Patent application title: Weight Distributing Carrying Harness
John Ashley (Fresno, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AA45F500FI
Class name: Package and article carriers carried by animate bearer flaccid attaching means looped around neck or crossing shoulder
Publication date: 2012-01-05
Patent application number: 20120000947
A carrying harness device designed to distribute the localized weight of
an object to both shoulders of a user to minimize straining, such as a
when carrying a baby carrier or heavy object. The device has two
encircling shoulder straps connected via fastenable back and chest
straps. Attached to one of the shoulder straps is a carrying strap
equipped with a plurality of reinforced grommets. A carabineer clasp may
be inserted into any of the grommets depending on user height preference,
and then affixed to the object to be carried. The chest and back straps
are reversible to allow the user to choose the side from which the
hanging strap is suspended, as well as adjustable to accommodate
different sized users.
1. An item carrying harness device for supporting load along the side of
a user, comprising: a first and second shoulder-encircling straps
connected by a chest strap and a back strap; said chest strap and back
strap each being equipped with an attachment fastener to allow
application and removal thereof; said chest and back straps each having
an adjustment means to change said chest and back strap length as needed
to suit said user; a hanging strap attached to a first
shoulder-encircling strap, said hanging strap having a plurality of
reinforced grommets along its length; a carabineer hook insertable
through a grommet along said hanging strap and capable of clasping to an
item to be lifted.
2. The device of claim 1, further comprising a second hanging strap attached to a second shoulder-encircling strap, allowing the practitioner to carry suspended items from both sides of said user.
3. An item carrying harness device for supporting load along the side of a user, comprising: a first and second shoulder-encircling strap connected by a chest strap and a back strap; said chest strap and back strap each being equipped with an attachment fastener to allow application and removal thereof; said chest and back straps each having an adjustment means to change said chest and back strap length as needed to suit said user; a first hanging strap attached to said first shoulder-encircling strap, said hanging strap having a plurality of reinforced grommets along its length; a second hanging strap attached to said second shoulder-encircling strap, said hanging strap having a plurality of reinforced grommets along its length; carabineer hooks insertable through a grommet along said hanging straps and capable of clasping to an item to be lifted.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
 This application claims the benefit of US Provisional Application No. 61/360,189 filed on Jun. 30, 2010, entitled "Bundle Strap."
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates to a carrying aid device, and in particular, improvements to a device for carrying heavy items having a carrying strap or handle.
 Luggage, bags and other heavy items are often carried by placing the carrying strap over one shoulder of the person carrying the item. If the contents of the bag or item are relatively heavy, this can cause the person carrying the item to lean in a direction opposite the direction of the bag to stably support its weight. The heavier the contents of the item, the greater the strain on the user and the greater the lean angle will be. Ultimately, over time, there is a tendency to lose control of the item as the strap slips from the carrier's shoulder. Additionally, the constant shifting of the shoulder strap and the need to readjust its position results in discomfort for the person carrying the item, particularly when the bag is carried over a relatively long period or distance.
 Further, many parents find it difficult to carry or hold an infant carrier, especially for prolonged periods. This item in particular may be awkward to carry, which can cause strain to the arms, neck and back. Many individuals find themselves stooping over in order to carry the seat. Most of the carrier's weight is localized, which can make it extremely difficult to carry the item a far distance. This is also true when carrying paint cans, buckets of water or other weighty items with a handle or strap carrying means.
 A more efficient method and device is needed for carrying heavy items with localized weight, such as baby carriers, luggage, or other bags. The present invention provides a much needed solution to this well known problem.
 2. Description of the Prior Art
 Several patents have been issued and applications published related to devices that assist in the carrying of bags and other heavy items. However, these patents and publications each have drawbacks that ultimately result in a failure to address the need for a device that allows the user to carry an object with a discrete weight that does not have a shoulder strap. The present invention addresses this need.
 Chou U.S. Patent Publication No. 2006/0289575 is directed to a device for carrying luggage and bags having a rigid or semi-rigid anchor element worn over the shoulder and strapped to the body of a person to maintain the anchor in a desired position. The anchor is formed in a configuration that receives and removeably retains the carrying strap of the luggage or bag to prevent the slippage from the person's shoulder. In further embodiments, reinforced attachment grommets are fixed to the strap worn by the person carrying the bag or luggage for removeably connecting the strap to the carrying strap of the bag or luggage for preventing the carrying strap from slipping from the person's shoulder. The Chou invention secures a shoulder strap to the shoulder of the practitioner, but it fails to address the issue of items without should straps, such as child carriers, paint cans and other heavy objects.
