Title:
Beach umbrella with storage space
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A beach umbrella includes a storage space or compartment in the interior of the umbrella for the storage of valuables and sundries. The storage space is formed on the underside of the canopy of the umbrella by a piece of fabric secured at its outer edges to the juncture of the umbrella's canopy ribs and stretcher ribs and at its center to the operating runner that slides up and down on the umbrella center pole. A secure opening accommodates inserting sundry articles into and removing them from the space between the canopy and the fabric. The umbrella has the appearance of a standard umbrella and folds and expands in conventional manner, yet provides a convenient storage space for valuables and sundries.



Inventors:
Kelley, Thomas Jeffrey (San Diego, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/803780
Publication Date:
11/20/2008
Filing Date:
05/16/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45B25/00
View Patent Images:
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20070283990CONVERTIBLE WHEELCHAIR AND WALKERDecember, 2007Fernandez et al.
20060272687Beach umbrellaDecember, 2006Tanner et al.
20090044847Ergonomic cane handleFebruary, 2009Barangan
20050189009Portable shelter systemSeptember, 2005Walter
20060102222Portable and retractable vehicle and equipment shelterMay, 2006Zebley
20080202573Rotatable, portable blindAugust, 2008Corbiere
20070240746Adjustable tension type of sunshade awningOctober, 2007Chen
20080308139Reflective overlay for shade umbrellasDecember, 2008Keesling



Primary Examiner:
HAWK, NOAH CHANDLER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREER, BURNS & CRAIN, LTD (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An umbrella having a center pole, a runner slideable on the center pole, a canopy connected adjacent its center to one end portion of the center pole and a canopy support system connected to the pole and the runner, and including a sheet of fabric having an inner edge connected to the runner and an outer edge connected to the canopy and/or the support system and forming a storage space between itself and the canopy.

2. An umbrella as set forth in claim 1 wherein said sheet of fabric extends wholly or partially about the center pole.

3. An umbrella as set forth in claim 1 wherein said sheet of fabric extends substantially concentrically and substantially circumferentially about the center pole.

4. An umbrella as set forth in claim 1 wherein said sheet is of a size and shape generally complementary to the size and shape of the canopy and extends generally concentrically and generally circumferentially around the center pole.

5. An umbrella as set forth in claim 1 having a support system including circumferentially spaced ribs, said sheet being connected at its outer edge to one or more of the ribs.

6. An umbrella as set forth in claim 1 having a support system including circumferentially spaced pairs of canopy ribs and stretcher ribs, said sheet extending to and being connected at its outer edge to the pivotal connection of one or more of the pairs of ribs.

7. An umbrella as set forth in claim 1 having a support system including circumferentially spaced pairs of pivotally connected canopy ribs and stretcher ribs, said sheet extending circumferentially about the center pole and being connected at its outer edge to the pivotal connections of the pairs of ribs.

8. An umbrella as set forth in claim 1 including an access opening into the storage space.

9. An umbrella as set forth in claim 1 wherein said sheet comprises a see-through material.

10. An umbrella as set forth in claim 1 wherein said sheet comprises a mesh or net material.

11. A beach or sport umbrella comprising a center pole, a runner slideable on the center pole, a canopy connected adjacent its center to a top portion of the pole, a plurality of circumferentially spaced canopy ribs pivotally connected at one end adjacent the top portion of the pole and connected at the other end adjacent circumferentially spaced locations adjacent the periphery of the canopy, a plurality of circumferentially spaced stretcher ribs paired respectively with canopy ribs and pivotally connected adjacent one end to the respective canopy rib and adjacent the other end to the runner, and a sheet having an inner edge connected to the runner and an outer edge connected to one or more of said ribs and forming a storage space between itself and the canopy.

12. An umbrella as set forth in claim 11, said sheet extending to and being connected at its outer edge to the pivotal connection between one or more of the pairs of ribs.

13. An umbrella as set forth in claim 11, said sheet extending wholly or partially about said pole and having an outer edge secured to the pivotal connections of a plurality of the pairs of ribs.

14. An umbrella as set forth in claim 11, said sheet being of a size and shape generally complementary to the size and shape of the canopy, extending concentrically and circumferentially about said pole and having a radial dimension equal substantially to the length of the stretcher ribs, said sheet being connected at its center to the runner and at its peripheral edge to the pivotal connections of said pairs of ribs.

