|Publication number||USRE39853 E1|
|Application number||US 11/054,718|
|Publication date||Sep 25, 2007|
|Filing date||Feb 8, 2005|
|Priority date||Apr 20, 1993|
|Publication number||054718, 11054718, US RE39853 E1, US RE39853E1, US-E1-RE39853, USRE39853 E1, USRE39853E1|
|Inventors||Alyx T. Fier|
|Original Assignee||Fier Alyx T|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (36), Referenced by (4), Classifications (6), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This is a continuation in part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/048,218, filed Apr. 20, 1993, now abandoned.
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates generally to the field of backpacks and particularly to small frameless fanny packs with waist encircling belts, and to a method of using the same.
2. Background Art
Small frameless backpacks or so called “day packs” have become widely popular with the general populace, and particularly with students and hikers, for carrying small loads. However, almost without exception these small packs lack any sort of load supporting waist encircling belt to help spread the load. This results in undue strain on the neck and shoulders. Additionally, when these day packs are used for active sports such as hiking or cycling, and because they are generally frameless and lie directly in contact with the wearer's back, they trap perspiration causing the wear's back to become wet and uncomfortable. Also, these day packs tend to restrict the wearer's range of motion in the upper body when executing sudden or difficult maneuvers. More recently small, waist encircling day packs without shoulder encircling straps, so called “fanny-packs” have gained in popularity due to their generally smaller size and less encumbering design. While these fanny packs offer greater freedom of movement, and avoid the perspiration problem they are less than ideal for carrying the heavier loads typical of day hiking. When heavily loaded the single waist encircling belt puts undue stress on the lumber region and the abdomen because the belt must be tightly cinched so that the bag doesn't slip down or tilt backwards. When engaged in vigorous exercise such as running, these fanny-packs also tend to bounce up and down and slip around to the front. This problem can be partially minimized by tightly cinching the waist belt, but additional strain is then put on the lumber and abdomen.
The back pack of the present invention retains the qualities which have made fanny-packs popular, namely their light compact design, but reduces the stress on the lumber and abdomen. This pack supports the load from the body in an especially effective manner and holds the pack, securely in to the body such that it always maintains the same center of gravity as the body. During certain sports such as alpine skiing or rock climbing this feature is particularly important and desirable.
To define the arrangement and function of the present invention, it is first necessary to present some background definitions. The backpack is arranged to carry a load on the back of a person's body, and the person's back is considered as having an upper back area and a lower back area. Further, the person's body is considered as having the following:
i. a lower back location at approximately the height of the person's waist;
ii. an upper back location approximately just below the height of the person's shoulders;
iii. an intermediate back location positioned generally at a juncture area of the upper and lower back areas about half way between the lower and upper back locations;
iv. right and left shoulder locations;
v. a waist location
The backpack comprises a carrying pouch defining a loud carrying area. The pouch has front and rear panel portions, side portions and top and bottom portions. There is a shoulder strap assembly which comprises:
i. a backstrap section;
ii. a shoulder strap section;
iii. a front strap section.
The back strap section has a lower end connecting at a central rear location of the pouch. The back strap section comprises right and left back strap portions which extend forwardly, upwardly and outwardly over the upper back area to the right and left shoulder locations to exert right and left force components directed from said lower end connection upwardly, outwardly and forwardly to the right and left shoulder locations.
The shoulder strap section has right and left shoulder strap portions extending over right and left shoulders of the person, and having rear ends connected to the upper ends of the right and left back strap portions.
The front strap section has right and left front strap portions having upper and lower front strap ends, with the upper front strap ends connecting to the front ends of the shoulder strap portions, and with the front strap portions extending downwardly and rearwardly. The lower ends of the front strap portions connect to the pouch at forward side connecting locations on the pouch. The front strap portions exert upwardly and forwardly directed force components from the connecting locations of the pouch to the forward ends of the shoulder strap portions.
There is a waist strap having rear ends connecting to respective side portions of the pouch, and front ends connecting to one another so that the waist strap extends around the waist of the person in a manner to exert right and left forward force components on the pouch.
The pouch, the shoulder strap assembly and the waist strap portions are configured and sized, relative to a person's body in a manner that:
i. the front panel of the pouch is positioned against the lower back area of the person;
ii. the waist strap extends around the person's body at a waist location thereof;
iii. the lower connecting ends of the front strap portions connect to the pouch at sides of the person's lower back area;
Thus, the pouch is located and supported by:
i. vertical force components that are reacted into the pouch along a vertical axis positioned at a central location between the side portions and between the front and rear panels of the pouch;
ii. forward force components reacted at side locations and central locations of the pouch
Thus, the pouch is positioned, held and supported to remain at substantially the same position relative to the person's body and thus closely follows movements of the person's body.
In the preferred form, the back strap portion comprises a lower central back strap connected to the pouch. Extending upwardly and forwardly and connecting at the upper end thereof to lower ends of the right and left back strap portions which then extend forwardly, upwardly and outwardly to the right and left shoulder locations. Desirably, the lower back strap portion has lengthwise adjusting means to properly position the lower end connection of the pouch relative to the shoulder strap portions. Also, desirably, the right and left back strap portions have length adjusting means relative to the lower central back strap portions and to the shoulder strap portions.
Further, in the preferred form the front strap portions have lengthwise adjustment means relative to the shoulder strap portions and their connecting locations to the pouch to properly locate outside forward portions of the pouch relative to the shoulder strap portions.
