Title:
Adjustable Hand Covering
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention relates generally to a hand covering. More specifically, this invention relates to a hand covering that can be adjusted to vary the conditions inside the hand covering.



Inventors:
Drosihn, Lonnie (Monkton, MD, US)
Meyer, Greg (Bozeman, MT, US)
Application Number:
12/489206
Publication Date:
03/11/2010
Filing Date:
06/22/2009
Assignee:
180s, Inc. (Baltimore, MD, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D19/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
HADEN, SALLY CLINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EDELL, SHAPIRO & FINNAN, LLC (Gaithersburg, MD, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A hand covering comprising: a shell including a palm region, a cuff region, and a finger region, the shell including a vent; and a panel, the panel being coupled to the shell, the panel being movable between an opened position and a closed position, the panel being configured to cover the vent in the closed position and to be spaced from the vent in the opened position.

2. The hand covering of claim 1, wherein the shell includes a back portion and the vent is located in the back portion.

3. The hand covering of claim 1, further comprising: a closure mechanism coupled to the panel and to the shell, the closure mechanism being movable by a user to secure the panel in its closed position and to allow the panel to move to its opened position.

4. The hand covering of claim 3, wherein the closure mechanism is a first closure mechanism and the hand covering further comprises a second closure mechanism coupled to the panel and to the shell, the second closure mechanism being movable by the user to secure the panel in its closed position and to allow the panel to move to its opened position.

5. The hand covering of claim 4, wherein the first and second closure mechanisms are zippers.

Description:

REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to and the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/074,665, filed Jun. 22, 2008, Attorney Docket No. 0100.0128P, entitled “Adjustable Hand Covering,” the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to a hand covering. More specifically, this invention relates to a hand covering that can be adjusted to vary the conditions inside the hand covering.

Conventional hand coverings typically include one or more layers of material, depending on their intended use. Often hand coverings are intended for use in cool or cold environments and accordingly, such hand coverings include one or more layers of insulation to keep the user's hands warm.

However, sometimes multiple layers of material cause the hands of a user to be too warm and keep the moisture in the interior region of the hand covering. Conventional hand coverings provide poor ventilation and poor ventilation results in the hand covering becoming uncomfortable. Such hand coverings typically do not allow for a user to control the environmental conditions in the hand covering. As a result, a user's hand may become warm and/or moist, thereby making the user uncomfortable.

A need exists for an adjustable hand covering that is configured to allow a user to vary the conditions therein to achieve comfortable environment in the hand covering. Also, a need exists for a hand covering with a vent that can be adjusted by a user as desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A hand covering according to the present invention includes a shell that defines an interior region or area into which a user can insert a hand. In one embodiment, the shell includes several finger receptacles and a thumb receptacle. In an alternative embodiment, the shell includes a finger receptacle configured to receive all of the fingers of a user and a thumb receptacle. In one embodiment, the hand covering can include an adjustment mechanism that can be manipulated by a user to tighten or loosen the hand covering relative to the user's hand. One type of adjustment mechanism may include a strap and several buckles through which the strap is inserted.

In one embodiment, a hand covering according to the present invention includes a shell or body with a vent or opening through which air and moisture can flow out from an interior region of the hand covering. In addition, air may flow into the interior region through the opening. The opening provides for ventilation of the hand covering and in particular, the interior region. In one embodiment, the hand covering can include an air permeable sheet, such as a mesh-like material, that has a shape substantially the same as the opening in the shell. The air permeable sheet may be formed of a perforated material.

In one embodiment, a hand covering according to the present invention can include a cover or panel that can be moved relative to the opening and the shell. The cover or panel can be made of a material that prohibits or limits the flow of air therethrough. The cover can be placed in a closed position in which it is proximate to the opening and air flow through the opening is prevented or substantially reduced. The cover can also be placed in an opened position in which it is moved away from the opening and air can flow freely through the opening. The cover can be retained in its closed position or in its opened position as desired.

In one embodiment, a hand covering according to the present invention can include one or more closure mechanisms that can be used to open and/or close the cover. Each closure mechanism can be used to secure the cover in a closed position and prevent cold air or moisture external to the shell from entering through the opening. The closure mechanism or mechanisms can be moved so that the cover can be opened and the opening in the shell of the hand covering exposed to external elements.