15. An umbrella as set forth in claim 14, said sheet comprising a mesh or net fabric.

16. An umbrella as set forth in claim 14 including a secure access opening in said sheet.

17. In an umbrella having a center pole, a canopy, canopy ribs, stretcher ribs and a runner slideable on the center pole, a storage space on the underside of the canopy formed by a piece of fabric connected at its outer edge to the juncture of the canopy ribs and the stretcher ribs and at its center to the runner.

18. In an umbrella as set forth in claim 17, said piece of fabric being of a size and shape complementary to that of the canopy and extending concentrically and circumferentially about the center pole.

19. In an umbrella as set forth in claim 17, said piece of fabric being generally circular and having a radius substantially equal to the length of the stretcher ribs.

20. In an umbrella as set forth in claim 17, a secure opening into said space.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to umbrellas, particularly beach and sports umbrellas, and more particularly to a beach or sport umbrella having a self-contained storage space or compartment.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

When going to the sea shore or a beach or a similar place of recreation and/or relaxation, it is customary to take along beach towels or a blanket to sit or lay on, an umbrella for protection from the sun, some valuables, such as car keys, a wallet, cash and a watch, and various sundries, such as sun screen lotion, sun glasses, an MP3 player, a book, etc. When situated on the sand, there is no place to store these valuables and sundries other than placing them on the beach towels, from which they are soon displaced into the sand, which is not a desirable experience. Also, when walking down to the water, or swimming, there is no place where these articles can be hidden from view other then burying them under a beach towel.

It would be desirable to have a place for convenient storage of valuables and sundries while at the sea shore or on the beach to store the same in one place other than having them strewn about a beach towel, to keep the same out of the sand, to conceal them from view, and yet have them conveniently at hand. Similar considerations apply to sports umbrellas, such as golf umbrellas,

SUMMARY

It is an object of the invention to provide a convenient storage space or compartment for storing valuables and sundries when going to and at a beach or like place of relaxation and enjoyment.

It is further an object of the invention to incorporate such a storage space or compartment into an item that, in most instances, will be taken to the beach in any event; that is, an item that is a usual and customary accessory to a visit to the shore or a beach.

More particularly, it is an object of the invention to incorporate a storage space or compartment into an umbrella; more specifically, to provide a beach or similar umbrella having a self-contained, normally concealed, storage space or compartment within the umbrella.

In accordance with the invention, a storage space or compartment is formed on the underside of the canopy of a beach or other umbrella by a piece or sheet of fabric secured at its outer edge to the juncture of the umbrella's canopy ribs and stretcher ribs and secured at its center to the umbrella operating knob or runner that slides up and down on the center pole of the umbrella.

An umbrella with a storage space or compartment as provided in accordance with the invention operates, i.e., opens and closes, in the same manner as a conventional umbrella. From the exterior, there is no difference between the umbrella of the invention and an ordinary or standard umbrella. Yet, concealed within the interior of the umbrella, there is a space, a hammock-like compartment, for the convenient, out of the way and safe storage of sundries and valuables.

The fabric forming the storage space may be any natural or synthetic fabric that is supple and pliable, and may be an opaque fabric or a see-through fabric. Preferably, the sheet or piece of fabric is circular or of a size and shape complementary to the size and shape of the canopy of the umbrella so as to form a copious storage space substantially concentric with and extending circumferentially around the umbrella center pole.

The invention thus provides a beach goer or shore visitor with an apparently conventional beach umbrella that none-the-less contains an out of the way, out of the sand, out of sight and yet convenient storage space for valuables and sundries.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those of reasonable skill in the art from the following detailed description, as considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a cross-section of a beach umbrella with storage space provided in accordance with the invention, showing the umbrella in open position;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the lower surface or interior of the umbrella of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is a plan view like FIG. 2 but showing in dot dash lines sundry items stored in the storage space or compartment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The following is a description of an embodiment of the invention presently deemed by the inventor to be the best mode of carrying out his invention.

Referring to the drawings, a presently preferred embodiment of the umbrella with storage space provided by the invention is comprised of an umbrella 10 and a piece or sheet of fabric 12 forming between itself and the canopy of the umbrella a space or compartment 14 for the storage of valuables, sundries and the like.

The umbrella 10 is a standard umbrella, preferably a large size umbrella such as a beach or golf umbrella or the like, most preferably a large size beach umbrella. The umbrella includes a center pole 20, an operating knob or runner 22 slideable on the pole 20, a canopy 24, usually but not necessarily circular, secured at its center to the top of the pole, and a canopy support system or assembly 26.

