Support legs and handles for backpacks and pack frames
Kind Code:

Support legs and handles mounted onto a pack frame or backpack with the ability to be extended and locked so as to allow the pack to be laid on the ground, loaded, then lifted and pushed into a standing position to shoulder height and allow the user to easily and safely harness the pack to the shoulders and waist. When in the extended position the handles have become stabilizer feet for the legs. The support legs are now unlocked and retracted allowing the full weight of the pack onto the user shoulders.

In the retracted position the attached handles are used to hold onto and lift the weight of the pack off the user shoulders and hips. When it become necessary to rest the user can unlock the retracted legs, release the retracting mechanism and lower the support legs to the ground, and employ the locking mechanism. The user can now safely and easily remove the pack from the users back and lay the pack on the ground.

Stinnett, Daniel L. (Plains, MT, US)
Saalfeld, Frank (Plains, MT, US)
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dan L. Stinnett (Plains, MT, US)
I claim

1. Extendable and retractable legs and handles for pack frame and backpacks; (a) two elongated tubes, one sized smaller in diameter so as to allow said smaller diameter tube to slide inside said larger diameter tube thus forming the extendable portion of said leg; (b) said leg is then equipped with a locking and holding device ( commercially produced) that is attached to the section of said larger tube to hold and lock said larger and smaller tubes together; so when said device is unlocked said tubes will slide apart allowing said tubes to be locked again and held at the length needed to accommodate the height of different users; (c) said leg is also equipped with a retracting device, comprised of a small diameter cord, the same length as the maximum extension of said leg; said cord is inserted into and through both tubes of said leg, said cord is then fastened securely at the bottom end of said small diameter tube; said cord is then threaded through a small diameter hole in a molded cap that is secured into the open end at the top of said larger diameter tube; said hole in said cap acts as a guide for said retracting cord; a loop is then tied at the open end of said cord, where it protrudes through said rope guide; when said locking device is unlocked, said loop in said cord is pulled, said smaller diameter tube is then retracted into said larger diameter tube, said locking device is then locked holding closed said retracted leg; (d) a handle is also attached to the bottom of said smaller diameter tube; said handle is an injected molded part, molded to fit over and secure at a 90 degree angle to the bottom of said smaller diameter tube; or a 4 to 5 inch section of small tubing the same diameter as the said smaller diameter tube, being placed and attached at a 90 degree angle to said smaller diameter tube to form a handle; (e) said support legs and handles are attached to a pack frame or backpack by means of molding, welding, clamping, bolting, sodering, gluing, stitching or any combination of or other prudent sturdy method of attachments; (f) said support legs and handles are attached, one on each side of said pack frame or backpack so when said pack frame or backpack is being used, said handles are set at a position so that said user can find said handles with their hands; when said support legs are unlocked by said locking device and said support legs are lowered to the ground; said locking device is locked and said handles then become stabilizer feet for said support legs.



  • 1. U.S. Pat. No. 5,538,813 to MacLean (July 1996)
  • 2. U.S. Pat. No. 4,676,584 to Bradbury (June 1987)
  • 3. U.S. Pat. No. 4,487,354 to Pierce and Merrill (December 1984)
  • 4. U.S. Pat. No. 5,597,101 to Barber ( March 1995)


Not Applicable


Not Applicable


1. Field of the Invention

(a) This invention pertains to integrating support legs and handles into pack frames and backpacks.

2. Description of Prior Art

(a) A backpack is a cloth bag, fitted with shoulder straps and a waist belt, for carrying loads as comfortable as possible.

(b) A pack frame is a ridged rectangular shaped frame, fitted with shoulder straps and a hip belt and constructed usually of lightweight metal or plastic in a fashion so that as the frame members curve around the users neck, back, hips and shoulders, so as not to allow the frame to rub on the user.

(c) The main problem with any backpack or pack frame is getting a loaded pack on and off your shoulders without help. Another problem, is the weight on shoulders and hips during packing. These problems are solved by integrating support legs and handles into backpacks and pack frames.

(d) Devices of prior art for example; U.S. Pat. No. 5,538,813 to MacLean (July 1996), U.S. Pat. No. 4,676,584 to Bradbury (June 1987), U.S. Pat. No. 4,487,354 to Pierce and Merrill (December 1984), U.S. Pat. No. 5,597,101 to Barber (March 1995), are all pack frames with legs, that fold into chairs, the legs on these packs do not solve the problem of getting a heavily loaded pack up to shoulder height so the user can easily and safely put the pack onto the shoulders and then carry the load as easy as possible for long distances. They also do not aid in taking a loaded pack off when you are finished packing and they do not have handles that will allow the user to lift the weight of the loaded pack off the shoulders and hips while in use.


