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Publication numberUS20090052809 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/197,181
Publication dateFeb 26, 2009
Filing dateAug 22, 2008
Priority dateAug 24, 2007
Also published asWO2009029545A1
Publication number12197181, 197181, US 2009/0052809 A1, US 2009/052809 A1, US 20090052809 A1, US 20090052809A1, US 2009052809 A1, US 2009052809A1, US-A1-20090052809, US-A1-2009052809, US2009/0052809A1, US2009/052809A1, US20090052809 A1, US20090052809A1, US2009052809 A1, US2009052809A1
InventorsAndrea Sampson
Original AssigneeAndrea Sampson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pouches and totes and systems comprising pouches and totes having adjustable dividers
US 20090052809 A1
Abstract
Provided are systems comprising a tote and one or more pouch fabricated out of a flexible or semi-flexible relatively thermal insulating material, optimally configured for holding, protecting, and carrying a standard reclosable or “zip lock” plastic storage bag. Totes described herein comprise one or more adjustable dividers that reversibly and adjustably fit within the interior compartment of the tote to create subcompartments that support each of the one or more pouches in registered alignment. In combination, the pouches and tote form a system for holding, protecting, and carrying conventional reclosable plastic storage bags.
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Claims(11)
1. A tote for holding one or more pouches dimensioned to accommodate a conventional reclosable plastic storage bag, said tote comprising:
a generally rectangular base attached to four generally rectangular surrounding sidewalls that extend vertically from the base, wherein said base and sidewalls form a compartment with a top opening;
a cover to said compartment permanently attached to one of the surrounding sidewalls and configured to reversibly attach to the other three sidewalls; and
one or more adjustable dividers configured to fit within said compartment and to reversibly and adjustably attach to one or more sidewalls, wherein said adjustable dividers permit the division of the compartment into two or more smaller subcompartments, each subcompartment having dimension to permit the secure accommodation of one or more pouches in registered alignment between each one or more adjustable dividers and wherein each of said one or more pouches is dimensioned to accommodate a conventional plastic reclosable storage bag.
2. The tote of claim 1 wherein each adjustable divider further comprises at least one anchoring tab that extends substantially perpendicularly from said divider and configured to allow reversible and adjustable attachment to the inside of the sidewalls of said tote.
3. The tote of claim 1 wherein each of said adjustable dividers comprises one or more attachment members for reversibly and adjustably attaching said adjustable divider to one or more of sidewalls of the tote, said attachment members being selected from the group consisting of VELCRO®, buttons, straps, snap-on elements, adhesives, zippers, tabs fitting into channels, screws, nuts and bolts, or deformable rubber connectors.
4. The tote of claim 1 said tote being sized to specifically accommodate a row of one or more pouches of thermal insulating material, each pouch being dimensioned to accommodate a standard sized conventional plastic reclosable storage bag selected from the group consisting of a snack bag, a sandwich bag, a quart bag, a gallon bag, an extra-large bag, and an extra-extra-large bag.
5. A flexible or semi-flexible pouch for holding a conventional plastic reclosable storage, said pouch comprising:
two or more sides made from a thermal insulating material;
said two or more sides being permanently joined at the interface of at least two shared edges to form a pocket-like enclosure having a single opening at one end;
wherein said pouch is dimensioned to accommodate a standard sized conventional plastic reclosable storage bag selected from the group consisting of a snack bag, a sandwich bag, a quart bag, a gallon bag, an extra-large bag, and an extra-extra-large bag.
6. The flexible or semi-flexible pouch of claim 5 wherein at least two of said two or more sides of the pouch are formed by folding over a single piece of relatively thermal insulating material, creating two sides with a common edge.
7. The flexible or semi-flexible pouch of claim 5 wherein at least two of the said two or more sides of the pouch are formed from two separate pieces of said relatively thermal insulating material.
8. The flexible or semi-flexible pouch of claim 5 wherein said pouch is formed by permanently joining the two or more sides by sewing or stitching them together along two edges.
9. The flexible or semi-flexible pouch of claim 5 wherein the relatively thermal insulating material is neoprene.
10. A system for securely holding, storing, and transporting one or more conventional plastic reclosable storage bags comprising:
a tote comprising a generally rectangular base attached to four generally rectangular surrounding sidewalls that extend vertically from the base, wherein said base and sidewalls form a compartment with a top opening;
a cover to said enclosure permanently attached to one of the surrounding sidewalls and configured to reversibly attach to the other three sidewalls;
one or more adjustable dividers configured to fit within said enclosure and to reversibly and adjustably attach to one or more sidewalls, wherein said adjustable dividers permit the division of said compartment into two or more smaller subcompartments each of which subcompartment is dimensioned to securely accommodate one or more pouches in registered alignment between each one or more adjustable dividers;
one or more flexible or semi-flexible pouches comprising two or more sides made from a relatively thermal insulating material, each side defining four edges, said two or more sides being permanently joined at the interface of at least two shared edges to form a pocket-like enclosure with a single opening at one end of said enclosure and wherein each of said one or more pouches is dimensioned to accommodate a conventional plastic reclosable storage bag.
11. The system of claim 10 wherein at least two of said two or more sides of the pouch are formed by folding over a single piece of relatively thermal insulating material, creating two sides with a common edge; wherein said two or more sides of each flexible or semi-flexible pouch are made from neoprene; and wherein each pouch is dimensioned to accommodate one conventional size plastic reclosable storage bags selected from the group consisting of a snack bag, a sandwich bag, a quart bag, a gallon bag, an extra-large bag, or an extra-extra-large bag.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/968,011, filed Aug. 24, 2007, herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

