Title:
MULTI-FUNCTION HEADBAND
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A multifunction headband comprising a main body portion and a plurality of appendages extending from the main body portion. In this embodiment the main body portion is configured to cover a portion of the back of a user's neck, and the plurality of appendages is configured to secure the headband about a user's head and neck. This embodiment comprises a first ear protection appendage and a second ear protection appendage, which are each configured to cover one of the user's ears and a portion of the user's head. This embodiment further comprises a first neck protection appendage and a second neck protection appendage, which each comprise a free end and are configured to cover a portion of the user's neck.



Inventors:
Dolby, Timothy S. (Grand Junction, CO, US)
Application Number:
12/039059
Publication Date:
09/11/2008
Filing Date:
02/28/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/207, 2/209, 2/209.11
International Classes:
A42B1/18; A42B1/00; A42B1/06; A42B5/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060117460Headwear pieceJune, 2006Yan
20090077718Energy Suppressing footwear deviceMarch, 2009Hampton
20080029333MUSICAL MATERNITY BELTFebruary, 2008Oren OZ.
20100043122Locks DownFebruary, 2010Leftenant
20050262633Adjustable blanketDecember, 2005Haleem
20070017008Two-piece protective suit for hazardous environmentsJanuary, 2007Snedeker et al.
20050086724Practical souvenir competition hatsApril, 2005Marsh et al.
20080201816Work GarmentAugust, 2008Elliot
20080295227Undergarments having finished edges and methods thereforDecember, 2008Welsch et al.
20040210985Hat to be no mark on forehead and hairOctober, 2004Lee et al.
20090031480CEPHALIC PROTECTION CELL (CPC)February, 2009Torres



Primary Examiner:
ANDERSON, AMBER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FROST BROWN TODD LLC (Cincinnati, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A multi-function headband comprising: a main body portion, wherein the main body portion is configured to be positioned adjacent to the back of a user's neck during use; and a plurality of appendages extending from the main body portion, wherein the plurality of appendages is configured to secure the multi-function headband about a user's head and neck, wherein the plurality of appendages comprises: a first ear protection appendage, wherein the first ear protection appendage comprises a free end, wherein the first ear protection appendage is configured such that the free end may be placed on the crown of the user's head, thereby covering a first one of the user's ears and a first portion of user's head, a second ear protection appendage, wherein the second ear protection appendage comprises a free end, wherein the second ear protection appendage is configured such that the free end may be placed on the crown of the user's head, thereby covering a second one of the user's ears and a second portion of the user's head, wherein the second ear protection appendage is configured to overlap at least a portion of the first ear protection appendage and be releasably attached to the first ear protection appendage, a first neck protection appendage, wherein the first neck protection appendage comprises a free end, wherein the first neck protection appendage is configured such that the free end may be positioned about the front of the user's neck, thereby covering a first portion of the user's neck, and a second neck protection appendage, wherein the second neck protection appendage comprises a free end, wherein the second neck protection appendage is configured such that the free end may be positioned about the front of the user's neck, wherein the second neck protection appendage is configured to overlap at least a portion of the first neck protection appendage and be releasably attached to the first neck protection appendage.

2. The multi-function headband of claim 1, wherein the main body portion and the plurality of appendages are one-piece.

3. The multi-function headband of claim 1 further comprising at least one pocket.

4. The multi-function headband of claim 3, wherein the at least one pocket is configured to retain a temperature influencing device.

5. The multi-function headband of claim 4, wherein the temperature influencing device comprises a gel pack, wherein the gel pack is capable of being heated or cooled prior to insertion in the at least one pocket.

6. The multi-function headband of claim 1, wherein the main body portion further comprises an inner surface and an outer surface, wherein each of the plurality of appendages comprises an inner surface and an outer surface.

7. The multi-function headband of claim 6, further comprising a plurality of pockets, wherein a first pocket is positioned on the inner surface of the main body portion, wherein a second pocket is positioned on the inner surface of the first ear protection appendage, wherein a third pocket is positioned on the inner surface of the second ear protection appendage.

8. The multi-function headband of claim 6, wherein the first ear protection appendage comprises a first hook and loop fastener positioned on the inner surface of the first ear protection appendage, wherein the second ear protection appendage comprises a second hook and loop fastener positioned on the outer surface of the second ear protection appendage, wherein the first hook and loop fastener and the second hook and loop fastener are configured to releasably attach the first ear protection appendage to the second ear protection appendage.

