Title:
Apparel for protecting lower body from wetness
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A protective wrap for protecting the wearer from wetness that is designed to be easy to get into and out of, having an upper portion that protects the user's torso and a lower, enlarged foot enclosure that is removably attached. A vertical front flap opening is secured with a Velcro™ closure. The foot enclosure is attached with a horizontal, outdoor-type zipper. The wrap is designed for warmth and protection from elements, such as rain and cold, for a user who is sitting, standing, or moving about, and particularly those users who are in a wheelchair. The foot enclosure, which may have a non-skid bottom, may be made with carrying handles, and serve as a bag to conveniently carry the wrap and other items as desired.



Inventors:
Pothier, Judith (Springfield, OR, US)
Application Number:
11/880885
Publication Date:
01/29/2009
Filing Date:
07/24/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/69, 2/82
International Classes:
A41B13/06; A41D1/00; A41D13/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20090235430Glove with gripping dotsSeptember, 2009Williams
20050066410DECORATIVE TIE WHICH CAN BE JOINED TO A SHIRT COLLARMarch, 2005Jallard
20040210985Hat to be no mark on forehead and hairOctober, 2004Lee et al.
20040216212Adaptive clothing and fabrication thereofNovember, 2004Newman et al.
20090100560LAUNDERABLE TRITIUM HOODApril, 2009Anderson
20080120765ANTI-SNORING AND ANTI-CHOCKING APPARATUS AND METHODMay, 2008Zhu
20040052068Helmet having warning deviceMarch, 2004Chien et al.
20060021110Protective head coveringFebruary, 2006Lunzer et al.



Primary Examiner:
QUINN, RICHALE LEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVID E ORR (VANCOUVER, WA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A protective garment for keeping the person dry and comprising pliable, water-resistant material wrapped about the person's lower body, the material made to taper from the person's hips to the person's legs, the wrap fastened on the person's right side, whereby liquid is prevented from the front of the person.

2. The garment of claim 1, wherein the garment is made, when worn, is higher in the back than in the front to compensate for the person sitting, whereby the garment covers the person's lower back.

3. The garment of claim 1, wherein the wrap is made so that when the wrap is fastened the outside of the wrap overlaps the inside of the wrap, whereby liquid is prevented from entering the wrap.

4. The garment of claim 1, further including a bottom compartment worn about the person's feet, the bottom compartment removably attached to the wrap at the bottom by a zipper.

5. The garment of claim 4, wherein the bottom of the wrap overlaps the zipper, whereby liquid is prevented from entering the bottom compartment.

6. The garment of claim 5, wherein the bottom compartment has a non-slip bottom.

7. An article of clothing to prevent a wearer's lower body from becoming wet, the clothing article comprising water resistant material wrapped around the wearer's lower body to make an outer flap and an inner flap of overlapping material, the material made to taper from the wearer's hips to the wearer's lower legs, wherein the material is fastened on the person's right side by corresponding Velcro strips on the outer flap and the inner flap, the outer flap overlapping the inner wrap to prevent water on the wearer's lap from entering the clothing article.

8. The clothing article of claim 7, further including a zipper at the bottom of the wrap, the wrap configured to overlap the zipper, the clothing article further including a water-proof enclosure for the wearer's feet, the enclosure removably fastened to the wrap by the zipper.

9. Protective clothing comprising water resistant material worn about a person's lower body, the material made to taper according to the person's body when worn, the material made to create an outer flap overlapping an inner flap on the person's right side, the outer flap overlaying the inner flap and removably fastened to the inner flap, whereby water in the person's lap is prevented from entering the material.

10. The protective clothing of claim 9, wherein the material is made higher in the back than in the front to accommodate the person sitting.

11. The protective clothing of claim 10, wherein the bottom of the water resistant material has a zipper overlapped by the bottom of the water-resistant material, the protective clothing further including a water-proof foot enclosure worn about the person's feet, the water-proof enclosure made to be removably fastened to the water resistant material by the zipper, whereby the person may sit or stand with feet enclosed by the water-proof enclosure.

