US 3830348 A
Collapsible luggage having storage capacity in each of two distinct configurations, consisting of flexible material configured to afford opposed portions defining walls of a major storage compartment, panels secured to one of the walls in adjacent relationship and defining additional compartments and closure elements joined to the one wall and extending about the periphery of the panels and having a sliding fastener. In the collapsed configuration, the panels are juxtaposed with the walls of the major compartment collapsed therebetween, and the closure elements are contiguous for engagement to one another by the sliding fastener.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent h ama Au 1974 COLLAPSIBLE LUGGAGE 3,759.356 9/1973 Bostick 190/52 x 76 I t M ts suk Oh l--24 OH 1 men or z z a f rg Japan Primary Examiner-Donald F. Norton  Filed: Oct. 13, 1972 57 ABSTRACT  Appl. No.: 297,300 Collapsible luggage having storage capacity in each of two distinct configurations, consisting of flexible mate-  U S Cl 190/43 /1 7 150/28 R rial configured to afford opposed portions defining /52 walls of a major storage compartment, panels secured  Int Cl i 7/00 to one of the walls in adjacent relationship and defin-  Field 190/43 ing additional compartments and closure elements 45 21 joined to the one wall and extending about the periphcry of the panels and having a sliding fastener. In the  References Cited collapsed configuration, the panels are juxtaposed with the walls of the major compartment collapsed UNITED STATES PATENTS therebetween, and the closure elements are contigu- 2 30 2 --l 5 O l ous for engagement to one another by the sliding fas- 1e 0 v 2,671,486 3/1954 Shaw ISO/1.7 tener' 3,061,057 10/1962 Miller 190/44 5 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures COLLAPSIBLE LUGGAGE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to foldable or collapsible luggage wherein the material defining the major storage compartment may be conventiently collapsed when not in use. In the prior art are found numerous examples of luggage which when not in use may be collapsed and stored, frequently within another piece of luggage. The tourist, for example, frequently finds it convenient to pack the collapsed luggage in a suitcase. As more and more sourvenirs are collected the collapsed bag is removed from the suitcase, opened and used to carry the souvenirs.
Frequently, it is desirable to have a single item of luggage capable of conveniently carrying both large and small loads. The present invention is directed toward such an item of luggage which is functional in both its open and its collapsed configurations. Utilizing the present invention, in the uncollapsed configuration, the luggage may constitute a shoulder bag or satchel, while in the collapsed configuration it may function as a tote bag.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The luggage of the present invention consists of flexible material configured to afford opposed portions defining walls of a major storage compartment when the bag is in its uncollapsed configuration. Panels secured to one of the walls define two adjacent side storage compartments, or pockets, capable of being used in both the collapsed and uncollapsed configurations of the luggage. Closure elements such as conventional zipper tapes are secured to the one wall and extend about the periphery of the storage pockets.
The luggage is collapsed by folding portions of the larger flexible material behind the common portion of the side walls which, with the panels, define the pockets. Thereafter, the side pockets are brought into juxtaposed positions with the collapsed flexible material enclosed therebetween. Finally, the closure elements which are now contiguous, are joined or engaged by a conventional sliding fastener for closing the now collapsed bag. In collapsed position, the side pockets remain exposed and thus accessible, and each may be used to carry small items.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating the luggage in its uncollapsed configuration at which time both the major compartment and side pockets are available for storing items;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the uncollapsed luggage;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating portions of the large flexible walls defining the major compartment being folded behind the common portion of one side wall defining, with the panels, the side pockets;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating the larger flexible walls stored in place and one of the pockets rotated approximately 90; and
FIG. 5 is a perspective view illustrating the completed rotation of the one pocket into juxtaposed relation with the other pocket and with their respective closure elements joined by operation of an appropriate fastener, in which configuration the luggage is fully collapsed and available to carry items in the storage pockets.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT with teeth 17 are secured to the tops of the walls 12 and 14 in such manner that movement of the sliding zipper element 18, illustrated in FIG. 2, opens and closes the large storage compartment. Handles 20 are suitably fastened to the walls 12 and 14 permitting the luggage 10 to be carried.
