US 20070102253 A1
A pet bag includes a telescoping handle mounted to the back side panel of the bag by means of a bracket with one extending along the bottom edge of the carrier bag and a bracket near the upper side of the back side panel. The back side panel also includes an assembly of reinforcing webs that cooperate with first and second spaced tubes comprising the telescoping handle for receipt of a seat belt to retain the carrier bag in the event of a sudden stop.
1. A carrier bag for a pet comprising, in combination:
a back side panel having a bottom edge;
a top side;
a bottom panel attached to the bottom edge of said back side panel along a juncture, said bottom panel extending generally transversely from the back side panel;
a bag transport wheel assembly bracket mounted on the bag generally at the juncture, and a reinforcing bracket mounted to the back side panel;
a telescoping handle assembly on the back side panel extending upwardly from the wheel assembly bracket, said telescoping handle assembly including first and second spaced, generally vertical tubes;
said back side panel further including a generally rigid auxiliary support member with a fabric covering and first and second spaced webs affixed to the fabric covering, said first web generally parallel to and adjacent the first vertical tube and including a slot for passage of a seatbelt, said second web also affixed to said fabric covering, generally parallel to and adjacent the second tube and including a slot for passage of a seat belt;
said first and second tubes overlying the fabric covering;
a mechanical fastener attaching the auxiliary support member to the reinforcing bracket;
a first lateral side panel attached to the back side panel along a side thereof;
a second lateral side panel attached to the back side panel along a side opposite the first lateral side panel, said back side panel bottom panel, first lateral side panel and second lateral side panel forming an enclosure with a generally open top side and front side;
a combination front and top side panel in the form of a flap having a lower end removably attached to the bottom side panel and removably attachable along at least a portion of the remaining periphery of said flap to the first and second lateral side panels and the top side of the back side panel, said flap foldable between a first attached position to enclose said enclosure and a second detached position to expose at least a portion of the said enclosure.
2. The carrier bag of
3. The carrier bag of
4. The carrier of
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This is a continuation in part application of Ser. No. 11/403,430, filed Apr. 13, 2006, entitled “Pet Carrier with Wheels”, which is a Continuation in Part of Ser. No. 11/340,303, filed Jan. 26, 2006, entitled, “Collapsible Storage and Carrying Case”, which is a continuation in part of Ser. No. 11/117,100 filed Apr. 28, 2005, entitled “Collapsible Storage and Carrying Case”, which is a continuation application of Ser. No. 10/393,329 filed Mar. 20, 2003 entitled “Collapsible Storage and Carrying Case”, which is a continuation in part of Ser. No. 09/968,360 filed Oct. 1, 2001 (now U.S. Pat. No. 6,550,592) entitled, Collapsible Storage and Carrying Case, all for which priority is claimed and all of which are incorporated herewith by reference.
In a principal aspect, the present invention relates to a class of luggage items, bags, and containers, wherein the luggage item, bag or container is generally comprised of flexible material such as fabric, canvas or leather and further wherein the item, container or bag includes a telescoping handle, wheels and may include a removable, supplemental, reinforcing bottom plate for maintaining the shape and general configuration of the flexible bag or may include a generally rigid bottom panel or a flexible bottom panel incorporating elements that facilitate maintaining the form, shape or configuration of the bottom panel.
Use of a flexible bag, container or luggage item is often preferred inasmuch as such items are more easily stored because often they can be folded or made compact when not in use. Additionally, such items are typically lighter in weight. Also, because soft-sided luggage items, containers or bags have flexible sides, they may be used to hold and transport uniquely shaped items that could not be easily placed and stored in a hard-sided luggage item or container. Further, flexible bags are often more economical to manufacture and easier to move or transport. Additionally, bags of this type are often used to transport a pet. As such, bags of this type may be constructed to cooperate with a vehicle seat belt to restrain the bag or pet carrier.
Despite their many desirable characteristics, flexible containers, bags or luggage items are often difficult to construct with a telescoping handle and wheels which facilitate ease of transport, particularly when the luggage item, container or bag is large. Thus, there has developed a need to provide flexible or soft-sided luggage items, containers or bags which have certain characteristics typically associated with hard-sided luggage, including the characteristic of being susceptible to incorporation of a telescoping handle and transport wheels. Additionally, such luggage items desirably include designs which facilitate their packaging for display and/or shipment. Finally, when such bags or luggage items are to be used for transport of a pet, the bag construction must necessarily be adequately sturdy to insure that when held by a seat belt in a vehicle, the integrity of the bag will be maintained upon being subjected to the stress of forces placed upon it in the event of a sudden stop or crash.