In one embodiment, a portion of the cover of the hand covering can be coupled to the shell. For example, the portion of the cover can be fixedly coupled to the shell such as by sewing. Alternatively, the portion can be integrally formed with the shell. In another embodiment, the cover can be removably coupled to the shell in that the cover can be completely detached or decoupled from the shell and subsequently coupled thereto, such as by a releasable fastening structure like a combination of a hook and loop type material.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of an alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a top view of an embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a top view of the hand covering illustrated in FIG. 3 in a different configuration.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional side view of the hand covering illustrated in FIG. 3 taken along the line “5-5”.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional side view of the hand covering illustrated in FIG. 4 taken along the line “6-6”.

FIG. 7 is a top view of an embodiment of an insert for a hand covering according to the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a top view of the insert illustrated in FIG. 7 with tape coupled thereto.

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional side view of a portion of the insert illustrated in FIG. 8 taken along line “9-9”.

FIG. 10 is a partial exploded cross-sectional side view showing some of the components of an alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a partial exploded cross-sectional side view showing some of the components of an alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a partial exploded cross-sectional side view showing some of the components of an alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention.

FIG. 13 is a top view of an alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention.

FIG. 14 is a top view of an alternative embodiment of an insert according to the present invention.

FIG. 15 is a top view of an alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention.

FIG. 16 is an exploded perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention.

FIGS. 17 and 18 are top views of an alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention with a cover on the hand covering in closed and opened positions, respectively.

FIG. 19 is an exploded view of several different layers of a hand covering.

FIG. 20 is a partial cross-sectional view of a portion of a hand covering.

Like reference numerals are used herein to refer to like elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A hand covering according to the present invention includes a shell that defines an interior region or area into which a user can insert a hand of the user. In one embodiment, the shell includes several finger receptacles and a thumb receptacle. In an alternative embodiment, the shell includes a finger receptacle configured to receive all of the fingers of a user and a thumb receptacle. In one embodiment, the hand covering can include an adjustment mechanism that can be manipulated by a user to tighten or loosen the hand covering relative to the user's hand. One type of adjustment mechanism may include a strap and several buckles through which the strap is inserted. The term “hand covering” is used to include any type of covering that can be worn on a person's hand, such as a glove or a mitten. The terms “cover,” “panel” or “flap” are used interchangeably to refer to any type or piece of material that can be used to cover a vent or opening in the shell or body of a hand covering.

An embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1. As illustrated, the hand covering 10 includes a shell or shell assembly 12 that forms an interior region or area 14. The interior region or area 14 is configured to receive a hand of a user. The shell 12 defines a vent or ventilation structure 16 that is in communication with the interior region 14. The vent 16 allows air to flow into and out of the interior region 14 of the shell 12. In one embodiment, the vent 16 can be an opening formed in the shell 12. In another embodiment, the vent 16 can include an air permeable material that forms part of the shell 12, such as an air permeable material that is disposed in an opening formed in the shell 12. The vent 16 can include one or more openings.

When the air outside of the shell 12 is cooler than the air in the interior region 14, the warmer air can flow out through the vent 16 from the interior region 14, thereby cooling the interior region 14. In addition, if the user's hands are moist due to moisture in the shell 12, moisture can pass through the vent 16 to the external environment of the shell 12, thereby drying the user's hand and improving the comfort in the interior region 14. Accordingly, the vent 16 of the hand covering 10 can be used to make the interior region 14 of the shell 12 comfortable for the user.

Referring to FIG. 1, the hand covering 10 includes a cover or panel or flap 18. In one embodiment, a portion of the cover 18 can be coupled to the shell 12 so that the cover 18 remains coupled to the shell 12 when it is moved by the user. In another embodiment, the cover 18 can be formed separately from the shell 12 and subsequently coupled thereto.

The cover 18 can be moved relative to the shell 12 and to the vent 16. The cover 18 can be disposed in different positions by the user relative to the vent 16 to vary the flow of air through the vent 16. For example, the cover 18 can be disposed in a closed position so that it is substantially coextensive with the vent 16 so that the vent 16 is covered. In this position, the cover 18 prevents the flow of air through the vent 16 and seals the vent 16. In addition, the cover 18 can be positioned so that the vent 16 is exposed to the external elements and air can flow through the vent 16. The opened position of the cover 18 allows for moisture to get out of the interior region 14 through the vent 16. Without breatheability in the hand covering, moisture cannot get out and the user's hand cannot get warm. Thus, a user can control the extent to which the vent 16 is exposed and as a result, adjust the conditions in the interior region 14 of the shell 12. The cover or flap 18 provides on demand venting to the hand covering 10.