1. Technical Field of the Disclosure

The present disclosure relates, generally, to systems comprising a tote and one or more pouches fabricated from a thermally insulating fabric, such as neoprene, wherein each pouch is dimensioned for holding, storing, protecting, and/or transporting a conventional reclosable storage bag.

2. Description of the Related Art

In 1960, the fold-over sandwich bag was created. In 1964, The Glad Products Company (Oakland, Calif.) created a new, more efficient system for closing a plastic storage bag using a so-called “zip lock” method. Inventors continue to refine and add to the art surrounding reclosable plastic storage bags. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 7,029,178, issued on Apr. 19, 2006, claims a reclosable storage bag with a new locking mechanism. In contrast, the art concerning containers, pouches, and bags for holding, protecting, and carrying such locking reclosable plastic storage bags has tagged far behind.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,797,567, issued Aug. 25, 1998, discloses an “Easy Fill Holder” for reclosable plastic storage bags. The patent discloses a simple frame and support system for holding a plastic storage bag upright, so it can be filled with food or other contents. The art fails, however, to disclose pouches, totes, or other containers specifically designed to hold, protect, carry, and transport plastic storage bags.

Totes are well known in other fields of art. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,620,579 is directed to an “accessories organizer” for an equipment bag with a one-piece foam or other cushioning insert. Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 4,610,286 discloses a camera case or bag with adjustable supports to hold cameras and other photographic equipment. Other cases, boxes, and carrying apparatuses exist. See, e.g., U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,561,576, 4,201,186, 4,081,061, 2,960,137. Bags and carrying cases with multiple compartments are also found in arts as disparate as lunchboxes and CD or DVD carriers and cases. None of these existing carriers and cases is constructed to specifically hold, protect, and transport conventional reclosable plastic storage bags.

Despite the locking mechanisms found on most contemporary “zip lock” type storage bags, such bags can and do leak if turned upside down, locked imperfectly, or carried in a standard bag or backpack with other articles. Other objects and articles, such as books or pens, can puncture plastic storage bags, spilling and spoiling their contents and perhaps damaging or ruining other articles. If reclosable plastic storage bags are stored, packaged, or carried with other objects, those objects can put pressure on the reclosable plastic storage bags, causing the contents to, again, escape past the locking seal and spill out. And, conventional reclosable storage bags lack substantial thermal insulation thereby offering little protection against changes in environmental temperature.