Also, in the preferred form, there are right and left auxiliary waist straps, each extending from a related upper front side connecting location of the pouch downwardly and forwardly to connect to the waist strap at a location forward from the connecting location of the waist strap portions to the pouch. Also, desirably, the right and left auxiliary straps have lengthwise adjusting means.
In the method of the present invention, the backpack is provided as indicated above. The carrying pouch is positioned, and the strap assembly arranged as described above. With this being done, the force components resulting from the gravitational forces acting on the pouch are reacted with the vertical force components and the horizontal force components reacting so that the pouch is positioned, held and supported to maintain the pouch at substantially the same position relative to the person's body and thus closely follow movements of the person's body.
Other features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description.
As illustrated in
The bag-forming portion of pouch 10 of the pack is more or less conventional comprising a front panel 20, a rear panel 22, a top panel 24, and one panel 26 forming the bottom, and sidewalls 28R and 28L, all made of heavy fabric and sewn together to form a top-opening receptacle or bag. An upper zippered opening 30 (
Each sidewall 28R and 28L also includes a pocket 38 with a drawstring closure 40 which can be used to hold water-bottles or any number of varied objects such as sunglasses, or scarves. As seen in
In general, the width dimension (shown at “w” in
For example, one commercially available relatively small fanny pack has a width dimension of ten inches, a height dimension of five inches and a forward to rear depth dimension of three inches. A relatively large commercially available fanny pack was found to be eleven and one half inches wide, twelve inches high, and had a forward to rear depth dimension of four and one half inches. In measurements made of commercially available fanny packs, the maximum to minimum range of the dimensions of the pouches were found to be as follows:
One of the significant features of the present invention is the manner in which the shoulder strap assembly 12 and the waist belt 18 function with the back pack pouch or bag forming portion 11 in advantageously reacting the force components into the person's body. This will be explained with references to
As can be seen in
The downward gravity force component is resisted in part by the strap 68 which exerts an upwardly and forwardly slanted force component indicated at “b” exerted at a rear middle location 100 on the pouch 11. In addition, the forward front connector belts 56 exert upward and forward force components indicated at “c”. With the two force components “c” being exerted at lower, forward outside corner portions 102 of the back pack 10. The two waist belt sections 42L and 42R (only 42L being shown herein), exert on the backpack forward force component “d” exerted at the lower, front corner locations of the pouch 11.
Reference is now made to
The two vertical vector components c (v) of the two front straps 56 and the third vertical vector component b (v) substantially balance with the gravity force component “a”. The three horizontal vector components b (h) and the two c (h) vector components result in a net forward force which must be reacted into the person's body, and more specifically into the person's lower back portion.
Accordingly, there is shown in
It is to be understood, of course, that the upper force component “d” is not necessarily directed at one small location, but is directed into the pouch 11 along the entire area of contact with the person's back with the pouch 11. In like manner, while the force vectors c (h) are directed at lower outside corner locations of the pouch 11, the counteracting force “c” is directed along the entire lower contact portion of the pouch 11 with the person's back.
Reference is now made to
Now reference is made to FIG. 7. This shows the two lower side edge locations 106 where the force components c (h) are exerted. The upper horizontal force component b (h) is exerted at the point 108. It can be seen that these points 106 and 108 at which these force components b (h) and c (h) are exerted actually are in the form of a triangle. The effect of this is that both upper, lower and middle portions of the pouch 11 are pressed against the person's lower back. This further enhances the feeling of the pouch 11 both laterally and vertically being pressed against the person's back to in a sense give the sensation of being part of the person's body.
On conventional packs the downward gravity force component is resisted by use of a waist belt, and shoulder straps, both of which attach to the front edge of the pouch or carrying portion on the same plane as the wearer's back. Resisted in it's primary vertical vector, downward, the gravitational component exerts itself as a rearward slanted force component, tilting the pack away from the wearer's body. Typically this gravitational vector is countered by the wearer tilting their body forward so that the primary vertical gravitational force reacts the pouch into their body because they have placed their back between the gravitational vector and the ground by bending their body. This is not the most comfortable nor ergonomically correct way to carry a load.
By way of contrast the chief design benefit of the presently contemplated invention is obtained from the attachment of the straps 68 of the strap assembly 12 to the rear panel 22 of the bag or pouch 11 and the front straps 56 of the shoulder strap assembly 12 at the forward end. Attaching strap assembly 12 to the rear panel 22 exerts an upward and forwardly slanted force component which traps the load against the body and prevents its tilting away from the wearer's center of gravity. This benefit increases proportionately to the amplification of vector forces caused by the vigorous movement associated with activities such as skiing and mountain hiking.
It is apparent from the foregoing that a novel and unobvious pack has been provided which allows for a high degree of versatility in configuring the manner in which it is employed as well as allowing for quick and easy adjustment to fit a wide variety of bodies. This pack fills a previously unmet need of allowing people to carry heavier loads in a highly stable manner with a hitherto unknown degree of comfort while maintaining an excellent, unencumbered range of movement, and an upper back which is free to respire freely.
While this invention has been described in terms of a preferred embodiment, it is contemplated that persons reading the preceding description and studying the drawing will realize various alterations, permutations and modifications thereof. It is therefore intended that the following appended claims be interpreted as including all such alterations and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the present invention.
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|U.S. Classification||224/153, 224/641, 224/579, 224/652, 224/643|