US 3840162 A
A pack frame assembly for carrying a load on a person's back; the assembly comprising a pack frame; an upper suspension comprising a pair of shoulder straps attached to the frame; and a lower suspension on a hip-belt, said lower suspension comprising a pair of down-hanging rigid links, each with upper pivot attachment to said belt, and lower pivot attachment at the lower end of said frame, permitting restricted movement of the frame with each stride of the carrying person.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Horenstein et a1.
 3,840,162 [451 Oct. 8, 1974 1 PACK FRAME WITH RIGID LINK SUSPENSION  Inventors: Harold S. l lorenstein, Los Angeles;
Allan M. Olson, Whittier, both of Calif.
 Assignee: Camp Ways Inc., Los Angeles,
 Filed: Nov. 16, 1972  Appl. No.: 307,032
 US. Cl 224/25 A  Int. Cl. A451 3/10 ['58] Field of Search 224/25 A, 8 R, 9, 11
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,448,918 1923 Drager 224/25 A UX 3,282,483 1966 Babcock 224/25 A 3,355,075 1967 Dean 224/25 A 3,581,961 1971 Owens 224/25 A FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 76,066 1949 Norway 224/8 R Primary Examiner-Robert J. Spar Assistant ExaminerJerold M. Forsberg Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Edmond F. Shanahan 57 ABSTRACT A pack frame assembly for carrying a load on a persons back; the assembly comprising a pack frame; an upper suspension comprising a pair of shoulder straps attached to the frame; and a lower suspension on a hip-belt, said lower suspension comprising a pair of down-hanging rigid links, each with upper. pivot attachment to said belt, and lower pivot attachment at the lower end of said frame, permitting restricted movement of the frame with each stride of the carrying person.
1Claim, 3 Drawing Figures 1 PACK FRAME WITH RIGID LINK SUSPENSION This invention relates generally to a pack frame assembly, and more particularly to a rigid link suspension employed in hanging a pack frame in swinging suspension from a hip-belt.
The sport of back packing has achieved an amazing growth in popularity in recent years, which has, in turn, produced a great increase in production of back packs for hikers, and has also stimulated the development of many improvements in designs of pack frame assemblies for carrying camping equipment.
Many improved designs have been based on the recent discovery that the back pack should be allowed to swing, to a restricted degree, with each stride of the load-carrying person. The hiker can carry his pack for a longer period of time, with less fatigue and greater comfort, if the pack frame assembly on his back is freely movable, within limits, so that his body is not required to jerk the pack through a series of forceful oscillations corresponding to the walking rhythm. The slight swings of the pack reduce the pounding on the hikers back.
On the other hand, it is important that the swinging movement be not only restricted, but also adjustable to the peculiar characteristics of each hiker. Every person has a slightly different body build, muscle distribution, and stride characteristic. Even the same person may prefer changing the adjustment of his pack frame assembly from time to time, in order to switch the load slightly from one set of muscles to another. In previously known movable back packs, a crude combination of restricted movement and adjustability has been achieved by simply loosening the canvas straps by which it has been customary to tie the lower end of the pack frame to a padded waist belt encircling the waist of the load carrying person. Such flexible straps permit the pack frame to swing in unpredictable manners, not adequately restricted for the needs of comfort of the wearer. Also, adjustability has proven unreliable, since a canvas strap may stretch, or loosen.
The present invention comprises a new form of suspension for suspending the lower end of the pack frame from the waist belt, particularly by using a pair of rigid aluminum links pivotally attached to the waist belt and pack frame at locations which permit the swinging movement required for comfort, but eliminate the erratic and unwanted movement permitted by canvas strap suspension.
The foregoing and other objects of the invention will best be understood from the following description ofa preferred specific embodiment of the invention, which embodiment is illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pack frame assembly constructed according to the invention, and carrying a typical back pack load, as seen from a location which would be to the right of and in front of a person carrying the pack of FIG. 1;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of the lower, rear, right side corner of the pack of FIG. 1, as seen from a location to the right rear of a person carrying the pack; and
FIG. 3 is an elevational view, partially sectioned, of a rigid link in the right side of the pack of FIGS. 1 and 2, as viewed in the direction of the arrows 3-3 in FIG.
In FIG. 1, the numeral 10 is used to indicate the entire pack, which is comprised of a pack frame assembly, indicated collectively by the numeral 11, and a pack load indicated by the bag 12 shown mounted to the rear of the pack frame assembly 11.
The pack frame assembly 11 is comprised of several parts assembled to a typical metal frame 13, which is best constructed of aluminum or magnesium tubing. It has been standard practice to hang the pack frame 13 from the shoulders of the carrying person (not shown in this illustration) by a pair of shoulder straps l4 and 15, which are typically provided with rubber or plastic foam padding 14a and 15a on the parts of their links which place the load of pack 10 in bearing on the shoulders of the carrying person. Another typical part of the pack frame assembly is the stretched canvas back band 16, which provides a comfortable and yielding contact of the load pack 10 against the back of the carrying person.
