Title:
CONVERTIBLE LOAD CARRIER AND UPRIGHT ORGANIZER FOR GEAR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A convertible load carrier and organizer system includes a flexible container having an interior volume. At least one carry strap extends from the flexible container for carrying the container. At least one hanger extends from the container for hanging the container in a generally upright position. At least one shelf is in the interior volume of the container and is movable to a deployed position when the container is hung upright.



Inventors:
Gallaway, Scott (St. Louis, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/681458
Publication Date:
09/04/2008
Filing Date:
03/02/2007
Assignee:
AMERICAN RECREATION PRODUCTS, INC. (St. Louis, MO, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/600
International Classes:
A45F3/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COGILL, JOHN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STINSON LLP (ST LOUIS, MO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A convertible load carrier and organizer system comprising: a flexible container having an interior volume; at least one carry strap extending from the flexible container; at least one hanger extending from the container for hanging the container; and at least one shelf in the interior volume of the container and movable to a deployed position.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein the at least one strap includes two straps and a handle joining the two straps.

3. The system of claim 1 wherein the shelf is rigid.

4. The system of claim 3 wherein the shelf includes tabs and interior walls of the container include slots, the tabs engaging the slots when the shelf is in the deployed position.

5. The system of claim 4 wherein the shelf is hingedly mounted to a long wall of the container so that the shelf can lay against the long wall when the shelf is not in the deployed position.

6. The system of claim 5 wherein there are at least two shelves.

7. The system of claim 1 wherein at least one end wall of the container is rigid so that it may be used as a shelf.

8. A carrier and organizer system for a tent comprising: a flexible container having an interior volume sized and shaped to receive the collapsed tent, the container including a long wall; at least one carry strap extending from the flexible container for carrying the container; at least one hanger extending from the container for hanging the container in a generally upright position; and at least one rigid shelf pivotally attached to the long wall of the container and movable to a position generally perpendicular to the long wall.

9. The system of claim 8 wherein the at least one carry strap includes two straps and a handle joining the two straps.

10. The system of claim 9 wherein the at least one carry strap includes a shoulder strap for extending over the shoulder of the user.

11. The system of claim 8 wherein the shelf includes tabs and interior walls of the container include slots, the tabs engageable with the slots.

12. The system of claim 11 wherein the shelf is hingedly mounted to the long wall of the container so that the shelf can generally conform to the long wall when the shelf is not in the shelf position.

13. The system of claim 12 wherein there are at least two shelves.

14. The system of claim 13 wherein at least one end wall of the container is rigid so that it may be used as a shelf.

15. A convertible tent carrier and organizer comprising: a flexible container having an interior volume sized and shaped to receive a collapsed tent, the container including a bottom wall, two side walls having slots on interior sides, and generally rigid end walls; a handle extending from the flexible container for carrying the container; a hanger extending from the container for hanging the container in a generally upright position; and rigid shelves hingedly mounted on the bottom wall of the container and movable from a position against the bottom wall to a position generally perpendicular to the bottom wall, the shelves including tabs engageable with the slots of the side walls.

Description:

FIELD

The present invention relates to a load carrier or container that is convertible into a shelved organizer.

SUMMARY

In one embodiment, a convertible load carrier and organizer system includes a flexible container having an interior volume. At least one carry strap extends from the flexible container for carrying the container. At least one hanger extends from the container. At least one shelf is in the interior volume of the container and is movable to a deployed position.

In another embodiment, a carrier and organizer system for a tent includes a flexible container having an interior volume sized and shaped to receive the collapsed tent. The container includes a long wall. At least one rigid shelf is attached to the long wall of the container and is movable to a position generally perpendicular to the long wall.

Various refinements exist of the features noted in relation to the above-mentioned aspects of the present invention. Further features may also be incorporated in the above-mentioned aspects of the present invention as well. These refinements and additional features may exist individually or in any combination. For instance, various features discussed below in relation to any of the illustrated embodiments of the present invention may be incorporated into any of the above-described aspects of the present invention, alone or in any combination.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a convertible load carrier and organizer system of one embodiment.

FIG. 2 is a perspective of the convertible load carrier and organizer system of FIG. 1 with a flap open to show a collapsed tent therein.

FIG. 3 is a perspective of the convertible load carrier and organizer system hung vertically inside the assembled tent, the tent being shown in phantom with portions of the tent being cut away.

FIG. 4 is a perspective of the convertible load carrier and organizer system showing movable shelves being moved upward from an undeployed position.

FIG. 5 is a perspective of the convertible load carrier and organizer system showing the shelves moving somewhat downward to engage tabs of the shelves with slots.

FIG. 6 is a perspective of the convertible load carrier and organizer system with the shelves in the deployed position.