9. The multi-function headband of claim 6, wherein the first neck protection appendage comprises a first hook and loop fastener positioned on the inner surface of the first neck protection appendage, wherein the second neck protection appendage comprises a second hook and loop fastener positioned on the outer surface of the second neck protection appendage, wherein the first hook and loop fastener and the second hook and loop fastener are configured to releasably attach the first neck protection appendage to the second neck protection appendage.

10. The multi-function headband of claim 6, wherein the first ear protection appendage comprises a piece of release-sheet-protected tape positioned on the inner surface of the free end of the first ear protection appendage, wherein the piece of release-sheet-protected tape is configured to selectively engage the outer surface of the free end of the second ear protection appendage thereby releasably attaching the first ear protection appendage to the second ear protection appendage.

11. The multi-function headband of claim 6, wherein the first neck protection appendage comprises a piece of release-sheet-protected tape positioned on the inner surface of the free end of the first neck protection appendage, wherein the piece of release-sheet-protected tape is configured to selectively engage the outer surface of the free end of the second neck protection appendage thereby releasably attaching the first neck protection appendage to the second neck protection appendage.

12. The multi-function headband of claim 1, wherein the multi-function headband further comprises a material, wherein the material is selected from the group consisting of cloth, fleece, polyester, leather, polypropylene fabric, Neoprene™, Kevlar™, paper fabric material, organic materials, moisture absorbent material, Gore-Tex™, Novathin™, water resistant material, weather resistant material, heat resistant material, flame resistant material, Nomex™, heat/flame retardant material, Firewear™, Excel-FR™, netting material, elastic ribbing, and combinations thereof.

13. A multi-function headband comprising: a neck protector, wherein the neck protector is configured to be positioned adjacent to the back of a user's neck during use; an attachment apparatus, wherein the attachment apparatus extends from the neck protector, wherein the attachment apparatus is configured to replaceably maintain the multi-function headband around the head of the user, wherein the attachment apparatus comprises a first attachment appendage and a second attachment appendage, wherein the first attachment appendage comprises a free end, wherein the second attachment appendage comprises a free end, wherein the first attachment appendage and the second attachment appendage are configured such that the respective free ends overlap thereby releasably attaching the first attachment appendage to the second attachment appendage; and a plurality of appendages extending from the main body portion, wherein the plurality of appendages is configured to secure the multi-function headband about a user's neck, wherein the plurality of appendages comprises: a first neck protection appendage, wherein the first neck protection appendage comprises a free end, wherein the first neck protection appendage is configured such that the free end may be positioned about the front of the user's neck, thereby covering a first portion of the user's neck, and a second neck protection appendage, wherein the second neck protection appendage comprises a free end, wherein the second neck protection appendage is configured such that the free end may be positioned about the front of the user's neck, wherein the second neck protection appendage is configured to overlap at least a portion of the first neck protection appendage and be releasably attached to the first neck protection appendage.

14. The multi-function headband of claim 13, wherein the neck protector further comprises an inner surface and an outer surface, wherein each of the first attachment member and the second attachment member comprise an inner surface and an outer surface, wherein each of the plurality of appendages comprises an inner surface and an outer surface.

15. The multi-function headband of claim 14, wherein the first attachment appendage comprises a piece of release-sheet-protected tape positioned on the inner surface of the free end of the first attachment appendage, wherein the piece of release-sheet-protected tape is configured to selectively engage the outer surface of the free end of the second attachment appendage thereby releasably attaching the first attachment appendage to the second attachment appendage.

16. The multi-function headband of claim 14, wherein the first neck protection appendage comprises a first hook and loop fastener positioned on the inner surface of the first neck protection appendage, wherein the second neck protection appendage comprises a second hook and loop fastener positioned on the outer surface of the second neck protection appendage, wherein the first hook and loop fastener and the second hook and loop fastener are configured to releasably attach the first neck protection appendage to the second neck protection appendage.

17. The multi-function headband of claim 14, further comprising a plurality of pockets, wherein a first pocket is positioned on the inner surface of the neck protector, wherein a second pocket is positioned on the inner surface of the first neck protection appendage, wherein a third pocket is positioned on the inner surface of the second neck protection appendage.

