Title:
MATS FOR USE IN OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The mat has a front layer made of soft, liquid absorbent and breathable towel-like material stitched to a wind proof protective canvas backing layer. Designed for use at the beach, the mat provides a surface for drying the body. When wrapped around the body for use as a shawl, the mat provides protection from the weather. The surface of the front layer can have an imprinted design. A raised border is provided on the surface to provide additional rigidity to prevent flapping in the wind. The border also provides a “picture frame” for the design. In one embodiment, a cushion layer made of foam is interposed between the front and backing layers for increased comfort while sitting or lying on the mat. In another embedment, the thickness of the cushion layer and the size of the mat are reduced for storage in a motorcycle saddle bag.



Inventors:
Roach, Thomas (Westhampton Beach, NY, US)
Application Number:
14/569122
Publication Date:
06/18/2015
Filing Date:
12/12/2014
Assignee:
LOLA'S MAUI MATS LLC
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/69
International Classes:
A41D15/00; D06N7/00
View Patent Images:



Other References:
Definition of Welt
Definition of Canvas
Primary Examiner:
FIGG, TRAVIS M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EPSTEIN DRANGEL LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A mat comprising: a front layer comprising a soft, liquid absorbent and breathable material; a protective canvas backing layer, means for stitching the edges of said front and backing layers together, and a raised border on the exterior surface of at least one of said layers.

2. The mat of claim 1 further comprising a cushion layer interposed between said front layer and said backing layer.

3. The mat of claim 1 wherein said cushion layer is sewn between said front layer and said backing layer by said stitching means.

4. The mat of claim 1 wherein said front layer comprises terrycloth.

5. The mat of claim 1 wherein said front layer comprises one of the following materials: organic cotton/hemp blend, bamboo/cotton blend and cotton.

6. The mat of claim 1 wherein said front layer comprises plush terrycloth 10 ply towel material.

7. The mat of claim 1 wherein said backing layer comprises hemp.

8. The mat of claim 1 wherein said backing layer comprises a hemp blend.

9. The mat of claim 1 wherein said backing layer is smoothly woven and breathable.

10. The mat of claim 1 wherein said backing layer is resistant to sand clinging.

11. The mat of claim 1 wherein said border is welted.

12. The mat of claim 1 wherein said border gives the mat a “picture frame” appearance.

13. The mat of claim 1 wherein said border is raised.

14. The mat claim 2 wherein said cushion layer comprises memory foam.

15. The mat of claim 2 wherein said cushion layer comprises an organic memory foam-like material.

16. The mat of claim 1, wherein said mat is between 35″ and 40″ in width and 72″ to 80″ in length.

17. The mat in claim 1, wherein said border is formed by a peripheral portion of said backing layer being rolled over and stitched to a peripheral portion of said front layer.

18. The mat of claim 1 further comprising closure means for securing the mat about the body of the user when the mat is wrapped about the body.

19. The mat of claim 1 further comprising a pocket in said front layer.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATIONS

The present application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61915808, filed Dec. 13, 2013, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO A “SEQUENCE LISTING”, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING APPENDIX SUBMITTED ON COMPACT DISC

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to mats intended for sitting or lying on the beach or in other outdoor recreational activities, such as festivals and camping, which can function as a shawl or wrap for protecting the user against inclement weather, has soft, absorbent and breathable properties such that it can be used like a towel, reduces unwanted movement due to wind when spread out on a surface and can be used as a cushion for sitting or lying.

2. Description of Prior Art Including Information Disclosed Under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98

Many different mats are known in the art and are designed for use in different situations and for different purposes. However, there are no mats which are designed for sitting or lying on the beach or in other outdoor recreational activities, such as festivals and camping, which can function as a shawl or wrap for protecting the user against inclement weather, have soft, absorbent and breathable properties such that it can be used like a towel, and can reduce unwanted movement due to wind when spread out on a surface.

