Title:
Adjustable Covering
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable covering includes a one-piece back side having a non-angular peripheral shape, such as a circular shape or an oval shape. The adjustable covering also includes a two-piece front side attached to the back side along a periphery of the back side. The two-piece front side has an opening between first and second front side pieces. The first and second front side pieces, in combination, form the same non-angular peripheral shape as the back side. Two or more adjustable closures may be located on an outer surface of the covering.



Inventors:
Cawley, Terry (Brookfield, IL, US)
Application Number:
12/083848
Publication Date:
02/11/2010
Filing Date:
10/17/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B13/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WILSON, BRITTANY M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PAULEY ERICKSON & SWANSON (HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An adjustable covering, comprising: a one-piece back side having a non-angular peripheral shape; and a two-piece front side attached to the back side along a periphery of the back side, and having an opening between first and second front side pieces; wherein the first and second front side pieces, in combination, form the same non-angular peripheral shape as the back side.

2. The adjustable covering of claim 1, further comprising at least one closure along the opening.

3. The adjustable covering of claim 1, further comprising at least one closure on the back side to which at least one other closure may be fastened.

4. The adjustable covering of claim 1, further comprising at least one closure on at least one of the first and second front side pieces to which at least one other closure may be fastened.

5. The adjustable covering of claim 1, wherein the opening between the first and second front side pieces is located within an overlap of the first and second front side pieces.

6. The adjustable covering of claim 1, wherein the non-angular shape is round.

7. The adjustable covering of claim 1, wherein the non-angular shape is oval.

8. The adjustable covering of claim 1, wherein the adjustable covering includes no openings between the front side and the back side along the periphery of the back side.

9. The adjustable covering of claim 1, wherein the adjustable covering includes at least one opening between the front side and the back side along the periphery of the back side.

10. The adjustable covering of claim 1, wherein the first and second front side pieces are approximately identical in size and shape.

11. The adjustable covering of claim 1, wherein the adjustable covering is combined with a second adjustable covering.

12. The adjustable covering of claim 1, wherein the first front side piece and the portion of the back side attached to the first front side piece are tucked between the second front side piece and the portion of the back side attached to the second front side piece.

13. The adjustable covering of claim 1, wherein the adjustable covering is selected from the group consisting of a sleeping bag, a blanket, and an all-weather cover.

14. An adjustable covering, comprising: a circular one-piece back side; a two-piece front side attached to the back side along a periphery of the back side, and having an opening between first and second front side pieces; and at least two adjustable closures located on an outer surface of the covering.

15. The adjustable covering of claim 14, wherein the at least two adjustable closures are selected from the group consisting of buttons, hook-and-loop fasteners, elastic, D-rings, circular rings, and combinations thereof.

16. The adjustable covering of claim 14, wherein opposing peripheral edges can be folded inward on top of the two-piece front side and fastened in a central region of the front side, thereby forming first and second parallel fold lines.

17. The adjustable covering of claim 16, wherein the opening between the first and second front side pieces is perpendicular to the first and second parallel fold lines.

18. The adjustable covering of claim 16, wherein the opening between the first and second front side pieces is parallel with the first and second parallel fold lines.

19. The adjustable covering of claim 16, wherein a peripheral edge between the opposing peripheral edges can also be folded inward on top of the two-piece front side and fastened in a central region of the front side, thereby forming a third fold line that is perpendicular to the first and second parallel fold lines.

20. An adjustable covering, comprising: an oval-shaped one-piece back side; a two-piece front side attached to the back side along a periphery of the back side, and having an opening between first and second front side pieces; and at least two adjustable closures located on an outer surface of the covering; wherein the first and second front side pieces, in combination, form the same oval-shaped periphery as the back side.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/728,396, filed 19 Oct. 2005, which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to an adjustable covering that can be used as a blanket, all-weather cover, sleeping bag, or the like.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Blankets, sleeping bags, and other types of coverings are typically rectangular in shape. This shape is practical for manufacturing reasons, namely because it results in little or no material waste. However, the rectangular shape may not be the most ergonomical shape for a number of covering applications.