A comparatively recent improvement in pack frame assemblies is the padded waist belt 17, which is constructed of a belt which may be belted onto the waist of the carrying person. Typically such a belt is a construction of canvas webbing straps 17a and suitable padding 17b, in back and side portions of the belt 17 at which the carrying person feels the load of pack 10. Pack frame 13 may be of a variety of constructions, includingmost of those known in the recent .past. In the embodiment illustrated, pack frame 13 includes a right side bar 21, at the right side rear of the carrying person and a left side bar 22, at the left side rear of the carrying person. Generally, these side bars 21 and 22 are not perfectly straight or perfectly vertical, and are usually slightly contoured in some manner, such as that illustrated in FIG. 1, to make comfortable conformation to the back of the carrying person. However','for convenience, side bars 21 and 22 will be referred to herein as substantially vertical, and this terminology is intended to include side bars such as 21 and 22, which depart slightly from the vertical, and which are slightly contoured or angled at one end or throughout their lengths.
Typically, the pack frame includes several horizontal bars across the back of the carrying person. In the illustrated construction, there is a shoulder-level bar 23, at an elevation slightly below the shoulders of the carrying personQAn intermediate bar 24 is formed in concave contour to avoid contact with the back of the carrying person. A bottom hip-level bar 25 is approximately at the elevation of the lower hips of the carrying person, and is likewise of a concave contour.
The frame is strengthened by additional intermediate vertical bars 26 and 27, and by reinforcing bars such as 28 and 29.
Side wires 30 are provided as a convenient means for attachment of bag 12 to'the frame 13.
Although shoulder straps l4 and 15 may be attached to frame 13 in a variety of ways, and may themselves be constructed with various constructions, in general they provide suspension of all or a substantial part of the load of pack 10 from the shoulders of the carrying person.
In packs of the type in which the present invention is employed, shoulder straps l4 and 15, may be referred to collectively as an upper suspension, since .a second substantial part of the load is carried by waist belt 17, through a lower suspension employing a pair of rigid links, comprising right side link 31 and left side link 32.
The enlarged perspective view of P10. 2 shows the manner of assembly of right side link 31 (left side link 32 being attached in the same manner on the left side of the pack At its upper end, link 31 is pivotally attached to belt 17 by means of a pivot pin 33 received and anchored in a grommet 34. It will also be seen that the upper pivot attachment by pivot pin 33 may be shifted to another side location 35, if that provides a better pack movement and pack carriage for the particular person wearing pack 10. The lower end of link 31 is pivotally attached to the lower inside of substantially vertical side member 21 by means of a lower pivot pin 40, which has a head 41 and a retainer ring 42 for retaining it in assembly through transverse bore 43 (in side bar 21) and hole 44 in the lower end of link 31. A second feature of adjustability in the construction iillustrated is provided by having a plurality of pivot attachment holes disposed longitudinally of link 31. An additional pivot attachment hole 45 is illustrated in the lower end of link 31. It will be seen that this construction permits varying the swinging links of link 31 between upper pivot attachment 33, and lower attachment to frame 13 by pin 40.
It is a preferred form of construction to anchor the lower ends of shoulder straps l4 and at corresponding lower ends of side bars 21 and 22 by the same pivot pin 40, which connects the lower end of one of the links 31 and 32, link 31 being illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3. Preferably, washers 47 and 48 are employed to provide an extended bearing surface on the adjacent parts of shoulder strap 14 and link 31, respectively (left side link 32 having the same kind of assembly).
Preferably, shoulder straps l4 and 15 have one or more adjustments which permit shifting the portion of the load carried by upper and lower suspensions, respectively. A simple form of such load-shifting adjustment is simply to change the lengths of the shoulder straps 14 and 15; for example, this may be accomplished by shortening the straps through buckles 14b and 15b. Shortening or adjustment may also be accomplished, however, by changing the location and manner of anchoring of straps l4 and 15 at their upper ends at 54 and 55, or at their lower ends at 54a and 55a. For example, the manner of anchoring at points 54, 55, 54a, and 55a may permit of attachment of the respective straps l4 and 15 at different points along their lengths to permit shortening or lengthening of strap dis tance between the upper and lower anchoring loca' tions. Also, these anchoring points may be constructed to provide a plurality of. anchoring locations to pack frame 13, or in various ways well known to those familiar with the art of pack construction.
1 claim: a
1. An improved pack frame assembly for movable suspension of a pack load carried on the back of a walking person, said assembly comprising:
a pack frame comprising: substantially vertical right and left side bars disposed behind the shoulders of said person and extending vertically from the region of the shoulders downwards to the hip region of said person; a plurality of transverse members between said side bars, including a lowermost hiplevel member, and a shoulder-level member; and side bar ends projecting downwardly and rearwardly from said hip-level member;
an upper suspension comprising a pair of shoulder straps for suspending said pack frame from the shoulders of said person, each of said straps extending from said shoulder-level member to the lower outside of one of said side bar ends;
a lower suspension comprising:
a waist belt encircling the waist of said person;
a pair of rigid links, one near each side of said person, for suspending the lower end of said pack frame from said waist belt, each of said links being provided with an upper pivot attachment pivotally attaching the upper end of said link to said waist belt at one side of said person; and
a lower pivot attachment for pivotally attaching the lower end of said link to the lower inside surface of the adjacent one of said side bar ends at an elevation below said waist belt, to permit restricted swinging of said pack with respect to said person, during walking.