The present invention includes three preferred embodiments. The first preferred embodiment relates to a mat structure including a terrycloth towel front layer and a hemp or hemp blend canvas protective backing layer with the edges thereof sewn together. A raised welted border is provided for additional rigidity. The surface of the front layer can be imprinted with a design, in which case the border simulates the appearance of a “picture frame” for aesthetic purposes. The first preferred embodiment is rendered in relatively large size, for example 48″×72″, in order to accommodate a full-sized person. This mat is particularly well suited for beach or other activities involving water.

The second preferred embodiment relates to a mat structure including the towel-like front layer and protective backing layer with a layer made of foam interposed therebetween. This mat is particularly well suited for use as a cushion for sitting or lying on, such as for camping.

The third preferred embodiment has a structure similar to that of the second preferred embodiment hut is smaller in overall size and the thickness of the foam layer is reduced. This mat is useful for situations when storage room is limited. For example, this mat is well suited for storage in the saddle bag of a motorcycle.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a mat for use in outdoor recreational activities which includes a towel-like front layer including a soft, liquid absorbent and breathable material; a protective wind proof canvas backing layer, and means for stitching the edges of the front and backing layers together. A raised border on the surface of front layer is provided for added rigidity to prevent unwanted movement or “flapping” of the corners of the mat in the wind.

In one preferred embodiment, the mat also includes a resilient layer interposed between the front layer and the backing layer to provide additional cushioning. The cushion layer is sewn between the front layer and the hacking layer by the stitching means. The cushion layer is preferably made of memory foam or an organic memory foam-like material.

The front layer is preferably made of terrycloth material fabricated of cotton, an organic cotton/hemp blend or a bamboo/cotton blend. The terrycloth material may be plush terrycloth 10 ply towel material.

The backing layer is preferably formed of hemp or a hemp blend which is smoothly woven and breathable. The backing layer is resistant to sand clinging.

The border includes peripheral portion of the backing layer rolled over the edge of the front layer and stitched to a peripheral portion of the front layer. The border is slightly raised relative to the surface of the front layer and is welted.

In another preferred embodiment, the size of the mat and the thickness of the foam layer are reduced such that the mat can be more easily stored in a limited space.

It is a primary object of the present invention to provide mats which are particularly useful for outdoor recreational activities such as on the beach or where water is involved, as a shawl for protection against inclement weather, as a cushion for sitting and lying upon while camping, and for storage in situations where space is limited, such as in motorcycle saddlebags.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF DRAWINGS

To these and to such other objects that may hereinafter appear, the present invention relates to mats for use in outdoor activities as described in detail in the following specification and recited in the annexed claims, taken together with the accompanying drawings, in which like numerals refer to like parts and in which:

FIGS. 1A and 1B are respectively a perspective view of a first preferred embodiment of the mat of the present invention and a cross-section through the mat showing the layers thereof;

FIG. 2 is a rear plan view of the mat of the first preferred embodiment;

FIG. 3 is a view of a person with the mat of the first preferred embodiment wrapped around her shoulders as a shawl, with the hook and button closure secured;

FIGS. 4A and 4B are respectively a perspective view of a second preferred embodiment of the mat of the present invention and a cross-section through the mat showing the layers thereof;

FIG. 5 is a rear plan view of the mat of the second preferred embodiment; and

FIGS. 6A and 6B are respectively a perspective view of a third preferred embodiment of the mat of the present invention and a cross-section through the mat showing the layers thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As seen in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the first preferred embodiment the mat of the present invention, generally designated A, is rectangular and formed of a towel-like front layer 10 formed of soft, liquid absorbent and breathable material such as terrycloth and a wind-proof protective backing layer 12 made of hemp or a hemp blend canvas backing layer 12. The edges of front layer 10 and backing layer 12 are sewn together by stitches 14. The backing layer 12 is shown in FIG. 2.

The front side of mat A has a 1.5 to 2 inch wide, slightly raised, welted border 16. As is illustrated in FIG. 1B, the border may be formed by rolling a peripheral portion of the backing layer 12 over the edge of front layer 10 and sewing the layers together by stitches 14. The exposed surface of front layer and/or of the backing layer 12 may be provided with a design, (not shown) such as a company logo or an image, by imprinting or other means. A border may be imprinted on the backing layer for aesthetic purposes. The backing layer may be a darker color than the front layer such that border 16, which is the color of the backing layer, contrasts with the color of the front layer to make the border more visibly prominent for an aesthetically pleasing effect.