On one side of the luggage 10 are located additional walls or panels 22 suitably fastened to the wall 12 so as to define side pockets or compartments providing additional storage space. Each of the side pockets is provided with its own zipper tapes 24 and zipper element 26. Carrying straps 28 loosely pass through openings 30 and terminate in knots (not shown) permitting the straps 28 to be stored within the side pockets, if desired.
Additional zipper tapes 32, comprising mating halves of a common zipper or other securing means, are joined at or near the juncture of the peripheries of the smaller walls 22 and the larger wall 12. The zipper tapes 32 substantially surround the walls 22, as illustrated in FIG. 2. It is apparent that the precise locus of joining is not critical, provided the peripheral relationship of the zipper tapes and the corresponding walls 22 is maintained. In a preferred embodiment, the tapes are sewn to the side wall 12 in the same stitch line which joins the corresponding walls 22 to the wall 12.
When use of the larger storage compartment is no longer necessary, the top portion 34, bottom portion 36 and side portions 38 of the flexible front wall 12, and the rear wall 14 together with the straps 20 are folded, as illustrated in successive stages in FIGS. 3 and 4, to lie flat against the common portions of the wall 12 which define, with the walls 22, the side pockets. The walls 22 defining the side pockets are rotated, as illustrated, in successive stages in FIGS. 4 and 5 into juxtaposed relationship with the collapsed flexible material of the larger compartment, the strap 20 and the like contained therebetween. In the juxtaposed position, the mating zipper tapes 32 are now contiguous, permitting the zipper element 40 to be moved along the tapes 32 for engaging the teeth thereof, as illustrated in FIG. 5, at which time the collapsed luggage, now designated by the reference numeral 10, is ready for use.
As will be apparent, the luggage 10 in its open or uncollapsed position illustrated in FIG. 1 provides three separate storage compartments and may be carried by handles 20. As a matter of convenience, the straps 28 being loosely mounted through the openings 30 of the walls 22 may be stored within the side pockets. The luggage 10 in its collapsed position illustrated in FIG. 5 still provides two separate storage compartments and may be carried by the straps 28 after they are raised.
In one embodiment, the side walls 22 may be of the same material as the material 12, although they may be of different material and need not be flexible. Also, whereas the side walls 22 are shown joined along a peripheral beaded edge to a further lateral sheet of material which is in turn joined to the main wall 12, it is apparent that alternative constructions may be employed. For example, the wall 12 may be cut and shaped to provide the outer wall portion of the side pockets and an interior panel be provided to define the interior wall of the'side pockets, with the zipper tapes being suitably secured in the generally peripheral location as shown.
' secured in adjacent positions on one of said salls of said flexible material for defining additional storage areas, the area of said panels being less than the area of one of said walls of said flexible material, first and second closure elements positioned about the periphery of said first and second panels respectively, said closure elements terminatingin corresponding ends located between said panels, and a fastener for connecting said closure elements as desired.
2. An item of luggage as in claim 1, wherein said closure elements comprise zipper tapes extending substantially about the periphery of said panels.
3. An item of luggage as in claim 2, wherein said panels and corresponding zipper tapes are joined to said one side wall along respectively corresponding, common junctions.
4. An item of luggage, comprising flexible material configured to afford opposed portions defining walls of a major storage compartment, panels secured in adjacent positions on one of said walls of said flexible material for defining additional storage areas, closure elements positioned about the periphery of said panels and a fastener for connecting said closure elements as desired, said panels being adapted for being rotated into juxtaposed relationship with the flexible material defining the walls of the major storage compartment collapsed therebetween, said closure elements being connected by said fastener in the collapsed configuration of the luggage for securing the luggage in the collapsed configuration.
5. An item of luggage as in claim 4 wherein said closure elements respectively comprise zipper tapes and said fastener comprises a sliding fastener associated with said zipper tapes, and wherein said closure elements are brought into contiguous relationship throughout the lengths thereof in the collapsed configlapsed configuration.