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Publication numberUS20020016984 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/782,450
Publication dateFeb 14, 2002
Filing dateFeb 13, 2001
Priority dateJan 26, 1998
Also published asUS6185744
Publication number09782450, 782450, US 2002/0016984 A1, US 2002/016984 A1, US 20020016984 A1, US 20020016984A1, US 2002016984 A1, US 2002016984A1, US-A1-20020016984, US-A1-2002016984, US2002/0016984A1, US2002/016984A1, US20020016984 A1, US20020016984A1, US2002016984 A1, US2002016984A1
InventorsMike Poholski
Original AssigneeMike Poholski
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Thermal garment
US 20020016984 A1
Abstract
A personal thermal garment has a shell and a thermal insert that overlay and cover a substantial portion of the back and the chest of a user. The shell has inner and outer layers that are interconnected to define a chamber between the layers, the chamber extending substantially throughout the shell and overlaying a substantial portion of the back and chest of the user. An access opening to access the chamber is provided in the shell. The thermal insert can be preheated to warm the user or can be precooled to cool the user. The thermal insert substantially conforms to the chamber and has a body portion with two leg portions that extend in the same general direction from the body portion. The insert body substantially overlays and covers the back of the user, with one of the two legs extending over one of the user's shoulders, and the other of the two legs extending over the other shoulder. The access opening is sized to have a length that is about the same as a width of the thermal insert, to easily and conveniently insert and remove the thermal insert into and from the chamber. The thermal insert may have two congruent layers and multiple compartments defined between the two layers, with one of the compartments being sealed and containing a thermal storage medium. Alternatively, the insert may be constructed in one integral piece. Alternatively, a direct thermal material such as crushed ice or water can be used in certain embodiments of the invention without a separately formed thermal insert component.
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Claims(21)
I claim:
1. A thermal garment for a person, the garment comprising:
a shell that is worn by a user and that overlays and covers at least a portion of the back and chest of the user, the shell having inner and outer layers that define a chamber therebetween, the chamber extending substantially throughout at least one of a back portion back and a chest portion of the shell, the shell also having a garment access opening that extends from the chamber to outside the shell, to access the chamber; and
a corresponding thermal insert removably positioned in the chamber, the thermal insert including a thermal material that is selected from a group of materials that includes thermal materials that can be preheated to a preselected temperature to warm the user and thermal materials that can be precooled to a preselected temperature to cool the user, the thermal insert being easily and conveniently insertable into and removable from the chamber.
2. The thermal garment defined in claim 1, wherein the thermal insert is a first insert, wherein the back portion includes opposing left and right back portions, wherein the chest portion includes opposing left and right chest portions, wherein the first thermal insert extends between the left back portion and the left chest portion, wherein the thermal garment further includes a second thermal insert, and wherein the second thermal insert extends between the right back portion and the right chest portion.
3. The thermal garment defined in claim 1, wherein the insert has two congruent layers and at least one compartment defined between the two layers.
4. The thermal garment defined in claim 3, wherein the insert includes an insert access opening through which the compartment is accessed.
5. The thermal garment defined in claim 4, wherein the insert access has a closure and the closure is selected from a group of closures including snap, zipper, button, spline and groove, aperture and force fit plug, and aperture and screw cap closures.
6. The thermal garment defined in claim 1, wherein the garment access has a closure and the closure is selected from a group of closures including snap, zipper, button, spline and groove, aperture and force fit plug, and aperture and screw cap closures.
7. The thermal garment defined in claim 1, wherein the insert is constructed in one, integral piece.
8. The thermal garment defined in claim 1, wherein the shell inner layer includes an air permeable layer that defines a thermal control baffle.
9. The thermal garment defined in claim 1, wherein the shell outer layer includes a thermal barrier layer.
10. A thermal garment, the garment being adapted to be worn by a person, the garment having left and right back portions and having left and right chest portions, the garment comprising:
a shell, the shell having inner and outer layers, the inner and the outer layers defining a chamber therebetween, the chamber extending generally throughout the shell, the shell also having a shell access opening that extends from the chamber through one of the inner and the outer layers; and
a cooperating thermal insert, the thermal insert being adapted to be one of heated and cooled to a preselected temperature, the thermal insert being removably positioned in the chamber.