The weight of the mat combined with the border provides additional rigidity to reduce unwanted movement or “flapping” of the mat corners caused by wind, thereby eliminating the need for an anchor when laying or rolling the mat down on the beach or other surface. Further, the surface of the canvas backing layer 12 is woven so as to reduce the amount of sand that sticks to the mat.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, the mat may be wrapped around the user to act as a shawl with the soft, absorbent front layer against the body and backing layer protecting the user from the elements, such as wind.

The front layer 10 has a natural soft towel-like surface and is made out of a heavy gram-weighted terrycloth material that provides the comfort, absorbency, and fast drying characteristics of a beach towel. The backing layer 12 is made from hemp or a hemp cotton blend canvas with an approximate weight of 10 to 18.5 ounces per square yard. The backing layer 12 is virtually wind proof.

The welted border 16 is preferably 1 to 2 inches inch wide and is raised ¼ inch to ½ inch relative to the surface of front layer 10. It provides weight and structural rigidity when the mat is rolled out or laid out. The mat is preferably approximately 35 to 40 inches in width and 75 to 80 inches in length.

The combination of the hemp or hemp cotton blend canvas backing layer 12 and soft terrycloth front layer 10 creates a mat with a breathable front surface that absorbs moisture and allows air to dissipate moisture. This allows for faster drying while the mat is laid out in the sun. It also benefits the user who can lie down on the mat when wet from swimming or other activities and enjoy the comfort and absorbent qualities of a deep pile towel throughout the day, without the mat becoming waterlogged. The dual layer construction maintains comfort, structural integrity, and dissipates moisture while providing protection from the elements.

Mat A has the benefits and qualities of a terrycloth towel with the added benefit and comfort of a beach mat. If user picks the mat up and wraps it around the body, it functions as a protective shawl with a soft, inner towel-like lining and a wind-proof backing layer protecting the user from inclement weather.

Using the mat as a shawl is particularly beneficial after spending an extended period of time in the water because it allows the user to regain optimal body temperature while being protected from the elements. Wrapping the mat around the body like a shawl creates a soft and warm “tent like” towel/blanket wrap.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, the. backing layer 12 of the mat can be provided with a hook 18 and one or more buttons 20 which when engaged secure the mat around the shoulders of the user, as shown in FIG. 3, the user may use his or her arms without having to hold tight to the mat itself. Multiple buttons 20 allow the user to adjust the size of the shawl to fit the body comfortably.

The unique natural hemp canvas backing layer 12 and welted border 16 create a firm beach mat that rolls out or spreads out without the excessive unwanted movement or “flapping” of the corners due to wind often experienced when using conventional beach towels or mats on the market. This structure enables the user to easily lay out the beach mat without having to pin down corners with an anchor or straddle the mat to spread it out evenly.

Moreover, the structure of the present invention reduces sand intrusion. The welted border 16 creates a barrier that reduces the amount of sand that most beach mats and towels tend to accumulate. The canvas backing layer 12 has a smoothly woven exterior surface such that sand does not readily cling to the backing layer of the mat, particularly when the mat is rolled up or folded. This results in less sand sticking to the mat while on the beach, and less sand being taken home on the mat. Also, the large size of the mat allows for the elbows of the user to rest comfortably on the mat itself and not in the sand, allowing for a general reduction in overall sand that is being brought on to the mat.

Mat A is ideal for the beach, for use at festivals, while camping, or virtually anywhere where a towel is needed. Further, the mat folds quickly and easily into any average beach tote and thus can be carried easily to any destination.

The mat is made of natural fibers (hemp, organic cotton, hemp and cotton blends) and can be imprinted with artistic and fashionable designs. The welted border 16 creates a “picture frame” type appearance for a design imprinted on the mat surface. Functional fashion, utilizing natural materials, creates an eco-friendly easy to use beach mat that is uniquely different from conventional products on the market.