Referring to FIG. 2, an alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention is illustrated. In this embodiment, the hand covering 20 includes a shell 22 that defines an interior region 24 into which a user can insert a hand. Similar to shell 12, shell 22 includes a vent 26 that is in communication with interior region 24. In addition, a cover 28 is coupled to the shell 22 and disposable in multiple positions relative to the vent 26.

In this embodiment, the hand covering 20 includes a closure mechanism 30 that is coupled to the shell 22 and to the cover 28. The closure mechanism 30 can be manipulated by the user to move and retain the cover 28 in different positions relative to the vent 26. In one embodiment, the closure mechanism 30 can be a zipper. In another embodiment, the closure mechanism 30 can include multiple zippers that can be moved simultaneously with each other or separately from each other. In yet another embodiment, the closure mechanism can be another closure mechanism, such as hook and loop type materials, snaps, and/or magnets, such as magnetic strips.

Referring to FIG. 2, the hand covering 20 also includes a receptacle 40. In one embodiment, the receptacle 40 can be formed as part of the shell 22. In another embodiment, the receptacle 40 can be formed separately from and subsequently coupled to the shell 22. The receptacle 40 is sized and configured to receive a portion of the cover 28 when the cover 28 is moved from its closed position to its opened position. A portion of the cover 28 can be inserted into the receptacle 40 to retain the cover 28 in its opened position relative to the vent 26.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, an embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention is illustrated. A top view of the hand covering 100 is illustrated in FIG. 3. Hand covering 100 includes a body or shell 110 that has a proximal end 112 and a distal end 114. The body 110 includes a finger portion or region that includes several finger receptacles 116 and a thumb receptacle 118. The body 110 can also include a side region 111 and a palm portion or region 150 in which a vent or ventilation structure 162 is located, as described below (see FIG. 4).

Referring to FIG. 3, in one embodiment, the hand covering 100 can include an adjustment mechanism 120 that can be manipulated by a user to tighten a portion of the hand covering 100 on the user's hand. The adjustment mechanism 120 can include a strap 124 that is engaged with one or more buckles 122. The buckles 122 can be double buckles through which the strap can pass. The strap 124 can be tightened so that the hand covering 100 is secured to the hand of a user. In one embodiment, the strap 124 can be webbing with a thickness of approximately 15 millimeters.

The hand covering 100 can include a cuff portion or region 130 that is located near the proximal end 112 of the body 110. The cuff portion 130 extends from the proximal end 112 and terminates at an edge 134. Two stitching portions 136 are provided that define an area between them in which the edge 134 is not connected to the shell 110. The function of this area will be described in greater detail below.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, the hand covering 100 includes a cover or panel 180 that is coupled to the shell 110. As described below, in different embodiments, the cover 180 can have different sizes or shapes as well as different quantities of material layers. The cover 180 includes an outer surface 182 that is exposed to the environment elements outside of the hand covering 100. In one embodiment, the cover 180 can be treated with a polyurethane coating to make the cover 180 waterproof.

The cover 180 can be moved relative to the shell 110 and disposed in several different positions. For example, the cover 180 can be moved to a closed position 186 as illustrated in FIG. 3. In addition, the cover 180 can be moved to an opened position 188 as illustrated in FIG. 4.

Referring to FIG. 3, the hand covering 100 includes a closure mechanism 190 that can be manipulated by a user to secure the cover 180 in a particular position relative to the shell 110. In this embodiment, the closure mechanism 190 includes a pair of couplers 192, such as zippers, that are shown in their closed positions in FIG. 3 and that are movable along the direction of arrow “A” in FIG. 3 to their opened positions (see FIG. 4). In one embodiment, the zippers can be polyurethane coated reverse coil zippers.

In one embodiment, receptacles or cavities 196 and 198 are formed in the shell 110. The receptacles 196 and 198 are located proximate to the knuckle area of the hand covering 100. Each of the receptacles 196 and 198 is configured to receive one of the closure mechanisms or zippers 192. When the zippers 192 are moved to their closed positions (see FIG. 3), a portion of each of the zippers can be inserted into one of the receptacles 196 and 198 and thereby reduce the likelihood that the zipper 192 will be caught on another article or be moved along its path unintentionally. In other embodiments, the closure mechanisms can be any type of sliding coupler or connector that can be moved by a user.

