use as a pillow surface when the convertible cover is in said first fillable configuration and the fillable integral compartment is at least partially inflated, said first side being more readily expandable than said second side so that inflating said fillable integral compartment when the convertible cover is in said first fillable configuration produces differing first and second side conformations, said second side conformation being relatively flatter and said first side conformation being relatively more expanded.

6. The convertible cover according to claim 5, wherein said exterior covering's first side has a heterogeneous composition that includes at least first and second component portions with differing degrees of expandability, said first component portions being relatively more expandable than said second component portions and said second component portions being distributed across said first side such that said first side's expansion in response to inflation of the tillable integral compartment is more uniformly spread across said first side.

7. The convertible cover according to claim 1, wherein said fillable integral compartment is disposed between first and second sides of said exterior covering such that when the convertible cover is in said first tillable configuration, filling the fillable integral compartment involves at least one portion of said first side increasingly separating from at least one portion of said second side, said fillable integral compartment's structure further comprising at least one expansion moderating member that at least partially constrains said fillable integral compartment's expandability, said expandability constraining involving at least one expansion moderating member attribute selected from a group consisting of: a) at least one expansion moderating member that constrains how far at least one portion of said first side can be separated from at least one portion of said second side; b) at least one expansion moderating member that constrains how near at least one portion of said first side can be to at least one portion of said second side; c) at least one expansion moderating member that is at least partially detachable from said fillable integral compartment; d) at least one expansion moderating member that alters at least a portion of its form in response to said filling of the fillable integral compartment; e) at least one expansion moderating member that responds differentially according to whether said fillable integral compartment is filled with a gas, a liquid, or a combination of liquid and gas; f) at least one expansion moderating member that can subdivide the fillable integral compartment so that at least a first fraction of said fillable integral compartment is differently fillable than at least a second fraction of said fillable integral compartment; g) and combinations thereof.

8. The convertible cover according to claim 1, wherein said fillable integral compartment is disposed between first and second sides of said exterior covering such that when the convertible cover is in said first fillable configuration, filling the fillable integral compartment with a fluid involves at least one portion of said first side increasingly separating from at least one portion of said second side, at least one of said fillable integral compartment and said first valve further comprising at least one fluid modulator capable of at least partially modulating at least one quality of the filling fluid, said fluid modulator having at least one characteristic selected from a group consisting of: a) said fluid modulator's response differs for a liquid than for a gas, at least one of said differing responses involving differing degrees of the modulator's fluid passability; b) said fluid modulator is capable of altering how at least a portion of said fluid fill flows within said fillable integral compartment; c) said fluid modulator provides a mechanical filtering capacity; d) said fluid modulator provides a chemical filtering capacity; e) said fluid modulator can separate at least a first portion of said fluid fill from at least a second portion of said fluid fill; f) and combinations thereof.

9. The convertible cover according to claim 1, further comprising at least one auxiliary functionality selected from a group consisting of: a) said convertible cover optionally further comprises at least one fluid outlet and, when in said first fillable configuration and at least partially filled with a fluid, at least one of said fluid outlets and said first valve can release the fluid fill in a moderated manner; b) said convertible cover further comprises at least a second valve for accessing said fillable integral compartment; c) said convertible cover further comprises at least one additional fillable integral compartment, said additional fillable integral compartment being fillable by at least one of said first valve, through at least one fluid intercommunication channel between said original fillable integral compartment and said additional fillable integral compartment, and a closeable third valve that is in fluid communication with said additional fillable integral compartment; d) said convertible cover further comprises an energy retaining element that can absorb energy from an energy source and can transfer the absorbed energy to at least a portion of a fluid within said fillable integral compartment; e) said convertible cover further comprises at least one supplementary storage compartment, said supplementary storage compartment being accessible when the convertible cover is in at least one of the first fillable configuration and the first enveloping configuration; f) said convertible cover further comprises at least one supplementary enveloping element that increases the degree of bounding of said at least partially bounded spatial volume; g) said convertible cover further comprises at least one supplementary enveloping element that increases the degree of bounding of said at least partially bounded spatial volume, said supplementary enveloping element's increased bounding being effectible by said openable first seam; h) said convertible cover further comprises at least an openable second seam, said openable second seam providing capabilities for the convertible cover to be configured in at least one of a second fillable configuration and a second enveloping configuration, wherein at least one of said second fillable configuration and said second enveloping configuration involve operation of said second seam; i) said convertible cover further comprises at least one linkable interrelation that can interconnect a plurality of said convertible covers, said linkable interrelation's operation optionally entailing at least one of the openable seams; j) said convertible cover further comprises at least one linkable interrelation that can interconnect a plurality of said convertible covers when said convertible covers are in the first fillable configuration, said interconnected convertible covers forming a substantially contiguous extended area of first fillable configuration coverage; k) said convertible cover further includes at least one additional fillable integral compartment, and at least one of said fillable integral compartments is detachable from at least one other portion of said convertible cover; l) and combinations thereof.