11. The thermal garment defined in claim 10, wherein the thermal insert is a first insert, wherein the first thermal insert extends between the left back portion and the left chest portion, wherein the thermal garment further includes a second thermal insert, and wherein the second thermal insert extends between the right back portion and the right chest portion.
12. The thermal garment defined in claim 11, wherein the thermal insert includes a compartment, wherein the thermal insert includes an insert access that extends from the compartment through the insert, wherein the insert access has a closure that is selected from a group of closures including snap, zipper, button, spline and groove, aperture and force fit plug, and aperture and screw cap closures.
13. The thermal garment defined in claim 10, wherein the shell access has a closure and the closure is selected from a group of closures including snap, zipper, button, spline and groove, aperture and force fit plug, and aperture and screw cap closures.
14. The thermal garment defined in claim 10, wherein the insert is constructed in one, integral piece.
15. The thermal garment defined in claim 10, wherein the shell inner layer includes an air permeable layer that defines a thermal control baffle.
16. The thermal garment defined in claim 10, wherein the shell outer layer includes a thermal barrier layer.
17. A thermal garment comprising:
an inner shell;
a cooperating outer shell, the outer shell corresponding to and overlaying the inner shell, the inner and the outer shells being connected and defining a chamber between the inner and the outer shells, the chamber extending substantially throughout the garment;
an access opening, the access opening extending from the chamber and through one of the inner and the outer shells; and
a thermal material, the thermal material being selected from a group that includes materials that can be preheated to a preselected temperature to warm a user and materials that can be precooled to a preselected temperature to cool the user, the thermal material being removably positioned in the chamber.
18. The thermal garment defined in claim 17, wherein the access opening includes a closure device that is selected from a group that includes snap, zipper, button, spline and groove, aperture and force fit plug, and aperture and screw cap closures.
19. The thermal garment defined in claim 17, wherein the inner shell includes an air permeable layer that defines a thermal control baffle.
20. The thermal garment defined in claim 17, wherein the outer shell includes a thermal barrier layer.
21. A thermal garment for a person, the garment comprising:
a shell that is worn by a user and that overlays and covers at least a portion of the back and chest of the user, the shell having inner and outer layers that include a chamber therebetween, the chamber extending substantially over a back portion back and a chest portion of the shell, with the back and chest portions of the chamber on each side of the shell being connected over the shoulder the shell also having a garment access opening in the shoulder that extends from the chamber to outside the shell, to access the chamber; and
a corresponding thermal material removably positioned in the chamber, the thermal material consisting of either a coolable or heatable solid or liquid filler material or a thermal insert, the thermal insert including a thermal material that is selected from a group of materials that includes thermal materials that can be preheated to a preselected temperature to warm the user and thermal materials that can be precooled to a preselected temperature to cool the user, the thermal material being easily and conveniently insertable into and removable from the chamber.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This is a continuing application of co-pending U.S. Non-provisional patent application Ser. No. 09/013,641, entitled THERMAL VEST and filed on Jan. 26, 1998, by Mike Poholski, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,185,744, the disclosure of which is incorporated here by reference.
  • STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
  • [0002]
    Not Applicable.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    The invention relates to thermal garments. More particularly, the invention relates to active thermal control garments, rather than passive garments that only provide insulation to contain the body heat of the user or to block ambient heat.
  • [0004]
    In many settings of daily life, in both work and recreational settings, a person will be subjected to excessive heat or cold. Exposure to heat and cold is common for those who work outside, and for some indoor, industrial environments. It is well-known to use insulating clothing to minimize body heat loss in a cold environment and to block high ambient temperature. It is also known to use an active, auxiliary heat source, such as an electric resistance heat insert for gloves and boots, for example.