Briefly, the present invention comprises in one embodiment a collapsible luggage item made from a flexible bag with a back side panel and a flexible bottom panel which enables compaction for storage when not in use. A telescoping handle is affixed to the back side panel of the bag and more particularly to a rigid bracket positioned at the juncture of the flexible side and bottom panels. The flexible bottom panel of the bag is designed to incorporate a removable, supplemental, rigid bottom panel or plate. The supplemental bottom panel or plate is capable of slidably engaging the rigid bracket member positioned at the juncture of the flexible side panel and the flexible bottom panel. When engaged, The rigid, supplemental bottom panel provides a means to reinforce and maintain the flexible bottom panel when fully open or not compacted to thereby facilitate maintenance of the full shape of the container, luggage item, or bag for use to pack and store items. The supplemental, rigid, attachable and detachable bottom panel may easily be stored within the bag or container when not in use, yet may be easily attached to the flexible bottom panel and rigid bracket when the luggage item is to be used.
Various embodiments are depicted including an embodiment for carriage of tools, an embodiment comprising an insulated cooler, an embodiment which incorporates an internal frame that may be incorporated with the flexible side panel, an embodiment that serves as a pet carrier, car seat, backpack and pet bed, as well as other alternative embodiments.
A derivative embodiment is useful as a pet carrier and includes a base panel, a back side panel with a telescoping handle, an enclosure formed by generally flexible side panels and a generally detachable front and top side panel that may be partially detached to enable multiple such carriers to be nested together for packaging, storage or shipment. The nesting carriers may be combined in various ways for packaging and when unpacked provide a wheeled pet carrier with mesh panels for access of air to a pet housed within the carrier.
Further, the pet carrier embodiment may include design features which enable cooperation with and retention by a vehicle seat belt. The seat belt retention feature includes supplemental reinforcement webbing on a back side panel of the bag or carrier positioned to instill placement of a seat belt through the webbing and behind the vertical tubes compromising the telescoping handle assembly. In addition, the system for attaching the telescoping handle assembly to the back panel of the bag is reinforced, and the front side panel also includes a reinforced webbing array in combination with a mesh to retain and cushion and animal within the bag that is jostled by a sudden stop or an impact of the vehicle. The embodiment therefore may not be conducive to nesting of multiple carriers.
Thus, it is an object of the invention to provide an improved flexible bag which includes a telescoping handle and a supplemental or ancillary, rigid or stiff bottom panel cooperative with a bracket that supports the telescoping handle.
It is a further object of the invention to provide an improved flexible bag construction which has multiple embodiments including an embodiment as a tool carrier, an insulated container, a duffel bag, a pet carrier or a golf bag, among others.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide an inexpensive, rugged, easily stored, yet easily assembled soft-sided flexible luggage item, container or bag.
An additional object of the invention is to provide a ventilated pet carrier having a telescoping handle, transport wheels and the capability of nested assembly with other like carriers.
Another object of the invention is to provide a pet carrier which may be engaged by a seat belt for retention in a seat of a vehicle even when subjected to a sudden stop or impact.
These and other objects, advantages and features of the invention will be set forth in the detailed description which follows.
In the detailed description which follows, reference will be made to the drawing comprised of the following figures:
The embodiment of
The invention relates particularly to the combination of a telescoping handle, wheels, and a rigid, supplemental or ancillary bottom plate which together enable the bag to be provided with structural integrity, yet when the auxiliary bottom panel is removed, permits the bag to be folded or compacted for ease of storage, transport or the like.