10. A convertible method of optionally enveloping a bedding material bundle comprising the steps of: configuring a convertible cover in at least one of a first fillable configuration and a first enveloping configuration, said convertible cover having an at least partially pliable exterior covering, a longitudinally extending openable seam, and at least one fillable integral compartment with an interior capacity accessible through at least one closable valve, said fillable integral compartment being at least one of practically watertight and practically airtight, said configuring in the first fillable configuration entailing at least substantially opening said openable seam, said configuring in the first enveloping configuration entailing at least partially closing said openable seam; and selectively utilizing said convertible cover in at least one of a fillable manner and an enveloping manner, said fillable and enveloping manners respectively involving: a) at least partially outspreading said convertible cover, when in the first fillable configuration, and, in an optional filling step, selecting at least one fluid and at least partially filling said fillable integral compartment with said at least one fluid; b) at least partially delimiting a bounded spatial volume with the convertible cover, when the convertible cover is in the first enveloping configuration, said bounded spatial volume adapted for a close cooperative interrelation with a bedding material bundle, and, in an optional enveloping step, at least partially enveloping said bedding material bundle within said bounded spatial volume to form an amply compacted combination of the convertible cover and the at least partially enveloped bedding material bundle.

11. The convertible method of optionally enveloping a bedding material bundle according to claim 10, wherein said at least partially pliable exterior covering has at least first and second sides which said fillable integral compartment is disposed between, said first and second side's exterior surface constitutions differing in at least one relative attribute, said differing exterior surface attributes including said first side being more tactilely comfortable and said second side being more durable; said method further comprising at least one optional step selected from a group consisting of: a) configuring the convertible cover in said first enveloping configuration with its externally exposed covering largely consists of said second side exterior surface; b) configuring the convertible cover in said first enveloping configuration with the first side exterior surface largely comprising the at least partially bounded spatial volume's boundary; c) providing said convertible cover; d) and combinations thereof.

12. The convertible method of optionally enveloping a bedding material bundle according to claim 10, wherein said at least partially pliable exterior covering has at least first and second sides which said fillable integral compartment is disposed between, said first side's exterior surface having a tactilely comfortable constitution; said method further comprising the optional step of: outspreading the convertible cover, when in said first fillable configuration, upon a supporting foundation in an arrangement corresponding to a conventional bed pillow with said first side exterior surface comprising a considerable majority of the convertible cover's upwardly exposed aspect and said fillable integral compartment dispositioned underneath said considerable majority of the convertible cover's upwardly exposed aspect.

13. The convertible method of optionally enveloping a bedding material bundle according to claim 1 further comprising the optional additional steps of: when the convertible cover is in said first enveloping configuration and enveloping the bedding material bundle, arranging the convertible cover and enveloped bedding material bundle in a spatial disposition that longitudinally extends comparably as far as said bedding material bundle's width and has relatively consistent transverse cross-sections, said transverse cross-sections oriented perpendicular to and continuing throughout a major fraction of the first enveloping configuration's longitudinal dimension; and outspreading the convertible cover, when in said first fillable configuration, in a generally prostrate disposition upon a generally planar foundation so that it extends at least a first span along said longitudinal dimension and at least a second span along a latitudinal dimension, said latitudinal second span being greater than twice the maximum diameter of said first enveloping configuration's transverse cross-sections.

14. The convertible method of optionally enveloping a bedding material bundle according to claim 10, wherein said fillable integral compartment is disposed between first and second sides of said exterior covering, said first side adapted for use as a pillow surface when the convertible cover is in said first fillable configuration and the fillable integral compartment is at least partially inflated, said method further comprising the optional additional step of at least partially inflating said fillable integral compartment, when the convertible cover is in said first fillable configuration, to produce differing first and second side conformations, said second side conformation being relatively flatter and said first side conformation being relatively more expanded.