Thus, there remains a need in the art for pouches, totes, and systems specifically designed to hold, protect, and carry standard reclosable plastic storage bags.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure fulfills these and other related needs by providing pouches, totes, and systems for holding, protecting, and carrying standard reclosable plastic storage bags and resealable storage containers in a safe, secure, and efficient fashion. Pouches and totes described herein are typically fabricated from a thermally insulating material such as, for example, neoprene, and are dimensioned for securely holding one or more conventional reclosable plastic storage bags.

Thus, the present disclosure provides totes for securely and conveniently holding, protecting, and carrying conventional reclosable plastic storage bags, resealable storage containers, and the like, which themselves can be securely held by the pouches described in this disclosure. As discussed in greater detail herein, totes are sized to optimally carry and accommodate one or more rows of standard sized conventional reclosable plastic storage bags.

Within other embodiments, the present disclosure provides systems for holding, protecting, and carrying conventional reclosable plastic storage bags and other resealable storage containers such as resealable food storage containers. These systems comprise, in combination, the pouches and totes described herein in further combination with one or more dividers that reversibly and adjustably attach to the side-walls of the tote for forming two or more subcompartments.

These and other embodiments, features, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description and appended claims set forth herein below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings illustrate certain embodiments of the present disclosure. The embodiments described and claimed herein are not, however, limited to these figures, which are merely illustrative. The figures are intended to aid in understanding this disclosure and claims and should be considered in conjunction with other parts of this disclosure. It will be understood that other embodiments fall within the scope of the present disclosure.

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of one embodiment of a system comprising a tote having adjustable dividers and pouches as described in this disclosure for holding, protecting, and carrying conventional reclosable plastic storage bags.

FIG. 2 is a top elevation view of one embodiment of a system comprising a tote having adjustable dividers and pouches as described in this disclosure for holding, protecting, and carrying conventional reclosable plastic storage bags.

FIG. 3A is a side, cross-sectional view of a tote, sliced along a plane depicted in FIG. 1. The figure shows a front view of an embodiment of a pouch for holding reclosable plastic storage bags, as taught in this disclosure, supported in front of an adjustable divider.

FIG. 3B is an exploded view of an exemplary pouch showing a first and second outer layer comprising a thermally insulating material and an optional inner mesh layer for separating a primary compartment for holding a reclosable plastic storage bag from a secondary compartment for holding, e.g., an ice pack, a heat pack, or other miscellaneous object.

FIGS. 4A, 4B, 4C, and 4D are front views of several embodiments of pouches described in this disclosure. The pouches are shown in a variety of sizes to accommodate several standard sizes of conventional plastic reclosable storage bags: snack, sandwich, quart, and gallon sizes, as discussed in the detailed description of the disclosure. At the top left corner of each depicted pouch, the figures show a fabric loop, which is one of a variety of optional structural elements for attaching individual pouches to a second object, such as a backpack, duffel bag, or piece of clothing.

FIG. 5 is a front view of one embodiment of a pouch described herein. This pouch is specifically sized to accommodate the standard extra-large size of reclosable plastic storage bags. This figure also shows a fabric loop, which is one of a variety of optional structural elements for attaching individual pouches to a second object, such as a backpack, duffel bag, or piece of clothing.

FIG. 6 is a front view of one embodiment of a pouch described herein. This pouch is specifically sized to accommodate the standard extra-extra-large size of reclosable plastic storage bags. This figure also shows a fabric loop, which is one of a variety of optional structural elements for attaching individual pouches to a second object, such as a backpack, duffel bag, or piece of clothing.

