BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to waders and wader boots. More particularly, the present invention relates to articles that facilitate the application and removal of such waders or wader boots.
2. Description of Related Art
The use of wader-type protective clothing in conjunction with water sports such as fishing or crabbing, and specifically fly fishing, is well known and widely adopted. The waders are generally manufactured of a waterproof fabric. One type of wader, generally referred to as a “hip boot” style, is two boots which extend up to the thigh and are generally supported by attaching them to the wearer's belt. A second style of wader is the waist-high wader. These waders are generally one-piece waders that extend up to and sometimes slightly above the waist of the wearer. Finally, there is a full chest wader, that extends up to the arm pits of the wearer and is typically supported by shoulder straps.
FIG. 1 illustrates an example of such wader boots. As can be seen, the wader boots are attached along the chest, lower torso portion and legs of the fisherman 1. The waders 2 include chest portion 3, waist portion 4, leg members 5 and 6 and boots 7 and 8. Conventionally, the waders 2 are formed of a rubber or neoprene material. Shoulder straps may be attached to the chest portion 3 so as to extend over the shoulders of the fisherman 1.
All waders, especially neoprene waders, are difficult to put on or take off because of the high friction material that they are made of. The difficulty can also depend on how high they have to be worn on the body and the layers of clothing (coveralls, insulated undergarments, protective clothing, etc.) that are worn by the wearer. These waders are also used by hunters, emergency personnel, fish and wildlife department personnel, parks and recreation department personnel, and similar persons. Layers of clothing are always worn inside the waders. The layers of clothing and the material which make up the waders makes it very difficult to put the waders on and to take them off. Importantly, many people drown in waders because they either fall into a deep hole bringing the water line above the waders or by flooding and sinking the victim to the bottom in an inverted position. Sometimes, the persons that wear the waders will fall in swift-moving water such that the waders are filled with water. Waders made of neoprene are especially difficult to take off when flooded. Because of the amount of time it takes to remove the waders, many people have drowned. As such, it is desirable to either construct the waders so as to be easily removed or to develop other techniques so that the drowning of the wearers of such waders can be prevented.
In the past, many patents have issued relating to such waders and/or the application and removal of such waders. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,268,914 teaches a waterproof garment having leg members with boots affixed at the bottom of the leg members. The leg members extend upwardly to a waist area. Suitable buttons and fasteners are applied to the waist area so as to secure the waterproof garment around the waist of the user.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,912,860, issued on Apr. 3, 1990 to R. W. Keller, teaches a wader for use in fishing having a body portion covering the lower body (including the legs, feet, hips and waist of the wearer), and a chest portion normally folded inside the body portion but extendable upward about the chest, but not the shoulders of the wearer. The chest portion is preferably held about the chest by a drawstring, such as an elastic drawstring, and is biased into the lowered position inside the body portion by means of a seam joining the two portions.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,022,096, issued on Jun. 1, 1991 to D. J. Pacanowsky, teaches a multi-component, waterproof, breathable wader comprising left and right panels, each panel having a shape of a legging with an upper and lower region. The upper regions of the right and left panel are joined together at a seam running from front to back. There is a means for supporting the seamed panels on a person. This means is attached to the upper regions of each panel. The front and back regions of each panel are joined to form pant legs. Socks are attached to the lower region of each pant leg by a seam. The means for supporting the seamed panels on a person include belts or suspenders.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,081,718, issued on Jan. 21, 1992, to Carmenet al., teaches a pants-type garment that is provided with a leg portion made from a substantially unitary stretchable piece of material which is symmetric about a center fold. The unitary piece of material defines a pattern containing a first V-shaped recessed cut and a second V-shaped recessed cut about the midpoint of the pattern where the crotch portion is to be located. The crotch is at the center fold of the pattern piece between the two V-shaped recessed cuts. A substantially rectangular upper portion is attached to the leg portion by a seam which runs along the first and second sides of the V-shaped recessed cuts.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,826,274, issued on Oct. 27, 1998 to the present inventor, describes a method and apparatus for facilitating the application and removal of a wetsuit. This apparatus includes a torso portion with a first arm member and a second arm member extending outwardly from opposite sides of the torso portion. The first and second leg members extend downwardly from the torso portion. The torso portion, the leg members and the arm members are formed of a spun high density polyethylene fiber material. First and second boots are also formed of the same material and are removably affixed adjacent to the first and second leg members, respectively. U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,438,531, 5,480,455 and 5,829,057 teach various low friction materials that can facilitate the attachment of certain clothing items.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a liner which facilitates the application and removal of waders.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a liner which can serve to prevent the wearer of such waders from drowning.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a liner which serves as a protective layer and serves to retain body heat.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a liner which prevents the pant legs of the wearer from rolling up the legs while applying the waders.
