Title:
Integrated And Convertible Garment And Portable Storage System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An integrated garment and storage unit system can include a storage unit, one or more carrying straps attached to the storage unit, a garment body configured to be worn on a user's torso, a first fastener attached to the garment body proximate to the waist opening, and a second fastener attached on the exterior surface of the garment body on the back side. the first and second fasteners can be positioned such that when the garment body is folded or rolled two or more times onto itself the second fastener is positioned proximate to the first fastener such that the first and the second fasteners can be joined to secure the garment body for storage on the first side of the storage unit so that the folder or rolled garment body fits at least approximately within the first area. Related systems, apparatus, methods, and/or articles are also described.



Inventors:
Seemann, Robert M. (Edwards, CO, US)
Application Number:
12/371475
Publication Date:
08/20/2009
Filing Date:
02/13/2009
Primary Class:
2/4
Other Classes:
2/84, 2/85, 2/96, 224/577
International Classes:
A42B1/00; A41D3/02; A41D3/08; A45F4/00
View Patent Images:
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20050251893Padded athletic gloveNovember, 2005Hayden X et al.
20090235426Hooded garment with an integrated tubular collar having a zipperSeptember, 2009Johnston et al.
20090100563Flexible Shin GuardApril, 2009Behrend et al.
20060090248Weighted lap padMay, 2006Mckenzie et al.
20070118950Split sports jacketMay, 2007Hogge
20060090244Grooved visor stiffener and headwear using the sameMay, 2006Cho
20050273901Face protection device for tanningDecember, 2005Scheurn et al.



Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mintz Levin/San Diego Office (Boston, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A device comprising a storage unit comprising at least one interior compartment that is accessible through a reversibly closable opening, the storage unit having a first exterior surface with a first side configured to be positioned adjacent to a user's body, the first side having a first height and a first width; one or more carrying straps attached to the storage unit, the one or more carrying straps having sufficient length to be securable around a human waist or over a human shoulder; a garment body configured to be worn on a user's torso, the garment body comprising a front side disposed opposite a back side and a waist opening disposed opposite a neck opening, the garment body comprising a second exterior surface, the second exterior surface of the garment body being joined to the first side of the storage unit at a joining location; a first fastener attached to the garment body proximate to the waist opening; and a second fastener attached to the exterior surface of the garment body on the back side and positioned such that when the garment body is folded or rolled two or more times onto itself along an axis between the waist opening and the neck opening the second fastener is positioned proximate to the first fastener such that the first and the second fasteners can be joined to secure the garment body for storage on the first side of the storage unit so that the folded or rolled garment body fits at least approximately within the first height and the first width.

2. A device as in claim 1, wherein the storage unit further comprises a zipper that is operable to close the at least one compartment.

3. A device as in claim 1, wherein the first and the second fastener comprise matched halves of a zipper.

4. A device as in claim 1, further comprising a stowage compartment for each of the carrying straps, the stowage compartment allowing the carrying strap to be stowed away, extended on the outside of the garment body, and extended on the inside of the garment body.

5. A device as in claim 4, wherein the joining location for the storage unit is positioned on the back side of the garment body proximate the waist opening.

6. A device as in claim 1, further comprising a hood attached at the neck opening and configured to cover a user's head while leaving a face opening.

7. A device as in claim 1, wherein the face opening is covered by a mesh sized to prevent insects from passing through the face opening.

8. A device as in claim 1, wherein the garment body further comprises: two opposing sleeves each configured to accept human arms; and a reversible closure beginning underneath each sleeve that is operable to provide perspiration venting.

9. A device as in claim 1, wherein the second fastener is positioned on the back side of the garment body approximately two thirds of a distance between the waist opening and the neck opening and approximately even with a location of a wearer's armpits.

10. A device as in claim 1, wherein the first fastener is attached on an inside region of the garment body proximate to the waist opening.

11. A device as in claim 1, wherein the first fastener is attached to the storage unit proximate to a bottom edge of the first side.

12. A device as in claim 1, wherein the first height of the first side of the storage unit is approximately 33% of a distance from the waist opening to the neck opening of the garment body.

13. A device as in claim 1, wherein the first height of the first side of the storage unit is approximately 25% of a distance from the waist opening to the neck opening of the garment body.