FIGS. 7A, 7B, 7C, and 7D are front views of several embodiments of pouches described in this disclosure. The pouches are shown in a variety of sizes to accommodate several standard sizes of conventional plastic reclosable storage bags: snack, sandwich, quart, and gallon sizes, as discussed in the detailed description of the disclosure. At the top left corner of each depicted pouch, the figures show a grommet, which is one of a variety of optional structural elements for attaching individual pouches to a second object, such as a backpack, duffel bag, or piece of clothing. Other pouches according to the present disclosure may contain a loop instead of the grommet as depicted. Alternative pouches may contain two or more grommets or two or more loops. The precise dimensions of these alternative embodiments will vary as depicted in Table 1 and elsewhere in the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE

As indicated above, the present disclosure provides pouches, totes, and systems for holding, protecting, and carrying conventional reclosable plastic storage bags. FIG. 1 is a front perspective view that shows one embodiment of such a system including a tote 100 for securely holding, protecting, and carrying conventional reclosable or “zip lock” plastic storage bags. FIG. 2 is a top elevation of the system depicted in FIG. 1.

The tote 100 of FIGS. 1 and 2 comprises a base 102 and four vertical sidewalls 104 extending from the base. The base and four sidewalls form an interior compartment or enclosure as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The tote further comprises a cover 106 permanently attached to the top of one of the side walls 104. The cover 106 is configured so as to reversibly close the enclosure formed by the base and four sidewalls. FIG. 1 shows a zipper configuration 107 for closing the tote. The zipper structure of the cover 107 engages with the zipper structure lining the top of the enclosure 109, which is defined by the tops of the four sidewalls.

It will be understood that a wide variety of structures may be suitably employed for securely closing the tote. For example, instead of a zipper, the cover could reversibly close the tote enclosure using a variety of structures including opposing ridges and grooves, latches, VELCRO® (Velcro USA Inc., Manchester, N.H.), patches or strips, straps and buckles, magnets, adhesives, snap connectors, prongs & holes, elastic bands, and a variety of other closing mechanisms known in the art.

FIG. 1 also shows a carrying strap 122 for transporting the tote. It will be understood that handles, shoulder straps, wheeled carriages, or other conventional means of carrying or transporting a bag are well known to persons of skill in the art.

Some of these closing mechanisms would require structural components on both the cover and one or more sidewalls. Indeed, the closing configuration shown in FIG. 1 has zipper structures on both the cover 107 and the top of the sidewalls 109. However, closing configurations with structures on only the cover or one or more sidewalls are also contemplated. For example, if the tote is made of certain ferrous metals, then magnets on the cover or along the top of the sidewalls 111 may be employed. Similarly, although the cover 106 in FIGS. 1 and 2 has the same dimensions as the enclosure it covers, covers with greater or lesser dimensions are also possible. For example, a cover might have a top and four sidewalls that together define a lid that fits over the sidewalls of the tote bag and closes the enclosure.

The present disclosure also provides pouches 112 that can securely hold conventional reclosable plastic storage, “zip lock” bags, or other resealable storage containers such as resealable food storage containers. FIGS. 4A, 4B, 4C, and 4D, as well as FIGS. 5 and 6, also show exemplary pouches. These pouches are typically fabricated out of a thermally insulating material such as, for example, neoprene. It will be understood that pouches may be fabricated from a wide variety of flexible or semi-flexible thermally insulating materials known in the art. These pouches hold and protect the reclosable plastic storage bags that they enclose, as well as the contents of those plastic storage bags. Many materials that provide such protection, while supporting the enclosed plastic storage bags in flexible or semi-flexible pouches, are contemplated. For example, various synthetic and natural rubber materials may be employed. Certain types of cloth, such as canvas, may also be used to fabricate one or more pouches according to the present disclosure. Ideally, the pouches are fabricated out of a material that is both sturdy and resistant to the loss of heat. This allows the pouches to serve as optimal carriers for plastic storage bags containing hot or cold food items so as to resist changes in temperature under a wide range of environmental conditions. Typically, a suitable flexible or semi-flexible thermally insulating material will be between about 1 mm and about 6 mm in thickness; more typically, between about 2 mm and about 5 mm in thickness. For example, a suitable flexible or semi-flexible thermally insulating material may be about 1 mm, about 2 mm, about 3 mm, about 4 mm, about 5 mm, or about 6 mm in thickness. More typically, a suitable flexible or semi-flexible thermally insulating material may be about 2 mm, about 3 mm, about 4 mm, or about 5 mm in thickness.