Referring to FIG. 4, a top view of the hand covering 100 with the cover 180 in a different position is illustrated. In this view, the cover 180 is moved along the direction of arrow “B” to its opened position 188. A portion of the cover 180 is tucked beneath the edge 134 and into the receptacle that is formed in the cuff portion 130. In this embodiment, the body 110 includes a back side 160 that is proximate to the back of a user's hand. The back side 160 includes the vent or ventilation structure 162 formed therein. In one embodiment, the vent 162 is an opening 162 that is formed in the shell 110 of the hand covering 100. The vent or opening 162 is defined by one or more edges and in this embodiment, the opening 162 is defined by edges 164, 166, 168, and 170. In different embodiments, the vent 162 may have any size or configuration or quantity of edges.

In this embodiment, the hand covering 100 includes an air permeable material 195 that is coupled to the shell 110 and that covers the opening and forms part of the vent 162. The air permeable material 195 can be a mesh material that permits the flow of air therethrough. In one embodiment, the air permeable material 195 can have a water resistant treatment applied thereto to enhance the properties of the material. In one embodiment, the material 195 can be a spacer mesh with a tightly woven face. In one implementation, the mesh can have a thickness of approximately 4 millimeters.

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, partial cross-sectional views of the hand covering 100 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 are illustrated, respectively. Referring to FIG. 5, a partial cross-sectional view of the hand covering 100 with its cover 180 in its closed position is illustrated. As shown, the hand covering 100 includes a palm portion 150 proximate to the middle part of a user's hand. The palm portion 150 includes an outer surface 152 and an inner surface 154 that defines an interior region 156 into which a user can insert a hand. The palm portion 150 includes a palm side 158 (next to the palm of the user's hand) and a back side 160 (next to the back of the user's hand). As discussed above, the back side 160 includes a vent or ventilation structure or element 162 that is in communication with the interior region 156.

As shown in FIG. 5, a piece of air permeable material 195, such as mesh, is disposed in the vent 162, which in this embodiment, is formed by an opening in the palm portion 150. The cover 180 is located so that it can be placed on the outer side of the material 195. In FIG. 5, the cover 180 is shown in its closed position 186. The cover 180 includes a coupled end 181A and a free end 181B. The coupled end 181A is attached to the back side 160 of the shell 110 and the free end 181B can be moved relative to the shell 110.

As shown in FIG. 5, the hand covering 100 includes a cuff portion 130 that is formed by an outer layer 132 with an edge 134 that is positioned proximate to an inner layer 138. The outer layer 132 and the inner layer 138 collectively form a receptacle 140 therebetween, the function of which is illustrated in FIG. 6.

Referring to FIG. 6, the cover 180 is moved from its closed position 186 to an opened position 188. The free end 181B of the cover 180 can be moved along the direction of arrow “C” and inserted into receptacle 140. The free end 181B can be retained in the receptacle 140 by friction. The cover 180 has an outer surface 182 and an inner surface 184 as shown. As illustrated in FIG. 6, air can flow into and out of the interior region 156 along the directions of arrows “D” and “E”, respectively, when the cover 180 is moved to its opened position 188. The properties of the cover 180 and the material 195 as well as any additional material proximate to the opening or vent determine the flow of air and moisture through the vent. Those components may have any combination of waterproof and breathable properties. The various combinations of properties and functionality are described in detail below.

The extent to which the free end 181B of the cover 180 can be moved away from the vent or opening 162 is determined in part by the distance that the closure mechanisms or zippers 192 are moved from their closed positions. If the user wants to expose as much of the vent 162 as possible to the environment, then each zipper 192 can be moved toward the proximal end 112 of the hand covering as much as possible, thereby allowing the cover 180 to be pulled back and a substantial portion of the cover 180 inserted into the receptacle 140 or otherwise retained in its opened position.

In one embodiment, the hand covering 100 can include an insert that is disposed in the interior region 156 of the hand covering 100. Referring to FIGS. 7-9, an embodiment of an insert that can be disposed within the hand covering 100 according to the present invention is illustrated. The insert 200 can be used in the hand covering 100 when the user wants to have additional material that can provide additional warmth to the user's hand.

