US 20040222125 A1
A travel bag is formed of a flexible base having a generally rectangular shape. At least one portion of the base carries a plurality of holster sets, each set including a bottle or other container for toiletries and other objects. The holster sets are spaced from each other in a manner that insures that when the base is rolled up, some of the holster sets form spaces for accepting some of the other holsters.
1. A travel bag comprising:
a base made of a flexible material and having a generally rectangular shape and a longitudinal axis; and
a plurality of holsters secured to said base, said holsters having a holster thickness, said plurality of holsters including a set of inner holsters and a set of outer holsters, said plurality of holsters being spaced to allow said outer holsters to be positioned between said inner holsters when said base is folded a first time to form an at least partially folded base having a thickness substantially equal to said holster thickness.
2. The travel bag of
3. The travel bag of
4. The travel bag of
5. The travel bag of
6. The travel bag of
7. A travel bag comprising:
a rectangular base made of a flexible material and having a longitudinal axis and an edge; and
a plurality of holster sets, each holster set including a first holster disposed on one side of said axis and a second holster on the second side of said axis, said plurality of holster sets including at least a first, a second and a third set, said sets being spaced to form a small package when said base is rolled up by forming a space between said second and third set, with said first set being disposed in said space, whereby said package has a thickness approximately equal to the thickness of said holsters.
8. The travel bag of
9. The travel bag of
10. The travel bag of
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12. The travel bag of
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 This application claims priority to provisional application Ser. No. 60/464,912 filed Apr. 23, 2003 and incorporated herein by reference.
 a. Field of Invention
 This invention pertains to a roll-up type travel bags and more particularly to a travel bag holding various toiletries and/or other articles.
 b. Description of the Prior Art
 Most travel bags (or grooming kits) on the market today are very similar in form and function. Some offer preselected grooming accessories such as nail clippers and razors, while others simply offer a storage space for common personal care travel items. Most of these bags have compartments with some organizer slots or pockets to hold certain items into place or to separate specific items from each other. These bags usually have a zipper on top or on one side to provide access to the bag's interior and to seal the bag shut during travel. Some bags have one main compartment with several zipper compartments while others have been designed to fold into multiple parts or compartments that can be unfolded and laid out on a counter or hung on a door via a built-in hook or similar hanging device.
 These bags fail to provide some essential features to the user including ease of access to stored items, organization or stored items, discipline as to what to bring on a trip and adaptability to the various sizes, shapes and types of products and accessories the average traveler might need or desire. Most bags are set up assuming that a wide array of products and rooming accessories of varying sizes and shapes cannot be accommodated into al bag with present compartments, holsters, slots and pockets as its main area for storage.
 For this reason, most bags offer a minimal number of holders, slots or pockets for these items that tend to be more uniform in size and shape (scissors, nail clippers, razors, razor blades, combs,etc.) As for personal care products, pharmaceutical products, medications, toothpastes and shaving creams among others, these bags simply have a large compartment by which the user can “stuff and store” these products in no particular predetermined pattern. The effect is predictable. Items are scattered throughout the bag and must be searched for when needed. Additionally, the loose relationship inside the bag between products often results in the opening and spillage of a product onto the others, creating a mess inside the bag.
 Most bags have, in their attempt to be neutral as to their ability to conform or have preset holders, pockets or slots, have remained similar in both form and function.
 The current invention overcomes the “customization issue”, which seems to have paralyzed the creativity of other travel bag and grooming kit designers. Additionally, the current invention radically departs from most other travel or grooming bags by virtue of its unique “roll up” design and flexible configuration. By incorporating holsters for empty, refillable bottles of varying types (plastic squeeze and solid aluminum/screw cap versus pop up cap), the current invention allows the user to transfer their favorite products into these travel containers (up to 6 different products as the bottles are included with the travel bag/kit).
 Additionally, these customizable, refillable travel bottles are positioned in secure holsters with Velcro straps to hold them in place at the nozzle, thus allowing for easy visibility and access. Further, the bag contains several pockets and slots that hold metal, aluminum or plastic containers, boxes or tubes for items such as razors, toothbrushes, Q-tips, collar stays, jewelry, pills or other accessories. The bag also contains a large zipping utility pocket that can hold all items not accounted for or accommodated on the main area of the bag. Most of the various boxes, tubes, bottles and holders are designed into the bag itself and are preferably included with its purchase.