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1-2 shows a convertible load carrier and organizer system of one embodiment, indicated generally at 11. The system includes a bag, indicated generally at 13, (more broadly, a flexible container) having an interior volume sized and shaped to receive a collapsed tent 14. The bag 13 has a generally rectangular or a parallelepiped shape when the tent 14 is stowed in the bag. The bag 13 may be made of flexible fabric, including without limitation nylon or canvas, or other suitable material. It should be understood that this particular bag is merely one embodiment, and many other embodiments, including those incorporated into packs, backpacks, luggage and the like are contemplated within the scope of the invention.

The bag 13 may include two carry straps 15 permanently attached, as by stitching, near the top of the bag. The straps 15 themselves may serve as a handle, or a handle 17 may be permanently attached to one of the straps and securable around the other strap using VELCRO or other fastener. One or both straps may also be slung over the shoulder. Many other handle and strap configurations are contemplated, including configurations with only one strap or handle, or those with more conventional shoulder straps like a conventional backpack.

An opening 19 of the bag 13 may be closed by an elongate fabric flap 21 that is permanently attached at a first end adjacent the opening and may be releasably secured to the long edges of the opening by slide fasteners 23. A second end of the flap 21 may be releasably secured to an edge of the opening by a fastener 25, for example, a VELCRO fastener.

As shown in FIGS. 3-6, the bag 13 of this embodiment includes two rigid, movable shelves 31, though more or less are contemplated within the scope of the invention. The shelves 31 are permanently attached along their inside edges to a bottom wall 33 of the bag 13. The shelves 31 may alternatively be attached to the side walls of the bag. The bottom wall 33 and side walls of the bag 13 are broadly referred to as “long walls” in this embodiment. The shelves 31 are pivotally or hingedly attached such that they may pivot from an undeployed position against the bottom wall 33 (FIG. 3) to an extended or deployed position generally perpendicular to the bottom and to the side walls (FIG. 6).

The shelves 31 may be made of a rigid material such as a hard plastic, and may be covered with a flexible fabric. Two rigid tabs 35 extend from the outer corners of the shelves 31, and those may also be covered by fabric and sewn to the fabric covering the shelf. The tabs 35 may engage slots 37 formed in the side walls of the bag 13 to thereby secure the shelves 31 in the shelf or deployed position of FIG. 6. Many other configurations for securing the shelves in the deployed position are contemplated.

End walls 41 of the bag 13 may also include a rigid material, e.g., a rigid plastic, that may be sewn into the fabric of the end wall or otherwise included in the end wall. The rigid end walls 41 can then be used as shelves when the bag is turned upright as shown in FIG. 6.

A hanger 45 extends from one of the end walls 41 for hanging the bag 13 in a generally upright position. The hanger 45 may be attached to the end wall 41 by cords 47, the cords secured to loops 49 on the end wall. The illustrated embodiment shows the cords 47 secured to the loops 49 by tying. It is understood, however, that the cords can be secured to the loops 49 in other ways. Moreover, many other hanger configurations are contemplated, including without limitation where one of the carry straps is also used as the hanger.

In one example of use of the bag 13 with the tent 14, the bag with the collapsed tent inside is placed on the ground as shown in FIG. 1. The bag 13 is opened by sliding the slide fasteners 23, unfastening the VELCRO fastener 25, and opening the flap 21 to the position shown in FIG. 2. The tent 14 is removed from the bag 13, assembled and the bag hung generally vertically or upright inside the tent as shown in FIG. 3. For example, the bag 13 may be hung from the roof of the tent 14 using the hanger 45. Note that the bag 13 may also be hung outside the tent 14, and need not be hung to the tent itself. As shown in FIGS. 3-5, the shelves 31 can then be rotated from the undeployed position to the deployed position, the tabs 35 being placed in the slots 37 as shown in FIG. 5. These steps are reversed to collapse the tent 14 and place it back in the bag 13. Note that “collapsed” includes any form of compacted, rolled, folded, or the like, without limitation.

As can be seen from the illustrated embodiment, the shelves 31 are permanently attached to the bag 13 and enable the user to easily convert the bag into an upright organizer. The bag 13 serves two purposes: first to hold items or gear in transport by the user, and second to organize items or gear on shelves when the bag is stationary. In this way, the bag 13 need not go unused, for example during camping after the tent 14 has been set-up. This reduces the need for a separate organizer that is typically brought along on a camping trip and serves no other purpose. Also, where the shelves 31 are rigid, they are more useful than the flexible shelves built into some tents, or those added to tents after set-up. As shown, the bag 13 can be made with the shelves 31 formed therein and permanently attached so that the shelves cannot come loose and be misplaced.

When introducing elements of various aspects of the present invention or embodiments thereof, the articles “a”, “an”, “the” and “said” are intended to mean that there are one or more of the elements. The terms “comprising”, “including” and “having” are intended to be inclusive and mean that there may be additional elements other than the listed elements. Moreover, the use of “top” and “bottom”, “front” and “rear”, “above” and “below” and variations of these and other terms of orientation is made for convenience, but does not require any particular orientation of the components.

As various changes could be made in the above constructions, methods and products without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense. Further, all dimensional information set forth herein is exemplary and is not intended to limit the scope of the invention.