Title:
CONVERTIBLE JACKET SYSTEMS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides a convertible jacket system configurable between a wearable jacket and a personal sleeping environment. The convertible jacket system may be made from a lighter and more water resistant material. It may include various structural features to proportion and support the inertial loads of a sleeping bag compartment and a head covering canopy, each coupled to the convertible jacket system. By way of example, the head covering canopy may further include a bendable wire coupled to a fabric material such that the canopy may easily be popped open and then folded compactly enough to slide into a pouch coupled to a backside of the convertible jacket system.



Inventors:
Jensen, Terry L. (Lynnwood, WA, US)
Application Number:
12/188514
Publication Date:
02/11/2010
Filing Date:
08/08/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/87, 2/93, 5/413R
International Classes:
A41B13/06; A41D3/02; A41D3/04; A47G9/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
COLLINS, ANDREW WARREN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LOWE GRAHAM JONES, PLLC (SEATTLE, WA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A convertible jacket system configurable between a wearable jacket and a personal sleeping environment, the jacket system comprising: a jacket portion configured to be supported by a user's shoulders and extend substantially over the user's torso region; and a sleeping bag compartment coupled to the jacket portion, the sleeping bag compartment having a retracted configuration and a sleeping configuration, wherein while in the sleeping configuration the jacket portion is wearable by the user while at least a portion of the user's lower body is located in the sleeping bag compartment.

2. The convertible jacket system of claim 1, further comprising: shoulder straps coupled to the jacket portion proximate the sleeping bag compartment to transfer at least a portion of the weight of the sleeping bag compartment to the user's shoulders when the jacket system is used as a wearable jacket.

3. The convertible jacket system of claim 1, further comprising: a head covering canopy coupled to the jacket portion, the head covering canopy having a bendable member received in a fabric member, the head covering canopy having a folded configuration and a sleeping configuration, wherein the folded configuration includes the bendable member folded at least once upon itself, and wherein the sleeping configuration includes the bendable member arranged in an arcuate shape to support the fabric member in the sleeping configuration.

4. The convertible jacket system of claim 3, the bendable member is a wire.

5. The convertible jacket system of claim 1, further comprising suspenders having a first end coupled to the jacket portion and a second end coupleable to the user's leg covering apparel.

6. The convertible jacket system of claim 1, wherein the suspenders include clamps located at the second end.

7. The convertible jacket system of claim 1, wherein at least the jacket portion is coated with a waterproofing substance.

8. The convertible jacket system of claim 1, wherein the jacket portion and the sleeping bag compartment are made from the same material.

9. A convertible jacket system configurable between a wearable jacket and a personal sleeping environment, the jacket system comprising: a jacket portion configured to be supported by a user's shoulders and extend substantially over the user's torso region; a sleeping bag compartment coupled to the jacket portion, the sleeping bag compartment having a retracted configuration and a sleeping configuration; and shoulder straps coupled to the jacket portion proximate the sleeping bag compartment to transfer at least a portion of the weight of the sleeping bag compartment to the user's shoulders when the jacket system is used as a wearable jacket.

10. The convertible jacket system of claim 9, wherein the jacket portion is wearable by the user while the user's legs are located in the sleeping bag compartment.

11. The convertible jacket system of claim 9, further comprising: a head covering canopy coupled to the jacket portion, the head covering canopy having a bendable member received in a fabric member, the head covering canopy having a folded configuration and a sleeping configuration, wherein the folded configuration includes the bendable member folded at least once upon itself, and wherein the sleeping configuration includes the bendable member arranged in an arcuate shape to support the fabric member in the sleeping configuration.

12. The convertible jacket system of claim 11, the bendable member is a wire.

13. The convertible jacket system of claim 9, wherein at least the jacket portion is coated with a waterproofing substance.

14. The convertible jacket system of claim 9, wherein the jacket portion and the sleeping bag compartment are made from the same material.