  • [0005]
    There are also known some high technology environment suits that provide cooling as well as heating. Such garments are, however, often found in the context of a total environment suit that includes a separate thermal unit that is connected by hoses, or the like, with a thermal barrier and insulated thermal control garment. While this may be appropriate in space exploration or in some specialized terrestrial context, there remain a great number of situations in which a worker or sportsman is subjected to excessive heat or cold, in which the known high technology approach is simply impractical, and in which the know insulating approaches are inadequate.
  • [0006]
    Consider, for example, the great many settings in which construction workers labor in sweltering summer heat or in numbing winter cold. Active control of one's body temperature under these circumstances will minimize risks of hypothermia and hyperthermia, and will also enhance efficiency and effectiveness in performing the task at hand.
  • [0007]
    Thus, one will readily appreciate the desirability of a self contained, versatile thermal garment that a worker, or sportsman, may use to help keep warm or cool.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0008]
    A personal thermal garment according to the invention has a shell that is worn by the user, and that overlays and covers a substantial portion of the back and the chest of the user. The shell has inner and outer layers that are interconnected and define a chamber between the layers. The chamber can extend substantially over the front and back of the shell or over the front, back, and shoulders of the shell. An access opening is provided in the shell to access the chamber. A thermal insert that can be preheated to warm the user or can be precooled to cool the user is easily and conveniently inserted into and removed from the chamber, through the access opening. In one aspect of the invention, the thermal insert substantially has a body portion with two leg portions that extend in the same general direction from the body portion. The access opening is sized to have a length that is about the same as a width of the thermal insert. In one aspect of the invention, the insert body substantially overlays and covers the back of the user, with one of the two legs extending over one of the user's shoulders from the insert body, and with the other of the two legs extending over the other shoulder of the user.
  • [0009]
    In another aspect of the invention, the insert body may generally be a right quadrilateral portion that wraps around and substantially overlays and covers the user between the shoulders and hips. One of the two legs extends toward one of the user's shoulders, while the other of the two legs extends toward the other shoulder. The insert body may also have first and second opposing ends with the first leg being located near the first end, and the second leg being located near the second end. The insert may further have a third leg that extends over the user's upper back, toward the neck, from the body, and between the first and second ends.
  • [0010]
    In still another aspect of the invention, the insert body can be in two sections that fit over the shoulders of the garment and extend downwardly on each side to cover the chest and back of the user.
  • [0011]
    The thermal insert may have two congruent layers and multiple compartments defined between the two layers. At least one of the multiple compartments is sealed closed and contains a thermal storage medium. Alternatively, the insert may be constructed in one, integral piece.
  • [0012]
    In another aspect of the invention, the chamber is designed to receive directly a cooling medium such as crushed ice. The chamber can be closed by a cap, a stopper or a hook and loop fastener in such a case. Desirably, an enlarged hook and fastener opening is provided so the chamber can either accommodate water or crushed ice or a thermal insert.
  • [0013]
    These and other features, objects, and benefits of the invention will be recognized by one having ordinary skill in the art and by those who practice the invention, from the specification, the claims, and the drawing Figures.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING
  • [0014]
    [0014]FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a thermal garment according to the invention as worn by a user;
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 2 is a back perspective view thereof, showing an access opening for the thermal insert;
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view along section line III-III of FIG. 2;
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 4 is the view of FIG. 3, showing the thermal insert in a partially inserted/removed position;
  • [0018]
    [0018]FIG. 5 is a plan view of the thermal insert;
  • [0019]
    [0019]FIG. 6 is the plan view of FIG. 5, showing a two piece thermal insert;
  • [0020]
    [0020]FIG. 7 is an enlarged view of the detail VII of FIG. 4;
  • [0021]
    [0021]FIG. 8 is a front perspective view of a first alternative embodiment of a thermal garment according to invention;
  • [0022]
    [0022]FIG. 9 is the view of FIG. 8, showing the thermal insert in a partially inserted/removed position;
  • [0023]
    [0023]FIG. 10 is an elevational view of the thermal insert for the first alternative embodiment;
  • [0024]
    [0024]FIG. 11 is a front perspective view of a second alternative embodiment of a thermal garment according to the invention;
  • [0025]
    [0025]FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view along section line III-III of FIG. 2, showing a third alternative embodiment of a thermal garment according to the invention with an aperture and screw cap closure;
  • [0026]
    [0026]FIG. 13 is the cross-sectional view of FIG. 12, showing an alternative aperture and force fit plug closure;
  • [0027]
    [0027]FIG. 14 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional detail of the view of FIG. 12;
  • [0028]
    [0028]FIG. 15 is a front perspective view of a third alternative embodiment of a garment according to the invention.
