Title:
SPORTS GARMENT BAG WITH FOOT MAT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A garment bag with an end opening and a flap for covering the end opening has an interior pad located within the end opening which pad may be deployed outwardly to provide a foot-changing surface. The interior pad is preferably of a size and dimension which is larger than the opening in the end of the garment bag. In cases where the flap is provided with a peripheral fastening means along its outer edge, the interior pad is preferably of a size and dimension which will allow it, when deployed, to overlie and cover not only the end flap but also the peripheral fasting means along the outer edge of the end flap. The changing surface may be either rubberized or carpeted, and a pad may sufficiently long as to be folded over to substantially cover the changing surface when the pad is stored within the end opening of the bag.



Inventors:
Anthony, Kenneth B. (Shelburne County, CA)
Application Number:
12/015989
Publication Date:
07/31/2008
Filing Date:
01/17/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/315.1
International Classes:
B65D85/18; B65D85/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COLLADO, CYNTHIA FRANCISCA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Miltons IP/p.i. (Ottawa, ON, CA)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A garment bag of flexible material with a bottom surface and an end portion comprising: a) an end opening of specific shape and dimension formed on said bag, the end opening having an end opening boundary; b) an openable flap for closing the end opening, the flap being fastened to the bag along a flap fastening line at a location adjacent to the end opening, the flap having attachment means to hold the flap over the end opening when the flap is in its closed position; c) the flap having a peripheral edge which is of a shape and dimension complementary to the boundary of the end opening against which the peripheral edge of the flap is positionable sufficient for the flap to cover such opening when the flap is closed, and d) a flexible pad having an upper surface and fastened to the garment bag adjacent to the end opening along a pad fastening line, the flexible pad being connected to the bag so that the pad may be deployed outwardly through the end opening when the flap is in its open configuration and having a footwear-supporting surface on an upwardly directed face on the pad that is exposed when the pad is so deployed, whereby, with the flap in its open position, the pad may be deployed outwardly to overlie a portion of a floor adjacent to the end of the bag and provide a footware-supporting surface to serve as a changing mat for a user.

2. A garment bag as in claim 1 wherein the pad has a shape and dimension around its free periphery which is larger than the shape and dimension of the bag end opening.

3. A garment bag as in claim 2 wherein the pad fastening line and flap fastening line are both located adjacent the end opening to permit both the flap and pad to be deployed outwardly to cover a portion of a floor adjacent to the end of the bag when the pad is to serve as a changing mat for a user.

4. A garment bag as in claim 3 wherein the pad, when deployed outwardly along with the flap to overlie a portion of a floor adjacent to the end of the bag, overlies the flap.

5. A garment bag as in claim 3 wherein the peripheral edge of the flap is provided with attachment means for engagement with complementary attachment means carried around the boundary of the end opening and wherein the pad is of a shape and dimension to allow the pad, when outwardly deployed, to extend beyond and overlie the attachment means present around the periphery of the flap, thereby serving to protect the attachment means on the flap from damage that may arise from placing footwear on the pad.

6. A garment bag as in claim 1 wherein the flap and pad are integrally connected to each other.

7. A garment bag as in claim 1 wherein the footwear-supporting surface is a waterproof surface.

8. A garment bag as in claim 7 wherein the footwear-supporting surface comprises rubber material presenting raised ribs interspersed with grooves.

9. A garment bag as in claim 1 wherein the footwear-supporting surface is a carpeted surface.

10. A garment bag as in 1 wherein the pad has a length when deployed which is longer than the length of the deployed flap and may be folded-back over onto itself so as to contain at least a substantial portion of its upper surface when the pad is stored within the bag.

11. A garment bag as in claim 10 wherein the pad when deployed has a length which is substantially twice the length of the deployed flap.

12. A garment bag as in claim 1 in combination with a cart whereby, when the cart is in an upright position and the flap is open, the pad may be deployed outwardly to overlie the floor.

13. A garment bag as in claim 2 in combination with a cart whereby, when the cart is in an upright position and the flap is open, the pad may be deployed outwardly to overlie the floor.

14. A garment bag as in claim 3 in combination with a cart whereby, when the cart is in an upright position and the flap is open, the pad may be deployed outwardly to overlie the floor.

15. A garment bag as in claim 4 in combination with a cart whereby, when the cart is in an upright position and the flap is open, the pad may be deployed outwardly to overlie the floor.