15. A convertible jacket system configurable between a wearable jacket and a personal sleeping environment, the jacket system comprising: a jacket portion configured to be supported by a user's shoulders and extend substantially over the user's torso region; a sleeping bag compartment coupled to the jacket portion, the sleeping bag compartment having a retracted configuration and a sleeping configuration; and a head covering canopy coupled to the jacket portion, the head covering canopy having a bendable member coupled to a fabric member, the head covering canopy having a folded configuration and sleeping configuration, wherein the folded configuration includes the bendable member folded over at least once upon itself, and wherein the sleeping configuration includes the bendable member arranged in an arcuate shape to support the fabric member in the sleeping configuration.

16. The convertible jacket system of claim 15, wherein the jacket portion is wearable by the user while the user's legs are located in the sleeping bag compartment.

17. The convertible jacket system of claim 15, further comprising: shoulder straps coupled to the jacket portion proximate the sleeping bag compartment to transfer at least a portion of the weight of the sleeping bag compartment to the user's shoulders when the jacket system is used as a wearable jacket.

18. The convertible jacket system of claim 15, further comprising a pouch coupled to a backside of the jacket portion and configured to receive the head covering canopy when placed in the folded configuration.

19. The convertible jacket system of claim 15, wherein the jacket system includes adjustment members to selectively distribute an overall weight of the jacket system on the user.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to an all-in-one jacket convertible between a wearable jacket to a personal sleeping environment, and more specifically to an all-in-one survival jacket to provide temporary shelter in emergency situations.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Various types of conventional convertible or modular jackets are commercially available for many different applications. Some of these applications include military, survival, hunting, camping, fishing, boating, etc. One such conventional jacket takes the form of modifiable rain jacket that is convertible into a poncho, short coat, long coat, sit shelter, sleeping bag cover, or even a shelter with a mosquito screen and is sold as the ECOTAT® Multi-Purpose Aircrew Survival Shelter (MASS). Another such conventional jacket takes the form of a multi-purpose jacket convertible into a sit shelter, sleeping bag cover, bivouac sack tent, a lean-to, a rescue litter, a tarp, an air marker panel of an emergency body bag and is sold as the ECOTAT® Multi-Purpose (TMP) Freedom Shelter. Both of the aforementioned conventional jackets are made by the Ecotat Systems Company.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is generally related to a convertible jacket system configurable between a wearable jacket and a personal sleeping environment. The convertible jacket system includes many advantages over conventional systems described and other similar systems. For example, the convertible jacket system may be made from a lighter and more water resistant material. It may include various structural features to better proportion and support the inertial loads of a sleeping bag compartment and a head covering canopy, each coupled to the convertible jacket system. By way of example, the head covering canopy may further include a bendable wire coupled to a fabric material such that the canopy may easily be popped open and then folded compactly enough to slide into a compartment coupled to a backside of the convertible jacket system.

In one example of the invention, a convertible jacket system configurable between a wearable jacket and a personal sleeping environment includes a jacket portion and a sleeping bag compartment. The jacket portion is configured to be supported by a user's shoulders and extend substantially over the user's torso region. The sleeping bag compartment is coupled to the jacket portion and operates between a retracted configuration and a sleeping configuration. While in the sleeping configuration, the jacket portion is wearable by the user while at least a portion of the user's lower body is located in the sleeping bag compartment.

In another example of the invention, a convertible jacket system configurable between a wearable jacket and a personal sleeping environment includes a jacket portion configured to be supported by a user's shoulders and extend substantially over the user's torso region. A sleeping bag compartment is coupled to the jacket portion and may be arranged into a retracted configuration and a sleeping configuration. In one embodiment, shoulder straps are coupled to the jacket portion proximate the sleeping bag compartment to transfer at least a portion of the weight of the sleeping bag compartment to the user's shoulders when the jacket system is used as a wearable jacket.

