Title:
Hunters Hat with Mask
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hat with a built-in flexible facemask mounted on the bottom front edge of the hat. By raising the hat above the user's head, the mask falls out of the interior of the hat into a deployed position in front of the user's face.



Inventors:
Niedrich, Douglas H. (Hailey, ID, US)
Nichols, Warren D. (Bellevue, ID, US)
Application Number:
12/366478
Publication Date:
08/06/2009
Filing Date:
02/05/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/195.1, 2/206, 2/250
International Classes:
A42B1/18; A41D27/20; A42B1/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20080086789Safety gearApril, 2008Dick
20080198579Hat LightAugust, 2008Crye et al.
20040003445Ballistic resistant panelJanuary, 2004Dovner
20070044203Convertible capMarch, 2007Hall
20060195966Wearable nose and face wiperSeptember, 2006Martin et al.
20070143908Shoulder protectorJune, 2007Phillips
20030159192Wheelchair blanket/jacket/slickerAugust, 2003La Scala
20100083453DISPOSABLE SANITARY HAND COVERApril, 2010Abbas



Primary Examiner:
HADEN, SALLY CLINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Maschoff Brennan (Park City, UT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A clothing device for use by outdoors users, comprising: a hat body with a bill and a bottom edge, a windowless flexible facemask configured to allow said user to view through said flexible facemask, attached to said bottom edge, and configured to hang freely from said front bottom edge of said hat body, and to be foldable into said hat body to be worn in a storage configuration, with said face mask dimensioned to cover the user's entire face and neck, with said mask configured to fall freely from an interior of said hat when said hat is lifted into the air from a users head.

2. The clothing device of claim 1, in which said flexible facemask further comprises a pair of eyeholes positioned for a user to see through.

3. The clothing device of claim 1, in which said flexible facemask further comprises a moldable material adjacent to the bottom edge of the hat, for forming portions of said facemask into ear scoops adjacent the user's ears, for aiding the user in hearing.

4. The clothing device of claim 1, in which said flexible facemask is removable, and may be attached or removed from said hat body by the user.

5. The clothing device of claim 1, in which said flexible face mask further includes pockets to hold a microphone and earpieces positioned within said flexible face mask, said pockets—configured to be adjacent to the user's ears and mouth when worn.

6. The clothing device of claim 2, which further includes eye flaps for covering said eyeholes.

7. The clothing device of claim 1 in which said flexible face mask further includes a mask border made of heavier material than said face mask, in order to increase the mask's resistance to movement in the wind.

8. The clothing device of claim 1, which further includes ear panels to minimize interference with the user's hearing.

9. A clothing device for use by outdoors users, comprising: a hat body with a bill and a front bottom edge, a windowless flexible facemask configured to allow said user to view through said flexible facemask, attached to said front bottom edge, and configured to hang freely from said front bottom edge of said hat body, and to be foldable into said hat body to be worn in a storage configuration, with said facemask dimensioned to cover the user's entire face and neck, with said mask configured to fall freely from an interior of said hat when said hat is lifted into the air from a users head, said windowless flexible facemask further comprises a pair of eyeholes positioned for a user to see through.

10. The clothing device of claim 8, in which said flexible face mask further includes pockets to hold a microphone and earpieces positioned within said flexible face mask, said pockets—configured to be adjacent to the user's ears and mouth when worn.

11. The clothing device of claim 1, in which said flexible face mask further comprises a moldable material adjacent to the bottom edge of the hat, for forming portions of said face mask into ear scoops adjacent the user's ears, for aiding the user in hearing.

12. The clothing device of claim 8, which further includes eye flaps for covering said eyeholes.

13. The clothing device of claim 8, which further includes ear panels to minimize interference with the user's hearing.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the priority date of provisional application Ser. No. 61/026,382, filed Feb. 5, 2008. This application is a continuation-in-part application of application Ser. No. 11/626,761, filed Jan. 24, 2007, which is pending, and incorporated herein by this reference, and which claims priority of provisional application Ser. No. 60/466,520, filed Jan. 24, 2006.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to an apparatus for hunting, and more particularly to a hat with an attached face mask.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Camouflage is an important tool of a hunter. Camouflage serves to break up the outline of the hunter, and makes it harder for an animal to see the hunter. One situation in which camouflage is especially useful is when trying to cover a hunter's face. Not only are animals able to spot two eyes more readily than other features in the environment, but a hunter's light colored face can appear quite contrasting to the surrounding green and brown tones in the environment. What hunters sometimes do to prevent their light face from being easily visible to animals, is to put coloration on their skin in the form of black, green and brown, camouflage paint. One disadvantage with using camouflage paint is that it can be uncomfortable on the skin, and it tends to make a mess out of the hunter's hands and clothes.