16. A garment bag as in claim 5 in combination with a cart whereby, when the cart is in an upright position and the flap is open, the pad may be deployed outwardly to overlie the floor.

17. A garment bag as in claim 6 in combination with a cart whereby, when the cart is in an upright position and the flap is open, the pad may be deployed outwardly to overlie the floor.

18. A garment bag as in claim 7 in combination with a cart whereby, when the cart is in an upright position and the flap is open, the pad may be deployed outwardly to overlie the floor.

19. A garment bag as in claim 8 in combination with a cart whereby, when the cart is in an upright position and the flap is open, the pad may be deployed outwardly to overlie the floor.

20. A garment bag as in claim 9 in combination with a cart whereby, when the cart is in an upright position and the flap is open, the pad may be deployed outwardly to overlie the floor.

Description:

This application is based on and claims benefit from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/880,960 which was filed on Jan. 18, 2007.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to luggage and the like used for carrying garments etc. and in particular relates to a sports garment bag suitable to carry hockey equipment, including skates.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

Persons participating in sporting events, particularly hockey events, typically carry equipment to the event in a garment bag. Such garment bags are equipped with various ancillary features allowing for the convenient transportation not only of clothing but also of smaller items, such as water bottles, rulebooks, eyeglasses etc. It is typical for these ancillary items to be carried in supplementary pockets formed on a garment bag, as at one end of the bag. It is also typical for garment bags to have an end panel access opening by which smaller items may be inserted easily into the bag at one end, either into a pocket or into the main interior of the bag.

In the case of one type of garment bag, a bag of generally elongated, sausage-like configuration, a longitudinal zipper is provided along the longer face of the bag to allow access to the main interior of the bag. Such a bag may also be provided with an end opening or end pocket through a panel that is fastened to the fabric of the bag, as by a fabric hinge. This exterior end panel or flap typically can be drawn over the top surface of the bag at the end of the bag, or over an interior pocket defining the actual end of the interior volume of the bag, to serve as a flap that defines the exterior of an outside end-of-bag access opening or pocket access.

Typically, the flap serving as the closure for such an end opening or pocket is held in place by a peripheral zipper. The zipper is divided into two half-zipper portions. One half-zipper is formed around the periphery of the flap, and the other half zipper is attached to the surface opening in the bag. Alternately, when an end pocket is present a pocket wall border may extend outwardly from the end of an interior panel of the bag and the second half zipper may be attached to the boundary of the pocket wall border.

While reference is made to a zipper, alternate fasting means may be employed, including the hook and loop type fastener typically sold under the trademark Velcro.

It is convenient when changing footwear to have a surface upon which a person can rest their foot other than on the floor. It is also convenient when skates are being put-on, to have a pad beneath the skates so the blades of the skates will not contact the floor. In the case of skates, contact with the floor may either mar the floor, or if the floor is made of concrete, dull the edges of the skates. And when ordinary footwear is being changed, it may be desirable to have the footwear rest against a surface which will prevent the footwear from slipping.

It would be advantageous to combine a garment bag of the type described above with a system for providing a surface to assist a person in donning and removing footwear. This invention addresses that objective.

According to U.S. Pat. No. 5,797,612 to Buccioni issued Aug. 25, 1998 for a “Sports equipment carrier”, a carrier for hockey equipment includes a generally box-shaped container body which is molded in a high-impact plastic material, and has a pair of wheels at its bottom rear edge. A corresponding Canadian patent is CA 2,145,612 issued Oct. 31, 1999. The container has doors at the front, and a lower door can be folded down to form a platform on which a player can stand while dressing and undressing, or to serve as a footrest. A square of carpet is removably confined within three edges of door to provide a dry standing surface. The present invention addresses a similar objective from a different aspect.

The invention in its general form will first be described, and then its implementation in terms of specific embodiments will be detailed with reference to the drawings following hereafter. These embodiments are intended to demonstrate the principle of the invention, and the manner of its implementation. The invention in its broadest and more specific forms will then be further described, and defined, in each of the individual claims which conclude this Specification.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention in one aspect, a garment bag is provided with an openable flap generally located at an end thereof, covering an opening on the bag. The bag and flap are preferably made of textile material. The end opening may be located either fully at the end of the bag, or may be located towards the end of the bag, extending partially or entirely along the upper surface of the bag. The flap is fastened to the bag along a flap fastening line that is connected to the bag so that the flap may be deployed outwardly to provide a bag with an opening. The periphery of the flap is preferably provided with attachment means to hold the flap in a closed position against the opening formed in the garment bag.