FIGS. 1 and 2 show one embodiment of the pouches. The pouches 112 have at least two sides, 114 and 116. Each side has four edges. The sides 114 and 116 are permanently joined at three of four edges. However, along the top edge 115, the sides are not permanently joined thereby creating an opening along the top edge 115 that leads into an interior pocket-like compartment or enclosure. The pouch is configured to have specified dimensions so that a standard reclosable plastic storage bag or other appropriately dimensioned resealable storage container can be held or stored in the pouch by passing the plastic bag through the opening along 115 and into the pocket-like enclosure in the interior of the pouch.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the pouches can preferably be made from two sides or lengths 114, 116 of flexible or semi-flexible, relatively thermal insulating material. The sides can be joined in a variety of ways know to the art. Preferably, they are stitched together along three edges, leaving an opening along the top edge 115. However, the sides can be stably or permanently joined through a variety of structural elements or mechanisms, including adhesives, straps and buckles, snaps, buttons, nuts and bolts, rivets, pins, VELCRO®, and other connection means know to persons of skill in the art. Relatedly, although FIGS. 1 and 2 show pouches formed from two sides or lengths of material, the disclosed pouches can be made in other ways. For example, a cartridge or box-type construction is possible with five or more separate sides or walls joined together to form a box-like structure. Any structure that creates an interior compartment that efficiently holds standard reclosable plastic storage bags is contemplated by the present disclosure.

The pouches described herein are configured and arranged to permit the opening along the top edge 115 to be reversible and sealably closed once a conventional plastic reclosable storage bag has been inserted into the pocket-like enclosure. Again, the disclosed pouches can be closed in a variety of ways known in the art, including VELCRO®G, buttons, snaps, adhesives, safety pins, magnets, ridges and grooves, straps and buckles, latches, and other known fasteners.

Within certain embodiments, pouches according to the present disclosure are configured with one or more connecting structures 118 as depicted in FIGS. 1, 3, 4A-D, 5, and 6. Such a connecting structure 118 permits the connection of one or more pouches to, for example, a backpack, duffle, or piece of clothing. A variety of suitable connecting structures are well known in the art, including grommets, eyelets, VELCRO®, hooks, snaps, buckles, straps, lock and key connectors, and other such structures. Also depicted in FIGS. 3A and 3B is an optional slot 119 for receiving a label. It will be understood that such slots may be fabricated from a number of materials such as, for example, a clear plastic and may be a wide variety of shapes and sizes such as, for example, between about 4″×1″, about 2″×½″, and about 1″×¼″.

In one embodiment, the pouches are optimally sized to receive conventional reclosable plastic storage bags of a variety of standard sizes. Currently, reclosable or zip lock plastic storage bags generally come in a number of standard sizes as depicted in Table 1:

TABLE 1
Reclosable Plastic Storage Bag Sizes and Dimensions
STANDARD STANDARD
DIMENSIONS FOR DIMENSIONS
POUCHES HAVING FOR POUCHES
AN EXTERNAL HAVING A
LOOP GROMMET
STANDARD BAG STANDARD BAG CONNECTING CONNECTING
SIZE DIMENSIONS STRUCTURE STRUCTURE
Snack 6½″ × 3¼″ 8″ × 4¾″ 8″ × 5½″
Sandwich 6½″ × 5⅞″ 8″ × 7½″ 8″ × 8½″
Pint 7″ × 5¼″ 8½″ × 6¾″ 8½″ × 7¾″
Quart 7″ × 7¾″ 8½″ × 9¼″ 8⅝″ × 10½″
Ex-large sandwich 7″ × 8″ 8½″ × 9¾″ 8½″ × 10¼″
Gallon 10 9/16″ × 10¾″ 12¼″ × 12¼″ 12½″ × 13¼″
Jumbo (2 gallon) 13″ × 15″ 14½″ × 17″ 14½″ × 17½″
Large (3 gallon) 15″ × 15″ 17″ × 16½″ 17″ × 17″
Extra-Large (XL) 24″ × 20″ 27″ × 23″ 26″ × 25″
Extra-Extra-Large (XXL) 25″ × 35¼″ 27″ × 36″ 26″ × 37″

For purposes of this application, each standard bag size can be considered to include all plastic storage bags with the corresponding dimensions indicated for that size above, or that is between about 90% and 110% of each of the indicated dimensions.

