Title:
Collapsible portable infant chair
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A collapsible foldable infant chair has a flexible seating member, a flexible backrest, a pair of flexible arm rests, a flexible tray stretchable between the armrests, and a foldable support frame made of a plurality of leg rods secured at the bottom ends to bottom leg support members and secured at their upper portions with leg brackets. The seating member, the backrest, the armrests and the tray assembly collapse when the chair is moved into the folded position, while the leg rods pivot for orienting in a generally parallel orientation when the chair is moved into the folded position. The folded chair fits into a storage bag for storage and transportation.



Inventors:
Whitlock, Brian (Metairie, LA, US)
Application Number:
12/288218
Publication Date:
04/22/2010
Filing Date:
10/17/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
297/468, 297/35
International Classes:
A47D1/02; A47D15/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20070290531TABLE AND BENCH SYSTEMDecember, 2007Larsen et al.
20090127893Car Seat with Convertible BottomMay, 2009Brunick et al.
20070241603Armrest Locking MechanismOctober, 2007Otto
20090102254ACTIVE HEAD RESTRAINT SYSTEM WITH ACTUATING SYSTEM FOR A VEHICLE SEATApril, 2009Veine et al.
20090236887BACK SUPPORT FOR A SEATSeptember, 2009Lu et al.
20090289480Combination child seat and travel safety vest for wheeled luggageNovember, 2009Mcfarland et al.



Primary Examiner:
GARRETT, ERIKA P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KEATY LAW FIRM, LLC (NEW ORLEANS, LA, US)
Claims:
1. An infant chair apparatus, comprising a chair assembly movable between an open position and a folded position, said chair assembly having a flexible seating member, a flexible backrest and a foldable support frame comprised of a plurality of leg rods, bottom leg support members secured to bottom ends of the leg rods, leg brackets secured to upper portions of the leg rods under the seating member, said seating member and said backrest being capable of collapsible folding when the chair is moved into the folded position, while the leg rods are adapted to pivot for orienting in a generally parallel orientation when the chair is moved into the folded position.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said seating member and said backrest are unitary connected.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said plurality of leg rods comprises a pair of back leg rods and a pair of front leg rods.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein said chair assembly further comprises a pair of flexible armrests, each of the armrests stretchable between the back leg rods and the front leg rods when the chair is in an open position.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein said chair assembly further comprises a foldable tray assembly secured between the armrests.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein said tray assembly is provided with a central opening configured to receive a recessed flexible tray member therein.

7. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein said tray assembly comprises a cup holder.

8. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein said backrest is provided with a pair of sleeves forming a loop around and configured to engage with, upper portions of the back leg rods.

9. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein said seating member is provided with a pair of openings adapted for engaging with the front leg rods.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a flexible seat belt member secured to the backrest for securing an infant in a seating position in the chair.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said chair assembly further comprises a selectively closable pocket secured to an outer back surface of the backrest, said pocket being configured to retain secondary items.

12. The apparatus of claim 11, further comprising a storage bag that is sized and configured for retaining said chair assembly in a folded position.

13. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein said storage bag is adapted to fit into said pocket.

14. An infant chair apparatus, comprising a chair assembly movable between an open position and a folded collapsed position, said chair assembly having a flexible seating member, a flexible backrest, a pair of flexible arm rests, a flexible tray assembly stretchable between the armrests, and a foldable support frame comprised of a plurality of leg rods, bottom leg support members secured to bottom ends of the leg rods, leg brackets secured to upper portions of the leg rods under the seating member, said seating member and said backrest being capable of collapsible folding when the chair is moved into the folded position, while the leg rods are adapted to pivot for orienting in a generally parallel orientation when the chair is moved into the folded position.

15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein said plurality of leg rods comprises a pair of back leg rods and a pair of front leg rods.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein each of the armrests is stretchable between the back leg rods and the front leg rods when the chair is in an open position.

17. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein said tray assembly is provided with a central opening configured to receive a recessed flexible tray member therein.

18. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein said tray assembly comprises a cup holder.

19. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein said chair assembly further comprises a selectively closable pocket secured to an outer back surface of the backrest.

20. The apparatus of claim 19, further comprising a storage bag which is sized and configured for retaining said chair assembly in a folded position, said storage bag configured for fitting in said pocket.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to collapsible, portable chairs and the like. More specifically, the present invention relates to an infant chair that can be readily transported in a folded position and then unfolded to provide a seating for a child in any desired location. High chairs for infants are well known; they are usually made of nonflexible sturdy materials, such as wood and plastic. Such chairs are usually relatively heavy and not easily transported. The structure of such high chairs provides for a seat, a backrest and a tray positionable above the seat at a level, where an infant can reach for a toy or other object placed on the tray.

