Title:
PORTABLE MOUNTABLE STORAGE POUCH
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable mountable storage pouch enables convenient storage, organization, and access of documents and utensils. The storage pouch can be mounted to an armrest of a chair, a transport or mobility chair, or a mobility scooter, to a handle of a walker or a rollator, or to a bedrail among other locations. The storage pouch is provided with straps for mounting to an arm of the chair, and with pockets and compartments for holding documents and utensils. The storage pouch is made from a light and flexible yet sturdy material for ease of use and durability.



Inventors:
Giaquinto, Marc (Ellington, CT, US)
Application Number:
12/120769
Publication Date:
11/19/2009
Filing Date:
05/15/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D33/14
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
DEMEREE, CHRISTOPHER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
McCormick, Paulding & Huber, PLLC (Hartford, CT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A portable storage pouch comprising: a plurality of walls defining a main compartment, the main compartment having an opening; a hanging flap having an edge attached to one of the plurality of walls; first and second straps, each having an end attached to the hanging flap and a free end not attached to the hanging flap; and means for removably attaching a free end of at least the first strap to one of the plurality of walls.

2. The pouch according to claim 1, wherein the hanging flap is adapted to fit over an arm of a chair.

3. The pouch according to claim 2, wherein, when the hanging flap is placed over the arm of the chair, the means for removably attaching the free end of at least the first strap automatically attaches the free end of the first strap to the back wall of the compartment, thereby securing the pouch to the arm of the chair.

4. The pouch according to claim 3, wherein the means for removably attaching the free end of at least the first strap comprises a first magnet disposed at the free end of the first strap and a first mating magnet disposed on the back wall of the main compartment, so that when the free end of the first strap is brought adjacent to the back wall of the main compartment, the first magnet co-operates with the first mating magnet to removably attach the free end of the first strap to one of the walls of the main compartment.

5. The pouch according to claim 3, wherein the means for removably attaching the free end of at least the first strap comprises one of a hooked fabric surface and a looped fabric surface disposed at the free end of the first strap, and the other of a hooked fabric surface and a looped fabric surface disposed on the back wall of the main compartment, and further comprises a weight disposed within the free end of the first strap, so that when the hanging flap is placed over an arm of a chair, the free end of the first strap falls into place and presses the one fabric surface against the other fabric surface, thereby attaching the free end of the first strap to one of the walls of the main compartment.

6. The pouch according to claim 2, wherein the hanging flap has a gripping surface that contacts the arm of the chair when the hanging flap is fitted over the arm of the chair, thereby preventing sliding motion of the hanging flap relative to the arm of the chair.

7. The pouch according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the plurality of walls includes an internal stiffening member for maintaining a shape of the pouch.

8. The pouch according to claim 1, further comprising a stiffener provided adjacent the opening of the main compartment for maintaining a shape of the opening.

9. The pouch according to claim 1, wherein the means for removably attaching the free end of at least the first strap comprises one of a hooked fabric surface and a looped fabric surface disposed at the free end of the first strap, and the other of a hooked fabric surface and a looped fabric surface disposed on the back wall of the main compartment, so that when the free end of the first strap is brought adjacent to the back wall of the main compartment, the hooked fabric surface co-operates with the looped fabric surface to removably attach the free end of the first strap to one of the walls of the main compartment.

10. The pouch according to claim 1, wherein the main compartment has a front wall, and further comprising a pocket adjacent the front wall of the main compartment.

11. The pouch according to claim 10, wherein one of the main compartment and the pocket is closed by a closure flap.

12. The pouch according to claim 11, wherein a male side-release buckle part is provided on the closure flap, wherein a female side-release buckle part is provided on the front wall, and wherein the male and the female buckle parts co-operate to securely close the closure flap.