Conventional sleeping bags, for example, are formed from a single rectangle folded in half to form a smaller rectangle with the fold along one edge, a zippered opening along two edges, and a fourth edge that remains fully opened. Thus, there is no way to adjust the fit if the sleeping bag to snugly and comfortably accommodate individuals of varying sizes and/or girth. Even cocoon-style sleeping bags provide no measures for adjusting the fit of the sleeping bag to accommodate various size individuals.

Blankets are considerably flexible and can easily be wrapped or tucked around an individual, but conventional blankets fail to provide any measures for maintaining the blanket in the wrapped or tucked position. This feature, or lack thereof, is particularly important for people who toss and turn while sleeping, and for situations in which more than one person is wrapped or tucked within the blanket.

When enduring inclement weather, or camping outside overnight, it is practical to place an all-weather cover over blankets, sleeping bags, as well as over individuals. However, weather-proof tarps are typically large sheets of plastic that lack the capability to be maintained in place over a blanket or a sleeping bag. Conversely, rainwear in the form of raincoats, rain jackets and rain pants is often too tailored to provide room for a blanket or sleeping bag beneath the rainwear, which results in keeping the body dry but lacks desired comfort.

Thus, there is a continuing need for a covering, such as a blanket, all-weather cover, or sleeping bag, that can be adjusted to snugly accommodate various sizes of one or more individuals.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides an adjustable covering that can be used as a blanket, all-weather cover, sleeping bag, or the like. The adjustability of this covering provides a snug, comfortable fit for individuals of all sizes, as well as for multiple individuals.

The adjustable covering includes a one-piece back side having a non-angular peripheral shape, such as circular or oval-shaped. A two-piece front side is attached to the back side along a periphery of the back side. There is an opening between first and second front side pieces. The first and second front side pieces, in combination, form the same non-angular peripheral shape as the back side.

The covering can be folded in practically any manner to encompass the individual or individuals therein. One or more adjustable closures maintain the covering in position. For example, one or more closures may be present along the opening between the first and second front side pieces. Alternatively, or in addition, one or more closures may be located on the back side to which at least one other closure, such as a closure extending from the periphery, may be fastened. Still, other closures may be positioned on the first and/or second front side pieces to which at least one other closure may be fastened. The closures may be located either on the outer surface of the covering or on the interior of the covering. Examples of suitable closures include buttons, hook-and-loop fasteners, elastic, D-rings, circular rings, and combinations of any of these closures.

The back side may be formed of a single, solid piece of fabric. The first and second front side pieces may be approximately identical in size and shape. In certain embodiments, there may be no openings between the front side and the back side along the periphery of the back side. In other embodiments, one or more openings may be formed between the front side and the back side along the periphery of the back side.

The adjustable covering may be combined with other adjustable coverings. For example, one covering may be fit within another to provide multiple layers of warmth, or for the inner covering to provide warmth while the outer covering provides weather protection. As another example, the coverings may be attached to one another in a tandem manner to provide a greater size covering.

The covering may be folded in a variety of ways to accommodate a wide range of individuals. For example, the covering may be wrapped around the individual. More particularly, opposing peripheral edges of the covering can be folded inward on top of the two-piece front side, thereby forming first and second parallel fold lines. The opening between the first and second front side pieces may be perpendicular to the first and second parallel fold lines, such that the opening is still fully accessible. Alternatively, the opening between the first and second front side pieces may be parallel to the first and second parallel fold lines, such that the opposing ends of the opening are folded onto the front side leaving only the central region of the opening accessible. A portion of the covering extending below the individual's feet may be folded upward to encompass the feet.

In certain situations, the covering may first be folded in half, such that the first front side and the portion of the back side attached to the first front side are tucked between the second front side and the portion of the back side attached to the second front side, thereby forming a semi-circle. The covering may also provide closures for securing the covering in a compactly folded position for transporting and storing the covering.

This invention will become more fully understood from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings described herein below, and wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of an adjustable covering.

FIG. 2 is a back view of an adjustable covering.

FIGS. 3a and 3b are front views of alternative embodiments of an adjustable covering.