12. The protective clothing of claim 11, wherein the bottom of the water-proof enclosure is made from skid-resistant material.

13. Apparel worn about a person's lower body, the apparel comprising a wrap, wrapped about the person's waist and extending down to the person's feet, the wrap made higher in the back than in the front to accommodate the person when sitting, the wrap fastened at one side of the person's lower body and having a zipper made to open and close more less parallel to a surface upon which the person stands, the zipper overlapped by material from the wrap, the zipper securing a bottom foot-protecting portion, within which the person's feet are enclosed.

14. A bag for protecting a person's feet, the bag configured to be attached by a zipper to a wrap, the wrap enclosing the person's lower body and secured by a vertically running Velcro™ strip positioned on a side of the person's body.

15. The bag of claim 14, further including handles, wherein the bag encloses the wrap and is used to carry the wrap with the handles.

Description:

FIELD

This invention relates to apparel to protect the body from damp. More specifically, this apparel encloses the lower torso, legs and feet, and has an enlarged foot covering that is removable. The foot covering is configured to hold the other part of the apparel and to serve as a carrying bag.

BACKGROUND

There are a great many outdoor activities that require the participants to remain seated for prolonged periods of time. In many cases, participants have a periodic need to stand, move, or walk about. For example, a spectator at a sporting event may sit for long periods, but occasionally will wish to stand or jump to their feet. Long periods of sitting, particularly outdoors, typically cause the body temperature to decrease slightly due to lack of movement and circulatory activity. Also the person outdoors is subject to rainy or damp weather. Consequently, the individual is likely to become easily chilled or cold and wet. Given particularly inclement weather conditions, such person might even be at risk of hypothermia or frostbite.

Those participating in outdoor activities are known to employ various means for keeping dray and also warm. In addition to wearing warm clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, and similar protective coverings might be used for added warmth and dryness. While there is no limit to the bulk or number of layers one might cover up with in order to stay dry and warm, comfort and ease of movement are often limited by such protective coverings. While such limited movement may be acceptable while the person is sitting, it often becomes uncomfortable and unacceptably confining when the individual wishes to stand or move about. For example, one who is tightly wrapped in a sleeping bag or blankets while seated on stadium bleachers might spontaneously jump to their feet out of excitement, only to discover that they cannot regain their balance because their feet are too closely bound together. They may topple over, falling on other persons nearby, onto concrete, railing or stairs, and may thus be at risk of serious physical injury.

The use of sleeping bags or wrapped blankets for outdoor protection is also problematic under conditions of precipitation. Rain or melting sleet or snow typically causes such wraps to become wet and sodden. In particular, the portion of the wrap around the user's feet tends to become wet and soggy due to the movement of feet on the ground surface below, upon which wetness pools. With many fabrics, once the bottom becomes wet, moisture naturally tends to creep upwards into the fabric above, of consequently into the layers of clothing beneath the wraps.

Certain clothing items designed for outdoor warmth are made with separate enclosures for the legs and feet to offer greater ease of movement than a sleeping bag or wrapped blanket might offer. Such leg and foot enclosures might provide additional layers of protection against wetness on the ground. Unfortunately, such garments do not always provide as much warmth for the legs and feet as one might wish to enjoy. For example, in the case of a single wrap around both the legs, warm air is trapped in the interior space which helps maintain the person's comfort. While an alternative garment might keep each leg warm by layers of material, such garment may not take advantage of trapped warm air.

All the above mentioned difficulties associated with keeping warm while seated and moving in a limited fashion during outdoor activities are exponentially increased for one who is confined to a wheelchair or similar seating apparatus. Such individuals are likely to have a limited range of motion, making it more difficult to step into, or apply onto their bodies, various protective clothing or wraps. Not only will such a user likely have to position themselves and the protective gear around the wheelchair's frame, they might also have more difficulty closing snaps or fasteners, tying knots, or closing small zippers.

In addition to the above problems, a wheelchair user is likely to have physical conditions which result in a higher vulnerability to chill, coldness, and hypothermia due to constricted circulation, paraplegia, etc.