With the increase in mobility of the modern society, there exists a need for more portable children's furniture, including playpens, chairs, booster seats and the like. This type of furniture should be lightweight, easily collapsible and be suitable for use both indoors and outdoors.

The present invention contemplates provision of a collapsible, portable infant chair that can be easily transported to a desired location and be adapted for quick set-up with minimum effort.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a freely collapsible chair suitable for use as a seating for an infant.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a portable chair that can be erected in a desired location with little effort.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a safe and stable seating for an infant in any desired location, both indoors and outdoors.

These and other objects of the invention are achieved through a provision of an infant chair assembly that is movable between an open position providing a seating surface for an infant and a folded collapsed position. The chair assembly has a flexible seating member, a flexible backrest, a pair of flexible arm rests, a flexible tray assembly stretchable between the armrests, and a foldable support frame comprised of a plurality of leg rods secured at the bottom ends to bottom leg support members and secured at their upper portions with leg brackets. The seating member, the backrest, the armrests and the tray assembly collapse when the chair is moved into the folded position, while the leg rods are adapted to pivot for orienting in a generally parallel orientation when the chair is moved into the folded position. The folded chair fits into a storage bag for storage and transportation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Reference will now be made to the drawings, wherein like parts are designated by like numerals, and wherein

FIG. 1 is a perspective front view of the infant chair according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective side view of the infant chair.

FIG. 3 is a perspective back view of the infant chair.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the infant chair in a collapsed position.

FIG. 5 is a detail perspective view of the carrying case for the infant chair.

DETAIL DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Turning now to the drawings in more detail, numeral 10 designates an exemplary embodiment of the infant chair in accordance with the present invention. The chair 10 shown in FIGS. 1 through 4 folds more compactly than many other types of folding chairs, with the series of diagonal and vertical legs drawing together both laterally and longitudinally to form a compact parallel bundle when folded.

The chair 10 comprises a seating member 12 with a back support panel or backrest 14 extending upwardly therefrom. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 to 4, the seating member 12 and the back support panel 14 are formed as a single unitary assembly joining along a fold line 16 (FIG. 3) where the back support panel 14 extends upwardly from the seating member 12.

With respect to the backrest 14 it is contemplated that the backrest is fabricated from the same material as the seating member 12, and that the backrest 14 is removably or permanently coupled to the seat (e.g., sewed, coupled with a zipper, etc.) along the line 16. Both the seating member 12 and the backrest 14 are made from a flexible foldable material, such as canvas, nylon, etc. It is preferred that the material be easily cleanable and/or stain-resistant. If desired, the outer surfaces of the seating member 12 and the back support panel 14 may display different designs to make the chair esthetically attractive to children.

As can be seen in the drawings, the backrest 14 is supported by backrest support rods 18 and 20 retained in a substantially parallel relationship when the chair 10 is in an unfolded position. Bottom ends of the backrest rods 18 and 20 are engaged in back leg supports 22, 24, respectively. If desired, the upper portions of the backrest support rods 18 and 20 may be inclined backward, as shown in FIG. 4.

The chair 10 further comprises a pair of front leg supports 26, 28. The chair frame further comprises a pair of front leg rods 30, 32, which have their bottom ends engaged in the front leg supports 26, 28, respectively. The upper parts 34, 36 of the front leg rods 30, 32 may be curved outwardly from he center of the chair 10, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Upper ends of the front leg rods 26, 28 are engaged in front leg brackets 40, 42. Similar brackets 46, 48 are positioned in the back portion of the chair 10 for securing leg rods in the back.

Diagonal leg rods 31, 33 extend between the front leg supports 26, 28 and front leg brackets 40, 42, forming X-shaped support assembly. Extending between the back leg support 22 and the front bracket 40 is a diagonal leg rod 35; another diagonal leg rod 37 extends between the front leg support 26 and the back leg bracket 46. The leg rods 35 and 37 form X-shaped side frame assembly. A similar X-shaped side assembly is formed by diagonal leg rods on the opposite side of the chair 10. A pair of diagonal rods 41, 43 is secured between the back leg supports 22, 24 and back leg brackets 46, 48, also forming X-shaped support assembly. Each X-shaped assembly uses pivot pins 49 at the intersection of the leg rods so as to allow the leg rods to come into a generally parallel relationship when the chair is moved into a folded position. The seating member 12 has a front edge 50, which is provided with a pair of spaced openings 52, 54 allowing extension of the front leg rods 30, 32. The openings 52, 54 are surrounded by suitable reinforcing members, such as grommets. Back edge of the seating member 12 is similarly provided with a pair of spaced openings 56, 58 that allow extension of the back leg rods 18, 20 therethrough. The openings 56, 58 may be reinforced by grommets. When stretched between the front legs and the back legs, the seating member 12 provides a seating surface for an infant.