15. The convertible method of optionally enveloping a bedding material bundle according to claim 14, wherein said exterior covering's first side has a heterogeneous composition that includes at least first and second component portions with differing degrees of expandability, said first component portions being relatively more expandable than said second component portions and said second component portions being distributed across said first side such that said first side's expansion in response to inflation of the fillable integral compartment is more uniformly spread across said first side.

16. The convertible method of optionally enveloping a bedding material bundle according to claim 10, wherein said fillable integral compartment is disposed between first and second sides of said exterior covering such that when the convertible cover is in said first fillable configuration, filling the fillable integral compartment involves at least one portion of said first side increasingly separating from at least one portion of said second side, said fillable integral compartment's structure further comprising at least one expansion moderating member that at least partially constrains said fillable integral compartment's expandability, said expandability constraining involving at least one expansion moderating member attribute selected from a group consisting of: a) at least one expansion moderating member that constrains how far at least one portion of said first side can be separated from at least one portion of said second side; b) at least one expansion moderating member that constrains how near at least one portion of said first side can be to at least one portion of said second side; c) at least one expansion moderating member that is at least partially detachable from said fillable integral compartment; d) at least one expansion moderating member that alters at least a portion of its form in response to said filling of the fillable integral compartment; e) at least one expansion moderating member that responds differentially according to whether said fillable integral compartment is filled with a gas, a liquid, or a combination of liquid and gas; f) at least one expansion moderating member that can subdivide the fillable integral compartment so that at least a first fraction of said fillable integral compartment is differently fillable than at least a second fraction of said fillable integral compartment; g) and combinations thereof.

17. The convertible method of optionally enveloping a bedding material bundle according to claim 10, wherein said fillable integral compartment is disposed between first and second sides of said exterior covering such that when the convertible cover is in said first fillable configuration, filling the fillable integral compartment with a fluid involves at least one portion of said first side increasingly separating from at least one portion of said second side, at least one of said fillable integral compartment and said first valve further comprising at least one fluid modulator capable of at least partially modulating at least one quality of the filling fluid, said fluid modulator having at least one characteristic selected from a group consisting of: a) said fluid modulator's response differs for a liquid than for a gas, at least one of said differing responses involving differing degrees of the modulator's fluid passability; b) said fluid modulator is capable of altering how at least a portion of said fluid fill flows within said fillable integral compartment; c) said fluid modulator provides a mechanical filtering capacity; d) said fluid modulator provides a chemical filtering capacity; e) said fluid modulator can separate at least a first portion of said fluid fill from at least a second portion of said fluid fill; f) and combinations thereof.

18. The convertible method of optionally enveloping a bedding material bundle according to claim 10, said convertible cover further providing at least one auxiliary functionality selected from a group consisting of: a) said convertible cover optionally further comprises at least one fluid outlet and, when in said first fillable configuration and at least partially filled with a fluid, at least one of said fluid outlets and said first valve can release the fluid fill in a moderated manner; b) said convertible cover further comprises at least a second valve for accessing said fillable integral compartment; c) said convertible cover further comprises at least one additional fillable integral compartment, said additional fillable integral compartment being fillable by at least one of said first valve, through at least one fluid intercommunication channel between said original fillable integral compartment and said additional fillable integral compartment, and a closeable third valve that is in fluid communication with said additional fillable integral compartment; d) said convertible cover further comprises an energy retaining element that can absorb energy from an energy source and can transfer the absorbed energy to at least a portion of a fluid within said fillable integral compartment; e) said convertible cover further comprises at least one supplementary storage compartment, said supplementary storage compartment being accessible when the convertible cover is in at least one of the first fillable configuration and the first enveloping configuration; f) said convertible cover further comprises at least one supplementary enveloping element that increases the degree of bounding of said at least partially bounded spatial volume; g) said convertible cover further comprises at least one supplementary enveloping element that increases the degree of bounding of said at least partially bounded spatial volume, said supplementary enveloping element's increased bounding being effectible by said openable first seam; h) said convertible cover further comprises at least an openable second seam, said openable second seam providing capabilities for the convertible cover to be configured in at least one of a second fillable configuration and a second enveloping configuration, wherein at least one of said second fillable configuration and said second enveloping configuration involve operation of said second seam; i) said convertible cover further comprises at least one linkable interrelation that can interconnect a plurality of said convertible covers, said linkable interrelation's operation optionally entailing at least one of the openable seams; j) said convertible cover further comprises at least one linkable interrelation that can interconnect a plurality of said convertible covers when said convertible covers are in the first fillable configuration, said interconnected convertible covers forming a substantially contiguous extended area of first fillable configuration coverage; k) said convertible cover further includes at least one additional fillable integral compartment, and at least one of said fillable integral compartments is detachable from at least one other portion of said convertible cover; l) and combinations thereof.