In yet another example of the invention, a convertible jacket system is configurable between a wearable jacket and a personal sleeping environment. The jacket system includes a jacket portion configured to be supported by a user's shoulders and extend substantially over the user's torso region. A sleeping bag compartment is coupled to the jacket portion and may be arranged in a retracted configuration and a sleeping configuration. A head covering canopy is coupled to the jacket portion and includes a bendable member, such as a wire, coupled to a fabric member. The head covering canopy may also be arranged into a folded configuration and a sleeping configuration. In the folded configuration, the bendable member is folded over at least once upon itself and sized to fit into a pouch coupled to the jacket portion. In the sleeping configuration, the bendable member is arranged in an arcuate shape to support the fabric member in the sleeping configuration.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The sizes and relative positions of elements in the drawings or images may not necessarily be to scale. For example, some elements may be arbitrarily enlarged or otherwise modified to improve clarity. Further, the illustrated shapes of the elements may not convey their actual shapes, and have been solely selected for ease of recognition. Various embodiments are briefly described with reference to the following drawings:

FIG. 1 is a front, plan view of a convertible jacket system according to an illustrated embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a front, plan view of the convertible jacket system of FIG. 1 showing a sleeping bag compartment in a retracted configuration coupled to an interior surface of the system;

FIG. 3 is a front, plan view of the convertible jacket system of FIG. 1 showing the sleeping compartment in an expanded or sleeping configuration;

FIG. 4 is a rear, plan view of the convertible jacket system of FIG. 1 showing a compartment for holding a head covering canopy;

FIG. 5 is a front, plan view of the convertible jacket system of FIG. 1 showing the head covering canopy in an expanded or sleeping configuration;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the convertible jacket system of FIG. 5 showing the system in a fully expanded or sleeping configuration;

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of the convertible jacket system of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a top plan view of a foldable wire system receivable in the head covering canopy of FIG. 6, the foldable wire system shown in an expanded or sleeping configuration;

FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the foldable wire system of FIG. 8 shown in a retracted or folded configuration; and

FIGS. 10A-10D are schematic diagrams showing the convertible jacket system in operation from a wearable configuration to a sleeping configuration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

One preferred example of the invention takes the form of a convertible jacket system that is convertible from a wearable configuration to a sleeping configuration. A wearable configuration generally means the jacket system is arranged to be worn generally as a jacket, coat, poncho or similar apparel item. A sleeping configuration generally means an expanded configuration that functions as a sleeping environment or at least a resting environment in which the user is able to lie down in generally a horizontal position. The convertible jacket system may function as an all-in-one survival jacket that may be used as a first response item in emergency situations providing temporary shelter to disaster victims. However, the convertible jacket system may be used for a variety of purposes to include, but not limited to, military missions, camping, climbing, fishing, hunting, boating, etc.

FIG. 1 shows a convertible jacket system 100 in a wearable configuration having a jacket portion 102 and a hood portion 104. The jacket portion 102 may include cinchable sleeve cuffs 106 and a fastening system 108, which may take the form of a zipper, a plurality of snaps, or a hook and loop system (e.g., a VELCRO® fastening system). The sleeve cuffs 106 may be cinched using a hook and loop system or an elastomeric member (e.g., an elastic band located into a pocket or channel sewn into the cuff 106). In addition, the jacket portion 102 may include a waist tightening member 110 sewn into to the jacket portion 102. By way of example, the waist tightening member 110 may take the form of an elastic member 112 (FIG. 2) located into a pocket or channel 114 (FIG. 2) sewn to the jacket portion 102. Alternatively, the waist tightening member 110 may take the form of a drawstring that may be clamped at each end. In the wearable configuration, the jacket portion 102 may be worn by a user such that the jacket portion 102 is supported by the user's shoulders and extends substantially over the user's torso region.

The convertible jacket system 100 may be made from a variety of materials. In one embodiment, at least the covering portions of the jacket system 100 are made from a spun polyester material that may include dyed yarns. However, the covering portions or other portions of the jacket system 100 may be made from flexible, waterproof and breathable fabrics such as a GORE-TEX® fabric. Moreover, the jacket system 100 may be made from rip-stop materials making it difficult to tear and withstand a high amount of stress and wear. In addition, a coating of urethane may be applied to the jacket system 100 to provide a combination of breathability and water repellency. By way of example and depending on the types of materials, coatings and features of the jacket system 100, an overall weight of the jacket system 100 may be less than 2.0 pounds. Further, the jacket system 100 may be made in a variety of colors and may include various types of insulation.

