Title:
Installable Vacuum Garment Bag for Luggage
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present device is a sealable vacuum bag that can be either attached or non-detached to luggage. The bag extends considerable above the luggage so it can be fully packed with clothing and other items prior to a vacuum be applied through a valve in the vacuum bag by a self-contained vacuum apparatus within the luggage. The vacuum apparatus includes an air compressor, pc board, usb charging port, battery, or combination of smaller batteries, and an on/off switch enclosed in a compact vacuum casing in the luggage. The vacuum bag connection port uses a one-way valve to seal the vacuum bag in the luggage or to allow the vacuum bag to be removed from the luggage.



Inventors:
Carey, Melanie (Boynton Beach, FL, US)
Application Number:
14/453581
Publication Date:
04/02/2015
Filing Date:
08/06/2014
Assignee:
CAREY MELANIE
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C13/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COLLADO, CYNTHIA FRANCISCA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Donald Debelak (Albuquerque, NM, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A vacuum bag within a piece of luggage extends beyond the luggage while being packed and that is then reduce in size so it fits inside the luggage after applying a vacuum consisting of: a. a piece of luggage b. a sealable vacuum bag that is attached to the piece of luggage c. a connection port in the vacuum bag d. a screen on the vacuum bag side of the connection port e. a hose that travels from the connection port to the vacuum apparatus f. that hose attaching to the air compressor g. a vacuum casing for holding vacuum components h. a front cover for the casing that opens i. a pc control board j. a usb charging port k. a battery l. an on/off switch.

2. The device of claim 1 with the sealable vacuum bag not attached to the luggage and can be removed from the luggage.

3. The device of claim 1 where the batteries are multiple small batteries rather than one large battery.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCED TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This applications the benefit of provisional patent application No. 61/885,560 filed on 2103 Oct. 2 by the current inventor.

BACKGROUND

Prior Art

U.S. Patents

Patent numberKind CodeIssue DatePatentee
U.S. Pat. No. 4,801,213A1998 Jan. 31Marshall Frey
U.S. Pat. No. 5,042,663A1991 Aug. 27Richard Heinrich
U.S. Pat. No. 5,480,030A1996 Jan. 02Gerald W. Sweeney
U.S. Pat. No. 5,540,500A1996 Jul. 30Mikio Tanaka
U.S. Pat. No. 6,065,870A2000 May 23Luis Alberto Nunez
U.S. Pat. No. 6,135,253A2000 Oct. 24Ira B. Weissman
U.S. Pat. No. 6,202,849B12001 Mar. 20David B. Graham
U.S. Pat. No. 6,499,574B12002 Dec. 31Michael M. Anthony
U.S. Pat. No. 6,651,520B12003 Dec. 25William C. Allen
U.S. Pat. No. 8,042,662B12011 Oct. 25Kuo-Pong Su
U.S. Pat. No. 8,210,353B22012 Jul. 03Guilio Epicureo \
U.S. Pat. No. 8,251,192B12102 Aug. 28Shahram Milani
U.S. Pat. No. 8,459,422B12013-06011Chad Efron

U.S. Patent Applications

Publication numberKind CodePublication DateApplicant
US20130180816Al2013 Jul 18Marguerite Wytenhove

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to a portable vacuum bag adapted for use with luggage, specifically for a small vacuum system that in its preferred embodiment can be used to facilitate the use of small luggage that can fit into overhead compartments of airplanes with larger amounts of clothing.

General Discussion

One of many limiting factors during travel is the amount of luggage space available. While most persons are not comfortable traveling with just the clothes on their back there is a limit to how much luggage a person can travel with. Physically a person is limited to how much they can hold and carry. Beyond physical limits, traveling with oversized or a large number of bags may incur unwanted fees, or add travel time due to the requirement to check bags, such as with airlines. Ideally, a traveler would be able to fit most if not all of their needed clothing and items in carry-on luggage, which is generally free and bypasses the bag check process. However, there are size restrictions for carry-on luggage, and many airlines limit economy passengers to one carry-on item. Thus, there is an incentive for travelers to be able to fit their luggage into a single bag.

Compression bags and compression luggage have been developed to increase the amount of usable space in luggage, functioning by compressing the luggage and expelling air. While better than regular luggage, compression bags and luggage are only able to remove air volume 25% to 33%. To obtain more usable space a vacuum must be used. A vacuum is capable of removing 50% to 60% air volume. Unfortunately many current solutions require full size vacuums at both end of a journey. Others have introduced a more portable syringe vacuum pump, although this has the disadvantage of being labor intensive, and while smaller than full size vacuums, the portable syringes still tend to be bulky, taking up valuable space which could be used for luggage or being externally mounted which may lead to the bags being considered oversized.