18. The multi-function headband of claim 1, wherein the multi-function headband further comprises a material, wherein the material is selected from the group consisting of cloth, fleece, polyester, leather, polypropylene fabric, Neoprene™, Kevlar™, paper fabric material, organic materials, moisture absorbent material, Gore-Tex™, Novathin™, water resistant material, weather resistant material, heat resistant material, flame resistant material, Nomex™, heat/flame retardant material, Firewear™, Excel-FR™, netting material, elastic ribbing, and combinations thereof.

19. A multi-function headband comprising: a neck protector, wherein the neck protector is configured to be positioned adjacent to the back of a user's neck during use; an attachment apparatus, wherein the attachment apparatus extends from the neck protector, wherein the attachment apparatus is configured to replaceably maintain the multi-function headband around the head of the user, wherein the attachment apparatus comprises a first attachment appendage and a second attachment appendage, wherein the first attachment appendage comprises a free end, wherein the second attachment appendage comprises a free end, wherein the first attachment appendage and the second attachment appendage are configured such that the respective free ends overlap thereby releasably attaching the first attachment appendage to the second attachment appendage; and a pair of ear muffs, wherein the pair of ear muffs extend from the attachment apparatus, wherein the ear muffs are configured to be positioned adjacent to a user's ears.

20. The multi-function headband of claim 19, wherein each of the first attachment appendage and the second attachment appendage comprise an inner surface and an outer surface, wherein the first attachment appendage comprises a first hook and loop fastener positioned on the inner surface of the first attachment appendage, wherein the second attachment appendage comprises a second hook and loop fastener positioned on the outer surface of the second attachment appendage, wherein the first hook and loop fastener and the second hook and loop fastener are configured to releasably attach the first attachment appendage to the second attachment appendage thereby replaceably maintaining the multi-function headband around the head of the user.

21. A multi-function headband comprising: a main body portion, wherein the main body portion comprises a v-shaped flat configuration, wherein the main body portion comprises a first portion and a second portion, wherein the first portion is longer than the second portion, wherein the first portion comprises a first free end, wherein the second portion comprises a second free end; and an attachment mechanism, wherein the attachment mechanism is configured to releasably attach the first portion to the second portion; wherein the main body portion is configured to be wrapped around a user's head thereby protecting the user's ears, wherein the first free end is positioned proximal to the second free end during use thereby allowing the attachment mechanism to attach the first portion to the second portion, wherein the user may adjust the main body portion by releasing the first portion from the second portion and reattaching the first portion to the second portion; wherein the multi-function headband is disposable.

22. The multi-function headband of claim 21 comprising paper fabric material, wherein the attachment mechanism is selected from the group consisting of hook and loop fasteners, a piece of release-sheet-protected tape, adhesive, buttons, snaps, file folder tabs, and combinations thereof.

Description:

PRIORITY

This application incorporates by reference and is a continuation in part of U.S. Utility patent application Ser. No. 11/714,024 filed Mar. 5, 2007. This application also incorporates by reference and is a continuation in part of U.S. Design patent application Ser. No. 29/293,648 entitled “Head Garment” filed on Dec. 4, 2007.

BACKGROUND

Some embodiments of the present invention relate to a headband, and more particularly, a multi-function headband. A variety of types of headbands have been made and used over the years. Such headbands and other headgear have been provided in a variety of configurations. While a variety of headbands have been made and used, it is believed that no one prior to the inventor has made or used the invention described in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

While the specification concludes with claims which particularly point out and distinctly claim the invention, it is believed the present invention will be better understood from the following description of certain examples taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals identify the same elements and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a user wearing an exemplary multi-function headband.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the multi-function headband shown in FIG. 1 showing the outer surface thereof.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the multi-function headband shown in FIG. 1 showing the inner surface thereof.

FIG. 4 is a left side view of the multi-function headband shown if FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a rear view of the multi-function headband shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a front view of the multi-function headband shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a user wearing an exemplary alternate multi-function headband.

FIG. 8 is a front view of a user wearing the multi-function headband shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a right side view of a user wearing the multi-function headband shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 10 is a left side view of a user wearing the multi-function headband shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 11 is a rear view of a user wearing the multi-function headband shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 12 is a plan view of a user wearing the multi-function headband shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of an another exemplary alternate multi-function headband.