As noted above, within certain embodiments, the present disclosure provides pouches that are sized to optimally hold, protect, and transport reclosable plastic storage bags of standard sizes. For example, FIG. 4A provides an 8″×5½″ pouch for holding a 6½″×3¼″ “Snack” sized reclosable plastic storage bags. Similarly, FIG. 4B provides an 8″×8½″ pouch for holding 6½″×5⅞″ “Sandwich” sized reclosable plastic storage bags. FIG. 4C provides an 8⅝″×10½″ pouch for holding 7″×7¾″ “Quart” sized reclosable plastic storage bags. While, FIG. 4D provides a 12½×13¼″ pouch for holding 10 9/16″×10¾″ “Gallon” sized reclosable plastic storage bags. Likewise, FIG. 5 provides a 26″×25″ pouch for holding 24″×20″ “XL” sized reclosable plastic storage bags. Finally, FIG. 6 provides a 26″×37″ pouch for holding 25″×35¼″ “XXL” sized reclosable plastic storage bags. Not shown in the Figures, but contemplated by the present disclosure, and depicted in Table 1, are 8½″×6¾″ pouches for holding 7″×5¼″ “Pint” sized reclosable plastic storage bags; 8½″×9¾″ pouches for holding 7″×8″ “Extra-large Sandwich” sized reclosable plastic storage bags; 14½″×17″ pouches for holding 13″×15″ “Jumbo” sized reclosable plastic storage bags; and 17″×16½″ pouches for holding 15″×15″ “Large” sized reclosable plastic storage bags. It is contemplated that pouches according to each of these embodiments may be between about 90% and about 110% in each of the indicated dimensions. In each of these figures, the pouches have an externally attached connecting structure 118 for attaching to or connecting with other objects as discussed above.

Within other embodiments, pouches may contain a single grommet as the connecting structure 118 at one or both of the two corners adjacent the pouch opening to permit the connection to another object. As indicated in Table 1, above, pouches containing one or more grommet are typically larger in one or more dimension as compared to pouches containing an external loop as the connecting structure 118. For example, FIG. 7A depicts a pouch for holding a “Snack” sized reclosable plastic storage bag that is typically about 8″×5½″; FIG. 7B depicts a pouch for holding a “Sandwich” sized reclosable plastic storage bag that is typically about 8″×8½″; FIG. 7C depicts a pouch for holding a “Quart” sized reclosable plastic storage bag that is typically about 8⅝″×10½″; and FIG. 7B depicts a pouch for holding a “Gallon” sized reclosable plastic storage bag that is typically about 12½″×13¼″. Not shown in the figures, but presented in Table 1 is a pouch for holding a “Pint” sized reclosable plastic storage bag that is typically about 8½″×7¾″; an “Extra Large” sized reclosable plastic storage bag that is typically about 26″×25″; a pouch for holding an “Extra Extra Large” sized reclosable plastic storage bag that is typically about 26″×37″. Also not shown in the Figures, but contemplated by the present disclosure, and depicted in Table 1, are 8½″×10¼″ pouches for holding 7″×8″ “Extra-large Sandwich” sized reclosable plastic storage bags; 14½″×17½″ pouches for holding 13″×15″ “Jumbo” sized reclosable plastic storage bags; and 17″×17″ pouches for holding 15″×15″ “Large” sized reclosable plastic storage bags. As indicated above, it is contemplated that pouches according to each of these embodiments may be between about 90% and about 110% in each of the indicated dimensions.