  • [0029]
    [0029]FIG. 16 is a back perspective view thereof.
  • [0030]
    [0030]FIG. 17 is a cross sectional view taken along lines XVII-XVII of FIG. 16.
  • [0031]
    [0031]FIG. 18 is an enlarged view of the detail XVIII of FIG. 17.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0032]
    A first embodiment of a thermal garment according to the invention is generally shown in the drawing FIGS. 1-6, and is indicated by the reference number 20. The garment 20 comprises two major parts, namely, a shell 22 and a thermal insert 24.
  • [0033]
    The shell 22 is worn by a user and overlays and covers a substantial portion of the back and the chest of the user. The shell 22 has inner and outer layers 26 and 28, respectively, that are interconnected to define a chamber 30 between the layers. The chamber 30 extends generally throughout the shell 22 and, thus, also overlays and covers a substantial portion of the back and the chest of the user. The inner and outer layers 26 and 28, respectively, may be constructed of any suitable material, including, and not limited to natural fiber fabrics, synthetic fiber fabrics, blended fiber fabrics, and membrane materials, for example, as will be understood by one having ordinary skill in the art.
  • [0034]
    Most preferably, the inner layer 26 will have an open mesh fiber construction, which may be a high pile, crush resistant cloth that is pliable to conform to the body of the user, and is porous, with good air transfer qualities, to serve as a heat control baffle, for example. The inner layer 26 may also be an open mesh of firm or stiff fibers that are interwoven to define a porous spacer that is also pliable to conform to the body of the user, and is interposed between the user and the thermal insert, for example. In any embodiment, the inner layer 26 preferably modulates or diffuses heat transfer between the user and the thermal insert 24 to distribute the heat transfer in a generally uniform or homogenous thermal flow.
  • [0035]
    The outer layer 28 will preferably block heat transfer between the thermal insert 24 and the user's environment to define a micro environment within the thermal garment 20, with the thermal insert acting as a heat sink to absorb heat from or radiate heat to the user. Thus, the outer layer 28 may preferably provide thermal insulation and wind blocking qualities. The thermal insulation quality may be provided by a layer of insulating material 34, such as Thinsulate brand insulation or other suitable, garment quality insulation, as one having ordinary skill in the art will understand. The wind blocking property may be provided by any tightly woven fabric 36 or a micro fiber fabric, which are currently popular in the clothing industry, for example. Thus the outer layer 28 may actually be a multiple layer component of the shell 22. The outer layer 28 may alternatively be a single layer of a material that satisfactorily provides the preselected design criteria of a particular configuration of a thermal garment according to the invention.
  • [0036]
    While the thermal garment 20 is specifically shown in a vest configuration, a thermal garment according to the invention may also be made in any desirable cut or fashion, including a jacket, a coat, or a short bodied garment, for example. In whatever configuration or fashion style the thermal garment 20 is constructed, it will preferably include an access opening 40 with a length that extends fully across the breadth of the user to provide convenient access to the chamber 30 between the inner and outer layers 26 and 28, respectively, for unrestricted insertion and removal of the thermal insert 24. The access opening 40 is conveniently provided with a full breadth flap 42 across the shoulders of the thermal garment 20. A hook and loop fastener 44 is preferably used to hold the access opening 40 in a closed position and maximize the thermal barrier effectiveness of the outer layer 28. Although, one who practices the invention may choose to use alternative fasteners, as are known in the garment industry, including without limitation snap, zipper, button, and spline and groove closures.