13. The pouch according to claim 10, wherein the front wall separates the main compartment from the pocket.

14. The pouch according to claim 10, wherein the pocket is disposed between the front wall and the main compartment.

15. An article attachable to an arm of a chair, the article comprising: a body; body fasteners provided on the body; a hanging flap having a first edge attached to the body and a second edge not attached to the body; and first and second straps, each having an end attached to the second edge of the hanging flap, and a free end not attached to the hanging flap, each free end having a strap fastener complementary to one of the body fasteners.

16. The article according to claim 15, wherein the fasteners comprise hooked and looped fabric surfaces disposed on the body and at the ends of the first and second straps.

17. The article according to claim 15, wherein the fasteners comprise magnets disposed on the body and at the ends of the first and second straps.

18. The article according to claim 15, further comprising weights disposed within the free ends of the first and second straps, so that when the hanging flap is placed over the arm of the chair, by operation of gravity at least one of the weights causes the corresponding strap fastener to fall into place adjacent the complementary body fastener, thereby attaching the article to the arm of the chair.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to portable storage means and, more particularly, to portable storage means mountable to chairs.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many people spend their working days either reviewing and writing documents while sitting in a chair at a desk in a cubicle, or talking with other people about documents while sitting in a chair at a conference table. At times one may also find oneself in a waiting room, physician's exam room, hair salon or barbershop passing time with a magazine or other reading material. In addition, people with limited mobility who require a motorized scooter, transport chair, or other means of conveyance frequently have no practical or convenient apparatus for carrying personal and medical items that is easily portable, adaptable, and close at hand whether at home, work, or in transit. Documents, books and magazines, digital and medical devices, entertainment devices and hobby supplies are only a few of the many items commonly found and seen close at hand during either work or leisure time.

Frequently, people who work at desks and at conference tables must move with documents between a desk and a conference table. In so doing, portions of documents or of files may be left on the desk or on the conference table. Additionally, conference tables generally lack drawers or other storage means. Thus, when several people bring multiple portions of documents or files to a conference table for common discussion, it is common for each person to spread out their documents or files on the table. In so doing, there is a potential for portions of each person's documents or files to mix with those belonging to another person. Similarly, people having limited mobility nonetheless need to move from one place to another at least for social, recreational, educational, or medical reasons. In so doing, people having limited mobility may wish to transport useful objects such as magazines and other reading material, cordless phones, recreational supplies, and medical and electronic devices. While carrying such objects on the lap may be an option for those confined to a sitting or supine position, this option can lead to discomfort or inconvenience as carried objects weigh on the legs or slip to the floor. For those relying on a walker or rollator to move about, objects cannot be carried on the lap. However, attempts to hand-carry objects while using a walker or rollator can compromise the user's grip on their mobility device, contributing to injurious and potentially fatal falls.

People experiencing chronic conditions resulting from awkward and unnatural repetitive motion in the workplace or at home would also benefit from such an ergonomically designed, universal fit, portable storage apparatus, minimizing unnecessary movement, keeping work, medical, hobby, or recreational materials close to the person.