The opening on the bag that receives the flap has a specific shape and dimension. The flap has a peripheral edge which is complementary to and corresponds with the boundary of the opening. The peripheral edge of the flap is generally positioned adjacent to the boundary of the opening when the flap is closed.

According to the invention, in addition to and preferably positioned interior to the flap, a flexible pad is fastened to the garment bag adjacent the end opening. The pad is fastened to the bag along a pad fastening line, preferably located at a position interior to the flap, connected so that the pad may be deployed outwardly when the flap is in its open configuration to serve as a footwear-changing pad. For this purpose, in one variant the pad fastening line is located at or near the bottom surface of the bag, adjacent to the plane of the bottom surface supporting the bag when the bag rests longitudinally on the floor. This variant permits the flap to be deployed when the bag is resting longitudinally on the floor.

In another variant, the pad fastening line is located upwardly from the bottom surface of the bag, permitting the pad to be folded outwardly when the bag is partially elevated off the ground or fully erect as when the bottom surface of the bag is supported by an upright rack. In either case, the flexible pad, when deployed outwardly (as by bending along or proximate to its pad fastening line), is so attached to the bag that, when deployed, the pad will cover a portion of the floor adjacent to the end of the bag and serve as a changing mat for a user.

As indicated above, the body of the bag may either extend horizontally across the floor on which it rests or extend upwardly as when the bag is carried on a near vertically-oriented rack. In either case, when the pad is in its deployed configuration, the pad is positioned to serve as a mat or changing surface for persons putting-on or removing footwear. In this configuration, this changing pad will protect the floor surface and provide a convenient support for footwear being donned by a user.

In either case, according to this preferred embodiment of the invention, it is a preferred feature of the invention that the pad has a shape and dimension around its free periphery such that, when the pad and flap are both outwardly deployed, the pad is larger than the flap.

According to a further preferred variant of the invention, as indicated previously the peripheral edge of the flap is provided with attachment means for engagement with complementary attachment means carried around the boundary of the end opening. Such attachment means may include a standard zipper fastener, a hook and loop fastener or other equivalent arrangements for affixing the flap in a closed configuration, closing the opening of the bag.

According to the further preferred variant of the invention, the pad is of such a shape and dimension as to allow the pad, when outwardly deployed, to extend beyond and overlie the attachment means present around the periphery of the flap. This latter feature serves to protect the attachment means on the flap from damage that may arise from placing footwear on the pad. In particular, this latter feature serves to protect the attachment means from being cut by the edge of skate blades as they are being donned by a user using the changing mat.

Pursuant to an additional variant of the invention, the pad may be approximately longer than the flap, e.g. twice the length of the flap, when extending away from the pad fastening line whereby it may be folded-over on itself for storage, serving as its own pad cover to keep dirt from the pad from entering the bag interior.

In any variant, the pad may provide an exposed surface in the form of a rubber or rubberized mat, preferably textured with ridges and grooves. Alternately, the upper surface of the pad may have all or a portion of its surface covered with carpet material. In either case, such special surface portions may or may not extend for the full width and length of the pad.

The foregoing summarizes the principal features of the invention and some of its optional aspects. The invention may be further understood by the description of the preferred embodiments, in conjunction with the drawings, which now follow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a pictorial view of a garment bag according to the invention resting on the floor. The bag has an end opening with an openable flap fastened along its boundary and shown as deployed on the floor in FIG. 1. Omitted for clarity from FIG. 1 is a footwear-changing pad or mat according to the invention.

FIG. 2 is bag of FIG. 1 wherein the flap is shown partially closed using a zipper-type fastener.

FIG. 3 is a pictorial depiction of a variant of the garment bag of FIG. 1 which incorporates an end panel within the interior to the bag defining the interior surface of a pocket and a peripheral end pocket wall to define, along with the openable flap, an end pocket for the garment bag.

FIG. 4 is a pictorial depiction of the bag of FIG. 3 wherein the flexible pad with a footwear-supporting surface is fastened to the garment bag along a pad fastening line adjacent to the end opening with the pad lying on the interior side of the opening before being deployed outwardly towards overlying the adjacent floor surface and end flap to serve as a changing mat for a user.