FIG. 14 is a plan view of the multi-function headband shown in FIG. 13 in a flat configuration.

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a modified version of the multi-function headband shown in FIG. 1, with a removable face mask attached thereto.

FIG. 16 is a front view of a modified version of the multi-function headband shown in FIG. 7, with a removable face mask attached thereto.

FIG. 17 is a right side view of the modified multi-function headband shown in FIG. 16.

FIG. 18 is a left side view of the modified multi-function headband shown in FIG. 16.

FIG. 19 is a right side view of a modified version of the multi-function headband shown in FIG. 16 with the removable face mask unattached.

FIG. 20 is a right side view of the modified multi-function headband shown in FIG. 19 with the face mask attached in a storage position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Turning to the drawings, wherein like numerals denote like components throughout the several views, FIGS. 1-6 depict an exemplary embodiment of a multi-function headband 10 configured to be worn by a user about the user's head thereby protecting the user's ears, at least a portion of the user's head, and the user's neck. While the user is preferably a human being, headband 10 may also be configured to be used by animals, such as dogs and horses. Headband 10 may be configured to protect the covered portions of the user from the weather, dampen or eliminate exterior sounds, or perform any other suitable function. In the illustrated version, headband 10 comprises a main body portion 20 with a plurality of appendages extending from main body portion 20. In this version, headband 10 includes a first ear protection appendage 30, a second ear protection appendage 40, a first neck protection appendage 50 and a second neck protection appendage 60. As shown, headband 10 comprises a unitary piece of material. However, this one-piece construction is not required. In addition, in this example, Headband 10 comprises an inner surface 12 and an outer surface 14. Headband 10 may include stuffing, padding, or any other suitable material between inner surface 12 and outer surface 14 to provide additional protection or comfort. Additionally, headband 10 may be configured to house electronics between inner surface 12 and outer surface 14. By way of example only, the electronics may comprise headphones built in to the ear protection appendages 30, 40 and positioned to provide sound to the user. The headphones may be configured to communicate with a portable electronic device, such as an mp3 player, Ipod™, radio, personal digital assistant, cellular phone, or any other suitable device via a hard-wired connection, Bluetooth™ technology or any other suitable method or technology. The electronics may also comprise warming elements, cooling elements, LED lights or any other suitable device positioned in one or more portions of the headband 10.

Headband 10 may be made of cloth, fleece, polyester, leather, polypropylene fabric, Neoprene™ (polychloroprene fibers sold by DuPont), paper fabric material, organic materials (such as, for example a bamboo/cotton combination), moisture absorbent material, Gore-Tex™ (manufactured and sold by W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.), Novathin™, Kevlar™ (manufactured and sold by DuPont), or any other suitable material, including combinations thereof. For certain applications, headband 10 may comprise material resistant to specific elements, such as, for example water or weather resistant material, heat or flame resistant material, such as Nomex™ fiber material manufactured and sold by DuPont, or heat or flame retardant material, such as Firewear™ fiber material and Excel-FR™ fiber material manufactured and sold by Bulwark Protective Apparel. Headband 10 may also comprise a design, such as camouflage, printed onto the material to help the user blend into the surrounding environment. The design may be applied to material using any suitable method or process.

As used herein, the term “paper fabric material” refers to materials commonly used for paper towels, shop rags, tissues, or any other similar product. In particular, “paper fabric material” includes but is not limited to a material comprising latex and cellulose that is soft and absorbent, such as a product referred to as DRC manufactured by Treco Fibematics. In addition “paper fabric material” also includes but is not limited to paper products, such as tissue paper, with a synthetic backing, such as polyethylene, configured to be absorbent on one side and capable of repelling moisture on the other side. A specific example of this type of material is referred to as Polybacked Spunlace or Polybacked Scrim Reinforced Material manufactured by Treco Fibematics. Embodiments of headbands made out of paper fabric material may be considered disposable due to the low material cost.

In an alternate embodiment (not shown), the headband may comprise a mesh, netting material. The netting material may be configured to prevent bugs or other elements from contacting the user's skin, while simultaneously facilitating regulation of the user's body temperature by allowing air to easily reach the user's skin. In this embodiment, the entire headband may comprise netting material, or one or more portions of the headband may comprise netting material. In particular, in one embodiment the flap 22 may comprise netting while the other portions of the headband comprise an alternate material, such as fleece.