  • [0037]
    The thermal insert 24 substantially conforms to the chamber 30 and has a body portion 50 with two leg portions 52 that extend in the same general direction from the body portion. The body portion 50 has a width that is about the same as the length of the access opening 40 to facilitate quick and convenient insertion and removal of the thermal insert 24 into and from the chamber 30 in the shell, respectively. The body portion 50 is positioned in the chamber 30 to substantially overlay and cover the back of the user, while one of the two legs 52 extends into the chamber, over one of the user's shoulders, and the other of the two legs 52 extends into the chamber over the other shoulder of the user.
  • [0038]
    The thermal insert 24 may also have various constructions, including, two congruent layers 54 of material, that are aligned with one another and attached to one another along their perimeter and selectively within the perimeter to define a quilted member with an array of individual compartments 56 defined between the two layers. The array of compartments may be defined in a checker board pattern as is specifically shown in the drawing Figures, or may be defined in a variety of other patterns, including a box quilting pattern, for example, as is understood by one having ordinary skill in the art. Each of the individual compartments 56 is filled with a thermal material during assembly of the thermal insert 24. The choice of how the compartments 56 are defined may be affected by the selection of thermal material.
  • [0039]
    In one embodiment of the thermal insert 24, the two layers 54 may be any conventional durable and pliable fabric material and the thermal material may be ceramic beads, for example. In a second, alternative embodiment of the thermal insert 24, the two layers 54 maybe a water tight material and the thermal material may be a “freezeable” or heatable liquid or jell, for example. Of course, the thermal insert will most preferably remain pliable even after freezing, as will be understood by one having ordinary skill in the art. Also, the two layers 54 may be attached to one another with any suitable method, according to the material selected, including sewing, gluing, or welding, for example, as will be understood by one having ordinary skill in the art.
  • [0040]
    In yet a third, alternative embodiment, the thermal insert 24 may have a bladder like construction that defines a single interior chamber. This construction is preferably used when the thermal material is a unitary or monolithic material that does not require an insert chamber or the like to define its configuration and which is preferably provided for use with a covering. The third insert configuration may also be used with crushed ice as the thermal material, for example.
  • [0041]
    One having ordinary skill in the art will understand from this disclosure that the various insert configurations may selectively be closed bodies or may be provided with an access opening as appropriate to the construction of the insert and to the specific thermal material used. Some exemplary closures may include snap, zipper, button, and spline and groove closures, and aperture and force fit plug closures (FIG. 13), and aperture and screw cap closures (FIG. 12).
  • [0042]
    In use, the thermal garment 28 may be worn by the user to warm or cool the user and to generally insulate the user from his environment. The garment 20 will commonly be prepared for wearing by preheating the thermal insert 24 in an oven or the like or precooling the thermal insert in a refrigerator or freezer or the like. Alternatively, the insert 24 may simply be stored at room temperature for use in a moderate environment, to provide a heat sink. That is, the thermal garment 20 may be useful to minimize thermal shock when a user repeatedly moves between relatively hot and cold environments.
  • [0043]
    With the thermal insert 24 previously prepared as desired by heating or cooling and the like, the insert is inserted into the chamber 30 of the garment 20 through the access opening 48. So assembled, the garment 20 is worn by a user and the thermal insert 24 generally surrounds the torso of the user, to provide a heating or cooling thermal source. With the thermal insert spaced from the user by the thermal baffle of the inner layer 26, heat flow between the user and the insert 24 is moderated to minimize localized hot and cold spots.
  • [0044]
    A first alternative embodiment 120 of a thermal garment according to the invention is a generally shown in the drawing FIGS. 9-10. The garment 120 also comprises two major parts, namely a shell 122 and a thermal insert 124, each substantially as discussed above in greater detail regarding the garment 20, shell 22 and thermal insert 24. The garment 120 differs from the garment 20, discussed above, in the configuration of the thermal insert 124 and the access opening 140. Because of the substantial similarities between the garments 20 and 120, common reference numbers will be used for common elements, and only the differences will be discussed.