An alternative to camouflage paint on a hunter's face is the use of a facemask. The facemask has the disadvantage that it can obscure the hunter's vision when he is traveling and make it hard to see things at a distance. It also restricts the hunter's peripheral vision.

In a typical hunting situation, disguising the face is only needed when an animal is at close range to the hunter. One situation is when a hunter is in a hidden position, and an animal either wanders close to him, or is called close by the hunter through the use of a call. When the animal comes close to the hunter, the hunter would need to put on a facemask in order to disguise the bright appearance of his face. That moment is exactly the time that a hunter needs to put on a facemask, but it is also the worst time to put on a facemask because he likely has to put his weapon down, use both hands to put on the facemask, possibly take a hat off, then put it back on once the facemask is adjusted, pick up his weapon, look around and try to find the animal again, and by that time the animal most likely has seen the hunter's movement or heard the hunter and is long gone. Additionally the typical face mask is hot, cumbersome, and bulky, reduces hearing, and is slow to put on.

What is needed is a facemask to camouflage a hunter's face which can be instantly available to the hunter when needed, but which can be out of the way of the hunter's vision when it is not needed. Ideally it would allow the hunter to put on a mask covering over his face merely by lifting the hat into the air, then replacing the hat on the hunters head.

Also needed is a facemask which is always ready to be used, but which can be tucked away inside a hat or removed from the hat so that the hat may be used when the hunter is driving or doing other non-hunting activities.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is a clothing device for use by people in the outdoors. The clothing device includes a hat body, which can be a billed or baseball type hat. The hat has a bottom edge, to which the bill or brim is attached. The clothing device also includes a flexible facemask. The facemask is attached to the front bottom edge of the hat, on the same side as the bill in the case of a baseball type hat. The facemask is configured to hang freely from the bottom edge of the hat body, and to be foldable into the hat body so that it can be worn in a storage configuration. In this way, a person may wear the hat with the facemask down when he is in the field, and tuck the facemask into the interior of the hat when he wears the hat driving or to town. The facemask is specifically made so that by merely lifting the hat into the air by the bill of the hat, the face mask falls out of the hat interior, and is in place in front of the hunters face. This allows minimal movement when putting on the mask.

The facemask's primary role is to serve as a facemask for hunting. When used by a hunter, the hat can be lifted to allow the mask to drop when the hunter wants to cover his face. The facemask is dimensioned so that it covers the user's entire face and most of the sides of the face and neck.

The facemask can be of a sheer material which is suitable for seeing through without the use of eyeholes. However, it can also be provided with eyeholes and the user can adjust the hat so that the eyeholes match the location of his eyes by adjusting the position of the hat on his head. No window material, either clear or colored is used in the face mash whether it is made with or without eyeholes, as there is a likelihood of reflection from a window surface that would defeat the purpose of the camouflage mask. One optional feature of the facemask is that it can include a moldable material which can be shaped into a form selected by the user. The moldable material would be positioned adjacent the front bottom edge of the hat, along the edges of the facemask. The user could form the moldable material into ear scoops adjacent the user's ear. These ear scoops aid in directing sound to the user's ear and thus increases the user's ability to hear. Panels of a fabric selected to minimize sound attenuation can be positioned of over the ears of the user to minimize attenuation of sounds. The best way known to implement the ear panels is to use a mesh fabric with larger opening than present in the rest of the facemask.

The invention can be configured so that the facemask is removable, and in this form would be attached or removed from the hat body by the user. One embodiment of the facemask includes positions for holding headphones in the facemask, so that the headphones are adjacent to the user's ear. These headphones can be used to listen to a radio, recorded music on a number of different types of devices or for wireless communication from one person to another. Similarly, a microphone may be built in to the facemask for wireless communication between users. The headphones and microphone can be separate from the facemask and be attachable to the facemask by the use of pocket snaps or hook and loop attachments. A version of the headphone can also include these devices built into the facemask.