FIGS. 4a, 4b, and 4c are front views of an adjustable covering in use.

FIGS. 5a, 5b, and 5c are front views of an adjustable covering in use in alternative configurations.

FIGS. 6a and 6b are front views of adjustable coverings with overlapping front side pieces.

FIG. 7 is a front view of an adjustable covering folded in half.

FIGS. 8a, 8b, and 8c are front views of adjustable coverings folded or wrapped for storage and/or transportation.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The invention relates to a covering that can be used as a blanket, all-weather cover, sleeping bag, or the like. The covering is adjustable, thereby providing a snug, comfortable fit for individuals of all sizes, as well as for multiple individuals. The adjustable covering may be used while sitting, standing, or lying down.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the covering 20 includes a one-piece back side 22 and a two-piece front side 24 attached to the back side 22 along a periphery 26 of the back side 22. The overall shape of the covering 20 is non-angular, as defined by the periphery 26 of the back side 22. As used herein, the term “non-angular” refers to shapes having no more than two straight lines and no corners. For example, the covering 20 may be circular (FIGS. 1 and 2) or oval-shaped (FIGS. 3a and 3b).

The back side 22 of the covering 20 may be formed from a single, solid piece of fabric, as shown in FIG. 2. Alternatively, two or more pieces of fabric may be sewn or otherwise attached to one another to form the one-piece back side 22 (not shown).

The two-piece front side 24 may be formed from two single, solid pieces of fabric, as shown in FIG. 1. Alternatively, two or more pieces of fabric may be sewn or otherwise attached to one another to form each piece of the two-piece front side 24 (not shown). A first front side piece 28 and a second front side piece 30 include an opening 32 therebetween. Together, the first and second front side pieces 28, 30 form the same non-angular peripheral shape as the back side 22. The first and second front side pieces 28, 30 may be approximately identical in size and shape. Alternatively, one of the front side pieces may be larger than the other, thereby offsetting the location of the opening 32 and/or positioning the opening 32 within an overlap of the two front side pieces 28, 30. The opening 32 between two front side pieces 28, 30 may either remain open or may be secured together with closures, as described in greater detail below.

The covering 20 may be used in a variety of configurations. For example, a person 34 using the covering 20 can slip their legs into the covering 20 through the opening 32 between the back side 22 and one of the front side pieces 30, as illustrated in FIG. 4a. Opposing peripheral edges 36 can then be folded inward on top of the two-piece front side 24 and fastened in a central or side region of the front side 24, as illustrated in FIG. 4b, thereby forming first and second parallel fold lines 38, 40 that are perpendicular to the opening 32. The opposing peripheral edges 36 can either overlap one another, meet edge-to-edge, or be spaced apart.

In certain embodiments, the covering 20 may include one or more openings 42 between the front side 24 and the back side 22 along the periphery 26 of the back side 22, for example to allow a person's feet to extend outside the covering 20, thereby enabling a person 34 to use the covering 20 while standing, as shown in FIG. 4c. Alternatively, the front and back sides 24, 22 may be attached to one another about the full periphery 26 of the back side 22 without any openings therebetween. Any openings 42 along the periphery 26 may or may not include one or more closures 48.

Another configuration in which the covering 20 may be used is illustrated in FIGS. 5a and 5b. More particularly, a person 34 can slip their body into the opening 32 vertically, as shown in FIG. 5a, and can then wrap the opposing peripheral edges 36 inward on top of the two-piece front side 24, as shown in FIG. 5b, thereby forming first and second parallel fold lines 38, 40 that are parallel with the opening 32. As in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4b, the opposing peripheral edges 36 can either overlap one another, meet edge-to-edge, or be spaced apart.

Prior to wrapping the opposing peripheral edges 36 inward and thereby forming parallel fold lines 38, 40, a peripheral edge 44 between the opposing peripheral edges 36 below the person's feet may be folded inward on top of the two-piece front side 24 and fastened in a central region of the front side 24, as shown in FIG. 5c, thereby forming a third fold line 46 that is perpendicular to the first and second parallel fold lines 38, 40.