19. A convertible cover for compacting and transporting a bedroll comprising: a convertible bedroll cover having a longitudinal seam and a fillable integral compartment that is substantially fluid impermeable, said longitudinal seam being substantially closed to convert the convertible bedroll cover into an enveloping configuration and substantially opened to convert the convertible bedroll cover into a fillable configuration; wherein said convertible bedroll cover, when in the enveloping configuration, defines a close fitting space for enclosing a bedroll in a compacted disposition; and said convertible bedroll cover, when in the fillable configuration, can be spread out so that said fillable integral compartment is substantially available for filling with a fluid.

20. The convertible bedroll cover according to claim 19, wherein said convertible bedroll cover is further characterized by at least one attribute selected from a group consisting of: a) said convertible bedroll cover has at least first and second sides, said first side being of relatively more durable construction and forming a substantial majority of the externally exposed surface of the convertible bedroll cover when in said enveloping configuration, said second side covering a majority of the upwardly exposed surface when the convertible bedroll cover is outspread in said fillable configuration with the first side facing downward, said second side optionally being relatively more tactilely comfortable; b) said fillable integral compartment is inflatable through at least one closeable valve and, when the convertible bedroll cover is in the fillable configuration and the fillable integral compartment is at least partially inflated, the convertible bedroll cover assumes a bed pillow conformation with said at least partially inflated fillable integral compartment providing cushioning; c) said fillable integral compartment is accessible through at least one closeable valve so that when the convertible bedroll cover is in the fillable configuration the fillable integral compartment can be at least partially filled with a liquid, said convertible bedroll cover optionally including at least one fluid dispensing assembly that can involve said closeable valve and further optionally including an energy absorbing element that can transfer heat energy to a fluid within said fillable integral compartment; d) said convertible bedroll cover is interconnectable so that a plurality of the convertible bedroll covers, when in said fillable configuration, can be interconnected to form an extended expanse of convertible bedroll covers that can function as an inflatable support cushion; e) said convertible bedroll cover further includes at least one additional fillable integral compartment, and at least one of said fillable integral compartments is detachable from at least one other portion of said convertible cover; f) and combinations thereof.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to transporting and using bedding materials, and more particularly to systems and methods of utilizing convertible covers that can both envelop a bedding material bundle for storing or transporting, as well as be converted for use as an inflatable pillow, as a water container, and additional utilities.

Whether a recreational backpacker, a professional adventurer, or a soldier, when on a multi-day journey it is a commonly necessary to carry all of one's supplies upon one's person. This naturally entails a variety of compromises due to competing needs. One such compromise involves choosing between a desire to bring bedding that best promotes rest, and hence provides substantial cushioning to head and body, and the need to minimize the bulk that is being carried. Generally, most individuals will rest best when their bedding includes a conventionally configured pillow, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, as well as some form of bed cushion. Human carrying limitations require that the bed cushion be as compactable as possible for efficient transporting, but conventional bed pillows are generally not well compactable, forcing a choice between optimal rest equipment and optimal carrying function. Among the ways in which carrying efficiency can be improved is to have equipment that is multi-functional. In many cases, such a multi-functional piece of equipment is preferably convertible so that it can perform one function when in a first configuration and a second or more functions when in second, third, or more other configurations.