In those versions of the facemask which include eyeholes, the eyeholes can be provided with a way to close or cover the holes. The holes can be covered with a hook and loop closure, snaps or other devices. The eyeholes can also be covered by flaps of fabric which can be secured in place over the eyeholes by similar means. The purpose for covering the eyeholes is to give the user the option of using the eyeholes for vision, or to not use them and see through the fabric instead.

The hat utilized is a type of hat which includes a bill; the bill would contain a left and right side which join at the bottom edge of the hat. The facemask also includes a right and left side of the facemask which also join the bottom edge of the hat. A preferred configuration of the device is one in which the facemask covers the hunter's entire face, the sides of his face, and most of the hunter's neck.

The facemask preferably includes a mask border which is made of a heavier material than the facemask. This heavier border is provided to increase the mask resistance to movement in the wind.

In the kit version of the device, a flexible facemask is provided for removable attachment to the front bottom edge of the user's hat, and the flexible facemask is configured to hang freely from the front bottom edge of the hat body. Like the facemask described above, the facemask of this version is configured to be foldable into the hat body so that it can be worn with the facemask out of sight. The facemask is dimensioned to cover the user's entire face and neck, so that when it is hanging down from the hat and moved to hang over the user's face, substantially the user's entire face and neck are blocked from view by the facemask. Attachment strips are provided for this version of the facemask, so that the attachment strips may be attached to the hat. Once the attachment strips are attached to the hat, the facemask may be attached to the attachment strips. The attachment strips may be attached to the hat by adhesive means, or by other conventional means of attachment. The facemask would be attached to the attachment strips by hook and loop surfaces, or other similar methods. The facemask is preferred to be in a generally parabolic shape, with a more or less straight edge opposite the parabolic curve. The straight edge would be attached to the brim or bottom edge of the hat.

The hat and facemask can be made of a fabric which absorbs odor, such as Scentloc® or Scentblocker® fabric, or other commercially available scent reducing fabric brands. The hat is preferably made of a stretchable material. Mouth and nose holes are also optional features of the facemask, and may further include multiple fabrics so the user may mold the most comfortable shape around his face and nose.

The purpose of the foregoing Abstract is to enable the public, and especially the scientists, engineers, and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection, the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The Abstract is neither intended to define the invention of the application, which is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.

Still other features and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in this art from the following detailed description describing preferred embodiments of the invention, simply by way of illustration of the best mode contemplated by carrying out my invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of modification in various obvious respects all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and description of the preferred embodiments are to be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as restrictive in nature.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of the hat with mask in the folded position as well as in the hunting or deployed position.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the hat with mask with the hat and mask in the hunting position.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the hat showing the device in kit form with a detachable facemask.

FIG. 4a is a version of the hat showing closeable eye holes.

FIG. 4b is a view of the facemask showing the eye holes closed.

FIG. 5 is a side view of a version of the hat and mask which includes additional devices and pockets.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

While the invention is susceptible of various modifications and alternative constructions, certain illustrated embodiments thereof have been shown in the drawings and will be described below in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the specific form disclosed, but, on the contrary, the invention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims.

In the following description and in the figures, like elements are identified with like reference numerals. The use of “or” indicates a non-exclusive alternative without limitation unless otherwise noted. The use of “including” means “including, but not limited to,” unless otherwise noted.

Several preferred embodiments are shown in FIGS. 1-5. FIG. 1 shows the hat and mask device of the invention, which is designated as 10 in the figures. The device includes a hat 12 and a facemask 14. The hat 12 includes in the preferred embodiment a bill 16 and a lower edge 18. The lower edge 18 includes a front edge 20, with the bill 16 attached to the front edge 20 of the hat 12 and the facemask 14 attached to the front edge 20 of the hat 12. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 is included a pair of eyeholes 24, but it is to be understood that eyeholes 24 are not required for this device to work. There are many sheer fabrics which are available which can be provided as a facemask 14, through which the user 26 can easily see with very little obstruction to his vision. FIG. 1 shows the hat 12 with the facemask 14 of the invention in a position in which the bill 16 is over the user's face and the facemask 14 is folded in the interior of the hat 12, as well as the deployed position covering the face.