Thus, the bag includes a telescoping handle 50 which has, or includes, first and second spaced telescoping bars or rods 52 and 54 connected by handle member 56. The telescoping bars or rods 52 and 54 comprise a series of sections which telescope into vertical housings 60 and 62 mounted on a cross bracket 64 adjacent a connection or junction 66 between back panel 22 and a bottom panel 23. The juncture 66 thus defines the transition between back panel 22 and bottom panel 23. The bracket 64 accommodates a first wheel 68 and a second wheel 70 spaced apart one from each other at the juncture 66. With this construction, the telescoping handle 50 may be expanded to enable carriage or transport of the bag on the wheels of 68, 70. In the embodiment depicted, the telescoping handle 50 fits or is retained by means of a panel 80 forming a portion of a pouch on the side 22 of the bag. The telescoping handle 50 stiffens or renders generally rigid at least a portion of the back side 22. The bracket 64 reinforces or renders rigid the juncture 66.
The bracket 64 includes a horizontally extending section 82 which is fastened to the flexible bottom panel 23. The section 82 extends from the juncture 66 forwardly for approximately 1-3 inches and is preferably made from a rigid material such as a molded plastic material. The rigid partial panel or section 82 includes a first pocket or receptacle 90 and a second space pocket or receptacle 92 which will be described in greater detail hereinafter.
As depicted in
In this manner, the auxiliary plate or member 96 may be easily removed from engagement with the bag or attached thereto and retained to provide a means for stiffening the bottom panel 23. However, the rigid supplemental or ancillary bottom panel 96 may be easily removed as necessary by disengaging the hook and loop fasteners 110, 112, 114, 116 and sliding the bayonet connections 109, 111 from engagement with the pockets 90, 92. With the described construction, therefore, the bottom panel 96 renders rigid and thus supports the flexible bag and its contents. By helping to form or shape the bag, it is possible to more efficiently store materials in the bag. Further, because the bag is made more rigid, the utilization of a telescoping handle and wheels associated therewith is rendered possible and more functional. The internal contents of the bag may also be more easily contained and accessed with such a construction.
The embodiment further includes, as depicted in
With the embodiment of
As shown in
The foot assembly 234 includes a first foot 244 and a laterally spaced second foot 246 which facilitate support of the bag 201 in a level condition inasmuch as the foot 244 and 246 are aligned support the bag 201 along with the wheels 212 and 214. Thus, the rigid supplemental plate or bottom panel 230 provides a multiplicity of functions. It renders the bottom of the bag 201 rigid and maintains the shape of the bottom of the bag. It engages the bracket 210 and in combination therewith provides a means for maintaining the bag 201 in a level supported condition. The panel or plate 230 when removed permits compaction of the bag or case 200 for ease of storage and transport as well as to facilitate display. In this regard, the openings or bracket passages 220 and 222 have a duel function of providing a temporary support for cleat 224 as well as cooperating with the rigid plate 230.
The flexible bottom side panel 302 is connected to the flexible front side panel 324. In the preferred embodiment of the example of
A wire loop or other rigid member 334 may be inserted into a pouch 336 also attached to and forming a part of the front side or front panel 324. The wire loop or reinforcing member 334 extends for the full distance between lateral sides 340 and 342 of the front panel 324 thereby providing for a means to maintain the form and shape of the bag particularly when the supplemental rigid bottom panel 308 is in position as illustrated, for example, in
The first side panel, or in other words the back panel, 306 of the embodiment includes a strap assembly which is useful for carrying of the bag in the form of a backpack. Referring to the figures, therefore, and in particular
As a further feature of the embodiment of
Thus, referring to
The carrier further includes a first lateral side panel 1212 and a second spaced, generally parallel, lateral side panel 1214 forming, in part, an enclosure for a pet. A combination front and top side panel 1216 is hinged to the bottom panel 1208 along a front edge 1218 thereof so that the flexible front and top side panel 1216 may be folded to the open position as illustrated in
The periphery of the front and top side panel 1216 includes a fastener mechanism such as a zipper 1222 which cooperates with a zipper mechanism 1224 along the lateral side edges 1223, 1225 of the lateral side panels 1212 and 1214 and further along a peripheral top edge 1226 of the back side panel 1200. The zipper or fastener mechanism 1222 and 1224 may be closed to attach the front and top side panel 1216 in whole or part in the manner depicted in
In an embodiment, the lateral side edges 1223 and 1225 are generally straight linear sections connected to a smoothly arcuate top edge section 1226 which is formed to enable substantially complete opening of the top side of the carrier. Also, the fastener mechanism is inserted or sewn with a dual zipper control so that each side of the flap 1216 may be partially opened. This enables the opening of the top and optionally a part of the front of the carrier while the front of the carrier maintains a panel or wall section to hold a pet within the carrier enclosure enabling the pet (e.g. a dog or cat) to expose their head through the open top. The leash, described hereinafter, will help retain the pet when the top of the carrier is open.