 This unique travel/grooming bag/kit, which rolls up to close rather than being zipped or closed by other methods intended to enclose or compact the contents of the bag, is an innovation in the area of travel kits and bags. As mentioned earlier, the bag contains holsters with soft or hard bottles that can be filled by the user with whatever products the user wishes to take with them on their travels (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, moisturizer, mouthwash, etc.) The bag, once fully opened has several strategically placed pockets and holsters, which contain various toiletries and grooming accessories in these bottles, making them easily accessible and visible. The bag also contains several pockets, slot holders for items such as a pillbox, razor holder, toothbrush holder, jewelry box and other accessories or grooming items. At the end of the laid out bag is a zipper pocket to fit all of the items that don't have a predetermined slot, holster or pocket on the bags interior. The bag's overall design imposes some discipline on the traveler, forcing or reminding him to take what is truly needed and desired rather than simply throwing everything in the medicine cabinet, shower stall and vanity closet into the bag.
 The bag's unique configuration, which has each item slot/pocket or bottle holster positioned so that the bag can be easily rolled up into a cylindrical fowl without becoming bulky or distorted. Once rolled, the bag is held closed by leather laces or straps that are secured by either buckles, buttons or by tying. The contents of the bag are not visible from the sides and remain secure inside the bag. Additionally, the bag itself retains a flexibility and can adapt to the various contents of the bag easily.
 Another unique aspect of the invention is its ability to either be laid out on a counter top or hung on a door or wall. The bag has a reinforced slot that allows for a standard clothes or suit hanger's bottom rod (the part used to hold the pants in place) to slide into the slot and emerge on the other end. Once closed or locked into place as would be the case to hold a pair of pants, the hanger can then be hung on a door, door knob or closet/shower rod, thus allowing the travel bag and its contents to be easily accessible. The design of the bag allows all of the toiletries to be stored in place and easily removed regardless of whether it is in a hanging or laying position. The invention also incorporates a wooden or metal rod to be inserted into the same slot that attaches at its ends to chain links leading to a hook. This mechanism looks and acts in much the same way as the hanger, but can be brought along or utilized when a hanger of the appropriate size or type is not available.
 Overall, the above invention is a major innovation and improvement upon other products currently in the marketplace. For example, the “roll up” design coupled with the customizable bottles, containers, tubes and boxes, create a highly adaptable, easily accessible and strikingly unique travel bag.
 Referring first to FIGS. 1-6, a travel bag 11 constructed in accordance with this invention includes a base made of a soft material that can be easily folded, such as leather, imitation leather, or a woven or non-woven material. The bag has an outside face 13 and an inside face 15. The inside face 15 can be covered with a soft fabric liner 16 to protect the contents of the bag 11.
 The bag has a major and a minor portion. The major portion M is provided with a plurality of spaced holsters described in more detail. The minor portion m, includes a pocket or compartment 17 that can be used for small articles. Access to the pocket 17 is provided by a zipper 19. In addition, an ID window 21 is provided on the pocket 17. The user can insert a business card or other identification indicia under this window in the usual manner.
 Starting from the right side of the major portion M, the bag is provided with three pockets 23A, 23 B and 23C. Each of these pockets includes a respective covering strap 25A, 25B, 25C. The pockets hold generally rectangular receptacles 26A, 26B 26C. The pockets 23A, 23C are disposed symmetrically with respect to a longitudinal axis of the bag 10. Pocket 23B is on the longitudinal axis. Receptacles 26A, 26B, 26C can be removed by releasing the straps, as shown in FIG. 5
 Next, the portion M is provided with a first set of holsters 27A, 27B. Each of these holsters consists of a bottle 39A, 39B held in place by velcro strips 33A, 33B. The velcro strips are sewn to the liner 16 and can be opened to release the respective bottle as shown in FIG. 4. The holsters 27A, 27 B are disposed symmetrically with respect to the longitudinal axis of the bag. Moreover, the holsters open inwardly so that their bottle caps are hidden and are not visible.