2. Related Art

Common camping equipment such as sleeping bags and/or sleep mats generally include a carrying/packing sleeve for maintaining the sleep bag/mat in a compressed arrangement for packing. These sleeve arrangements are effective at compressing the sleep bag/mat but do not generally provide arrangements for a pillow, which most people need for satisfactory rest. It has been tried to configure bags, cases, and related articles with inflatable portions that can effect a degree of cushioning. These are generally bags first and cushions a distant second. When inflated, they do not substantially alter their bag configuration, and hence are more akin to a sofa arm rest in shape and to a backpack in surface constitution than to a pillow in either quality. Those that are intended to provide more satisfactory pillow-like performance generally provide either poorer bedroll compressing performance or entail the addition of substantial equipment size or weight.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is capable of both maintaining a bedroll in a well compacted configuration and being inflated in an effective simulation of a standard bed pillow. The present invention is a convertible bedding material cover system and method (CBMC) that is convertible between an enveloping configuration wherein it closely accommodates a compacted bedroll (or similar bundle of bedding materials) and a fillable configuration wherein it is ready for inflating. An openable seam extends along the longitudinal extent of the convertible cover (the longitudinal dimension of the convertible cover being defined as its longest dimension when it is in the enveloping configuration) and provides the means for switching the convertible cover from the fillable configuration to the enveloping configuration, and back again. An inflatable compartment is integrated within the body of the convertible cover, and is generally accessible by means of a closable valve. By opening the seam and at least partially inflating the compartment, the convertible cover assumes the approximate shape, disposition, and performance of a conventional bed pillow for preferential rest enabling performance. Closing the seam and evacuating the inflatable compartment enables the convertible cover to form a close-fitting envelopment of the bedroll, and can even ease the process of enveloping the rolled bedroll by allowing one to hold the bedroll in the compacted disposition and then rolling the convertible cover around the compacted bedroll before closing the seam.

The present invention provides a multitude of further functionalities, in addition to the bedroll covering and pillow assuming functions. The integral compartment can also be liquid filled for transporting and/or providing an impromptu washing facility, as well as other uses. When using as a washing facility, and in particular as a shower, the convertible cover can also be configured with an energy absorbing element that will help to warm the liquid within the compartment, and can also be configured with a liquid outlet that can function as a shower head. An additional optional functionality is the inclusion of at least one supplementary storage compartment. The convertible cover can also include more than one openable seam, and can alternatively, or additionally include a linking capability that enables a plurality of the convertible covers, when in the tillable configurations, to be interconnected to form an expanse of convertible covers that can serve as an extended inflatable cushion. Virtually any variety of manner of constituting the openable seam falls within the scope of the present invention, including, but not limited to, zippers, buttons, snaps, latches, hook & loop fasteners, drawstrings, and sliding seals. The convertible cover can further incorporate a variety of manners of further enveloping the bedroll, as well as handles and straps for ease of carrying and/or packing. The fillable integral compartment can also provide further functionalities including water filtering and water purifying capabilities, as well as containing additional members that can affect its inflating and/or evacuating.

Other objects and features will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of a first embodiment of a convertible cover according to the present invention in a first enveloping configuration.

FIG. 2 depicts a perspective view of a second embodiment of a convertible cover according to the present invention in a first enveloping configuration.

FIG. 3 depicts a plan view of a third embodiment of a convertible cover according to the present invention in a first fillable configuration.

FIG. 4 depicts a plan view of a fourth embodiment of a convertible cover according to the present invention in a first fillable configuration.

FIG. 5 depicts a plan view of a fifth embodiment of a convertible cover according to the present invention in a first fillable configuration.

FIG. 6 depicts plan views of sixth and seventh embodiments of convertible covers according to the present invention in linked first fillable configurations.

FIG. 7 depicts a plan view of an eighth embodiment of a convertible cover according to the present invention in a first fillable configuration.

FIG. 8 depicts a cross-section view of a ninth embodiment of a convertible cover according to the present invention in a first fillable configuration.

FIG. 9 depicts a cross-section view of a tenth embodiment of a convertible cover according to the present invention in a first fillable configuration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the following description, identical numbers indicate identical elements. Where an element has been described in one Figure, and is unaltered in detail or relation in any other Figure, said element description applies to all Figures.

In FIG. 1 a convertible cover first embodiment 110 is shown in a first enveloping configuration with a rolled up bedding material bundle 112 schematically shown in broken lines where it would be enveloped by the convertible cover 110. The convertible cover 110 has an at least partially pliable exterior covering 114, a zipper 116 that serves as an openable seam, and a closeable valve 118. The zipper 116 extends along the longitudinal length of the convertible cover first embodiment 110 and then around the perimeter of an end of the first enveloping configuration so as to form an openable closure for a first end cap 120. The convertible cover first embodiment 110 is shown as also including an optional handle 122 and a pair of optional straps 124 that provide capabilities of carrying the convertible cover by hand and/or lashing the convertible cover to a backpack or the like, respectively. The convertible cover first embodiment 110 is transitioned from the enveloping configuration shown in FIG. 1 to an enveloping configuration by continuing to open the zipper 116 a sufficient distance to allow the removal of the bedding material bundle 112 so that the fillable integral compartment (not shown) can be filled with fluid.