In embodiments in which the two front side pieces 28, 30 overlap one another in the laid-flat configuration, the opening 32 is formed within the overlapped portion, as illustrated in FIGS. 6a and 6b. In such embodiments, the opposing peripheral edges 36 can be wrapped inward on top of the person, as in the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 4b and 5b; however, the edges of the opening 32 may not be either parallel or perpendicular to the resulting parallel fold lines 38, 40.

FIG. 7 illustrates a configuration that is particularly suitable for use by a person in a sitting position. In this configuration, the first front side piece 28 and the portion of the back side 22 attached to the first front side piece 28 are tucked between the second front side piece 30 and the portion of the back side 22 attached to the second front side piece 30. A person may insert his or her feet into the covering 20 and may subsequently wrap the covering 20 about himself or herself, in the same manner illustrated in FIGS. 4b, 5b, and 5c, for example.

The tucked configuration shown in FIG. 7 may also be used for folding the covering for storage and transportation. For example, after tucking the covering in the manner illustrated in FIG. 7, the bottom portion of the periphery may then be folded inward, and optionally fastened, followed by folding two opposing peripheral side portions inward and fastening, as illustrated in FIG. 8a. The folded covering 20 may then be folded in half again, if desired. Alternatively, from the configuration shown in FIG. 7, the covering 20 may be rolled up and fastened, either with or without folding the bottom portion 44 of the periphery 26 inward. FIGS. 8b and 8c illustrate two additional folded or rolled configurations suitable for storing or transporting the covering 20.

As indicated, the covering 20 may include one or more closures 48 to secure the covering 20 in place in a wrapped, folded, or rolled configuration. The closures 48 suitably provide some adjustability. Examples of suitable closures 48 include, but are not limited to, buttons, hook-and-loop fasteners, such as Velcro hook-and-loop fasteners, elastic, D-rings, circular rings, and combinations of any of these devices.

The closures 48 may be provided in any suitable location on the covering 20. For example, one or more closures 48 may be located along the opening 32 between the first front side piece 28 and the second front side piece 30, as shown in FIGS. 3a, 3b, and 7. Closures 48 located along the opening 32 may be used to close the opening 32, and/or may be fastened to a peripheral region or other region of the front side 24 that is folded inward and aligned with the closures 48. One or more closures 48 may also be positioned on the back side 22, as shown in FIG. 2, thereby providing attachment to a peripheral region or other region of the front side 24 that has been wrapped around and aligned with the closures 48 on the back side. One or more closures 48 may also be positioned on the first and/or second front side pieces 28, 30, as shown in FIGS. 3a, 3b, and 7, either along the opening 32 or away from the opening 32. Additionally or alternatively, one or more closures 48 may be positioned along the periphery 26 of the back side 22, as shown in FIG. 1. The closures 48 are suitably located on an outer surface of the covering 20, but in certain embodiments, such as in reversible embodiments, the closures 48 may be positioned on the interior of the covering 20.

The closures 48 may also serve as a carrying handle, such as when the closure 48 includes elastic, a D-ring or circular rings with a corresponding strap, or one or more straps with hook or loop fastener attached to the strap. For example, straps that are used as part of a closure 48 may include a loop into which a person's hand may fit for easier carrying.

As described above, the closures 48 may vary in type, number, size and/or location, thereby providing a snug comfortable fit that can be adjusted to accommodate a wide range of sizes. The covering 20 with these adjustable closures 48 provides an improvement over conventional sleeping bags attributable to the ease of use and adjustability provided by the described closures 48 compared to the zippers and snaps found on conventional sleeping bags.

The covering 20 itself can be provided in a wide range of sizes to accommodate individuals ranging from small babies to large adults. The covering 20 may also be used to accommodate more than one individual. For example, the covering 20 may have an overall diameter or length ranging from about 4 inches (10 centimeters) to about 120 inches (3 meters), or from about 12 inches (30 centimeters) to about 96 inches (244 centimeters), or from about 24 inches (61 centimeters) to about 84 inches (213 centimeters).