  • [0045]
    In the thermal garment 120, the access opening 140 is positioned adjacent the front placket of the garment and incorporated into the perimeter seam between the inner and outer layers 26 and 28, respectively, of the shell. The access opening 140 may be closed with a hook and loop fastener, a zipper, or an alternative fastener, as is known in the garment industry. With the access opening 140 located along the front placket 160 of the garment 120, the thermal insert 124 is fed through the access opening and into the chamber 30 to wrap around the user.
  • [0046]
    Depending upon the specific requirements of the user, the thermal insert 124 may have alternative configurations. In a first configuration, the thermal insert 124 has a quadrilateral body portion 150 with two opposing ends, and two legs 152 that extend in the same general direction from the body portion (FIG. 10). One of the two legs 152 is located at one of the two opposing ends, and the other of the two legs 152 is located at the other of the two opposing ends of the body portion 150. A third leg 154 is generally centered between the first two legs 152, and extends from the body portion 150 in the same general direction as the two legs 152. While the two legs 152 extend over the chest, from the body portion 150 toward the neck or shoulders, of the user, the third leg extends up the back of the user toward the neck or shoulders of the user, when worn.
  • [0047]
    In a second configuration (not shown), the thermal insert has a generally quadrilateral body portion without any legs. This is substantially only the body portion 150 of the insert 124. In this configuration, the thermal insert is useful to thermally protect the vulnerable lower thoracic area of the user. Further, the second configuration of the thermal insert may be used in combination with the first configuration 122 for extreme conditions to further protect the vulnerable lower thoracic area.
  • [0048]
    A second alternative embodiment 220 of a thermal garment according to the invention is generally shown in the drawing FIG. 11. The garment 220 also comprises two major parts, namely a shell 222 and the thermal insert 124, again each substantially as discussed above in greater detail regarding the garments 20 and 120, shell 22 and thermal insert 124. The garment 220 differs from the garment 120, discussed above, in the configuration of the access opening 240. Again, because of the substantial similarities among the various embodiments of the garments 20, 120, and 220, common reference numbers will be used for common elements, and only the differences will be discussed.
  • [0049]
    In the thermal garment 220, the access opening 240 is positioned at the bottom hem of the garment and incorporated into the bottom hem seam, between the inner and outer layers 26 and 28, respectively, of the shell. The access opening 240 may be closed with a hook and loop fastener, a zipper, or an alternative fastener, as is known in the garment industry. With the access opening 240 located along the bottom hem of the garment 220, the thermal insert 124 is fed upward through the access opening and into the chamber 30.
  • [0050]
    A third alternative embodiment 320 of a thermal garment according to the invention is a generally shown in the drawing FIGS. 12-14. The garment 320 comprises only the shell portion 322, which is substantially as discussed above in greater detail regarding the garments 20 and 120 and shell 22. The garment 320 differs from the embodiments discussed above in that a thermal material, crushed ice for example, may be placed directly in the compartment 30. Again, because of the substantial similarities among the various embodiments of the garments 20, 120, and 220, common reference numbers will be used for common elements, and only the differences will be discussed.
  • [0051]
    The garment 320 may use the same closures as discussed above regarding the back yoke access opening 40 of garment 20. The garment 320 may further use aperture 322 and force fit plug 324 closures (FIG. 13), and aperture 326 and screw cap 328 closures (FIG. 12). Regardless of the closure used, a thermal material 330 may be directly placed within the chamber 30. When ice, preferably crushed ice, is used as the thermal material, a design choice is presented whether to contain the water that will result as the ice melts or to let the water seep out of the chamber 30 and further contribute to cooling the user with evaporative cooling. Thus, the chamber may be made water tight or water permeable, respectively.
  • [0052]
    Another embodiment 420 of the thermal garment of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 15-18. In this garment, shell 422 can be a jacket or vest or the like and is illustrated as a vest. Shell 422 comprises an inner layer 426 and an outer layer 428. These layers are connected together to define a chamber 430 that extends over the chest, shoulder and back portions on each side of the garment. The chambers can be connected as a single chamber in the back or can be separate chambers as shown.