14. A method comprising: reducing a presented width of a garment body of an integrated and convertible garment and portable storage system that comprises a storage unit attached to the garment body, the storage unit having opposed lateral sides and a vertical dimension in a direction aligned with a vertical axis connecting a waist opening and a neck opening of the garment body, the reducing comprising laterally folding one or more elements of the garment body toward a front chest area of the garment body such that the presented width is less than a horizontal dimension of the storage unit between the two opposed lateral sides; folding or rolling the garment body over on itself one or more times along the vertical axis; the folding or rolling reducing a presented height of the garment body to approximately the vertical dimension of the storage unit; and joining a first fastener proximate the waist opening and a second fastener on a back side of the garment body to retain the garment body in a stored position against a contact side of the storage unit that is configured to be worn against a user's body.

15. A method as in claim 14, further comprising: deploying one or more carrying straps attached to the storage device at the opposed lateral sides, the deploying comprising removing the one or more carrying straps from one or more stowage compartments built into the garment body.

16. A method as in claim 15, wherein the deploying comprises extending the one or more carrying straps from the one or more stowage compartments so that the carrying straps extend inside of the garment body.

17. A method as in claim 16, further comprising securing the one or more carrying straps around a user's waist to support the storage unit.

18. A method as in claim 17, wherein the deploying comprises extending the one or more carrying straps from the one or more stowage compartments so that the carrying straps extend outside of the garment body.

19. A method as in claim 18, further comprising securing the one or more carrying straps around a user's waist to support the storage unit.

20. A method as in claim 14, wherein the vertical dimension of the storage unit is approximately 25% or approximately 33% of a distance from the waist opening to the neck opening of the garment body.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/028,361, filed on Feb. 13, 2008 and entitled, “Chameleon Jacket and Vest Unlayering Clothing Systems” which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

FIELD

The subject matter described herein relates to outerwear that includes integrated and convertible storage compartments capable of storing the garment itself and/or other items.

SUMMARY

In a first aspect, a device includes a storage unit comprising at least one interior compartment that is accessible through a reversibly closable opening. The storage unit has a first exterior surface with a first side configured to be positioned adjacent to a user's body, and the first side has a first height and a first width. One or more carrying straps having sufficient length to be securable around a human waist or over a human shoulder are attached to the storage unit. A garment body configured to be worn on a user's torso includes a front side disposed opposite a back side and a waist opening disposed opposite a neck opening. The garment body includes a second exterior surface that is joined to the first side of the storage unit at a joining location. A first fastener is attached to the garment body proximate to the waist opening, and a second fastener is attached to the exterior surface of the garment body on the back side and positioned such that when the garment body is folded or rolled two or more times onto itself along an axis between the waist opening and the neck opening, the second fastener is positioned proximate to the first fastener such that the first and the second fasteners can be joined to secure the garment body for storage on the first side of the storage unit so that the folded or rolled garment body fits at least approximately within the first height and the first width.

In an interrelated aspect, a method includes reducing a presented width of a garment body of an integrated and convertible garment and portable storage system that comprises a storage unit attached to the garment body. The storage unit has opposed lateral sides and a vertical dimension in a direction aligned with a vertical axis connecting a waist opening and a neck opening of the garment body. The reducing includes laterally folding one or more elements of the garment body toward a front chest area of the garment body such that the presented width is less than a horizontal dimension of the storage unit between the two opposed lateral sides. The garment body is folded or rolled over on itself one or more times along the vertical axis to reduce a presented height of the garment body to approximately the vertical dimension of the storage unit. A first fastener proximate the waist opening is joined to a second fastener on a back side of the garment body to retain the garment body in a stored position against a contact side of the storage unit that is configured to be worn against a user's body.

In various optional configurations, one or more of the following features can also be included. The storage unit can further include a zipper that is operable to close the at least one compartment. The first and the second fastener can include matched halves of a zipper. A stowage compartment can be included for each of the carrying straps, such that the stowage compartment allows the carrying strap to be stowed away, extended on the outside of the garment body, and extended on the inside of the garment body depending on user preference. The joining location for the storage unit can be positioned on the back side of the garment body proximate the waist opening. A hood can be attached at the neck opening and configured to cover a user's head while leaving a face opening. The face opening can be covered by a mesh sized to prevent insects from passing through the face opening. Two opposing sleeves can be included on the garment body and each configured to accept human arms, and a reversible closure can be included beginning underneath each sleeve that is operable to provide perspiration venting. The second fastener can be positioned on the back side of the garment body approximately two thirds of a distance between the waist opening and the neck opening and approximately even with a location of a wearer's armpits. The first fastener can be attached on an inside region of the garment body proximate to the waist opening. The first fastener can be attached to the storage unit proximate to a bottom edge of the first side. The first height of the first side of the storage unit can be approximately 33% or approximately 25% of a distance from the waist opening to the neck opening of the garment body.