In yet another alternate embodiment (not shown), the headband may comprise elastic ribbing. The elastic ribbing may be configured to provide increased flexibility and facilitate stretching of the headband around the user's head and/or neck during application, while also providing a more snug, closer fit to the user's head during use. In this embodiment, the entire headband may comprise elastic ribbing, or one or more portions of the headband may comprise elastic ribbing.

As shown in FIGS. 1-6, main body portion 20 comprises a flap 22 that extends below first neck protection appendage 50 and second neck protection appendage 60. In this version, main body portion 20 is configured to be placed adjacent to the back of a user's head, thereby covering a portion of the user's head and allowing flap 22 to cover the user's neck. Flap 22 may be of sufficient dimensions so as to cover a portion of user's shoulders and extend down the user's back, however this is not required. In this example, main body portion 20 includes a pocket 24 positioned on inner surface 12 such that pocket 24 is disposed adjacent to the back of the user's head and neck during use. Pocket 24 may be configured to receive a temperature influencing device (not shown). A temperature influencing device may be any device operable to affect the temperature of the surrounding area, including but not limited to heat packs, ice packs, heatable gel packs, freezeable gel packs, and any other suitable device. Although the illustrated version includes one pocket 24 in main body 20, any suitable number of pockets in any suitable orientation may be used.

In the illustrated embodiment, first ear protection appendage 30 and second ear protection appendage 40 extend substantially vertically from main body portion 20. As shown in FIG. 1, first ear protection appendage 30 and second ear protection appendage 40 are configured to be wrapped around the user's head, thereby covering a portion of the user's head and the user's ears. In this version, first ear protection appendage 30 terminates in a free end 32, and second ear protection appendage 40 terminates in a free end 42. First ear protection appendage 30 and second ear protection appendage 40 may be configured to allow the free ends 32, 42 to be placed upon the top of the user's head such that second ear protection appendage 40 overlaps at least a portion of first ear protection appendage 30. First ear protection appendage 30 may be configured to be releasably attached to second ear protection appendage 40 using hook and loop fasteners, a piece of release-sheet-protected tape, adhesive, buttons, snaps, or any other suitable method or device. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, first ear protection appendage 30 comprises a hook and loop fastener 34 disposed on the outer surface 14, and second ear protection appendage 40 comprises a hook and loop fastener 44 disposed on the inner surface 12. As first ear protection appendage 30 and second ear protection appendage 40 overlap, the hook and loop fasteners 34, 44 engage one another thereby securing headband 10 about the user's head.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, headband 10 comprises pockets 36 and 46 positioned on inner surface 12 of first ear protection appendage 30 and second ear protection appendage 40, respectively. In this example, pockets 36 and 46 are configured to be positioned adjacent to the user's ears during use. Similar to pocket 24, pockets 36 and 46 may be configured to receive a temperature influencing device (not shown). Although the illustrated version includes one pocket 36 on first ear protection appendage 30 and one pocket 46 on second ear protection appendage 40, any suitable number of pockets in any suitable orientation may be used.

Headband 10 may be configured to be releasably attached to a head protector, such as a hard hat, helmet, or any other device configured to cover and protect at least a portion of the user's head. In such an embodiment, at least one of the first ear protection appendage 30 and the second ear protection appendage 40 is configured to be releasably attached to the suspension or interior surface of the head protector. It will be appreciated that the hard hat may be releasably attached to the headband 10 using any suitable method or device well known within the art, including, but not limited to hook and loop fasteners, cloth tabs, snaps, buttons, adhesive, a piece of release-sheet-protected tape and combinations thereof.

In this example, first neck protection appendage 50 and second neck protection appendage 60 extend substantially horizontally from main body portion 20. As shown in FIG. 1, first neck protection appendage 50 and second neck protection appendage 60 are configured to be wrapped around the neck of the user, thereby insulating at least a portion of the user's neck from the weather. In this version, first neck protection appendage 50 terminates in a free end 52, and second neck protection appendage 60 terminates in a free end 62. First neck protection appendage 50 and second neck protection appendage 60 may be configured to allow the free ends 52, 62 to be wrapped around the user's neck underneath the user's chin such that second neck protection appendage 60 overlaps at least a portion of first neck protection appendage 50. First neck protection appendage 50 may be configured to be releasably attached to second neck protection appendage 60 using hook and loop fasteners, a piece of release-sheet-protected tape, adhesive, buttons, snaps, or any other suitable method or device. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, first neck protection appendage 50 comprises a hook and loop fastener 54 disposed on the outer surface 14, and second neck protection appendage 60 comprises a hook and loop fastener 64 disposed on the inner surface 12. As first neck protection appendage 50 and second neck protection appendage 60 overlap, the hook and loop fasteners 54, 64 engage one another thereby releasably securing headband 10 about the user's neck.