It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a liner which makes the waders more comfortable to wear.
It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a liner which prevents the felt in felt lined waders from being worn off by the clothing of the wearer.
It is still a further object of the present invention to provide such a liner which is easy to use, relatively inexpensive and easy to manufacture.
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a reading of the attached specification.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention is a liner for use in the wearing of waders. The liner is in the nature of a body suit that is intended to be worn directly over the body of the user. Additionally, the liner of the present invention is also configured so as to be worn directly over the clothing of the wearer of the wader boots. The liner of the present invention will reside between the layer of clothing of the wearer and within the waders. This liner is made of a porous, uncoated spun high-density polyethylene fiber material, commonly known as TYVEK (™) material.
The liner of the present invention is a body suit which includes a lower torso member and first and second leg members. The lower torso member should have a size which accommodates the desired size of the waders. For example, if chest-high waders are to be worn, then the lower torso portion of the liner should extend to at least the height of the chest-high waders. If waist-high waders are worn, then the lower torso portion of the liner should extend to at least as high as the waist of the wearer. Generally, the lower torso portion of the liner will cover the abdomen of the wearer. The first and second leg members extend downwardly from the lower torso portion so as to receive human legs therein. Within the concept of the present invention, boots can be removably or unremovably attached to the end of the leg members opposite the torso portion.
In the present invention, the lower torso portion includes an elastic section attached around the waist area of the of the lower torso portion. The zipper extends downwardly from this elastic section. The zipper is also placed on an elastic section which is located on a frontal portion of the lower torso portion. This elastic section will reside within a cut-out area on the front of the liner. If desired, a flap can extend over the zipper on the front of the lower torso portion.
If boots are used with the liner apparatus of the present invention, then these boots can either be permanently attached or detachably attached to the leg members. If they are detachably affixed to the bottom of the leg members, then the bottom of the leg members will have an elastic section at the areas of the ankles of the wearer. The boots will also have an elastic top edge so as to snugly engage the ankles of the wearer. The boots will includes a non-skid bottom surface located on the instep of each of the boots. The boots can also be integrally attached to the bottom of the legs of the liner. The porous, uncoated spun high-density polyethylene fiber material will inherently have a rough side and a slick side. Within the concept of the present invention, the liner will be worn such that the rough side is adjacent to the human body and the slick side will face toward the waders. The waders can be placed over the slick side of the liner.
The present invention solves all of the problems associated with wearing wader boots by making it incredibly easy to put the waders on or to take the waders off. This easy application and removal can occur whether the waders are wet, dry or flooded. The liner is worn over the clothes and is large enough to accommodate overalls, heavy socks, or other protective clothing. The invention possesses an extremely low friction and drag coefficient which enables the wearer to slide into and out of the neoprene, cotton-lined, felt or canvas-lined waders effortlessly. This saves time and energy. As a result, the liner of the present invention enables waders to be donned or doffed much faster than ever before. This is very important if the waders should ever flood and fill with water. The present invention enables wearers to take off waders with life-saving speed if the wearer should sink under water. As such, the present invention can prevent drowning and can prevent the user from being stuck in mud or caught by underwater debris, such as tree branches. The present invention provides another layer of protective clothing and serves to retain body heat in frigid water. The present invention prevents the pants legs of the wearer from rolling up while donning the waders. As a result, it makes the waders much more comfortable to wear. The slick surface of the liner of the present invention will prevent the felt in felt-lined waders from being worn off by bulky clothing. As such, the present invention can save the expense of having the waders re-felted.