Further, the mat folds quickly and easily into any larger sized tote bag. Accordingly, it can be carried easily to any destination. Once the mat is rolled out, a cellular phone or other electronic device can be stored within a pocket formed on the surface of the front layer, as shown in FIG. 1A. The pocket allows the electronic device to be shielded from the sun while outdoors.

Mat A is illustrated as having sharp or square corners. However, other shaped corners, such as the rounded corners of the mat of the second preferred embodiment can be employed, as well.

The second preferred embodiment of the mat, generally designated B, is depicted in FIGS. 4A, 4B and 5. The structure of the second preferred embodiment is similar to the mat of the first preferred embodiment of the mat with the exception that an intermediary foam layer 22 is present which, as illustrated in FIG. 4B, is interposed between front layer 10 and backing layer 12 and sewn therebetween by stitches 14. In addition, in this embodiment, the corners of the mat are more rounded than in Mat A.

Layer 22 is made of memory foam or organic foam-like material and acts as a cushion when the user sits or lies down on the mat. The mat is preferably approximately 35 to 40 inches in width and 75 to 80 inches in length. The thickness of the mat is substantially uniform and can be approximately 0.25 inches to 1 inch, but is preferably about ½ inch.

One purpose of mat B of the second preferred embodiment is for use as a cushion for sitting or lying down. It could be used on the beach, at festivals, at any outdoor activities, as a personal cot, as an added cushion while camping, etc. The mat can be transported easily by rolling it up and carrying it to any destination.

However, for certain applications where storage space is limited, the mat of the second preferred embodiment may not be suitable because it is too bulky when rolled or folded. The mat of the third preferred embodiment is designed for use in such situations.

The mat of the third preferred embodiment, generally designated C, is illustrated in FIGS. 6A and 6B. It has a similar three layer structure as mat B of the second preferred embodiment, making it ideal for sitting or lying on because of the presence of the cushion layer. However, in this embodiment, the mat may be somewhat smaller in size and squarer than the mat of the second preferred embodiment. Preferably, the size may be reduced to 44″×70″ for example.

Further, the structure of the foam layer utilized in this embodiment, indicated as 22′ on FIG. 6B, is different than that of foam layer 22 of the second preferred embodiment. For packing efficiency, the mat of the third preferred embodiment uses 10-15% less padding. The thickness of the foam layer 22′ is reduced marginally, about ⅛ inch as compare to foam layer 22 of mat B. The different between the thickness of foam layers 22 and 22′ is somewhat exaggerated in FIGS. 4B and 6B. The reduction in bulk enables mat C to be folded into a small rectangle to fit in a standard sized motorcycle saddle bag, for example.

The surface of the terrycloth layer 10 of this mat is soft, as in the other embodiments, but preferably utilizes a tighter weave and a shorter pile. This increases durability during tight packing and as well as resistance to soiling.

While the mats of the first and second preferred embodiments may have designs woven into the surface of the front or back layers, the surface of the front layer of the third preferred embedment of the mat is more receptive to silk screening and other methods of imprinting images and/or attaching patches. This may be important for licensing arrangements, particularly agreements with motorcycle related entities or others who may want their insignia's imprinted on the mat or the mat customized in other ways, such as having a particular color combination.

This embodiment of the mat offers bikers a comfortable outdoor “bedroll” that fits conveniently in the saddle bags of a motorcycle instead of having an article rolled up and “bungee corded” to the seat or rear fender. Mat C is comfortable and great for taking a break while on a long motorcycle road trip, for lying down for a nap or for sitting at outdoor festivals and concerts, adding comfort to the activity and preventing clothes form being soiled or getting damp.

While only a limited number of preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed for purposes of illustration, it is obvious that many modifications and variations could be made thereto. For example, the size and proportions of the mats, and the materials utilized, may be changed. It is intended to cover all of those modifications and variations which fall within the scope of the present invention, as defined by the following claims.





 
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