FIG. 5 is a pictorial depiction of the bag of FIG. 4 with the pad and flap both fully deployed, the pad being of a shape and dimension to cause the pad to overlie the attachment means present around the periphery of the flap and thereby serve to protect the attachment means on the flap from damage that may arise from placing footwear on the pad.

FIG. 6 is a pictorial depiction of the bag of FIG. 5 wherein the bag is supported on an upright frame with the pad and flap are both stored within the end opening on the bag.

FIG. 7 is a pictorial depiction of the bag of FIG. 6 wherein the pad and flap are both deployed in a footwear-changing position on the adjacent floor and the pad is longer than the flap so that it can be folded-over on storage to close-off the pad surface.

FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 are photographs of the hockey bag as conceived by the inventor with the skate-changing pad outwardly deployed.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In FIG. 1 a garment bag 1 of longitudinal, sausage-like dimensions has a longitudinal zipper 2 along a top portion 3, closed side portions 4 and a bottom portion 5 shown in FIG. 1 as resting along the floor 6. An end opening 7 formed on the bag 1 is covered by an openable flap 8 fastened to the bag 1 along a flap fastening line 8A at a location adjacent to the end opening 7.

In FIG. 1 the flap 8 is attached to the bag 1 along a flap folding line 10 so that, with the flap 8 in its open position, the flap 8 may be deployed outwardly to cover a portion of the floor 6 adjacent to the end of the bag 1.

While the flap 8 is shown in FIG. 1 as being connected to the bag 1 along a flap fastening line 8A which is located at or near the bottom surface 5 of the bag 1, adjacent to the plane of the surface supporting the bag 1 as it rests on the floor 6, the flap 8 may have its fastening line 8A located elsewhere around the periphery of the end opening 7, including along the top of the end opening 7. The flap fastening line 8A may also be located higher-up on the bag, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 the flap 8 has a peripheral edge 11 which is of a shape and dimension complementary to the boundary 12 of the end opening 7 against which the peripheral edge 11 of the flap 8 is positionable in order for the flap 8 to cover such opening 7 when the flap 8 is closed. The flap 8 has attachment means, depicted as being in the form of a zipper-type fastener 13, to hold the flap 8 in a closed position against the end opening 7 when the flap 8 is in its closed position.

The end opening 7 may open into the interior of the bag 1. Alternately, the garment bag 1 may incorporate an interior end panel 14 as shown in FIG. 3, located at a position which is interior to the end opening 7. The interior end panel 14, together with the flap 8, defines an end pocket 15 for the garment bag 1. As shown in FIG. 3, the volume of the end pocket 15 may be enlarged by an end pocket wall 16 connected to the garment bag 1 around the periphery of the interior end panel 14.

Omitted from FIGS. 1-3 due to clarity, but shown in FIG. 4, is a flexible pad 17 fastened to the garment bag 1 adjacent to the end opening 7 and folded-up in FIG. 4 for storage within the end opening 7. The flexible pad 17 is connected to the bag 1 so that, as shown in FIG. 5, the pad 17 may be deployed outwardly so as to overlie an adjacent floor 6 surface when the flap 8 is in its open, deployed, configuration. The pad 17 has a footwear-supporting surface 18 on the upwardly directed face that is exposed when the pad 17 is so deployed to serve as a footwear-changing mat for a user. This footwear supporting face 18 in FIG. 5 is depicted as a layer of rubber textured with ribs and grooves but alternately may be carpeting.

While the pad 17 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 is fastened to the garment bag 1 along a pad fastening line 19 that is located at a position interior to the end opening 7, the pad fastening line 19 may also be located along a portion of the bag 1 exterior to the end opening 7, as when the flap fastening line 8A is located elsewhere around the periphery of the end opening 7, including along the top of the end opening 7.

As a preferred feature of the invention, the pad 17 has a shape and dimension around its free periphery 20 which is larger than the shape and dimension of the bag end opening 7 adjacent the pad fastening line 19. This allows the pad 17, as shown in FIG. 4, to be tucked within the end opening 7 for storage before closing the flap 8 when the pad 17 not deployed. The pad 17 may be cut to the width of the end opening 7 just above its fastening line 19 in order to allow the pad 17 to be folded outwardly through the end opening 7 for deployment or inwardly for storage. Alternately, the fastening line 19 for the pad 17 may be located back from the end opening 7 sufficiently to allow the pad 17 to be folded through the end opening 7.