The subject matter described herein provides many advantages. For example, outerwear garments incorporating the current subject matter can be extremely versatile by providing both a lumbar or shoulder pack that can be used to store and carry snacks, wallet, personal entertainment or communication devices, water bottle, car keys, airline ticket, passport and more and all quickly and easily convert into, for example, a waterproof windbreaker jacket while leaving the stored items still accessible. These features and others provides a great deal of convenience over currently available travel and active wear and can be particularly advantageous for travel and outdoor sports including hiking, biking, snowshoeing, cross country running or skiing, golf and more as well as for sporting event spectators and the like.

The details of one or more variations of the subject matter described herein are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features and advantages of the subject matter described herein will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, show certain aspects of the subject matter disclosed herein and, together with the description, help explain some of the principles associated with the disclosed embodiments. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a diagram showing a front side of an example of an integrated and convertible garment and portable storage system.

FIG. 2 is a diagram showing a back side of an example of an integrated and convertible garment and portable storage system.

FIG. 3 is a process flow chart showing a method for converting an integrated and convertible garment and portable storage system from a wearable configuration to a stowed configuration.

FIG. 4 through FIG. 7 are diagrams showing stages in a method for converting an integrated and convertible garment and portable storage system from a wearable configuration to a stowed configuration.

FIG. 8 through FIG. 12 are diagrams showing various exemplary features of stowage and garment body pass-though compartments for carrying straps of an integrated and convertible garment and portable storage system.

FIG. 13 through FIG. 15 are diagrams showing various details exemplary features of a storage unit of an integrated and convertible garment and portable storage system.

FIG. 16 is a diagram showing an alternative implementation of an integrated and convertible garment and portable storage system.

FIG. 17 through FIGS. 20A and 20B are diagrams showing additional features that can be included on garment bodies of an integrated and convertible garment and portable storage system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The disclosed subject matter includes outerwear such as for example a rainwear or other general outdoor jacket, a vest, or other garment (including garments used for covering a human torso) that may convert into a otherwise be integrated with a storage unit, such as for example a pack that may be carried on a waist, lumbar, shoulder, some combination of them, or other type of carrying pack. A garment can in some implementations convert from a pack to a jacket, vest, or other garment. A waist/lumbar pack may also be carried over the shoulder in the form of a satchel or harness.

Garments consistent with this disclosure can be made from fabrics such as nylon, polyester, a blend of both, fleece, micro-fibers, canvas, or other material known to those skilled in the art. The fabric may be coated, or laminated to provide a water-resistant or waterproof and wind-resistant jacket or vest. The fabrics can be lined with additional layers of fabric or mesh to provide additional layers of wind and water protection. The seams of the jacket or vest can be sealed in various ways to provide additional water-proofing.

FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 are front side 100 and rear side 200 view diagrams showing features that can appear in various implementations of the currently disclosed subject matter. A garment body 102 in included to be worn on a human torso. The garment body can include a waist opening 104 disposed near the bottom of the garment body 102 and a neck opening 106 disposed near the top of the garment body 102. The garment body 102 can also include sleeves 110 of either full or short-sleeve length or can optionally be a vest with no sleeves. Attached to the garment body at a connection point is a storage unit 112. In the example shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the connection point is on the rear side of the garment body 102 proximate to the waist opening 104 such that when a user is wearing the garment body 102, the storage unit 112 is positioned proximate to the user's lower back, much like a typical waist or “fanny” pack might be worn. Other configurations are possible, for example the storage unit 112 could be positioned higher up on the rear side of the garment body 102 to function more like a typical knapsack or could even be positioned on the front side of the garment body 102 or on the interior of the garment body 102.

As shown in FIG. 1, the garment body 102 can also include a front closure 114, for example a zipper that runs from the neck opening 106 to the waist opening 104. Alternatively, the front closure 114 could allow only partial opening of the garment body, for example to enlarge the neck opening 106. The garment body 102 can also include pockets that can have closable features such as zipper son them.

As shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, various implementations of the current subject matter can also include carrying or support straps 116 that permit the storage unit 112 to be securely fastened to a user for comfortable carrying of items stored within the storage unit 112. In the example of FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, there are two such carrying straps 116 that are attached proximate to the side edges of the storage unit 112. As discussed below, the carrying straps 116 can include additional features such as concealability or other discrete storage when full support of the storage unit 112 against the wearer's body is not required. Other implementations can have one, two, or more carrying straps 116. The number and orientation of such carrying straps can be dependent for example on the positioning of the storage unit 112 on the garment body 102 and/or on the size and carrying capacity for which the storage unit 112 is designed.