The back support panel 14 is formed with a pair of sleeves 60, 62 extending along its side edges. The sleeves are sized and configured to slide over the upper portions of the leg rods 18, 20, stretching the back support panel 14 and forming the backrest of the chair 10. If desired, the upper edge 64 of the backrest 14 may be curved, as shown in FIGS. 1-3.

The chair 10 further comprises a pair of arm rests 66, 68. Each of the arm rests 66, 68 comprises a sleeve portion 67, 69, respectively that forms a loop and engages the back leg rods 18 and 20 at a level above the sating member 12. The front portions of the arms rests 66, 68 are stretched to engage the front legs upper parts 34 and 36. The sleeves formed on the front portions of the arms rests 66, 68 slide over the top of the front leg rods, covering the tops. Alternatively, the front portions of the sleeves 66, 68 may slide over the front leg rods, with the tops of the front leg rods being protected by suitable caps.

A tray assembly 70 is secured to the arms rests 66, 68. The tray assembly 70 stretches between the front portions of the arm rests 66 and 68. An opening 72 is formed in the tray assembly 70. A pocket cup holder 74 is secured to the tray assembly 70 with access through the opening 72. The cup holder 72 may be made of mesh material of the same fabric that the seating member 12 and the backrest 14 are formed.

A central opening 76 is formed in the tray assembly, and a recessed tray is fitted therein. Toys, food and other items may be placed in the recessed tray within easy reach of an infant. The tray assembly 70 may be detachably secured to the arm rests, if desired, using hook-an-loop fasteners.

A seat belt 78 is affixed to the lower portion of the backrest 14. The seat belt 78 may be provided with a buckle and may be adjustable in length to accommodate different age children. When the seat belt is closed about the child's torso, the child is prevented from sliding forward from the chair 10. The seat belt 78 may be secured by stitching or other suitable means. The back surface 80 of the backrest 14 carries a pocket 82 that can be closed with hook-an-loop fasteners, or a zipper. The pocket 82 is sized and configured to retain a storage bag 90 that can be optionally provided for carrying the chair 10 therein. The storage bag 90, shown in FIG. 5, may be provided with a handle 92 for ease of carrying the chair 10. A tightening belt 94 may be sawn into an open end 96 of the storage bag 90 in order to close the open end 96 when transporting the chair 10.

An optional umbrella assembly 98 is provided for detachably securing to a leg rod with a clamp (not shown). The umbrella has a post 100, which is freely rotational in the clamp allowing the umbrella assembly 98 to be oriented to a desired position to protect the infant from the weather.

The material from which the seating member 12, the backrest 14, the arm rests 66, 68 and the tray assembly 70 are made is cloth-like material that folds and/or crumples when the chair is collapsed to a position shown in FIG. 4.

The chair 10 is folded by drawing its legs together and gathering the seat and backrest 12 and 14. The result is a relatively narrow, elongate, compact bundle, including the tray assembly 70, which may be packed into the carrying and storage bag 90. Deployment of the chair 10 is accomplished by reversing the above-described process.

When in the open position, the chair 10 provides substantial stability for the user, and while in a folded position lends itself to compact storage. The seating member 12 and the backrest 14 may be constructed of any suitable material for making a chair of sufficient strength to support a human user of the chair. The legs the seat may be defined by a frame of metal tubing, or of plastic tubing, or of pieces of wood. In each case, the frame of the chair should be constructed such that the described segments of the chair can be connected via a number of supports and brackets, etc. Of course, other constructions are possible that fulfill the many aspects of the present disclosure.

The body-support portion of the chair may be a flexible material such as a synthetic fabric mesh, or leather, or a non-mesh synthetic material, etc. In some embodiments, support material 20 may be constructed of a material that is resistant to the elements, for use in an outdoor environment. Of course, many suitable support materials are possible, including varied types of fabric. The body support portions may be held to the rigid frame by, for example, a removable attachment mechanism of some sort, like a cord or webbing, or the material may be nonremovably coupled to the frame, for example by use of one or more rivets, grommets and the like. If desired the brackets may include a locking mechanism that would prevent the chair from collapsing when a child is positioned on a chair. The locking mechanism would be adapted for unlocking before the chair is collapsed into a folded position.

While the invention has been disclosed in its preferred form, the specific embodiments thereof as disclosed and illustrated herein are not to be considered in a limiting sense as numerous variations are possible. Applicant regards the subject matter of the invention to include all novel and non-obvious combinations and subcombinations of the various elements, features, functions and/or properties disclosed herein. No single feature, function, element or property of the disclosed embodiments is essential. The following claims define certain combinations and subcombinations which are regarded as novel and non-obvious. Other combinations and subcombinations of features, functions, elements and/or properties may be claimed through amendment of the present claims or through presentation of new claims in this or a related application. Such claims, whether they are broader, narrower or equal in scope to the original claims, are also regarded as included within the subject matter of applicant's invention.





 
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