PRIOR ART

Prior art is found wherein various wader boots, having removable leg members and foot coverings, are designed to facilitate easy application and removal. Similar art is found wherein a sport robe is constructed of a single joined piece having two leg portions with enclosed feet and a body portion. The user steps into the robe, secures it at the waist, and can sit or move freely about while in the protective robe. Yet other similar art is found wherein a protective garment having two leg portions with enclosed feet also provides protective fold-over cuffs on the foot covering to prevent liquids from entering the boots. All such designs comprise separate enclosures for the user's two legs and feet, rather than providing a single enclosure for both torso and legs.

Other art is found wherein a lap robe is comprised of a primarily rectangular sheet of material fashioned so as to enable the user to fold a portion of the material around and under the feet, overlapping upwards behind the user's legs. The lower portion may then be tied or secured around the legs enabling a snug enclosure while the user is seated. This design does not provide for a removable foot covering, and therefore does not allow the user to walk freely while maintaining protection of the lower torso and legs.

Similar art is found wherein a foot pouch blanket is comprised of a blanket which is folded at the bottom and stitched along the sides to form a pouch into which the user may place his feet while sitting on the upper blanket portion. Such designs do not provide for the full enclosure of the lower torso and feet, nor is the foot covering removable.

Yet other art is found wherein a lap blanket designed for use by a wheelchair occupant is comprised of an upper and a lower portion. The user's feet may be placed into the lower portion and fully enclosed therein. The top portion covers the user's front torso, and is attached to the lower portion at the user's lap. Unfortunately, such design does not fully enclose the user's torso. While the foot covering is removable, it is not designed to allow the user to stand up and walk freely while maintaining protection of the torso above the feet and legs.

Similar art is found wherein a lap blanket for a wheelchair user is designed so that the blanket may be laid open in the wheelchair in a ‘T’ shape. A user sits on the blanket, which is then positioned to enclosed the feet and lower legs, being secured by a fastening means along a front slit. The upper portion of the blanket is wrapped horizontally around the user's waste and is fastened securely. Such design does not provide for a removable foot covering, and the user cannot walk or move freely while maintaining protection over the lower torso and legs.

Still other art is found wherein a warming bag is designed so as the front and side walls and the bottom of the bag are one continuous piece of material. A user may place his feet and lower torso into the bag. One side of the bag has a slit that enables the bag to be opened to ease entrance into the bag. A sliding closure like a zipper is used to secure the slit in a closed position to encase the user in the blanket. Similar art is found wherein a warming bag that is tapered in shape is designed in such a way that the bag's material does not wrinkle or fold behind the knees when the user is in a seated position. Yet other similar art is found wherein a warming bag having a front slit with a sliding, zipper-like fastener is also comprised of a highly elastic portion along the bag's uppermost edge so it may be help securely at the user's waist. Still other similar art is found wherein a warming bag having a front slit with a sliding, zipper-like fastener and a belt-like fastener at the waste also comprises a pillow structure incorporated into the seat. Such designs do not have a removable foot covering, nor do they permit the user to easily stand and walk freely about.

Other art is found wherein a walking bag is comprised of two parts for use as a sleeping bag and a protective walking garment. A body portion having a head opening, shoulder suspenders and two integral leg portions covers the wearer from shoulders to ankles. A separate bag portion may be pulled on over the feet for added protection. Such design comprises separate enclosures for the user's torso, legs and feet, rather than providing a single enclosure. In addition, such design does not require or use fasteners, so the foot covering is not fully secured to the body portion.

Therefore, what is desired and has not heretofore been provided, and is herein disclosed, is a body warming bag that completely encloses the lower torso and legs in a single enclosure, with an enlarged foot covering that is removable.

SUMMARY

Therefore in response to the need for a blanket for keeping a person dry, which may be used when seated, standing, or moving about, herein is disclosed apparel comprised of: a wrap configured to encircle a person's lower body, and a removably attached foot enclosure for enclosing a person's feet.

The foot enclosure is made to function as a bag and may conveniently carry and hold the wrap.