FIG. 2 shows a sleeping bag compartment 116 coupled to the jacket portion 102 of the convertible jacket system 100. The sleeping bag compartment 116 is shown in a retracted or wearable configuration with straps or ties 118 maintaining the sleeping bag compartment 116 in the wearable configuration. In one embodiment, the sleeping bag compartment 116 is rolled up and held in situ with strap ends that connect together using hook and loop fastener devices (e.g., VELCRO® fastening straps). Preferably, the sleeping bag compartment 116 is positioned just above the user's hips such that at least a portion of the weight of the sleeping bag compartment 116 may be supported on the hips. In one embodiment, shoulder straps 120 have a first end coupled to a region of the jacket portion 102 proximate the sleeping bag compartment 116. The shoulder straps 120 extend upward and have a second end coupled to a shoulder region of the jacket portion 102. The shoulder straps 120 may be adjustable relative to the jacket portion 102 such that more or less of the weight of the sleeping bag compartment 116 may be supported by the shoulders in addition to or instead of the hips. The sleeping bag compartment 116 may be made out of the same material as the jacket portion 102. Alternatively, the sleeping bag compartment 116 may be made from slighter heavier materials having textured polyester yarns with a urethane coating. The thickness of the coating may be varied depending on whether the convertible jacket system 100 is expected to be continually used in wet, damp or cold environments because a heavier coating will further reduce the wetting out from damp or wet ground.

FIG. 3 shows the convertible jacket system 100 with the jacket portion 102 and the sleeping bag compartment 116 in an extended or sleeping configuration. The sleeping bag compartment 116 may include a zipper or similar device 122 that permits the user to move their lower body in and out of the sleeping bag compartment 116. Optionally, a flap or cover (not shown) may be attached to the sleeping bag compartment 116 to substantially overlap or cover the zipper 122. The flap may be configured to reduce or prevent water from leaking through the zipper 122 when the sleeping bag compartment 116 is in the sleeping configuration. The flap may be made from the same material as the sleeping bag compartment 116. In the illustrated embodiment, the jacket portion 102 may be worn by the user and remain coupled to the sleeping bag compartment 116 while the user's lower body is inside the sleeping bag compartment 116. The sleeping bag compartment 116 may be sized to comport to the size of the jacket portion 102.

FIG. 4 shows the convertible jacket system 100 having a pouch or pocket 124 attached to a backside 126 of the jacket portion 102. The pouch 124 is sized to receive and hold a hood covering canopy 128 (FIG. 5) when it is in a retracted or folded configuration. An upper portion 128 of the pouch 124 may be open and closed using a hook and loop fastening system or a bendable member 130 that snaps open or closed depending on its design. Optionally, the pouch 124 may be covered with a flap (not shown).

FIG. 5 shows the convertible jacket system in a fully expanded or sleeping configuration in which the sleeping bag compartment 116, the jacket portion 102 and the head covering canopy 128 have been removed from their storage locations and arranged to create a sleeping environment. Note that the hood portion 104 and the jacket portion 102 may be worn by the user when the convertible jacket system is in the sleeping configuration. In one embodiment, the head covering canopy 128 may operate as a backpack cover when the jacket system 100 is in the wearable configuration. The head covering canopy 128 may be made out of the same material as the jacket portion 102. Alternatively, the head covering canopy 128 may be made from slighter heavier materials having textured polyester yarns with a urethane coating. As noted above, the thickness of the coating may be varied depending on whether the convertible jacket system 100 is expected to be continually used in wet, damp or cold environments because a heavier coating will further reduce the amount of rain or other wetness attempting to penetrate from the outside. In one embodiment, at least some of the materials used to make the jacket system 100 may be certified to a vertical flame resistance standard; such as the standard that is used for camping tents.