In an alternate embodiment (not shown), the headband comprises at least one pocket positioned on the inner surface of first neck protection appendage and at least one pocket positioned on the inner surface of second neck protection appendage. The pockets may be similar to pockets 22, 36 and 46 described above. Pockets may be configured to receive a temperature influencing device and to be positioned adjacent to the side of the user's neck during use. Any suitable number and orientation of pockets may be used.

At least one of the pockets may be configured to receive one or more alternate devices or objects, in addition to the temperature influencing devices described above. By way of example only, pockets may be configured to receive a device configured to be used in aromatherapy, a dispersal device, including but not limited to a hot or cold pack configured to release medicine, or any other suitable medicinal object or device. Similarly, pockets may be configured to receive a moisture absorbing member configured to facilitate absorption of moisture from the user's forehead, neck and/or head. The moisture absorbing member may comprise an absorbent material, such as Novathin™ manufactured and sold by EAM Corporation, polymer cellulose paper, polymer beads, or any other suitable material.

In yet another alternate embodiment, at least one of the pockets may be configured to receive a portable electronic device, such as an mp3 player, Ipod™, radio, personal digital assistant, cellular phone, or any other suitable electronic device. Alternatively, at least one of the pockets may be configured to receive a hardware device in communication with one or more portable electronic devices, such as earphones, a microphone, a speaker, or any other suitable devices. The hardware device may be configured to communicate with the portable electronic device via Bluetooth™ technology, a hard-wired connection, or any other suitable method or technology.

In yet another alternate embodiment (not shown), first ear protection member and second ear protection member are configured to wrap around a user's head in a substantially horizontal direction, resulting in the free ends overlapping on the user's forehead. The other components of the headband may function as described above or otherwise.

FIGS. 7-12 depict an alternate embodiment of a multi-function headband 110 configured to be strapped around the forehead of the user. Headband 110 comprises a retaining band 120, an attachment member, 130, a right side panel 140, a left side panel 150, and a rear panel 160. Headband 110 may comprise one or more of the following: cloth, fleece, polyester, leather, polypropylene fabric, Neoprene™, Kevlar™, paper fabric material, organic materials (such as, for example a bamboo/cotton combination), moisture absorbent material, Gore-Tex™, Novathin™, water/weather resistant material, heat/flame resistant material, Nomex™, heat/flame retardant material, Firewear™, Excel-FR™, netting material, elastic ribbing, or any other suitable material, including combinations thereof.

In this version, retaining band 120 is configured to encircle the user's head leaving the top of the user's head exposed. Retaining band 120 may comprise elastic bands or any other suitable device configured to provide flexibility and to allow the retaining band to retain a snug fit around the user's head.

In the illustrated version, attachment member 130 is configured to wrap around the forehead of the user thereby overlapping at least a portion of retaining band 120. Attachment member 130 is configured to releasably attach to retaining band 120 thereby securing headband 110 to the user's head. Attachment member 130 may releasably attach to retaining band 120 using hook and loop fasteners, a piece of release-sheet-protected tape, adhesive, buttons, snaps, or any other suitable method or device, including combinations thereof. The attachment member 130 may be configured to allow the user to adjust the headband 110 to achieve a desired fit.

Headband 110 may be configured to be releasably attached to a head protector, such as a hard hat, helmet, or any other device configured to cover and protect at least a portion of the user's head. In such an embodiment, at least one of the retaining band 120, attachment member 130, right side panel 140, left side panel 150, and rear panel 160 is configured to be releasably attached to the suspension or interior surface of the head protector. It will be appreciated that the hard hat may be releasably attached to the headband 110 using any suitable method or device well known within the art, including, but not limited to hook and loop fasteners, cloth tabs, snaps, buttons, adhesive, a piece of release-sheet-protected tape and combinations thereof.

