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Compressible and storable bags and items

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20140037231 patent thumbnailZoom

Compressible and storable bags and items


Compressible bags, towels, blankets, and apparel are disclosed. In one embodiment, a compressible bag includes a generally circular channel on one sidewall. A flexible, elongate member or drawstring extends through the channel and protrudes from an opening in it. The bag can be compressed by folding toward the area defined by the channel and pulling the drawstring, causing the area defined by the channel to be drawn up and around the bag, thereby compressing and encapsulating it. In an alternate embodiment, a channel with a drawstring may extend around the circumference of the bag. Towels, blankets, and apparel according to embodiments of the invention also have a generally circular channel on at least one wall with a flexible, elongate member therein.


USPTO Applicaton #: #20140037231 - Class: 383 75 (USPTO) -
Flexible Bags > With Closure >Gathered Bag Mouth >Including Drawstring-type Securing Element >In Bag Hem

Inventors: Veronica Hawbaker

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20140037231, Compressible and storable bags and items.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a divisional of U.S. application Ser. No. 12/685,811, filed on Jan. 12, 2010. That application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/144,531, filed Jan. 14, 2009. The contents of both of those applications are incorporated by reference herein in their entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to bags and other items that are compressible and storable.

2. Description of Related Art

Bags of one sort or another are ubiquitous in most cultures. At some point, nearly everyone needs to carry something, protect an item, or carry several things together, and a wide variety of bags have evolved to meet those different needs. Available bags range from utilitarian paper and plastic grocery sacks costing a few cents each to designer purses and satchels costing many hundreds of dollars each.

Most bags present a conundrum: the larger the bag, the more objects it can hold and the more potentially useful it may be; however, large bags can be cumbersome to carry around, and most people need a large bag for only a short time, for example, after a shopping trip. The typical solution to this conundrum is to fold or stuff a larger bag into a smaller bag until it is needed. Unfortunately, many large bags take up a considerable amount of space even when folded. Additionally, a large bag may become wrinkled from storage in a smaller bag. Wrinkling may be acceptable when the bags are utilitarian grocery sacks, but is generally unacceptable with more valuable bags, which are hard to unwrinkle and may be permanently damaged.

Similar problems often occur with other carry-along items, such as blankets, towels, sweatshirts, and other types of apparel. These items are sometimes needed only for short periods of time, yet often need to be carried on an entire outing so that they are available when needed. Some apparel items, such as light jackets, are sold with “stuff sacks” or other forms of storage container that make it easier to carry them when not in use, but those storage containers become yet another item that must be carried and can easily be lost or forgotten.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

One aspect of the invention relates to a compressible bag. The bag includes a sidewall having a generally circular channel that defines an area. A flexible, elongate member or drawstring extends around the circumference of the channel and protrudes from an opening therein. The channel and bag are constructed and arranged such that if the bag is folded toward the area defined by the channel and the drawstring is drawn, the area defined by the channel will be drawn up around the rest of the bag, compressing and encapsulating it.

Another aspect of the invention relates to a bag having a channel with a drawstring that extends across one or more sidewalls of the bag. For example, the channel may extend circumferentially around the bag. When the bag is folded into a volume of space defined between the bottom of the bag and the drawstring and the drawstring is drawn, the bag is compressed.

A further aspect of the invention relates to compressible blankets, towels, fabric panels, apparel, and other items. The blankets, fabric panels, and other items have a generally circular channel that defines an area. A flexible, elongate member or drawstring extends around the circumference of the channel and protrudes from an opening therein. The channel and blanket or fabric panel are constructed and arranged such that if the blanket or panel is folded toward the area defined by the channel and the drawstring is drawn, the area defined by the channel will be drawn up around the rest of the blanket or panel, compressing and encapsulating it.

In particularly advantageous embodiments of the invention, compressible bags and other items are made of low-friction materials, such as satins. Alternatively, items may be lined or selectively with these materials. In some embodiments, the flexible elongate member may be a flat satin ribbon.

Yet another aspect of the invention relates to a garment. The garment has one or more pieces of fabric joined together to define a covering for an upper portion of a human body. The covering has a torso portion, two arm portions connected to the torso portion, and a head opening. A generally circular channel is provided in the torso portion. The generally circular channel defines an area on the torso portion and has an exterior channel opening and a size defined in proportion to the dimensions of the garment. A flexible, elongate member is positioned within the generally circular channel and extends through substantially the entirety of the circumference of the channel such that at least an exposed portion of the elongate member protrudes from the opening of the channel. The channel is proportioned and arranged such that if the garment is folded inwardly toward the area defined by the channel with the channel facing outwardly and the exposed portion of the flexible, elongate member is pulled, the area defined by the channel is drawn out of plane as the channel contracts, causing the garment to be releasably compressed within an enclosure having the area defined by the generally circular channel as an outer surface.

Other aspects, features, and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the description that follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be described with respect to the following drawing figures, in which like numerals represent like elements throughout the figures, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a bag according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the bag of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a back view of the bag of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 4-6 are perspective views illustrating the process of collapsing the bag of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a bag according to another embodiment of the invention;



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20140037231 A1
Publish Date
02/06/2014
Document #
13855506
File Date
04/02/2013
USPTO Class
383 75
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
65D33/28
Drawings
13




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