 To the left of holsters 27A, 27B there is another holster set 29A, 29B. Each of these holsters is formed of a pouch 30A, 30B sewn to the liner 16, a bottle 41A, 41B and a velcro strip 35A, 35B. As best seen in FIG. 2, the velcro strips 35 engage the cap portion of the bottle 41A, 41B. The bottles 41A, 41B can be released by opening the Velcro strips 35A, 35B as shown in FIG. 3.
 Finally, there is a last set of holsters 31A, 31B having similar structure to holsters 29A, 29B, as shown.
 At its left edge, the bag 11, is formed with additional velcro straps 45. These straps are shaped and arranged to accept an optional hanger 47. The hanger can be used to hang the bag 11 on a hanger bar in a closet, or a door knob.
 The bag 11 is also provided with a pair of laces 49.
 Preferably, the bottles 39A, 39B, 41A, 41B, 43A, 43B are 4-oz bottles, or can be bigger or smaller bottles. Any bag can have several bottles of the same size or bottles of different sizes. The holsters are adjustable to accept bottles of different sizes. Some of the bottles can be made of a soft plastic material to allow their contents to be squeezed out, while other bottles may be made of a harder plastic material or metal (e.g., aluminum) to protect its contents. These bottles are preferably sold either together with the bag or sold separately, as accessories. During packing, the user can then fill these bottles with various liquids, or solids, as desired.
 Importantly, the spacing between the holster sets is selected to allow easy folding of the bag thereby reducing its overall size. More specifically, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 the holster sets are spaced so that the bag can be folded a first time with the holster 31A fitting between holsters 29A and 27A. In this position, an end portion 51 of the bag 11 extending between holsters 31A, 31B and the edge of the bag (and including Velcro straps 45) lies over the holster 27A as shown. In this position, the overall thickness of the folded bag 11 is not much more than the thickness of the holsters themselves.
 Next, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, the bag 11 is folded a second time with holsters 27A, 31A, 29A being disposed over the pocket 23A. In this position, the pocket 23A again fits between the holsters 27A and 29A.
 Finally, as shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, the bag is folded a third time causing the minor portion m of the bag 11 to be disposed around the major portion M. The bag 11 is then closed by wrapping it and tying it with the laces 49. In addition, the bag may also be provided with buttons 55, snaps, buckles or other closure means. In this manner the bag can be rolled up easily and quickly into a small and compact configuration having a thickness that is approximately equal to the thickness of the holsters. In one sense, holsters 27A, 27B and holsters 29A, 29B are inner holsters and holsters 31A, 31B are outer holsters, the holsters being spaced so that the bag can be rolled up with the outer holsters 31A, 31B being disposed between the inner holsters.
 One skilled in the art will appreciate that, as seen in the Figures, for example, FIGS. 7 and 8 the holsters and bottles are sized so that when they are folded over, two outer holsters and the inner holster are interlocked mechanically thereby insuring that once the bag is folded up, the bottles do not move and their contents are protected from breakage. Moreover, while the drawings show three sets of holsters and receptacles, the same design may be used for more holsters and/or receptacles as well.
 The bottles or receptacles can be customized to accept various objects, such as pill boxes, razor blades, razors, jewelry holders, toothbrush holders, toothbrush holders, hair brushes. etc. In addition, the bottles may be used to hold various liquids, or gases such as deodorants, hair sprays, etc.
 While the invention has been described with reference to several particular embodiments, it is to be understood that these embodiments are merely illustrative of the principles of the invention. Accordingly, the embodiments described in particular should be considered as exemplary, not limiting, with respect to the following claims.
FIG. 1 shows an orthogonal view of a travel bag in an open configuration constructed in accordance with this invention;
FIGS. 2-5 show cross-sectional views of the invention of FIG. 1 taken along lines 2-2, 3-3, 4-4 and 5-5, respectively;
FIG. 6 shows a side view of the travel bag of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 shows a side view of the travel bag after a first fold;
FIG. 8 shows a side view of the travel bag after a second fold;
FIG. 9 shows a side view of the travel bag after it has been completely folded; and
FIG. 10 shows an orthogonal view of the completely folded travel bag of FIG. 9.