The covering 20 may be used alone or in combination with other coverings 20 of the invention. For example, one covering 20 may be slipped inside another covering 20 for multiple layers of warmth, or the outer covering may provide all-weather protection while the inner covering provides enhanced warmth. Multiple coverings 20 may also be used in combination in a tandem manner, such that two or more coverings 20 may be attached to one another with adjustable closures 48 or sewn together to provide a larger size to accommodate multiple individuals, for example.

The covering 20 can be made from any of a wide variety of fabrics. Suitable fabrics include, but are not limited to, flannel, fleece, wool, cotton, knit, polyester, nylon, and combinations thereof. The front side 24 and the back side 22 may each be a single layer of fabric or may include multiple fabric layers. Additionally, the front and/or back sides 24, 22 may include a filler for warmth, such as polyester batting, positioned between two outer layers of fabric. The covering 20 may also be reversible with different fabrics on the interior surface and the outer surface.

Benefits of the non-angular shape of the covering 20 include the ability to easily accommodate individuals of varying sizes and/or girth in a snug, comfortable manner. This shape also allows the feet to be easily placed inside of the covering 20, thereby ensuring greater warmth. Depending on the size of the individuals, a single covering 20 can typically be used by more than one user. Because of the adjustable features, a covering 20 that accommodates multiple users can be adjusted to accommodate a single user in as snug a manner as the same covering 20 fits multiple users.

EXAMPLES

In one example, an adjustable covering in accordance with the invention has a circular periphery with a diameter of 5 feet (152 centimeters). The back side is formed of a single piece of fleece and is sewn entirely around its periphery to two front side pieces of fleece. The two front side pieces are identical in size and shape, with an opening formed between the two front side pieces. Hook and loop type fasteners are located on one side between the front and back pieces and a strip of elastic is on the other side between the front and back pieces. Additionally, a strip of elastic is located on one of the front pieces to provide two options for closing around the person, and another elastic piece is located at the end of the opening to be used to secure the covering when it is rolled up for transport or storage.

In another example, an adjustable covering in accordance with the invention has an oval periphery with dimensions of 72 inches (183 cm) long by 60 inches (152 cm) wide. The back side is formed of a double layer of fabric with fleece on the inside and a nylon waterproof layer on the outside and is sewn entirely around its periphery to two front pieces of fleece and nylon. Two elastic closures are located on one side of the outer perimeter and two hook and loop closures are located on the other side of the outer perimeter. Two additional pieces of elastic are located on the opening on the front side. One additional piece of elastic is located at the end of the opening. This example also has a hood which can be attached by hook and look closures.

In yet another example, an adjustable covering in accordance with the invention has an oval periphery with dimensions of 84 inches (213 cm) long by 60 inches (152 cm) wide. The device includes two layers of fabric, an insulating layer and a waterproof layer, each with a detachable hood and each with hook and loop and elastic closures secured in the manner described in the previous example. Each of the layers may be used separately or they may by used together, with the insulating layer placed inside of the waterproof layer. Each layer also has openings for the hands and feet with can either be used or closed using the hook and loop located in each opening.

In still another example, an adjustable covering in accordance with the invention has a round periphery with a diameter of 24 inches (61 cm). The device is comprised of fleece with hook and loop and elastic closures secured at either end of the device. An infant is placed with their feet between the front and the back layers through the opening which is in a horizontal position. The top portion is lifted over the head and the closures are pulled together and secured to fit around the infant's body.

In another example, an adjustable covering in accordance with the invention has a round periphery with a diameter of 48 inches (122 cm). The device includes terrycloth with hook and loop and elastic fasteners secured at either end of the device. A child steps into the device, with the opening in a vertical position, wraps the device around their front and secures the fasteners.

It will be appreciated that details of the foregoing embodiments, given for purposes of illustration, are not to be construed as limiting the scope of this invention. Although, only a few exemplary embodiments of this invention have been described in detail above, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that many modification are possible in the exemplary embodiments without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of this invention. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of this invention. Further, it is recognized that many embodiments may be conceived that do not achieve all of the advantages of some embodiments, particularly of the preferred embodiments, yet the absence of a particular advantage shall not be construed to necessarily mean that such an embodiment is outside the scope of the present invention.





 
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