Patent application title: LOAD CARRYING GARMENT
Mathew J. Callison (Duvall, WA, US)
Orion Packs LLC
IPC8 Class: AA45F314FI
Class name: Flaccid attaching means looped around neck or crossing shoulder two attaching means crossing different shoulders including rigid or semirigid support structure
Publication date: 2014-03-13
Patent application number: 20140069978
A load carrying garment incorporating a load supporting and stabilizing
layer to distribute the load secured to a wearable element. The specific
load securing element is removably attached to the garment.
1. A stabilizing vest or pack, comprising: an inner semi-rigid shell
contoured to support the wearer's back without impairing movement; an
outer shell overlying and secured to the inner shell extending outwardly
beyond the inner shell to form the article of clothing including hip
pads; a liner to pad the wearer and provide ventilation; a pair of
adjustable shoulder straps extending from the upper portion of the outer
shell to the hip pads; and a removable modular transporting system
designed for the intended load.
2. A stabilizing vest as in claim 1, wherein the transporting system is designed to accommodate skis.
3. A stabilizing vest as in claim 1, wherein the transporting system is designed to accommodate snowboards.
 This invention relates to safe and reliable carrying of heavy and/or awkward loads by humans, and more particularly to a garment which, although worn like a vest to distribute the load, includes internal reinforcement and alternative exterior structures to accommodate specific loads.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 Historically, mankind has devised numerous mechanical devices to relieve the burden of loads from both humans and animals. These devices have included wheeled carriers and travois.
 There are some situations and some items which, because of the environment or because of the object itself, are more simply and productively transported by human. In order to accommodate these circumstances, it is both necessary to provide a device which allows the carrier/wearer to distribute the weight, avoiding injury, and further to carry the load comfortably.
 As a result of the necessity and/or desire to transport objects on one's back, there have been numerous designs of backpacks and other carriers, permitting the relatively easy transport of bulky and/or unusually shaped objects, such as skis, snowboards or the like to the lodge or to the lift, thus freeing up the carrier's hands for balance or other uses. Prior art known to the current inventor includes U.S. Pat. No. 4,819,845 granted to Byrd, Apr. 11, 1989, which discloses a load-carrying element, particularly designed for carrying skis; U.S. Pat. No. 5,881,708 granted to Kliot, Mar. 16, 1999, discloses a backpack primarily designed to carry footwear, but does teach the utilization of a device for carrying a snowboard; U.S. Pat. No. 6,971,764 granted Jul. 5, 2011 to Sabbah, discloses a backpack which has a removable attachment for carrying skis and snowboards; U.S. Publication No. 2011/0180575 published Jul. 28, 2011 in the name of Abramowitz et al discloses a snow sport back with removable attachments for carrying skis and snowboards along with poles, helmets, goggles and other gear.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 With the above-noted prior art in mind, it has been determined that there is needed to be a safe and efficient way to transport bulky and/or awkward objects, ensuring the safety and comfort of the individual during the transport.
 It has further been determined that bulky and/or awkward objects are best transported when the load is spread evenly over the wearer's back, and therefore there is provided a reinforced vest-like garment as a platform to which may be attached specific hardware and/or software to accommodate particular objects, such as skis, snowboards and the like.
 It has yet further been determined that in addition to adjustable shoulder straps, hip straps, and the like, the load is best supported by a semi-rigid, conformable platform surrounded by fabric for comfort and additional support, wherein said platform transmits any load and/or pressure from a single point and/or line to one that is universally spread over the wearer's back.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 discloses the inventive load-carrying vest or pack in a generic form, supporting a universal storage and/or carrying back.
 FIG. 2 discloses the inventive supportive and carrying vest from the rear, further disclosing the particular attachment for carrying skis.
 FIG. 3 discloses the load-supporting carrying vest with a particular attachment for carrying skis in the open position.
 FIG. 4 is a front side view of the universal carrier in the unloaded condition.
 FIG. 5 is a separate view of the load distribution segment of the universal support system.
 FIG. 6 is a back side view of the snowboard carrier in the open position.
 FIG. 7 is a back side view of the snowboard carrier in the closed position.
BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION
 As seen in FIG. 1, the load-carrying garment is an article of clothing having a back 2 extending upwardly and over the shoulders as at 4 and downwardly over the chest and stomach area as at 6 and extending to the point, forming an adjustable interconnection 8, with the bottom of the back portion 2 which extends forwardly around the hips, forming a padded hip section 10, which in addition to being adjustably secured to the front section 6, is likewise adjustably connected to the hip section (not readily seen in this view) by a buckled adjustable strap, wherein the buckle 12 secures the two straps 14, 16. Also seen in this view is the adjustable securement between the two front portions 6 by straps 18, 20, adjustably secured by buckle 22. It is to be noted that the interior portion of the garment is lined with a comfortable moisture-absorbing material 24 which is stichably secured to the load-distribution panel seen in later figures. It is to be understood that the current invention contemplates the utilization of various portions in the garment for the placement of pockets 26 or the like, and that the interconnection between the securement straps and the garment are reinforced at the attachment junction. It is to be understood that although the garment is described as a unitary garment, that it is fabricated from a plurality of pieces which are stitched together to form the garment. As seen in this figure, the garment supports a generic backpack pouch 27, but as explained hereinafter, the primary purpose of the present invention is to provide a basic foundation in the garment itself to support a number of particularly designed elements, enabling the wearer to cam bulky and/or awkward objects with ease. These elements may be permanently attached or selectively removable.
 Reference is now had to FIG. 2, wherein the load-supporting garment can be seen from the rear, with a pair of skis attached to the garment. The skis S, although not part of the present invention, are shown for illustrative purposes, and they are secured to the garment by a plurality of straps 28, 30, 32, described in greater detail hereinafter. It is also to be noted in this view that possible additional pockets 24, 29, 34 are illustrated, and it is to be understood that these pockets are optional and may be designed for specific purposes, i.e. cell phones, sunglasses and emergency transponders; therefore, in addition to being custom-fitted for the particular purpose, may be lined with waterproof material or made of waterproof material. It is likewise contemplated that in the case of pockets for cell phones or the like, that they could be of transparent material, enabling the use in place without the necessity of exposing the instrument to the weather.
 Reference is now had to FIG. 3, wherein the ski-retaining harness as shown in FIG. 2 is shown without the skis and in an open condition. As seen in this view, each of the retainer straps 28, 30, 32 include an internal strap element 36, 38, 40, respectively, each having a side release buckle 42, 44, 46, respectively, the female portion of which is hidden behind flexible tab 48, 50, 52, respectively, such that skis are solidly held in place using the bindings as a portion of the retention means. Once the skis are securely buckled in place, the tabs 28, 30 32 are closed and are held in position by hook-and-loop fasteners. It is to be understood that although for illustrative purposes, certain buckles and fastening means are shown; these are not intended to be limitations on the invention.
 FIG. 4 illustrates the pack from the frontal viewpoint in the collapsed condition and the various elements called out in detail hereinbefore are similarly denoted. It is to be understood that the garment is intended to be collapsed for storage, and therefore some accommodation is being made to reduce the bulk when in the stored condition.
 As seen in FIG. 5 and as referred to hereinbefore, the outer shell is shown as 2 and has an internal rigidizer 60, which is shown in the approximate shape and can be fabricated of a molded polycarbonate, ABS, glass-filled nylon or carbon fiber reinforced plastic, as well as die-cut polyethylene and polypropylene. The edge of 60 is bound and sewn to the outer shell 2, and it is to be understood that the carrier assembly itself is sewn to the outer shell and rigidizer.
 Reference is now had to FIGS. 6 and 7, which depict the snowboard carrying feature of the inventive garment. It is to be understood that the snowboard carrier can selectively be permanently or removably attached to the garment. Further, the snowboard carrier permits angular adjustment for comfort.
 The snowboard carrier includes a main body portion 70, generally oriented vertically on the vest, and including two pairs of outwardly extending opposing ears 72, 74, which provide the securement to the vest. Secured to the ears are broad straps 76, 78, 80, 82, which as explained hereinafter secure the snowboard. It is to be noted that the interior surface of the main body portion 70 including ears 72, 74 and straps 76-82 includes surface texturing on the cushion to frictionally hold the board.
 As seen in FIG. 7, the carrier is closed and the ends of straps 76-82 are secured by buckles 84, 86 to secure the board.
 Although a preferred embodiment has been disclosed for purposes of illustration, it should be understood that various changes and modifications and substitutions could be made in the preferred embodiment without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined by the claims which follow:
Patent applications in class Including rigid or semirigid support structure
Patent applications in all subclasses Including rigid or semirigid support structure