Referring to FIG. 7, in this embodiment, the insert 200 includes a body 210 with a proximal end 212 and a distal end 214. The body 210 includes multiple finger receptacles 216 and a thumb receptacle 218. In other embodiments, the body 210 can include a single finger receptacle provided that the corresponding shell of the hand covering is similarly configured.

The body 210 also includes a cuff portion 230 and a palm portion 250. The palm portion 250 has an outer surface 252 and an inner surface 254 that defines an interior region 256. The palm portion 250 also has a palm side 258 and a back side 260 opposite the palm side 258. The back side 260 includes a vent or ventilation structure 262 that is defined by an edge 264. In one embodiment, the vent 262 includes an opening and the edge 264 includes several edge portions 266, 268, and 270. The quantity and configuration of edge portions 264, 266, 268, and 270 can vary in different embodiments. The opening can be a hole that is die cut in the insert 200. The vent 262 as a full opening facilitates maximum venting from the interior region of the insert 200.

Referring to FIG. 8, in one embodiment, the insert 200 includes pieces of seam tape that are disposed around the edge or edges that define the opening 262 in the back side 260. The tape pieces 272, 274, 276, and 278 are disposed around the perimeter of the opening 262 and reduce any unraveling of the material that forms the insert 200. In this embodiment, several pieces of tape 220 are disposed between portions of the insert 200 that are coupled together so that the tape pieces 220 are disposed in the seam or seams formed in the insert 200. The tape pieces 220 can be coupled to the hand covering 100 to secure the insert 200 to the shell 110 of the hand covering 100. The tape pieces or portions 220, 272, 274, 276, and 278 can be any type of tape or similar material.

Referring to FIG. 9, a partial cross-sectional view of the insert 200 is illustrated. As shown, the insert 200 includes a palm portion 250 that has an outer surface 252 and an inner surface 254 that defines an interior region 256 into which a user can insert a hand. The palm portion 250 includes a palm side 258 and a back side 260 in which the opening 262 is located. The insert 200 is positioned so that the opening 262 is aligned with the opening 162 formed in the body 110 of the hand covering 100.

A hand covering according to the present invention can vary in different embodiments. For example, the quantity of layers of material in the hand covering can vary. Similarly, the structure of the cover for a hand covering can vary. In addition, the size and configuration of a vent or ventilation opening in the hand covering can vary. Alternatively, the quantity and shape of the finger receptacles can vary for a hand covering depending on whether the hand covering resembles a glove or a mitten, for example. The various hand coverings and inserts illustrated in FIGS. 10-18 and described below are a few examples of the different variations of hand coverings according to the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 10, a portion of an alternative embodiment of a hand covering is illustrated. Only a portion of the hand covering 300 is illustrated for ease of reference. In this embodiment, the hand covering 300 includes a shell 310 with a vent or opening 312 with an air permeable material 314 disposed therein. The vent 312 can have any shape or configuration. A cover 320 can be used to cover the opening 312 and prevent the flow of air through material 314 and the opening 312. In one embodiment, the cover 320 can include an outer layer 322 and a layer of insulation 324 that is coupled to the outer layer 322. The insulation 324 can be coupled by stitching or other conventional technique to the outer layer 322. The insulation can be quilted on the outer layer 322 of the panel or flap for additional warmth. The cover 320 includes a free end 326 that can be moved relative to the shell 310.

In this embodiment, an insert or inner layer 330 having an opening 332 defined therein can be disposed in the interior region of the shell 310. Only a portion of the insert 330 is illustrated in FIG. 10. As shown, the opening 332 in the insert 330 can be aligned or substantially aligned with the opening 312 formed in the shell 310. The insert 330 can provide additional warmth and insulation to the user's hand. The opening 332 in the insert 330 facilitates the cooling and drying effect of the vent by allowing the skin of a user's hand in the insert 330 to be exposed to the air permeable material 314.

Referring to FIG. 11, a portion of an alternative embodiment of a hand covering is illustrated. In this embodiment, the hand covering 400 includes a shell 410 with a vent or opening 412 with an air permeable material 414 disposed therein. A cover 420 can be used to cover the vent or opening 412 and prevent the flow of air through the opening 412. In this embodiment, the cover 420 is a single layer of material that has a free end 426 that can be moved relative to the shell 410.