Accordingly, an apparatus is needed for conveniently organizing files, documents, notepads, pens, and pencils close at hand without cluttering a desk surface or requiring a user to open and close drawers. An apparatus also is needed for storing and organizing documents while seated at a conference table and for conveniently moving with documents between a desk and a conference table, or from work to home and back. Additionally, an apparatus is needed for conveniently storing, organizing, and carrying books, newspapers, letters, entertainment devices, television remote controls, and similar useful objects close at hand without cluttering a hospital bed or compromising the user's mobility.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to an embodiment of the present invention, a portable chair-mountable storage pouch comprises a plurality of walls defining a main compartment, a hanging flap having an edge attached to one of the plurality of walls, first and second straps, each having an end attached to the hanging flap, and means for removably attaching a free end of at least the first strap to one of the plurality of walls. The strap arrangement of the present invention provides for a universal fit/application on/easy transfer between chair armrests, whether for the wide variety of spindled styles (such as Mission style furniture), for “T” style armrests (such as computer task chairs), for standard style “open” armrests, or for the afore-mentioned mobility devices.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, the storage pouch also includes an outer pocket, an inner pocket, and cover flaps for the main compartment and for at least one of the outer pocket and the inner pocket.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in light of the detailed description of the best mode embodiment thereof, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a partial-cutaway generally rear perspective view of a storage pouch installed over an arm of a chair, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a generally rear perspective view of a storage pouch in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a generally front perspective view of a storage pouch according to another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIG. 1, in one embodiment a chair-mountable storage pouch 10 includes a front wall 12, side walls 14, and a back wall 16 defining a main compartment 18 and an opening 20. The back wall 16 has a free edge 22 and an outer surface 24. A hanging flap 26 flexibly connects fixed ends of first and second straps 28 to the free edge 22 of the back wall 16. Desirably, a non-slip coating 30 is provided on a side of the hanging flap 26 adjacent to the outer surface 24. Desirably, the first and second straps 28 are disposed approximately six to eight inches (6″-8″) apart between their closest edges, as measured across the hanging flap 26, so as to provide a universal fit for chair armrests and mobility devices. A detachable strap fastener 32 is provided at a free end of each of the first and second straps 28, and a mating or complementary detachable body fastener 34 is disposed at a corresponding location on the back wall 16. The detachable strap fastener 32 and the detachable body fastener 34 may be any of hook-and-loop fabric patches, magnets, snaps, buckles, or other detachable fasteners known in the art. In use, the detachable fasteners 32 and 34 co-operate to detachably fasten at least the first strap 28 to the back wall 16, thereby securing the storage pouch 10 over an arm of a chair (shown in phantom lines). In one embodiment, the strap fasteners 32 may be weighted so that, when the hanging flap 26 is placed over a chair arm or over a rail of a mobility device, the strap fasteners 32 fall into place against the complementary body fasteners 34. Hook-and-loop fabric patches or magnets are particularly suitable fasteners for use in the weighted-fastener embodiment, as these types of fastener may require no additional effort to secure the straps to the body of the pouch.

As shown in FIG. 1, stiffening plates 36 preferably are provided within the side walls 14 and within one of the front wall 12 and the back wall 16, so as to define the shape of the pouch and to protect its contents. The other of the front wall 12 and the back wall 16 is not provided with a stiffening plate, and accordingly provides for expansion of the main compartment 18 so as to accommodate bulky objects. However, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, a dowel rod 38 or similar linear stiffener is provided at a free edge 40 of the wall not provided with a stiffening plate, so as to provide a consistent shape to the opening 20. Optimally, the dowel rod 38 is captured in a seamed loop of fabric as shown in FIG. 1. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, a closure flap 42 can cover the opening 20. An outer pocket 44 can be attached to the front of the pouch 10, and is provided with a cover flap 46. The cover flap 46 can be provided with buttons, with snaps, or with other fasteners including the hook-and-loop fabric strips shown in FIG. 3. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, a floor 48 can be provided opposite the opening 20, joining the front wall 12 and the back wall 16. Alternatively, the front wall 12 can be of one piece with the back wall 16.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, a female side-release buckle part 50 is provided on the closure flap 42 and a male side-release buckle part 52 is provided on the front wall 12. The buckle parts 50 and 52 co-operate for to securely close the closure flap 42. Also as shown in FIG. 3, an inner pocket 54 is provided between the main compartment 18 and the front wall 12. A sheet or web of material (not shown) separates the inner pocket 54 from the main compartment 18. The inner pocket 54 is accessible by an opening 56 in the front wall. As shown in FIG. 3, the opening 56 can be closed by a zipper closure 58, or by any of snaps, a flap, hook-and-loop fastener strips, or similar closure devices. A flexible shoulder strap 60 also is provided so that ambulatory users can carry the portable storage pouch 10 in typical shoulder-strapped fashion.