 Spadaccini U.S. Patent Publication No. 2007/0114255 is directed to an adjustable belt system for carrying sporting equipment, such as skis, poles, a snowboard, and accessories. The adjustable belt system includes a first elongated strap, a second elongated strap, a first adjustable loop holding member attached to a first end of the first and second elongated straps, and a second adjustable loop-holding member attached to a second end of the first and second elongated straps. The first and second elongated straps extend in parallel between the first and second holding members. A method of carrying sporting equipment is also disclosed. The Spadaccini invention is directed to the carrying of sporting equipment on one's back, as such it fails to address the issue of carrying localized heavy objects that would otherwise be carried by hand, and those objects without sufficient strap attachments.
 Dierickx U.S. Pat. No. 6,237,995 is directed to a combination stroller and car seat that allows the stroller to be conveniently converted into a car seat and infant carrier device. The device has a seat configured to hold an infant and a coupling knee rotatingly coupled to the seat. At least one front wheel couples to the knee so that the front wheel pivots relative to the seat when the knee rotates. Further, at least one rear wheel is couples to the knee so that the rear wheel pivots relative to the seat when the knee rotates. A releasable locking mechanism is operably coupled to the handle and the knee to allow movement of the knee. The Dierickx patent addresses the issue of carrying a cumbersome car seat and carrier, but fails to address the carrying of further objects.
 Fair U.S. Pat. No. 6,672,493 is directed to a shoulder harness includes left and right shoulder straps having ends attachable to a front-infant-carrier pouch. The left shoulder strap has a lengthwise-extending first slot defined between lengthwise-extending first and second portions of the left shoulder strap. A front infant carrier includes the pouch and the shoulder harness with the strap ends attached to the pouch. The Fair invention addresses the need of carrying an infant in a hands free manner, but is not suitable for carrying an infant in a carrier or other heavy object to the side of a user.
 Erismann U.S. Pat. No. 7,939,737 is directed to a body support for a guitar or similar musical instruments that can be removed, and is shaped like a frame. It comprises a single bass clef-shaped body, the two ends of which are attached to the guitar body at a distance from each other. An elastic padding is provided in the holding region of the body support. The body support can be removed and folded for transporting the guitar. The Erismann invention is a specialized carrying device for musical instruments, and is not suitable to address needs related to lifting and carrying various handled objects.
 While the patents and published applications in the prior art address issues related to carrying specific objects such as musical or sporting equipment, they fail to address the need to carry a heavy object with a localized weight to the side of user, and one that allows the user to walk with a normal posture over long distances. Subsequently, the present invention diverges in structural design elements and intent from the prior art, and consequently fulfills a long felt need for carrying devices that reduce stress on the user, improve posture while increasing carrying capacity and stamina.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of item carrying devices now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new shoulder supported carrying device wherein the same can be utilized for providing convenience for the user when carrying objects with a heavy localized weight along one side of the user's body, including handled items such as baby carriers, paint cans, water buckets and similarly difficult to transport items.
 The present invention distributes the localized weight of heavy objects to the user's shoulder, chest and back so as to alleviate carrying stress and reduce risk of injury. The invention comprises of a harness worn around the practitioner's chest and shoulders, attaching to the object being carried via a dangling side strap. The present invention helps ease the burden of holding or carrying the heavy item, and can particularly alleviate discomfort to the arms and back. The device is ideal for assisting parents in carrying infant car seats, transporting items in a construction zone, moving items in and out of a household, or transporting objects over a long distance.
 It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a device for carrying heavily weighted and cumbersome objects along a user's side. Further, the device provides adequate securement the object to prevent slippage, even if the practitioner's hand releases the object.
 Another object of the present invention is to provide a device to distribute the weight of localized heavy objects to the practitioner's shoulders, chest and back for improved carrying ability and reduced stress.
 Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS
 Although the characteristic features of this invention will be particularly pointed out in the claims, the invention itself and manner in which it may be made and used may be better understood by referring to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.
 FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present invention, illustrating both should straps, as well as the carrying strap and adjustable chest and back straps.
 FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the present invention in use, specifically for assisting in the carrying of a handled bucket.
 FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the present invention in use, specifically for assisting in carrying a child carrier with a child secured therein.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a perspective view of the present invention, illustrating both should straps 11 and the carrying strap 18. The present invention comprises two shoulder-encircling straps 11 connected via a chest strap 12 and a back strap 13 for weight distribution. The chest strap 12 may be removeably connected using a chest fastener 15 and adjusted for fit using the chest strap length adjuster 16. The back strap 13 may be removeably connected using the back fastener 14 and adjusted for fit using the back strap length adjuster 17. Attached to one shoulder strap is a hanging strap 18, with grommets 19 at various points along the length. A carabineer hook 20 may be secured into any grommet 19 along the length of the hanging strap 18.
 Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a perspective view of the present invention in use, specifically for assisting in the carrying of a handled bucket. Each shoulder strap 11 is secured to the practitioner and held in place using the chest strap 12 and back strap 13. The chest strap 12 is secured using the chest strap fastener clip 15 and adjusted to fit using the chest strap adjuster 16. The carabineer hook 20 is secured into the terminal grommet 19 of the hanging strap 18 to assist in the carrying of the bucket by the practitioner without straining his arms and back.
 Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown a perspective view of the present invention in use, specifically for assisting in carrying a child carrier with a child secured therein. Each should strap 11 is secured to the practitioner and held in place using the chest strap 12 and back strap 13. The chest strap adjuster 16 allows the device to be fitted for a variety of body types. The chest strap fastener 15 allows the device to be attached across the user's chest region. The device is situated such that a right-handed or left-handed individual may receive assistance in carrying an object, depending upon the orientation of the hanging strap. In this figure, the hanging strap 18 is located on the right side for supporting load along this side of the user. A carabineer hook 20 is hooped through the terminal grommet 19 of the hanging strap 18 and clasped to the handle of the baby carrier, allowing a baby and baby carrier to be suspended with minimal aid from the user's hand and arm.
 In use an individual buckles the present invention around his or her chest and back using the two shoulder straps 11 and the chest strap 12 and back strap 13. Adjustment is provided for the length of each strap to accommodate different user geometry and preferences thereof. In use, the device assists in the distribution of weight when carrying items, particularly those with a localized weight and carried offset from the user's side, such as a one that would be hand carried via a handle. The device has a chest strap 12 with a chest strap fastener 15 and adjustment means 16, as well as a back strap 13 with a back strap fastener 14 and adjustment means 17. The chest strap 12 and back strap 13 are nominally the same, such that they may be reversed, allowing the practitioner to choose from which side the hanging strap 18 is suspended. The device may be made from a cushioned material such as nylon or canvas. Other materials may be used, provided they have sufficient tensile strength and tear resistance to assist in the carrying of heavy objects, while maintaining the comfort of the user.
 The carried item is secured via the hanging strap 18 and carabineer clip 20 clasped thereto. The carabineer hook is a metallic securing bar with a one-way, hinged mechanism for accepting the handle of a carried item within its interior structure. The weight of the handle bears against the interior of the carabineer while in use, while the weight of the item places the hanging strap in tension, which is further distributed to the shoulder straps, back and chest connecting strap. In this way, both shoulders are utilized to carry the load of the item, as opposed to the user's hand, arm and one side of the user's body. In an alternate embodiment, there may include a second hanging strap for carrying multiple items, with one carabineer on each side of the user.
 The strap may be of sufficient length to allow for a user to place the item handle at their waistline, with an adjustment of the carabineer position being included by way of the plurality of grommets. The plurality of grommets 19 are reinforced penetrations along the carrying strap that bear the load from the carabineer and carried weight. The carabineer clip 20 may be inserted through any of the grommets, depending on the length desired by the practitioner. The number of grommets may vary, and may stretch along a significant portion of the hanging strap length. To suit user preferences and style, the device may further be made available in a variety of colors and sizes, irrespective of functionality.
 With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.
 Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
Patent applications in class Flaccid attaching means looped around neck or crossing shoulder
Patent applications in all subclasses Flaccid attaching means looped around neck or crossing shoulder