In this embodiment, an insert or inner layer 430 having an opening 432 defined therein can be disposed in the interior region of the shell 410. Similar to the previous embodiment, the opening 432 in the insert 430 can be aligned with opening 412 in the shell 410. The different between hand covering 400 and hand covering 300 is the quantity of layers of material in the respective cover 400 or 300.

An alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 12. In this embodiment, the hand covering 500 includes a shell 510 with a vent or opening 512 with an air permeable material 514 disposed therein. Hand covering 500 includes a cover 520 that is coupled to the shell 510. In this embodiment, the cover 520 has a free end 526 and is formed with a single layer of material. Hand covering 500 also includes an insert or inner layer 530 that has an opening 532.

In this embodiment, hand covering 500 includes an additional material layer 540 that can be disposed inside of the insert 530. The layer 540 can be included to increase the warmth of the user's hand. The layer 540 can be formed of a material that allows air to flow therethrough to allow the user's hand to cool and dry as desired.

An alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 13. In this embodiment, the hand covering 600 includes a body or shell 610 that has a vent or opening 612 in a back side of the shell 610. The hand covering 600 includes a cover 620 that is repositionable relative to the opening 612. In this embodiment, a closure mechanism 630, such as a zipper, can be moved along a portion of the perimeter 632 of the cover 620 in different directions, depending on whether the cover 620 is to be opened or closed.

The free end 622 of the cover 620 can be inserted along the direction of arrow “F” into a receptacle 642 (shown in dashed lines) formed in the cuff portion 640. When the free end 622 is moved from its closed position, the opening 612 is exposed to the external environment and air can flow through the opening 612 out of the interior region of the shell 610.

Referring to FIG. 14, an alternative embodiment of an insert or inner layer for a hand covering according to the present invention is illustrated. In this embodiment, the insert 700 has a body or shell 710 with a back side 712 in which an opening 716 is formed. The opening 716 is defined by an edge 714 which in this embodiment is circular. In other embodiments, the opening 716 can have various sizes and configurations. In some embodiments, the shape, size and/or configuration of the opening in the insert or inner layer can be different from the shape, size and/or configuration of the vent or opening in the body or shell of the hand covering. In other embodiments, the openings in the insert and the body can be the same.

Referring to FIG. 15, an alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention is illustrated. The hand covering 800 includes a body or shell 810 that has a finger region 812 which is configured to receive the fingers of a user's hand. In this embodiment, finger region 812 resembles a mitten-like structure in that it has a single receptacle for the fingers of the user's hand. The hand covering 800 also includes a palm portion 814 and a thumb receptacle 816. The palm portion 814 includes a cover 820 that is coupled to the shell 810. Closure mechanisms 826 and 828, such as zippers, can move along opposite sides 822 and 824 of the cover 820 to secure the cover 820 in a closed position as shown or in an opened position.

Referring to FIG. 16, an alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention is illustrated. The hand covering 900 includes a body or shell 910 that has a back side 912 of a palm portion or region, a cuff portion or region 914, and a finger portion or region 916. The body 910 includes a vent or opening 920 defined in part by edges 922 formed in the back side 912 of the shell 910.

In this embodiment, the hand covering 900 includes a cover or panel 940 that is formed separate from the shell 910 and can be removably coupled thereto. In one embodiment, the cover 940 can include a first layer or portion 942 and a second layer or portion 944 that is coupled to the first layer or portion 942. The second layer 944 is configured to be substantially the same size as the vent or opening 920. The cover 940 has a first end 946 and a second end 948. On the underside of ends 946 and 948 are coupling mechanisms 950 and 952, such as one of a hook-type material and a loop-type material. Each of the coupling mechanisms 950 and 952 is configured to be engaged with a corresponding and cooperating coupling mechanism 930 and 932 located on the outer surface of the shell 910. Thus, a user can couple the panel 940 to the shell 910 by attaching coupling mechanisms 950 and 952 to coupling mechanisms 930 and 932. When the user wants to expose the vent 920, the user can remove the panel 940.

In addition, in another embodiment, the panel 940 can be coupled to the shell 910 by an elongate member 960 that can prevent the panel 940 from being separated from or lost relative to the hand covering 900. Each of the shell 910 and the panel 940 can include a loop or coupler 962 or 964 to which the elongate member 960, such as a string or cord, can be attached.