FIG. 2 shows a convertible cover second embodiment 210, which is similar in many respects to the convertible cover first embodiment 110, in a first enveloping configuration. The second embodiment 210 primarily differs in that first, its second end cap 212 is configured with a bisecting extension of the zipper 116, as opposed to the encircling extension for the first end cap 120; and secondly that it includes a third end cap 214 that attaches to the convertible cover second embodiment 210 with a drawstring 216. The operation of the convertible cover second embodiment 210 and its transitioning to a enveloping configuration are analogous to that of the convertible cover first embodiment 110, with the exception that the third end cap 216 is removed by loosening the drawstring 216 to fully outspread the convertible cover second embodiment 210. Both the convertible cover first embodiment 110 and second embodiment 210 are shown with a more durable second side 218 of the at least partially pliable exterior 114 in an externally facing disposition.

FIG. 3 shows a convertible cover third embodiment 310 fully outspread in a first fillable configuration. The end cap 212 is also shown as fully outspread and includes openings 312 for suspending the third embodiment 310 when being used as a shower or similar function. A first fillable integral compartment 314 is schematically shown as being filled with water (though essentially any other liquid could also be used) so that the water can then be dispensed through a fluid outlet shower head attachment 316 that communicates with the fillable integral compartment 314 through a fluid passage 318. An energy absorbing panel 320 is disposed within the second side 218 of the at least partially pliable exterior 114 to absorb energy and provide a warming action to the water within the fillable integral compartment 314 so as to provide a well known form of camper's “hot water shower”.

FIG. 4 shows a convertible cover fourth embodiment 410, that is substantially similar to the convertible cover first embodiment 110, fully outspread in a first fillable configuration. The general layout of the convertible cover fourth embodiment 410 shown in FIG. 4 is comparable to what the general layout of the convertible cover first embodiment 110 is when fully outspread in the first fillable configuration. The layout shown in FIG. 4 is essentially what a convertible cover according to the present invention would be when being used as a bed pillow, with the fillable integral compartment 314 most often at least partially filled with air and a more tactilely comfortable first side 412 of the at least partially pliable exterior 114 facing upward as would be the case when using the convertible cover fourth embodiment 410 as a bed pillow. The primary difference of the fourth embodiment 410 from the first embodiment 110 is the inclusion of a first supplementary storage compartment 414.

FIG. 5 shows a convertible cover fifth embodiment 510 fully outspread in a first fillable configuration. The manner of disposition of the fifth embodiment 510 shown in FIG. 5 is essentially comparable to, and therefore illustrative of, the manner of disposition that the second embodiment 210 would assume when fully outspread in the first fillable configuration. The convertible cover fifth embodiment 510 also includes a second supplementary storage compartment 512 for holding a blanket (not shown) or other sleep equipment. The second supplementary storage compartment 512 would generally be configured as opening out to the first side 412 so as to protect the blanket from contamination by dirt when the convertible cover fifth embodiment 510 is in the first enveloping configuration for transporting the convertible cover and an enveloped bedding material bundle, and would generally also have hidden seams so that it would not detract from the comfort of using the first side 412 as a pillow surface.