The object of this invention is;

1. To provide a mechanism (i.e. extendable legs) by which the user of a pack frame or backpack can easily and safely lift a heavily loaded pack from the ground to shoulder height, to aid in putting the pack on the user back, and to use the same mechanism to easily and safely take the pack off when the user needs a rest or has finished packing

2. To provide a mechanism (i.e. handles) to relieve pressure on the shoulders and hips while the pack is being carried for extended periods of time.


FIG. 1. Is a view of a plastic injected molded pack frame, with mounting blocks molded into the frame for mounting the support legs and showing the legs attached to the frame in the retracted position, also shown attached are shoulder straps and a hip belt.

FIG. 2. Is the same view as FIG. 1. Except for the legs being shown in the extended position.

FIG. 3. Is a view of a molded pack frame with an exploded view of the leg assembly and corresponding members of the leg assembly and the attachments to the pack frame.


The leg assembly 10, as shown in FIG. 3 is comprised of several members. The outer member 100 is a section of aluminum tubing approximately 40 inches in length and 1.125 inches outside diameter. Attached to the top of the tubing 100 is an injected molded rope guide 101. Attached to the bottom of the tubing 100 is a commercially purchased locking devise 102. (locking device 102 has a built in clamp 103 for attaching to member 100)

Member 200 is also a section of aluminum tubing approximately 39 inches in length and 1.00 inches outside diameter. At the bottom of member 200 a small hole 203 is drilled through the tube 200 approximately 1 inch above the bottom of the tube 200. Threaded through the length of the 1 inch tube 200 is a small diameter cord 201 approximately 0.125 in. outside diameter and 79 inches long with a loop 205 and 206 tied at each end of the cord 201, this is used as a retracting device. At the bottom end of the 1 inch tube 200, an injected molded foot/handle 202 is attached to member 200 by holding the cord loop 205 inline with the hole 203 in the 1 inch tube 200. Tube 200 is then inserted into the slot 208 of the molded foot/handle 202. A hole 207 molded into the foot/handle 202 is then aligned with the drilled hole 203 in the 1 inch tube 200. A bolt 204 the proper length and diameter is inserted through the aligned holes 203, 207 and the cord loop 205 and tightened with corresponding nut, thus securing the foot/handle 202 to the 1 inch tube 200 and affixing the cord loop 205 to the foot/handle 202 and the 1 inch tube 200, thus completing the assembly of member 200.

To complete the leg assembly 10, the assembled member 200 is inserted into member 100 at the bottom where the locking devise 102 is attached. Member 200 is then pushed to the top of member 100, cord 201 is retrieved and threaded through the rope guide 101, (rope guide 101 is an injected molded cap with a small diameter hole in the center and is affixed at the top of the tube 100) then a loop 206 approximately 2 inches in diameter is tied. This loop has two features (1) acts as a stop to keep the leg assembly 10 from falling apart when locking device 102 is opened and leg assembly 10 is extended. (2) When leg assembly 10 is in the closed position as in FIG. 1 the loop 206 is placed over hook 209 that has been molded into the foot/handle 202 or placed over the end of the foot/handle 202 to keep the cord from being entangled. This completes leg assembly 10.

The leg assembly 10 is now mounted onto the injected molded mainframe 300. The mainframe 300 has been molded with one half of a mounting block, top and bottom on each side for attaching the leg assembly 10. The other half of the mounting block is a separate molded part 301. The leg assembly 10 is placed in the blocks on the mainframe 300. The molded part 301 is then placed on the other side of the leg assembly 10. The holes in molded part 301 are aligned with holes in the mainframe half block 300, bolts 302 are pushed through the aligned holes and corresponding nuts are tightened to secure the leg assembly 10 to the mainframe 300. This process is then repeated to mount the second leg assembly 10 to the mainframe 300 thus completing the assembly of the legs and handles to a pack frame.

While the detailed description of the invention has been shown and described with a plastic injected, molded pack frame, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that modifications to back packs and other type of pack frames can be made to adapt this invention to any back pack or pack frame.

The appended claims are therefore intended to cover all such changes and modification as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

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