Referring to FIGS. 17 and 18, an alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention is illustrated. In this embodiment, the hand covering 1000 includes a body or shell 1010 with a back side 1012 and a thumb receptacle 1014. The hand covering 1000 includes a cover or flap 1020 that is coupled to the shell 1010. The flap 1020 has a free end 1022 that can be moved relative to the shell 1010. The flap 1020 can be disposed in a closed position 1024 (see FIG. 17) and in an opened position 1026 (see FIG. 18).

As shown in FIG. 17, the hand covering 1000 includes two closure mechanisms or couplers 1030 and 1040, such as zippers, that can be moved or slid along zipper lines 1032 and 1042 along the direction of arrow “G.” In this embodiment, when the closure mechanisms 1030 and 1040 are moved from their closed positions along the direction of arrow “G,” the free end 1022 of the panel 1020 can be moved along the same direction. In one embodiment, the hand covering 1000 may include a layer of material 1050 that creates a receptacle 1052 into which the free end 1022 can be inserted as shown in FIG. 18. The movement of the flap 1020 to its opened position 1026 exposes the vent or opening 1060 that is formed in the shell 1010. Thus, the orientation of the cover or flap 1020 can be such that it moves toward the thumb receptacle 1014 instead of toward the wrist or cuff portion of the hand covering 1000.

In other embodiments, a coupling mechanism such as a hook-type material or a loop-type material can be provided as an attachment location to which the free end 1022 can be releaseably attached to hold the flap 1020 in its opened position.

Referring to FIG. 19, an exploded perspective view of some layers of an embodiment of a hand covering are illustrated. In this embodiment, the layers 1100 include a cover 1110 that is coupled or fixed to an outer shell (not shown in FIG. 19) of a hand covering. A layer of mesh 1120 is coupled to the outer shell and is located in the window of the outer shell. Inside of the mesh layer 1120 is a layer of insulation 1130. Finally, inside of the insulation layer is a lining fabric 1140, which is brushed tricot.

Referring to FIG. 20, a partial cross-sectional view of some components of a hand covering is illustrated. As shown, the hand covering 1200 includes an outer shell 1210 with an outer surface 1212 and an inner surface 1214. A cover or vent cover 1220 having a free end 1222 and a fixed end 1224 is coupled to the outer shell 1210. In particular, the end 1224 is coupled to the inner surface 1214 of the shell 1210. In this embodiment, the end 1224 is coupled to the shell 1210 via stitching 1230. In other embodiments, the end 1224 can be coupled by welding, an adhesive, or other coupling method or technique.

In various embodiments of a hand covering according to the present invention, the types of materials and the treatments applied to the materials can vary. For example, a material can be made from or treated to be a waterproof material. Additionally, a material can be a breathable material. Moreover, a material can be a material that is waterproof and is breathable. Different combinations of such materials can be used in a hand covering according to the present invention.

For example, a hand covering according to the present invention can have any combination of top and bottom layers of material with the top and bottom layers being identified with respect to the outside and inside of the hand covering. For example, the top layer can be the cover or flap and the bottom layer can be an inner layer, such as a air permeable layer or mesh material identified above. In one combination, the top layer and the bottom layer can both be waterproof and breathable. In another combination, the top layer and the bottom layer can both be waterproof. In another combination, the top layer can be waterproof and the bottom layer can be waterproof and breathable. In yet another combination, the top layer can be water proof and the bottom layer can be breathable. Accordingly, the combinations of properties of the materials can vary depending on the desired functionality of the layers. The waterproof property prevents water from entering the hand covering, but breatheability allows moisture inside of the hand covering to escape outside the hand covering.

While the vent or opening in the hand coverings previously described have been located on a back side of the palm portion or region of the shell of the hand covering, in other embodiments, the vent or opening can be located in a different location on the hand covering, such as on the palm side, a side region, and/or in the finger region. In other embodiments, a hand covering according to the present invention can include more than one vent or opening. For example, the hand covering may include two or more vents or openings spaced apart in the body or shell of the hand covering. In addition, the vents can be located on the same side of the hand covering in some embodiments and on different sides of the hand covering in other embodiments. Alternatively, the vents can be formed in different portions or regions of the hand covering in some embodiments and formed in the same portions or regions of the hand covering in other embodiments.

While the invention has been described in detail and with references to specific embodiments thereof, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope thereof. Thus, it is intended that the present invention covers the modifications and variations of this invention.