FIG. 3 is a process flow chart showing a method for using an integrated garment and storage unit device according to the current subject matter. At 302, the garment body 102 can be folded laterally, for example as shown in FIG. 4, such that any elements such as sleeves 110 and/or any part of the garment body 102 extending outward beyond the sides of the storage unit 112 are folded toward the center or front chest area of the garment body 102 and laid flat.

At 304, the garment body is folded one or more times along its vertical axis (the vertical axis runs between the waist opening 104 and the neck opening 106), for example as shown in FIG. 5 and FIG. 6, such that the garment body is reduced in area to an area approximately the same size as the storage unit 112. A first fastener 120 located at or near the waist opening 104 is brought into proximity with a second fastener 122 located on the back side of the garment body 102 as a result of this folding or rolling of the garment body 102. As shown in FIG. 5 and FIG. 6, this rolling or folding step can include a sequence of two folds, each of which folds the garment body 102 approximately in half along its vertical axis, thereby resulting in reducing the vertical dimension of the garment body 102 by approximately 75%. In other implementations, approximately the top one third can be first folded over and then the remaining garment body 102 can be folded in half such that the vertical dimension of the garment body is reduced by approximately one third.

At 306, the first fastener 120 and the second fastener 122 are joined as shown in FIG. 7 to effectively retain the garment body 102 in a compact, inconspicuous state on the side of the storage unit 112 that is held against the user's body when the carrying straps 116 are engaged. The first and the second fasteners can optionally each be one half of a zipper, snap, button, or other fastener. As noted, the first fastener 120 can in some implementations be installed near to the waist opening 104 of the garment body 102. The second fastener 122 can in some implementations be installed on the back side of the garment body 102 exterior at a position that will bring the second fastener 122 into proximity with the first fastener 120 with a prescribed number of folds or rolls of the garment body 102 along the vertical axis. In one implementation, the second fastener 122 can be positioned approximately between the armpits of the garment body 102.

In a further optional variation, the carrying straps 116 can be stored in two lower zippered (or otherwise covered or uncovered) compartments 124 on the sides of the garment body 102 as shown in FIG. 8 through FIG. 12. These compartments 124 can optionally include pass-through functionality to provide several configurations for the carrying straps 116 including one or more of a) stowed in the compartment and not used, b) engaged around a user's waist on the outside of the garment body 102, and c) engaged around a user's waist on the inside of the garment body 102. FIG. 8 shows an view of the inside front right of the garment body 102 in which the compartment 124 is shown allowing a carrying strap 116 to pass through into the interior of the garment body 102. In FIG. 9, a similar view shows the carrying strap 116 stowed in the compartment 124. If the carrying straps 116 are stowed and not used, the storage unit is supported only by the garment body 102 itself while being worn by the user. No additional straps or support are provided, which can enhance comfort in some instances in which not much weight is borne in the storage unit. Additionally, stowage of the carrying straps 116 can lead to the storage unit being largely inconspicuous as part of the garment body, which can be quite useful in deterring or otherwise not interesting thieves.

FIG. 10 shows an outside view from the rear of the garment body 102 and storage unit 112. One of the carrying straps 116 is out of its compartment 124. The other strap 116 is hidden. FIG. 11 shows an inside view of the garment body with both carrying straps 116 stowed in their compartments 124. Each compartment 124 can optionally have a fastener 126, such as for example of Velcro, to retain the carrying straps 116 neatly out of sight when stowed. FIG. 12 again shows the inside of the garment body, only with the carrying straps 116 out of their compartments 124 so that the storage unit can be supported from within the garment body 102.

A storage unit 112 according to the currently disclosed subject matter can include a variety of features. As shown in FIG. 13, FIG. 14, and FIG. 15, the storage unit can include one or more compartments 130 that can be closable with a zipper 132 (as shown) or other fastener. The compartments, which can each optionally include additionally pockets, sub-compartments, hooks, chains, cozies, or the like, can carry items, such as food, water, music devices, cell phones, cameras, or be used as a travel pack to carry a wallet, passport, air ticket, credit cards etc. Pockets can optionally include but are not limited to, re-closeable pouches, zippered security pockets, pen or pencil holders, credit card slots, water-bottle holders etc. The compartment or any number of compartments on the outside of the garment can advantageously be easily accessible when the garment body 102 is rolled and or folded to be stowed on the side of the storage unit 112.