As shown in FIGS. 7-12, right side panel 140 depends from retaining band 120. In the illustrated version, right side panel 140 is triangular, however any other suitable shape may be used. In this example, right side panel 140 is configured to cover at least a portion of the side of the user's head and at least a portion of the user's ear. Similarly, in this version, left side panel 150 depends from retaining band 120 and is configured to cover at least a portion of the side of user's head and at least a portion of the user's ear. Left side panel 150 is also triangular in the illustrated version, however any suitable shape may be used.

In this example, rear panel 160 depends from retaining band 120 and extends from right side panel 140 to left side panel 150. As shown, rear panel 160 is configured to cover at least a portion of the rear of the user's head and at least a portion of the user's neck. Rear panel 160 may be configured to extend past user's neck and cover at least a portion of user's back and shoulders.

One or more portions of headband 110 may be configured to house electronics. By way of example only, the electronics may comprise headphones built in to the right side panel 140 and left side panel 150 and positioned to provide sound to the user. The headphones may be configured to communicate with a portable electronic device, such as an mp3 player, Ipod™, radio, personal digital assistant, cellular phone, or any other suitable device via a hard-wired connection, Bluetooth™ technology or any other suitable method or technology. The electronics may also comprise warming elements, cooling elements, led lights or any other suitable device positioned in one or more portions of the headband 110.

In an alternate version, shown in FIGS. 13 and 14, headband 210 is configured to be wrapped around a user's head and comprises a sleeve 220 including a pair of free ends 222, 224 and an attachment mechanism 230. Headband 210 may be positioned so as to protect the user's ears and at least a portion of the user's head. In this embodiment, as shown in FIG. 14, while flat and with free ends 222, 224 not attached to each other, headband 210 has a substantially v-shaped configuration comprising a first portion 212 and a second portion 214. In this example, first portion 212 is longer than the second portion. Attachment mechanism 230 may be positioned on at least one of free ends 222, 224 to allow first portion 212 to be releasably attached to second portion 214 when first portion 212 is positioned proximal to second portion 214. First portion 212 and second portion 214 may have substantially the same length. Alternatively, one portion 212, 214 may be longer than the other portion 212, 214.

During use, first portion 212 may be positioned such that first free end 222 substantially abuts second free end 224, or, alternatively, first portion 212 may be positioned such that first portion 212 overlaps second portion 214. Attachment mechanism 230 may comprise hook and loop fasteners, a piece of release-sheet-protected tape, adhesive, buttons, snaps, file folder tabs, any other suitable method or device, or combinations thereof. Attachment mechanism 230 may be configured to allow the user to repeatedly adjust headband 210 to achieve a desirable fit. In this version, headband 210 may comprise cloth, fleece, polyester, leather, polypropylene fabric, Neoprene™, Kevlar™, paper fabric material, organic materials (such as, for example a bamboo/cotton combination), moisture absorbent material, Gore-Tex™, Novathin™, water/weather resistant material, heat/flame resistant material, Nomex™, heat/flame retardant material, Firewear™, Excel-FR™, netting material, elastic ribbing, or any other suitable material, including combinations thereof. In one specific embodiment, the headband comprises an inexpensive material, such as paper fabric material, so that the headband is disposable after a single use.

Headband 210 may be configured to be releasably attached to a head protector, such as a hard hat, helmet, or any other device configured to cover and protect at least a portion of the user's head. In such an embodiment, sleeve 220 is configured to be releasably attached to the suspension or interior surface of the head protector. It will be appreciated that the hard hat may be releasably attached to the headband 210 using any suitable method or device well known within the art, including, but not limited to hook and loop fasteners, cloth tabs, snaps, buttons, adhesive, a piece of release-sheet-protected tape and combinations thereof.