The wrap is made with a drawstring at the top and two vertical Velcro™ strips attached to the two ends of the wrap, the ends forming vertically running flaps. The Velcro™ strips are brought together to fasten the wrap around the person's body. The flaps are, in turn, protected by a flap cover-over hem that prevents moisture from entering the wrap. The uppermost edge of the wrap has a seamed hem with a drawstring which runs along the uppermost length of the wrap. The drawstring exits the wrap's hem through grommets positioned on the outer surface of the wrap along the uppermost edge, on both front flap corners. Two closure fixtures attached to the drawstring allow the drawstring to be tightened by securing the fixtures snugly up against the wrap's grommets.

The upper back portion of the wrap is made to curve in accordance with the wearer's spine, thereby compensating for the gathering of the wrap due to the person sitting, and by curving or flaring, to prevent water from entering the wrap at the person's back near the person's waist. The wrap is also made to be larger at the top portion and to taper inward around the foot enclosure.

The lower foot-covering portion of the dry and warming wrap is attached and detached from the upper portion of the wrap by a horizontal zipper having two zipper tabs. When the foot enclosure is attached to the upper portion of the wrap, a cover-over hem protects the horizontal zipper and keeps moisture out of the wrap. In a first embodiment, the foot enclosure of the wrap is made of the same material as the upper portion. In a second embodiment, the foot enclosure may have a waterproof, non-skid bottom.

The invention will be seen to have several benefits and advantages. One advantage is that the water-protecting wrap is made of durable materials capable of withstanding exposure to outdoor elements while keeping the user warm and dry.

Another advantage of the warming wrap is that the front flap allows the upper portion of the wrap to be easily opened, and therefore it is easy to get in and out of, particularly for someone in a wheelchair.

And another advantage is the wrap is made so that closure is on the right front side to prevent water from entering the wrap when the person using the wrap is seated.

And another advantage is the wrap is made to conform to the human body—it is larger at the waist section and tapers inward towards the foot section. Further at the top and back, where the wrap is nearest the person's back, the wrap is made to be curved and is longer to accommodate shortening due to pulling down caused by the person sitting. By making the back top curved, a gape is prevented at the person's back near the waist.

Yet another advantage is that the front flap's Velcro™ closure is easy to manipulate.

And another advantage is when the front flap is closed, a hem overlaps the flap seam to prevent water from entering the wrap.

And another advantage is that the drawstring and closure fixtures allow the wrap to be secured snugly at the user's waist.

Still another advantage is the user can get into the wrap, and adjust the position of the front flap as desired, in the front, back or side position.

And yet another advantage is that the foot enclosure is enlarged to provide roominess so the user can easily sit, stand or move about while the feet are enclosed.

Another advantage is the foot enclosure is removable so the user's feet can be completely freed up for unencumbered ambulation.

And still another advantage is that the foot enclosure may be secured onto, or removed from, the upper portion by an easy to use bi-directional zipper.

And yet another advantage is that when the foot enclosure is attached, a flap cover-over prevents water from entering the wrap through the zipper.

Another advantage is that the foot enclosure may be removed for cleaning.

Still another advantage is that, in a second embodiment, the foot enclosure has a waterproof, non-skid bottom.

And yet another advantage is the foot enclosure may be used to carry the wrap.

Another advantage is that the foot enclosure may be increased in length so as to easily produce various sizes of the wrap.

And yet another advantage is that the wrap may be embellished with various designs, logos, colors, etc.

Other benefits and advantages of the invention will appear from the disclosure to follow. In the disclosure reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part hereof and in which is shown by way of illustration a specific embodiment in which the invention may be practiced. This embodiment will be described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, and it is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that structural changes may be made in details of the embodiments without departing from the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a front view of the wrap with the front flap open and the foot enclosure attached.

FIG. 2 shows a front view of the wrap with the front flap open and the foot enclosure nearly detached.

FIG. 3 shows a user seated in a wheelchair wearing the complete wrap with foot enclosure attached, and with cover over hem to prevent water from entering the foot-covering portion.