In a further implementation, shown in FIG. 16, the storage unit 112 can be joined to the back of the garment body 102 by a webbed connector 134 that indicates one of the fold points for folding the garment body for stowage. Higher up on the back of the garment body 102, a second fold point is indicated by a zipper or other faster 136 that can be concealed under a fabric lip for improved appearance and comfort. A mating fastener 140 can be positioned at the base of the storage unit 112 such that when the garment body is folded once zipper line 136 and again at the webbing join point 134 at the webbing point, the zipper or fastener 136 is brought in proximity with the mating fastener 140 for joining and securing the garment body 102 in the stowed position.

Garment bodies 102 according to possible variations of the current invention can take several forms and each can have one or more different features, including but not limited to those illustrated in FIG. 17 through FIG. 20. For example, FIG. 17 shows a windbreaker-type garment having a collar 140 at the neck opening 106 and an adjustable or elastic cuff 142 at the end of each sleeve 110. Such cuffs can optionally be securable using Velcro, elastics, snaps, buttons, ties, straps, or the like. The main zipper 114 of the garment body 102 passes all the way from the waist opening 104 to the neck opening 106. The garment body 102 can also optionally be provided with one or more outside and inside additional storage pockets 144 of a variety of sizes, shapes, and modes of closure. Such pockets 144 can include, but are not limited to hand pockets, chest pockets, stomach pockets, and inside security pockets. The pockets can be made of a different fabric such as a mesh polyester or nylon and can be opened and closed with buttons, snaps, zippers, or other materials. In FIG. 18, a pullover-type garment body 102 is shown. In this example, the main zipper 114 begins at the neck opening but does not traverse all the way to the waist opening 104. FIG. 19 shows still another possible implementation of the current subject matter with a different pocket 144 configuration.

FIG. 20A and FIG. 20B show an example of a garment body that can include additional features. In one example, a hood 150 can be provided that can be either permanently or removably attached at the neck opening 106, possibly at a collar 140 as shown in FIG. 20B. The hood 150 can include a face opening 152 for a user's face that can be open or optionally covered in a fine mesh for preventing entry of insects or other pests. A ski-cap or watch-cap type of covering with small openings for eyes, mouth, and/or nose of the user can also be provided in the face opening 152 to allow for added warmth. Any coverings provided for use in the face opening 152 can optionally be attachable and removable via some attachment system such as for example snaps, zippers, Velcro, snaps, buttons, or the like.

Various garment bodies 102 according to the current subject matter can also optionally include one or more two-way zippers 154 or other reversible closures under the arm 110 that provide vents that can run, for example from a short distance above the waist opening 104 of the garment body 102 up to about one third of the distance down the underside of the sleeve 110. Such vents may be used to provide ventilation to a user while still maintaining water-proof properties of the garment body 102 facing upwards. The vents can either be completely open when the zippers 154 are open or they can include mesh or some other material to restrict entry of pests while allowing perspiration to escape from the inside of the garment body 102. Some garment bodies can also include one or more reversible closures providing mesh ventilation ports on the back, sides, or front of the garment body 102 for increased air flow. There may be a portion of mesh fabric that can be zippered around the facial area attaching to the hood to provide protection from bugs such as mosquitoes.

Fabric such as for example fleece can form a zipper cover located near the top of the garment for comfort. A zip, snap, button, or fastening tape, removable or roll down hood can be included. The hood 150 can in some variations be made from lighter weight nylon for ease of packing. A music device portal/hole system for headphone wires can also optionally be included in the garment.

The terms and expressions employed herein have been used as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions, or any portions thereof, to exclude any equivalents now known or later developed, whether or not such equivalents are set forth or shown or described herein or whether or not such equivalents are viewed as predictable, but it is recognized that various modifications are within the scope of the subject matter claimed, whether or not those claims issued with or without alteration or amendment for any reason. Thus, it shall be understood that, although the present subject matter has been specifically disclosed by preferred embodiments and optional features, modifications and variations therein or herein disclosed can be resorted to, and such modifications and variations are considered to be within the scope of the subject matter disclosed and/or claimed herein.

Other implementations may be within the scope of the following claims. For example, while many of the implementations shown have a compartment on the rear of the garment, the pocket may be on the front of the garment to prevent theft (e.g., someone trying to pick-pocket someone from behind). To provide for accessibility of the pocket while transformed to a sack, the straps may be reversible or may be capable of being fastened and utilized regardless of an orientation with regard to the compartment. As another example, although the straps are shown as being nearly even in length on both sides, the straps might not be equilateral and one side of the straps may be longer and padded while the other is not such that a comfortable strap may be provided. As another example, there may be any number of compartments on either or both sides of a garment that may be accessible when the garment is transformed to a storage device. As another example, the garment may include a zip out liner.





 
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