It will be understood that, depending upon the precise application contemplated, the dimensions of any of the pouches described herein that contain a second grommet will be increased accordingly to accommodate the second grommet while still dimensioned appropriately to receive the corresponding reclosable plastic storage bag or resealable storage container. Typically, pouches containing two grommets will be between about ¾″ to about 1″ longer in one dimension than the corresponding pouch containing one grommet. Because of the larger contents contained within, pouches dimensioned for one gallon reclosable bags or larger, may, optionally, contain two grommets on opposite corners flanking each side of a pouch opening.

The tote depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2 includes dividers 108 that can be adjustably and reversibly positioned within the enclosure or interior compartment of the tote to subdivide the enclosure to better accommodate and support individual pouches. This is shown in both FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 wherein the adjustable dividers 108 are positioned to create smaller subcompartments or enclosures that are optimal for holding the disclosed pouches of a standard size. A variety of structures are known in the art for reversibly and adjustably attaching the dividers to the base 102 or sidewalls 104 along their interior aspects. In the embodiment presented in the FIGURES, the dividers have attachment members or tabs 124 that interact with the sidewalls of the tote. For example, in one embodiment, VELCRO® patches on the outside of the attachment members interconnect with a corresponding VELCRO® band 120 that runs along the interior of the sidewalls. A person of skill in the art will recognize that a large variety of structures exist to reversibly attach, adjust, and reposition the dividers. For example, the dividers can be reversibly attached to the interior of the tote via buttons, straps, snap-on elements, adhesives, zippers, tabs fitting into channels, screws, nuts and bolts, deformable rubber connectors, or a variety of other attachment means. These devices can be used in connection with attachment members or tabs such as those shown as 124, or they can be used directly on the surface of the divider 108. In addition to connection of the dividers to the sidewalls of the tote, as shown in FIG. 1, the dividers can also be reversibly attached to one another to further subdivide the tote compartment and/or can be reversibly attached to the base 102 (not shown).

Typically, the tote 100 is dimensioned to optimally accommodate one or more rows of a standard-sized pouch, having the dimensions described above, so each pouch can be inserted in regimented alignment, along the length or width of the tote and be optimally held and supported in that tote. This sort of optimal, snug carriage is shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B As can be seen in that embodiment, a pouch 112 is supported by the base 102 and sidewalls 104 of the tote bag (shown in cross-section), as well as by one or more dividers 108, which are in front of (not shown) and behind the pouch, and which are reversibly and adjustably attached to the sidewalls of the tote 104 through the interaction of the divider's attachment members 124 with the VELCRO® strip running horizontally along the interior compartment or enclosure of the tote 120.

In one embodiment, each divider 108 employs an attachment device for snuggly and securely interacting with the tote and supporting each pouch in registered alignment. For example, FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment in which the divider has a VELCRO® strip 110 that reversibly attaches the divider to the tote thereby supporting one or more pouches. This combination of elements effectively holds, protects, supports, and carries the pouch, and thus the reclosable plastic storage bag.

FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 also depict the entire system for securely holding, storing, and transporting one or more conventional plastic reclosable storage bags. The system includes the tote 100, adjustable dividers 108, and one or more pouches 112, to hold, protect, support, and carry reclosable plastic storage bags. As discussed above, the tote and pouches are optimally dimensioned to accommodate one particular standard sized reclosable plastic bag, so that a row of such plastic bags can be securely carried. In a further embodiment, the dividers have a structure for interacting with the pouches, such as the VELCRO®P strip of 110, which allows the system to hold, protect, and carry reclosable plastic storage bags.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8074425 *Jun 23, 2008Dec 13, 2011Hanson Beverly J BallardFood storage bag facilitation system
US8312696Mar 5, 2012Nov 20, 2012S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.Method for providing consumers with a food storage kit
US20100307649 *Jan 15, 2009Dec 9, 2010Elite Bags, SlFirst-aid case for home visits
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Classifications
U.S. Classification383/38, 383/64, 220/592.2, 383/37
International ClassificationB65D30/00, B65D30/22, B65D33/16, B65D81/38
Cooperative ClassificationA47J47/14, B65D81/389
European ClassificationB65D81/38L1