FIG. 4 shows a user standing upright, wearing only the uppermost portion of the wrap.

FIG. 5 shows the bottom foot enclosure or protector separated from the wrap, showing the bottom of the foot enclosure having a non-skid surface.

FIG. 6 shows the bottom portion—the foot enclosure—functioning as a carrying bag to carry the wrap.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

An Exemplary Embodiment

With reference to FIG. 1, FIG. 2, FIG. 3, FIG. 4, FIG. 5 and FIG. 6, an exemplary embodiment is disclosed. Other embodiments may be conceived, given the general principles of design, structure and use described in the following pages. With reference to the included figures in the exemplary embodiment, a leg and lower body warmer wrap with a detachable, enlarged foot enclosure.

FIG. 1 shows apparel for protecting the wearer from wetness, the apparel comprising a wrap 1000 having an upper back portion 1040 that is made to be higher than the front portion 1020. In addition, the back of the wrap 1010 is curved to conform to a human spine, and therefore by the construction 1010 and 1040 is made to prevent a gape where the wrap is worn at the wearer's back near the wearer's waist. The wrap 1000 has an opening that forms two flaps 1020, the flaps 1020 being secured by a vertical Velcro™ closure 1030. The uppermost edge of the wrap has a seamed hem 1050 configured to accept a drawstring 1060 which runs along the uppermost length of the wrap along the circumference in the region indicated by 1002. The drawstring exits the wrap's hem 1050 through grommets 1070 positioned on the outer surface of the wrap along the uppermost edge, on both front flap corners 1080. Two closure fixtures 1090 attached to the drawstring 1060 allow the drawstring to be tightened by securing the closure fixtures 1090 snugly up against the wrap's grommets 1070.

The top 1002 of the wrap flares or expands outward to better accommodate the middle and hips of the wearer's body. The flaps 1020 and the Velcro™ are configured to make closure on the right or left side of the wearer's body, which helps to prevent water from entering the wrap 1000.

The lower portion of the apparel has a removably attached foot enclosure 1095 which is attached and detached from the bottom portion of the wrap 1000 by a horizontal zipper 1097. The foot protecting portion 1095 is attached at the bottom of the wrap 1000 beneath a cover-over hem 1100 made in the bottom of the wrap 1000.

FIG. 2 shows the foot-covering enclosure 2010 detached to the bottommost edge 2020 of the warmer wrap's upper portion 2000.

With reference to FIG. 3, the warmer wrap is shown being worn, the uppermost portion of the wrap 3000 with the front flaps in the closed configuration 3010. When the foot enclosure of the wrap 3020 is attached to the upper portion of the wrap 3000, a cover-over hem 3030 protects the horizontal zipper (shown as 1097 in FIG. 1) from moisture. In a variation of the exemplary embodiment, the foot enclosure may have a waterproof, non-skid bottom 3060.

With reference to FIG. 4, when the removable foot enclosure of the warmer wrap is detached 4000, the user may stand or move freely, with the feet unencumbered 4010 for free ambulation. The uppermost edge 4020 of the upper portion is secured to the user by a drawstring 4030 contained within a seam along the wrap's uppermost edge 4020.

FIG. 5 shows the wrap 5000 separate from the bottom portion 5020, which protects the wearer's feet. It will be observed the bottom portion 5020, by its concave structure forms a natural enclosure that may be used to carry the wrap 5000.

The bottom of the bottom portion 5020 may be made or endowed with a non-skid bottom 5025 to prevent the wearer from slipping on wet surfaces.

FIG. 6 further illustrates the arrangement suggested in FIG. 5. In FIG. 6, the bottom portion 6020 is configured with handles 6022. The bottom portion 6020 contains the wrap 6100, and with the handles 6022 serves as a convenient conveyance for the apparel.

DISCLOSURE SUMMARY

An apparel for keeping a wearer dry and also warm has been disclosed. The foregoing description of the structure, features and potential methods of use, of the apparel is intended to be illustrative and not for the purpose of limitation. The apparel is amenable to variation and further alternative embodiments, all within the scope of the invention as described above and set forth in the following claims.