FIGS. 15-20 depict various embodiments of multi-function headbands that include a removable face mask. It will be appreciated that the removable face mask may comprise breathing holes, slits, or strips or any other similar feature. In FIG. 15, headband 310 is similar to headband 10 described above, except for the addition of face mask 370. In this embodiment, headband 310 comprises a main body portion 320, a first ear protection appendage 330, a second ear protection appendage 340, a first neck protection appendage 350 and a second neck protection appendage 360. As shown, face mask 370 is configured to be attached to first ear protection appendage 330, wrapped around the user's face, and attached to second ear protection appendage 340. Face mask 370 may be configured to cover at least a portion of the user's face, such as the user's cheeks, nose and mouth thereby protecting those portions from the weather. It should be noted that face mask 370 may be attached to any suitable portion of headband 310, such as, for example main body portion 320, first neck protection appendage 350, or second neck protection appendage 360. Face mask 370 may be removably attached to first ear protection appendage 330 and second ear protection appendage 340 using hook and loop fasteners, a piece of release-sheet-protected tape, adhesive, buttons, snaps, file folder tabs, any other suitable method or device, or combinations thereof. When not in use, face mask 370 may be configured to be completely removed from headband 310 or folded back to reveal the user's face and attached to another portion of headband 310 (similar to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 19 and 20 and described below). Face mask 370 may comprise the same material as the rest of headband 310 or an alternate material. By way of example only face mask 370 may comprise cloth, fleece, polyester, leather, polypropylene fabric, Neoprene™, Kevlar™, paper fabric material, organic materials (such as, for example a bamboo/cotton combination), moisture absorbent material, Gore-Tex™, Novathin™, water/weather resistant material, heat/flame resistant material, Nomex™, heat/flame retardant material, Firewear™, Excel-FR™, netting material, elastic ribbing, or any other suitable material, including combinations thereof.

FIGS. 16-18 depict headband 410, which is similar to headband 110 described above, except for the addition of face mask 470. In this embodiment, headband 410 comprises a retaining band 420, an attachment member 430, a right side panel 440, a left side panel 450, and a rear panel 460. As shown, face mask 470 is configured to be attached to right side panel 440, wrapped around the user's face, and attached to left side panel 450. Face mask 470 may be configured to cover at least a portion of the user's face, such as the user's cheeks, nose and mouth thereby protecting those portions from the weather. It should be noted that face mask 470 may be attached to any suitable portion of headband 410, such as, for example retaining band 420, attachment member 430, or rear panel 460. Face mask 470 may be removably attached to right side panel 440 and left side panel 450 using hook and loop fasteners, a piece of release-sheet-protected tape, adhesive, buttons, snaps, file folder tabs, any other suitable method or device, or combinations thereof. When not in use, face mask 470 may be configured to be completely removed from headband 410 or folded back to reveal the user's face and attached to another portion of headband 410 (as shown in FIGS. 19 and 20 and described below). Face mask 470 may comprise the same material as the rest of headband 310 or an alternate material. By way of example only face mask 470 may comprise cloth, fleece, polyester, leather, polypropylene fabric, Neoprene™, Kevlar™, paper fabric material, organic materials (such as, for example a bamboo/cotton combination), moisture absorbent material, Gore-Tex™, Novathin™, water/weather resistant material, heat/flame resistant material, Nomex™, heat/flame retardant material, Firewear™, Excel-FR™, netting material, elastic ribbing, or any other suitable material, including combinations thereof.

As shown in FIGS. 19 and 20 face mask 570 may be configured to be stored on headband 510 when the user does not want his or her face covered. In this embodiment, headband 510 comprises a retaining band 520, an attachment member 530, a right side panel 440, a left side panel (not shown), and a rear panel 560. As shown, headband 510 further comprises a first attachment member 572 positioned on right side panel 540 and a second attachment member 574 positioned on rear panel 560. In the illustrated version, first attachment member 572 and second attachment member 574 are configured to allow user to removably attach face mask 570 to headband 510. First attachment member 572 and second attachment member 574 may comprise hook and loop fasteners, pieces of release-sheet-protected tape, adhesive, buttons, snaps, file folder tabs, any other suitable method or device or combinations thereof. Of course, attachment members 572, 574 may alternatively be positioned at any other suitable location on headband 510. In addition, similar attachment members may be provided on the headband 310 shown in FIG. 15, permitting a user to reposition face mask 370 from their face to a location on headband 310.

Having shown and described various embodiments of the present invention, further adaptations of the methods and systems described herein may be accomplished by appropriate modifications by one of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the scope of the present invention. Several of such potential modifications have been mentioned, and others will be apparent to those skilled in the art. For instance, the examples, embodiments, geometries, materials, dimensions, ratios, steps, and the like discussed above are illustrative and are not required. Accordingly, the scope of the present invention should be considered in terms of the following claims and is understood not to be limited to the details of structure and operation shown and described in the specification and drawings.





 
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