The present invention relates to the need to have a method of reducing the size of clothing carried in suitcases on airplanes or for other travel. Specifically the apparatus is suited both for large suitcases or other luggage as well as smaller carry-on items for overhead bins in airplanes. Some batteries cannot be used on airplanes and others take up to much room or need to be removed to be recharged. This is not the case of this device, which uses six smaller 2 volt non-lithium batteries that can be charged through an outside port on the luggage. The result is a small compartment for an operating vacuum apparatus that can be conveniently used in luggage both large luggage, and luggage that can fit into the overhead bins of an aircraft. The ability to fit into a small space fills an important void in the current market.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a convenient integrated compression system for luggage.

Discussion of Prior Art

Prior art has several vacuum units for reducing the space in luggage. Some of these call for an outside power source, others rely on a vacuum that is not included in the luggage while other call for a battery source without definition. Some batteries cannot be used on airplanes and others take up to much room or need to be removed to be recharged. The device of this invention has several differences from prior art. (1) The device can use six smaller 2 volt non-lithium batteries as an internal power source that can be charged through an outside port. The result is a small compartment for an operating vacuum apparatus that can be conveniently used in both large luggage and luggage that can fit into the overhead bins of an aircraft. (2) The device is an expandable that can extend above the suitcases from 3 to 18 inches to allow a large number of clothes to be packed in the bag prior to using the vacuum so the bag can fit into a suitcase. Other prior art doesn't always have an easy way to have a large amount of clothing stacked so it will vacuum down into a nice neat package. (3) The vacuum apparatus is small and self-contained within the luggage and doesn't need any input except a battery charge when power gets low. (4) The device has a screen inside the bag to prevent clothing items from being sucked into the vacuum. (5) The device has a one way valve in the connection port that closes when the vacuum valve is removed from the vacuum bag so the bag can be removed from the luggage.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,801,213 to Frey, U.S. Pat. No. 5,042,663 to Heinrich, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,065,870 to Nuenz all deal with inflatable air bladders that are meant to protect items in luggage and are not involved in reducing the volume of clothing.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,480,030 to Sweeney and U.S. Pat. No. 5,540,500 to Tanaka are a compressible bags for suitcases where the air can be forced out with compression. The product doesn't contain a vacuum but it does have a bag that seals, but the bag is not outsized to the suitcase to an appreciable extent. The units are self-contained but without a vacuum pump.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,135,253 to Weisman is a device with a compressible liner that becomes the packing chamber, versus a collapsible bag that that can expand. This device has the liner and packing chamber bigger than the suitcase so more clothes can be packed into the bag.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,499,574 to Anthony is sealed luggage that can have a vacuum applied from an internal source, but it doesn't have an expandable packing bag to pack as much luggage as possible and its motorized electric version calls for a large pump not suitable for a carry-on bag.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,202,849 to Graham has a sealed enclosure that can be compressed with a vacuum. This invention does operates with an outside vacuum pump such as vacuum cleaner rather than a vacuum self-contained in the luggage.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,651,520 to Allen is a device that vacuums air out of luggage for the purpose of evaluating it for explosion material. The product does not compress the clothes within the suitcase, and does not hold a vacuum within the luggage. The vacuum device is also not self-contained in the luggage.

U.S. Pat. No. 8,042,662 to Su is a luggage with compressor that is used to create air bags, rather than a vacuum in order to protect items in the luggage.

U.S. Pat. No. 8,210,353 to Epicureo is a patent of a vacuum storage slip cover that has built-in parallelepeid base that allows a vacuum cleaner to compress the articles of clothing within the bag. The vacuum apparatus is not self-contained in the bag or luggage and slipcover is not an integral part of the luggage.

U.S. Pat. No. 8,459,422 to Efron is for luggage with integrated vacuum bags within the luggage and has the ability to compress the bags with the suitcase open. This invention places the vacuum outside, rather than inside the suitcase, so it is not well suited to carry-on luggage.

U.S. Pat. No. 8,251,912 to Milani has a flexible attachment to the top of suitcase that can be compressed by a vacuum source so that it will fit after power into the bottom of the suitcase. The vacuum in this device requires an outside power source and it also has additional components that add weight to the suitcase. This is a different approach than an expandable bag that comes up from the suitcase and the weight of the vacuum and the suitcase top aren't well suited for a carry-on luggage.