FIG. 6 shows a linked combination embodiment 610 formed of interconnected convertible cover sixth embodiment 612 and convertible cover seventh embodiment 614, both of which are in the first fillable configuration. The interconnected convertible cover sixth embodiment 612 and seventh embodiment 614 are linked by simply combining a portion of the zipper 116 from the sixth embodiment 612 with a matching portion of the zipper 116 form the seventh embodiment 614. There are also many alternative well known varieties of manners of constructing an openable seam, and these alternative varieties are also by and large linkable, and the scope of the present invention also encompasses these well known alternative varieties. The convertible cover sixth embodiment 612 includes a subdivided second fillable integral compartment 614 that is composed of a first chamber 616 and a second chamber 618. The first chamber 616 and the second chamber 618 communicate through a permeable filter 620. By filling the first chamber 616 with potentially unsafe water which is then passed through the permeable filter 620 that is able to at least one of mechanically and chemically filter the potentially unsafe water so that the water which then enters the second chamber 618 is safe to drink through a spout (not shown) that opens off of the second chamber 618, the convertible cover sixth embodiment 612 can also be converted into a water purification assembly. The convertible cover seventh embodiment 614 has a third fillable integral compartment that is composed of a plurality of separately inflatable sub-compartments 622 that can be individually selectively inflated or sequentially inflated by any of a number of well known means. The plurality of sub-compartments 622 provide means of utilizing the convertible cover seventh embodiment 614 in a variety of ways to improve sleeping comfort, as well as converting the seventh embodiment 614 into a selectively contoured seating cushion or flotation device.

FIG. 7 shows a convertible cover eighth embodiment 710 that is comparable to the convertible cover second embodiment 210 with a pair of notable differences. The eighth embodiment 710 is differently dimensioned than the other convertible cover embodiments shown to demonstrate that the particular dimensions shown in any particular embodiment of the present invention are not exclusionary of other dimensional configurations. Additionally, the eighth embodiment 710 includes a second openable seam that enables the convertible cover eighth embodiment 710 to be converted into even more varieties of cushions. In order to allow the convertible cover eighth embodiment 710 to be fully operable, the eighth embodiment 710 will include at least a pair of fillable integral compartment 314 disposed on either side of the second openable seam 712. In general, the number of openable seams and/or fillable integral compartments are not limited in theory, and will be only limited in practice to those numbers and dispositions that are feasible. A section line 8 through the eighth embodiment 710 defines a plane perpendicular to the plane of FIG. 7.

FIG. 8 shows a cross-section view 810 of the convertible cover eighth embodiment 710 taken along the section line 8 of FIG. 7 with three alternative varieties of expansion moderating members disposed within the fillable integral compartment 314. While the cross-section view 810 is shown as being of the fillable integral compartment 314 within convertible cover eighth embodiment 710 (but does not show the closable valves 118), it should be understood that this is merely for purposes of clarity of illustration, and that essentially any of the expansion moderating members shown in FIG. 8 are also potentially usable with essentially any of the other embodiments of the present invention. A first expansion moderating member 812 is a flexible tether that will limit the distance that the two sides of the fillable integral compartment 314 can be separated. A second expansion moderating member 814 is a collapsible spring loaded articulating element that will, when at least partially extended, tend to push the two sides of the fillable integral compartment 314 apart so that when pressing on the fillable integral compartment 314, the second expansion moderating member 814 will initially resist, but will then give way once the pressing force is sufficiently great. When evacuating the fillable integral compartment 314, the sufficient pressing force level is applied to release the spring loading and allowing the full folding of the second expansion moderating member 814 articulations. A plurality of third expansion moderating members 816 are inflatable bolsters that are inflated through semi-permeable covering membranes that will eventually reach equilibrium with the increased air pressure within the fillable integral compartment 314 when the fillable integral compartment 314 is filled with fluid. Because the covering membranes are only semi-permeable, if the fillable integral compartment 314 is punctured, the fillable integral compartment 314 will not immediately go flat due to the third expansion moderating members 816 which will maintain a degree of inflation for at least some duration of time that can prove to be of significant benefit when the puncturing of the fillable integral compartment 314 is not quickly discovered or is not immediately reparable.

FIG. 9 shows an alternative cross-section view 910 of the convertible cover eighth embodiment 710 taken along the section line 8 of FIG. 7 with an alternative arrangement of two side by side fillable integral compartments 314 that are each disposed within secondary membranes 912 and can be optionally configured as being detachable from at least one other portion of the convertible cover. The optional detachability can also be configured as a capability of practically any of the fillable integral compartments of the other embodiments of the present invention. The alternative side by side fillable integral compartments 314 illustrate yet another manner of disposing the fillable integral compartments within the present invention, as well as providing capabilities of laying out the convertible cover alternative eighth embodiment 710 with the two fillable integral compartments 314 in a planar side by side arrangement that is effectible with a second openable seam (not shown).

In view of the above, it will be seen that the various objects and features of the invention are achieved and other advantageous results obtained. The examples contained herein are merely illustrative and are not intended in a limiting sense.





 
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