The support system or assembly 26 is comprised of a plurality of circumferentially spaced canopy ribs or stays 28 and a matching plurality of stretcher ribs or stays 30. The stretcher ribs 30 are of the same number as the canopy ribs and are each paired with a respective one of the canopy ribs. The canopy ribs 28 are each pivotally connected at one end to the top or upper portion of the pole 20 and extend radially outward to the peripheral or outer edge of the canopy 24. The outer edge of the canopy is secured at circumferentially spaced points to the outer end of each of the ribs or stays 28. A variety of connectors are known in the art for securing the canopy to the ribs 28. The ribs 30 each have an outer end pivotally connected to a midpoint on the mated canopy rib 28 and an inner end pivotally connected to the operating knob or runner 22. Various forms of pivotal connections for the ribs are known in the art.

As is known, the umbrella has a normally closed or folded posture, wherein the canopy 24 is proximate and extends along the pole 20 and wherein the runner 22 is located adjacent the lower end of the pole 20, and an open posture, wherein the canopy 24 extends outwardly from the pole (as shown in FIG. 1) and the runner 22 is located on the upper end portion of the pole. Preferably, as is also known, means (not shown) are provided for releasably locking the runner to the pole, and thus releasably locking the canopy, in the closed and opened postures or positions. Sliding the runner 22 up and down on the pole 20 serves to move the canopy between its open and closed positions.

The sheet or piece of fabric 12 preferably extends circumferentially and concentrically around the pole 20 and is of a size and shape complementary to the size and shape of the canopy 24. However, the fabric may be of other shapes and sizes and/or it may have a circumferential extent less than that of the canopy. In the illustrated embodiment, the piece or sheet of fabric is circular and concentric with the pole 20 and has a radial extent substantially equal to the length of the stretcher ribs 30.

The fabric 12 may comprise substantially any supple and pliant natural or synthetic fabric material and may be an opaque material, a translucent or transparent material or a see-through material. In the preferred embodiment, the piece or sheet 12 is comprised of a mesh or net see-through fabric which provides the advantages of breathability, ready discharge from the storage space of granular materials such as sand and cookie crumbs, and the ability to see what is stored in the space 14.

The fabric sheet 12 has an inner edge adjacent and connected to the runner 22 and an outer or peripheral edge connected to the canopy support system, specifically, to one or more of the ribs 28 and 30. In the illustrated embodiment, the inner edge of the sheet comprises the edge of a hole cut in the center of the sheet and the outer edge is circular and connected to all of the ribs. Also, the sheet has a radial extend substantially equal to the radial extent, i.e., the length, of the stretcher ribs 30 and is secured at its outer edge to the pivotal juncture of the stretcher ribs and canopy ribs. The sheet may be secured at its inner edge or center to the runner 22 by any suitable means, such as a rope or similar tie, or by an elastic band such as an O-ring.

The sheet may be secured at its outer edge to the canopy 24 and/or the canopy support structure 26 at substantially any location desired. However, it is preferred to secure the outer edge of the sheet to the pivotal connection or junction of the canopy ribs and stretcher ribs because that juncture constitutes the strongest and most stable point in the canopy support system. Also, the physical structure of the pivotal connection between the stretcher and canopy ribs forms a particularly convenient, sound and practical structure to which to anchor the outer edge of the sheet.

The sheet 12 being supple and pliable like the canopy 24 folds and expands with the canopy upon operation of the runner 22 so that, from the exterior, the umbrella 10 conveys exactly the same appearance as a conventional or standard umbrella. There is no visible difference.

However, when the umbrella is expanded, the sheet 12 forms a convenient storage space or compartment 14 between itself and the umbrella canopy which, in its preferred embodiment, is circular and co-extensive with the area of the canopy encompassed by the stretcher ribs 30. The peripheral edge of the sheet 12 may be secured e.g., glued, to the canopy 24, but the edge need not be secured to the canopy if the edge of the fabric 12 is reasonably taut between adjacent rib pairs 28-30. Access to the storage space 14 for insertion and removal of articles is preferably comprised of a slit or opening in the fabric 12 that is adapted to be closed by a secure closure panel 32 moveably attached to the sheet 12, for example, by means of hook and loop fasteners (not shown).

The invention provides a beach, sports or like umbrella having a convenient and spacious storage compartment for valuable and sundry articles that is out of the way, out of the sand and out of sight and that contributes to the enjoyment of a day at the beach or on the shore.

The objects and advantages of the invention have thus been shown herein to be attained in a convenient, economical, practical and facile manner.

While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been herein illustrated and described, it is to be appreciated that various changes, rearrangements and modifications may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.