US Pat. Application 20130180816 to Wytenhove is a suitcase with an expandable section that can be compressed with a vacuum with a built-in manual pump rather than a battery operator or electric pump. The expandable section of the luggage is an integral part of the suitcase and not a separate expandable vacuum bag.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an improved solution to the need to pack as much product as possible into a carry-on or larger suitcase. The present invention has four areas of improvement: 1) a vacuum bag which opens into a large packing area and then is then reduced in size by vacuum to fit into the bag so it can be closed; 2) a flexible bag rather than compartments like some prior art so that the luggage can have the maximum amount of clothing stored; 3) the design of a flexible bag that can be used in a hard or soft wall suitcase and can even be used in a retrofit situation; 4) a self-contained vacuum system run by six 2 volt non-lithium batteries that can fit into a small area of the luggage so the luggage can still fit into the carry-on compartment and 5) an opening on the vacuum bag and a closure means within so the vacuum bag can be removed from the luggage. The invention as designed can be integral part of new luggage or can be used as a retrofit kit to an existing piece of luggage as the vacuum bag can either be attached to the luggage wall or floor or can be non-attached for either new luggage or a luggage retrofit kit. The invention is designed to work with all sizes and configurations of luggage both hard sided and soft sided, a suitcase type form or a duffel bag.

DRAWINGS

Figures

FIG. 1 is a side view of a piece of luggage;

FIG. 2 is a top view of a piece of luggage;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the vacuum unit;

FIG. 4 is a view of the vacuum bag extended for packing;

FIG. 5 is a view of the connection port on the bag that the vacuum tubing is inserted into.

FIG. 6 is a top view of the connection port in the bag.

REFERENCE NUMBERS

  • 1. a piece of luggage
  • 2. the vacuum bag
  • 3. a connection port
  • 4. tubing from air compressor
  • 5. vent holes
  • 6. air compressor
  • 7. vacuum casing
  • 8. pc board
  • 9. usb charging port
  • 10. battery
  • 11. front cover for vacuum
  • 12. on/off switch
  • 13. wheels
  • 14. a seal
  • 15. a mechanism to help seal the bag
  • 16. connection port screen
  • 17. one-way valve

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

An embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 1. Other embodiments would include all types of luggage as well as a variety of variations in each component. FIG. 1. Illustrates a side view of the luggage, with the top opened (not shown). The vacuum bag 2 is extended above the luggage in its packing position. Once packed the bag is closed by using a sealing device 15 to close the sealing mechanism 14. The luggage 1 holds the vacuum bag 2 after it has been reduced in size by the vacuum. The vacuum apparatus is installed in the bottom of the luggage and includes; a connection port 3 on the vacuum bag through which the air in the vacuum bag is expelled, 4 tubing from valve connection to the air compressor which is a vacuum mode, a small vacuum casing compartment in the luggage 7 which contains vent holes 5 form which air is passed to the outside of the luggage, an air compressor 6, an on/off switch 12, a pc board for controlling the operation 8, a usb charging port 9, a battery 10 which could be either a 12 volt single battery of six two volt batteries and a cover 11 which opens to allow access the inside of the compartment. The cover 11 is open during the vacuum operation to allow the vent to expel the air. The luggage might have wheels 13 but they wouldn't be on every embodiment of the device.

FIG. 2 shows the top view of the luggage with the outer cover (not shown) open. The vacuum apparatus sits on the bottom of the luggage underneath the vacuum bag 2 with most of the apparatus components in a small compartment 7 and the connection port 3 into the vacuum bag 2 and the tubing to the air compressor 4 being outside of the vacuum casing 7.

FIG. 3 is an inside look at the vacuum casing compartment 7 from the top. The pc board 8 sits over the battery of series of batteries. The usb charging port 9 sits near the outside of compartment so it is easily accessible when the compartment is open. The on/off switch 12 also sits near the outside edge of the vacuum casing compartment for easy access. The air compressor 6 sits near the outside edge of the vacuum casing compartment to facilitate the venting of air. The tube going to the compressor extends outside of the vacuum casing compartment 7 so it can connect to the connection port on the vacuum bag and expel air from the vacuum bag.

FIG. 4 shows how the vacuum bag extends above the luggage to facilitate packing. Once packing is complete, the vacuum bag's 2, in this embodiment, seal 14 is closed with the use of a mechanism to help seal the bag 15 prior to the use of the vacuum apparatus.

FIG. 5 shows the connection port 3 from the vacuum bag with its opening for the tubing from the air compressor, the one way valve 17 and the connection port screen 16 that prevents clothes from being sucked into the vacuum.

FIG. 6 shows the top view from inside the vacuum bag of the connection port 3 and the port screen 16.

The device use is straightforward. When the luggage is ready to be packed, the vacuum bag 2 is extended upward in order to pack in as many clothes as feasible. Once packing is complete the vacuum bag seal 14 is closed, in this embodiment with a mechanism to help seal the bag 15, and the front cover 11 for the vacuum casing 7 is opened. The tubing 4 to the air compressor 6 is pushed into the connection port 3 to the vacuum bag and the on/off switch 12 is turned to the on position. The on/off switch 12 starts the air compressor 6 to draw air through the air compressor tubing 4 and the connection port 3 to withdraw air from the vacuum bag 2 so the bag will fit inside the luggage 1.