  • [0053]
    The construction of the shell can be substantially the same as the embodiments described above. In the shell illustrated in FIG. 18, inner layer 426 includes an interior liner 432 and then has a buffer material 434 positioned between the inner liner and thermal chamber 430. Buffer material can be any of the materials used for inner layer 26 described above, including a pile fabric, a porous spacer or other materials. The buffer material can provide some thermal separation between crushed ice and areas of the body, in order to prevent excessive chilling. The buffer material can be permeable so that the ice can be permitted to leak if desired.
  • [0054]
    Chamber 430 can be formed by sealing the inner and outer layers together or a waterproof chamber could be incorporated between the layers if waterproof characteristics are desired and are not achieved by bonding the layers together.
  • [0055]
    Outer layer 428 can include a thermal insulating material 436 and an outer shell material 438 or other material as described above.
  • [0056]
    As shown in FIG. 17, a thermal insert 24 of the type shown in FIG. 6 can be inserted in the chambers 430 on each side of the garment. To do this, the shell has flaps 440 and 442 at the tops of each shoulder of the garment, with the flaps overlapping and being connected by hook and loop fasteners 444 and 446 respectively. The flaps have seams 448 and 450 that limit the distance that the flaps can be opened and provide for a sealed chamber below the seams. When flaps 440 and 442, as shown in FIG. 15, are opened, either insert 24 or crushed ice or water 452 can be inserted in the opening. The flaps are then closed to lock in either type of thermal device, providing cooling for the chest, shoulder and back portions of the user. The construction of the garment is the same on both sides of the garment.
  • [0057]
    An important advantage of the garment of FIGS. 15-18 is that either a cooling medium directly or a thermal insert can be employed in the garment, depending upon the circumstances or preferences of the user. This provides greater versatility and improved functionality of the product.
  • [0058]
    It will be understood by one having ordinary skill in the art and by others, that various modifications and improvements may be made without departing from the spirit of the disclosed concept. Various relational terms, including left, right, front, back, top, and bottom, for example, are used in the detailed description of the invention and in the claims only to convey relative positioning of various elements of the claimed invention. The scope of protection afforded is to be determined by the claims and by the breadth of interpretation allowed by law.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6789274 *Aug 15, 2003Sep 14, 2004Thomas KarpatiEnhanced chest protector
US7451110May 18, 2001Nov 11, 2008Network Resonance, Inc.System, method and computer program product for providing an efficient trading market
US8082596 *Nov 14, 2007Dec 27, 2011Entrak Energie-und Antriebstechnik GmbH & Co. KGGarment for personal air-conditioning
US8105371 *Jan 11, 2011Jan 31, 2012Giocondo Jr Francis JComfort enhancing vest system
US8192476 *Aug 3, 2007Jun 5, 2012Angela ScheberleGarment for therapeutic comfort to women experiencing breast discomfort
US8370962 *Jun 26, 2007Feb 12, 2013William B. McBrideRapid doffing vest
US20040147988 *Jan 29, 2003Jul 29, 2004Stephens Willard M.Method of treatment using one or more of a group of the "THERMA-KLOTH" products
US20080033517 *Aug 3, 2007Feb 7, 2008Angela ScheberleGarment for therapeutic comfort to women experiencing breast discomfort
US20100242147 *Nov 14, 2007Sep 30, 2010Entrak Energie- U. Antriebstechnik Gmbh & Co. KgGarment for personal air-conditioning
US20110231979 *Jun 10, 2011Sep 29, 2011Ali NilforushanTemperature Altering Garment and Methods of Use Thereon
US20120174286 *Jun 26, 2007Jul 12, 2012Mcbride William BRapid doffing vest
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/94, 2/102, 607/108
International ClassificationA41D13/005
Cooperative ClassificationA41D13/0058
European ClassificationA41D13/005P