The hat can be made of a number of different materials, including cotton, cotton polyester blends, nylon, of other materials. The face mask can also be made of a number of materials, including those listed above, as well as Gore-Tex, Lycra, cool max, Scentloc® or Scentblocker® fabrics, or any other fabric that met the physical needs of the mask. A generally stretchy material works best, so that a “one size fits all” mask configuration can be utilized.

FIG. 2 shows the hat 12 with mask 14 in a deployed or hunting position. In the hunting position, the facemask 14 is over the user's face, and the hat bill 16 is over the user's face. The transition from the hat position to the hunting position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is accomplished merely by raising the hat into the air, so that the facemask 14 falls out of the interior of the hat. This allows a facemask 14 to cover the user's face, neck and eyes, to reduce the user's visibility to animals. The facemask 14 can be made of a number of different fabrics or color patterns, including various types of camouflage color patterns. Shown in FIG. 1 is a mask edge 28 which is preferably made of a thicker and heavier material than the rest of the facemask 14. The mask edge 28 is provided to add increased weight and stiffness to the facemask 14 and to resist deflection of the facemask 14 by wind. This mask edge 28 can also be formed by rolling up the facemask material, and sewing it in place. The facemask 14 can include a moldable strip 30 which is a material which can be molded by the user to form either a flat area continuous with the mask edge 28, or a scoop (not shown) like region adjacent to the user's ears. When molded into the form of a scoop-like feature, the moldable strip 30 can be used to create a shape which reflects sound into the user's ear, and thus improves hearing for the user. The facemask 14 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is preferably of a lightweight material which may easily be inserted into the hat 12, so that the hat may be worn with the facemask 14 completely concealed inside the hat 12 and on top of the user's head.

FIG. 3 shows a version of the hat 12 with facemask 14 in which the facemask 14 is attachable and removable from the lower edge 18 of the hat 12. This version of the invention can be provided in kit form, with one or more attachment strips 32 provided for attachment adjacent the periphery 18 of the hat. The attachment strips can be adhesive, or hook and loop. The facemask 14 can have a strip of hook and loop fabric which corresponds to the attachment strips 32. In this way, the facemask of the invention can be added to any of the user's hats by use of attachment strips 32. The facemask 14 can also be attached by the use of snaps 36. Also shown in FIG. 3 is an ear panel 50 that can be made of a material specifically selected to minimize sound attenuation.

FIGS. 4a and 4b show a version of the hat in which the eye holes 24 include cover flaps 38. The cover flaps 38 can be fixed in an open position as shown FIG. 4a, or can be closed to a closed position as shown in FIG. 4b. Hook and loop fabric patches are one way to secure the cover flaps in the open or closed position, as shown in FIGS. 4a and 4b. The purpose of the cover flaps 38 is to give the user the option of having a mask with or without eye holes 24.

FIG. 5 shows a version of the hat 12 and facemask 14 combination of the device in which the hat 12 includes one or more pockets 42 adjacent to the lower edge 18 of the hat 12. The facemask 14 can be attached to the hat 12 as has been discussed above. The facemask 14 can include pockets 42 to hold a microphone 44 and earpieces 46. The earpieces 46 and microphone 44 can also be built into the fabric of the facemask 14, or can be secured to the facemask 14 either externally or internally. The pockets 42 can be utilized for holding such articles as batteries, FM radio, mp3 player, music players of various types, two way radio transmitters and receiver, or other similar devices.

The facemask 14 is configured so that it covers the entire face of the user 26, including the user's ears and front of the user's neck.

A strap (not shown) can be attached to the facemask 14 for adjusting the facemask 14 for fit on the user's face. The strap would store along the edge of the facemask 14, and when the facemask 14 is in use in front of the user's face, could be used to secure the facemask 14 to the users head by extending from one edge of the facemask 14 to the other edge of the facemask 14, behind the users head and neck.

A further feature is a mirror (not shown) which can be attached to the bill 16 of the hat 12, and can be folded into a storage position, or folded into a position available for a user to use the mirror to see objects behind him. The reflective surface mirror would be facing the rear of the hunter, so would minimize the chance of reflections being seen by the animal.

While there is shown and described the present preferred embodiment of the invention, it is to be distinctly understood that this invention is not limited thereto, but may be variously embodied to practice within the scope of the following claims. From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.





 
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