Preferably, the walls 12, 14, 16, the straps 28, and the hanging flap 26 are constructed of a flaccid yet sturdy material. A flaccid material is preferred for permitting the storage pouch 10 to accommodate objects of awkward size or shape; a sturdy material is preferred for enhancing the durability of the storage pouch 10. Woven and non-woven fabrics are excellent materials for use in constructing the storage pouch 10. In an exemplary embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1, the front wall 12, the side walls 14, the back wall 16, the hanging flap 26, and the straps 28 are edge-stitched from multiple layers of one-thousand (1000) denier woven nylon fabric in what is known in the art as multi-ply construction. Alternatively, vegetable- or animal-fiber fabrics, or leather, may be used for the walls 12, 14, 16. Preferably, an inner surface of each of the walls 12, 14, 16 comprises a smooth material such as non-woven nylon fabric, so that the main compartment 18 has a low-friction lining for easy insertion and removal of objects. The non-slip coating 30 may be any of butyl rubber, polyvinyl chloride, miniature suction cups, or another durable and substantially tacky material or structure. Preferably, the non-slip coating 30 comprises a polyvinyl chloride fabric. The stiffening plates 36 are formed from a sturdy and moderately light and flexible material such as cardboard, light wood, or polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, acetal, nylon, or other polymer sheet stock or castings. The stiffening plates 36 can be placed between the plies 44 of the side walls 14 and between the plies 44 of the back wall 16, during or prior to stitching the plies together at the edges. In an exemplary embodiment, the stiffening plates 36 are cut to size from thermoplastic sheet stock such as any of Texon® T505/T516/T888 Cellulose Solutions or Texon® T249/T250/T251, 87 series, X8R, Rite, or Aquiline™ Non-woven Solutions for leather goods and furniture reinforcement.

In an exemplary embodiment, the chair-mountable storage pouch 10 is used in a physician's exam rooms for holding magazines and health education materials for the convenience of patients, and for keeping work surfaces clear of non-essentials. In another exemplary embodiment, the chair-mountable storage pouch 10 can be used in a Hair Salon/Spa for holding popular magazines at styling chairs, dryer chairs, shampoo chairs, pedicure chairs or in the waiting area.

One advantage of the present invention is that the storage pouch can be mounted to an arm of a chair, enabling a user to have useful objects close at hand while seated in the chair.

Another advantage of the present invention is that the storage pouch is portable, enabling a user easily to transport useful objects from one chair to another chair.

Another advantage of the present invention is that the storage pouch may be mounted not only to an arm of a traditional (stationary) chair, but also to a mobility or transport chair, hospital bed, walker, rollator, scooter, or other device or furniture having a convenient rail, thereby enhancing the ability of a user to move about with useful objects, despite the user's limited mobility.

A further advantage of the present invention is that the storage pouch has stiffened sides protecting fragile objects placed therein.

Yet another advantage of the present invention is that the storage pouch has stiffened sides for maintaining a general shape of the storage pouch when empty, thereby easing the insertion of an object in the empty pouch.

A further advantage of the present invention is that the opening of the storage pouch has a stiffener for maintaining a consistent shape of the opening, thereby easing the insertion of an object in the pouch.

Yet a further advantage of the present invention is that the storage pouch is easily removed from a chair and carried and attached to another chair, enabling convenient transport of documents in an organized manner from a desk to a conference table.

Although this invention has been shown and described with respect to the detailed embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and detail thereof may be made without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention. For example, the storage pouch may be constructed from unitary blow-molded polyvinyl chloride, from cotton or wool cloth, from leather, or from other flaccid yet sturdy materials. The closure flap of the main compartment may be zippered rather than buckled. The inner compartment may be provided between the back wall and the main compartment. The free ends of the straps may be removably attachable to the side walls, to the front wall, or to the floor of the main compartment. The closure flap may be omitted. A flexible shoulder strap may be mounted to the side walls or to the front or back wall of the main compartment. Other variations will occur to those having skill in the art.