Further illustrated in FIG. 5 are suspenders 132 coupled to an upper part of the jacket portion 102 and extending downward toward a waist portion of the jacket system 100. The suspenders 132 include clamps 134 that may be attached to the user's trousers or belt. One purpose of the suspenders 132 and clamps 134 is that once clamped they relieve some of the weight from the head covering canopy 128 when it is stored in the pouch 124. In some embodiments, the head covering canopy 128 may tend to pull the jacket portion 102 downward along the users back because of its weight and the weight of the jacket portion 102. To alleviate this, the suspenders 132 and clamps 134 may be employed maintain the jacket portion 102 while efficiently and evenly distributing the weight of the jacket system 100 on the user's body.

FIGS. 6 and 7 show the convertible jacket system 100 in the fully expanded or sleeping configuration. In FIG. 6, the jacket system 100 is laid out and ready for the user. In FIG. 7, the jacket system 100 is shown in use with the user's lower body located in the sleeping bag compartment 116, their torso region covered by the jacket portion 102, which may remain open or closed depending on the user, and the head covering canopy 128 deployed to sufficiently cover the user's head and even an upper portion of the user's torso. The head covering canopy 128 may include a visor 136 that extends from the canopy 128 to provide more shading, to prevent water or moisture from dripping onto the user's face, or to prevent or at least reduce the amount of wind or blowing snow that may tend to be swept up into the canopy 128. In another embodiment, the head covering canopy 128 may include a mesh screen (not shown) that comes attached or may be attached to the canopy 128. The mesh screen may be configured to sufficiently cover the opening created between the canopy 128 and the jacket portion 102 to substantially eliminate bugs and mosquitoes from moving near the user's facial area.

FIGS. 8 and 9 show a maneuverable wire 138 having a first end 140 and a second end 142. The wire 138 may have generally an arcuate shape and is received into a channel formed around the periphery 144 (FIG. 7) of the fabric 146 (FIG. 7) that forms the canopy 128. The wire 138 as shown in FIG. 8 is in its expanded or sleeping configuration, which by design is a natural or unstressed state for the wire 138. The wire 138 is sufficiently strong, yet flexible to be expended and retracted numerous times. By way of example, when the canopy 128 (FIG. 5) is removed from the pouch 124 (FIG. 4), the wire 138 will automatically begin to expand to its natural state, which in turn means the canopy 128 will tend to open automatically with little to no effort from the user once the canopy 128 is removed from the pouch 124 (FIG. 4).

FIG. 9 shows the wire 138 in a folded or retracted configuration. The wire ends 140, 142 are moved toward each other, which in turn causes the wire 138 to double loop or loop over onto itself, thus substantially decreasing its overall envelope size and configuring it to fit into the pouch 124 (FIG. 4). In one example prototype, an approximate mean diameter of the double looped wire 138 in the retracted configuration was about 8.0 inches, but this mean diameter could be greater or less depending on the overall design and purpose of the convertible jacket system 100.

FIGS. 10A-10D show the convertible jacket system 100 in various stages of use. In FIG. 10A, the jacket system 100 is shown in the wearable configuration on the user. As described above, the suspenders 132 may be used to support and evenly distribute the weight of the jacket system 100. FIG. 10B shows the jacket system 100 in the initial stages of being converted to the sleeping configuration. The jacket system 100 is laid on the ground or other approximately horizontal surface and the sleeping bag compartment 116 is moved into its sleeping configuration. In FIG. 10C, the hood covering canopy 128 is removed from the pouch 124 and permitted to expand or open by force of the wire 138. Once open and in the sleeping configuration, the canopy 128 may be situated to adequately cover the user's face and upper body as illustrated. FIG. 10D shows the user setting up the canopy 128 using pairs of straps 148 that may be slid between the jacket portion 102 and the ground. Opposite ends of the pair of straps 148 attach to each other to help prevent the bottom of the canopy 128 from splaying outward and thus possibly causing the canopy 128 to collapse. The canopy 128 may include several pairs of the straps 148.

Many other changes can be made in light of the above detailed description. In general, in the following claims, the terms used should not be construed to limit the invention to the specific embodiments disclosed in the specification and the claims, but should be construed to include all types of jackets, coats, sleeping environments, bivouac systems, and survival systems that operate in accordance with the claims. Accordingly, the invention is not limited by the disclosure, but instead its scope is to be determined entirely by the following claims.