As a further preferred feature of the invention depicted in FIG. 5, the pad 17 is of a shape and dimension to allow the pad 17, when outwardly deployed, to extend beyond and overlie the peripheral edge 11 of the flap 8. More preferably, the pad 17 has a shape and dimension that provides a surface area 17 that is greater than the shape and dimension defining the surface area of the flap 8, and even more preferably the pad 17 has a surface area that is at least twice that of the flap 8.

Where the peripheral edge 11 of the flap 8 is provided with attachment means such as a zipper 13 for closing the end opening 7, the fact that the pad 17 is of a shape and dimension to allow the pad 17, when outwardly deployed, to extend beyond and overlie the zipper which serves as attachment means 13 present around the periphery 11 of the flap 8, serves to protect the attachment means 13 on the flap 8 from damage that may arise from placing footwear on the pad 17.

In FIG. 5, the flap 8 and pad 17 are integrally connected to each other. In this case, the pad 17 and flap 8 may share common fastening lines 19, 8A. However, even though the pad 17 is larger than the flap 8, by reason of the flexible nature of the pad 17, when the flap 8 is to be closed, the pad 17 may first be tucked within the end opening 7 for storage before sealing the end opening 7 with the attachment means 13 on the flap 8.

As also shown in FIG. 5, the footwear-supporting surface 18 is a waterproof surface such as molded rubber with textured or raised ribs interspersed with grooves to accumulate water beneath its upper surface. With or without such a textured surface, polymeric foam may be provided in the under-layer of the pad 17 to provide a cushioning waterproof surface.

While not depicted in FIG. 5, the pad 17 that may also be provided with a footwear-supporting surface made of a carpet material 21, as shown in FIG. 7. A carpeted surface is more resistant to damage that may arise from exposure to the sharpened edges of skates. Such carpet material 21 need not necessarily cover the entire surface of the pad 17, but preferably will do so.

In FIG. 6 the bag 1 is supported on an upright frame 22 having wheels to serve as a cart. In FIG. 6 the pad 17 and flap 8 are both shown as being stored within the bag 1 before being deployed in a footwear-changing position on the adjacent floor 6. In this case the end opening 7, pocket 15 and fastening lines 8A, 19 are not formed adjacent to the bottom 5 of the bag 1 as in the case of the bag 1 resting longitudinally on the floor 6 in FIG. 1, but are formed towards the end of the bag 1 and extend partly up onto its upper surface 3.

Optionally, and not shown, a deployable pad cover may be fastened to the garment bag 1 adjacent to the end opening 7 along a pad-cover fastening line that is located at a position interior to the pad fastening line 19, the pad cover being of a size and dimension and being connected to the bag 1 so that when the pad 17 is placed in a stored condition within the end opening 7 of the garment bag 1, the pad cover will cover the adjacent surface of the pad 17, limiting the transfer of dirt from the pad into the garment bag 1.

Alternately, as shown in FIG. 7, the pad 17 may be greater, e.g. approximately twice the length of the flap 8, extending away from the fastening lines 8A, 19 whereby the outer portion of the pad 17 may be folded-over on itself for storage, covering at least a substantial portion of the pad 17 when it is stored in the bag and providing substantially the same benefits as a pad cover. Again, the pad 17 is preferably at least slightly larger than the flap 8 laterally to provide protection for the fastening means 13 along the edge of the flap 8, and accordingly is larger than the opening 7.

In FIG. 7, the upper surface of the pad 17 is depicted as having a portion covered with carpet 21. This portion may or may not extend for the full width and length of the pad 17 but preferably should do so.

FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 are photographs of the garment bag 1 supported on the upright frame 22 having wheels to serve as a cart, as conceived by the inventor with the skate changing pad outwardly deployed. In each case, the pad 17 extends outwardly away from the garment bag 1, extending from an end opening 7 so as to overlie the floor 6. Beneath the pad 17 is the closure flap 8, concealed because it is totally covered by the pad 17.

In FIG. 10, the pad 17 is of a greater length than the flap 8 and may be advantageously folded-over on itself for storage, covering at least a substantial portion of the pad 17 when it is stored in the bag.

CONCLUSION

The foregoing has constituted a description of specific embodiments showing how the invention may be applied and put into use. These embodiments are only exemplary. The invention in its broadest, and more specific aspects is further described and defined in the claims which now follow.

These claims, and the language used therein, are to be understood in terms of the variants of the invention which have been described. They are not to be restricted to such variants, but are to be read as covering the full scope of the invention as is implicit within the invention and the disclosure that has been provided herein.