It is to be noted that the back side panel or side 1200 as well as the bottom side 1208 are generally rigid or semi-rigid so as to form the basis for the enclosure or carrier. The lateral sides 1212 and 1214 need not be as rigid. They may be rigid or semi-rigid or flexible. Preferably, they have some ability to accommodate movement and thus are at least somewhat flexible.
Of course, the front panel 1216 is foldable and may be folded outwardly as illustrated in
Referring therefore to
A telescoping handle construction 1430 is attached to the back side panel 1400. The construction of the telescoping handle 1430 and the back side panel 1400 in combination with auxiliary members or braces, webbing and other materials, provides a reinforced back side panel designed to provide a construction that is adequately strong to be restrained by a seat belt, even when significant stresses are placed upon a the seat belt and thus on the carrier or bag. More specifically, the telescoping handle 1430 includes a lower, generally L shaped carriage or bracket member 1432 which is connected to the back side panel 1400 and the bottom side panel 1402. The bracket 1432 includes a first wheel assembly 1434 and a second wheel assembly 1436, attached thereto.
Extending vertically upwardly from the bracket assembly 1432 and affixed or attached or incorporated therewith and thereto is a first, vertical tubular member 1438 and a spaced, second, vertical tubular member 1440. A handle 1442 may thus be engaged manually to withdraw telescoping tubular members, such as tubular members 1444 and 1446 from the first tube 1438 and second tube 1440, simultaneously for wheeled transport of the carrier.
Typically, the back side panel 1400 includes layered fabric material 1450, 1451. The fabric layers 1450, 1451 may cover or may encapsulate a reinforcing board or auxiliary member 1460. The member 1460 extends at least between and is joined to or engaged with the spaced vertical, first and second tubular members 1438 and 1440. The member 1460 may comprise a generally rigid plastic or a metal plate. Further, a cross brace 1462 is affixed to auxiliary support a bracket member 1463. The bracket member 1463 is a horizontal bracket member and is positioned above the lower wheel bracket 1432 at the upper region of the back side panel 1400 above the arrangement described hereinafter related to the features for engaging a seat belt. The reinforcing bracket 1463 is attached to cross brace 1462 (typically made from a metal plate) and receives first and second fasteners each comprising a nut 1465 and bolt 1466 or 1468. In this manner, the bracket 1463 is engaged and held in place by a combination of a metal plate or brace 1462, an auxiliary support member 1460 and fasteners 1466 and 1468.
Further, the back side panel 1400 includes a first vertical webbing material 1470 which is positioned adjacent the first vertical tubular member 1438. A second vertical webbing 1472 is provided immediately adjacent the second vertical tube 1440. Horizontal web members 1474 connect the top edges of the vertical webs 1470 and 1472 to the back side panel 1400. A second lower horizontal web member 1476 connects the vertical web members 1470 and 1472 at their lower end to the back side panel 1400. In this manner, a web or mesh of webs is provided to enhance reinforcing on the back side panel 1400. The vertical web members 1470 and 1472 include slots defined between the fabric 1450 and webbing 1470, 1472 for receipt of a seat belt such as the seat belt 1480. Thus, the seat belt 1480 may be slipped through the slots 1482 and 1484 under the webbing 1472 and 1470, respectively and under the tubular members 1438, 1446.
With the construction so depicted, the seat belt 1480 may be fastened and the combination of the tubular members 1438 and 1440 with the web members 1470 and 1472 as well as the lower brace 1432 for the telescoping handle 1444, in combination with the cross brace member 1463 and attached components ensure that a seat belt 1480 will remain engaged with the carrier and that the integrity of the carrier is thereby preserved.
Other embodiments and alternative constructions of the invention are possible. The size and shape of the auxiliary or supplemental bottom panel may be varied. The number of wheels associated with the telescoping handle may be varied. The means for interconnecting the back panel with the bracket that supports the telescoping handle may be varied or altered all without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Thus, the invention is to be limited only by the following claims and equivalents thereof.