FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to pouches for helmet covers.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Helmets are commonly used to provide protection to a wearer's head when engaged in any of a wide array of activities, including, but not limited to, motorcycling, bicycling, canoeing, rafting, skiing, equestrian sports, auto racing, mountain climbing, skydiving, spelunking, football, baseball, hockey, jai alai, and lacrosse.
A rigid shell of the helmet is normally designed to provide a first line of protection by absorbing a large amount of energy upon impact. Its exterior area is typically designed to improve the aerodynamic properties of the helmet and/or to have an aesthetic pattern. Optimization of aerodynamic properties is particularly important for uses wherein the user is moving at a significant speed, such as motorcycling.
An interior area of the helmet is often provided with a padded portion, in order to ensure a snug fit and to provide additional protection. The padding typically comprises a semi-rigid portion disposed adjacent the helmet shell, which is designed to provide a second line of protection upon impact. The padding further comprises soft portions which are adapted to provide cushioning for the head and neck of the wearer. These soft portions may comprise foam or another compressible material contained within a covering.
Helmet owner often use a cover to protect the exterior and/or interior of the helmet. The cover may include an aperture for a visor, so that it can cover the helmet during use without impairing vision of the wearer, or may designed to cover the entire exterior, including the visor, when the helmet is not in use.
Storage areas disposed within headgear are well known in the art. U.S. Pat. No. 6,023,788 discloses a hat having a storage pocket on the inside which is located entirely within a dead space at the front portion thereof where the hat does not contact the wearer's head. By positioning a storage pocket in this area, unsightly bulges are avoided, as well as discomfort due to stored items pressing against the wearer's head.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,459,881 discloses a combination headgear and poncho which includes a hat having a crown portion with a liner disposed therein for forming a compartment in which the poncho is contained. The liner is formed with an aperture through which the poncho is extracted from or inserted into the compartment. Complimentary fastening means, such as a hook and pile arrangement, are disposed at the liner along the aperture to secure the compartment. The crown portion is also provided with gathering means which operatively adapts the crown portion to snugly fit the wearer's head when the poncho is contained in the compartment or when the poncho has been removed from the compartment and deployed, resulting in the weight of the crown portion being reduced.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,997,156 discloses a hat used by one engaged in prestidigitation. The hat includes a generally cylindrical portion with a rim secured to one end and a closure plate covering the other end. A plurality of internal cavities are provided to facilitate performing various illusions. One cavity provides a fluid reservoir for storage of a fluid (i.e., water) which is poured directly into the hat, and holds the fluid when the hat is inverted. A second cavity provides a concealed storage area for a set of playing cards and/or a flag or other suitable cloth. A third cavity longitudinally along the cylindrical wall of the hat provides a storage area for a wand and mounts a second, flexible, fluid reservoir. A pair of apertures are provided in the side walls of the cylindrical portion of the hat adjacent its rim to provide access to the wand and to permit squeezing of the flexible reservoir to expel a stream of water through the top of the hat. An elastic fabric band is mounted over the apertures to conceal and disguise their presence.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention refers to providing a storage area associated with a helmet, useful for storing a cover designed to cover at least a portion of the helmet exterior, especially for when the helmet is in use.
According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided padding for a helmet interior. The padding has an area, designed to fulfill a predetermined function, of a thickness defined by that function. The function is typically to provide a comfortable fit, and, in the case of impact, to provide extra protection to the wearer. The padding further comprises a cover carrying portion, associated with the functional area, adapted to receive the cover. When the cover is received in the helmet receiving portion, it forms at least part of the functional area to allow the area to fulfill its function. According to one embodiment, the cover, when received, participates in the function.
The functional area may be in the back of the helmet, adjacent a head receiving opening. It may also be in one of the sides of the helmet adjacent the opening.
According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a pouch adapted to receive a helmet cover as described above. The helmet has at least one soft portion. The pouch is attachable to the soft portion of the helmet, and is adapted, at least when the cover is receive therewithin, to constitute part of the soft portion. According to one embodiment, the soft portion is a portion of the helmet padding. According to another embodiment, the soft portion is a strap adapted to secure the helmet to the wear's head, such as a neck strap.
According to a further aspect of the present invention, there is provided a helmet having either padding in accordance with the first aspect of the present invention, or a pouch in accordance with the second aspect of the present invention. The helmet may comprise both the padding and the pouch.
According to a still further aspect of the present invention, there is provided a storage receptacle for use with a helmet having at least one cavity or aperture (hereinafter `cavity`). The helmet may comprise a plurality of ribs defining therebetween the cavities. The storage receptacle is adapted for attachment to the helmet and it comprises a storage portion adapted to be received within the cavity, and attachment means adapted to secure the storage portion to the cavity or to the helmet adjacent the cavity, for the storage portion to be held in the cavity.
The storage portion may be shaped to occupy only a part of the cavity to be freely received there or it may be shaped to tightly fit within the cavity.
The storage portion may be in the form of a pouch or container, and it may be made of a soft, solid or semi-solid material.
The storage portion may be adapted to carry any appropriate article, e.g. a helmet cover which may be used both when the helmet is in use and when it is not in use.
The storage portion may be adapted to carry a load which is or is not functional during use of the helmet. It may also comprise apertures adapted to allow passage therethrough of cables.
The attachment means may be any known suitable means such as at least one clip, strap, or the like. The attachment means may comprise a strip of a hook and pile fastener attached to the storage portion, and a corresponding strip of the fastener attached to the helmet.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In order to understand the invention and to see how it may be carried out in practice, embodiments will now be described, by way of non-limiting examples only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a cross sectional view of a helmet comprising padding having a recess according to one embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of a helmet comprising padding and a pouch inside the padding according to another embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of a helmet comprising a pouch attached to the padding according to a further embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of a helmet comprising a pouch attached to the padding according to a still further embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 5 is a bottom perspective view of a helmet comprising a pouch and a cover attached thereto;
FIG. 6 illustrates a helmet and a corresponding storage receptacle according to the present invention; and
FIG. 7 illustrates a helmet with various storage receptacles according to the present invention attached thereto.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 1 shows a helmet generally indicated at 10 according to one embodiment of the present invention. The helmet 10 comprises an interior cavity 14 adapted to receive the head of a wearer, and a head receiving opening 16. The interior cavity 14 is typically provided with padding 18 having a predetermined thickness to ensure a tight fit and increase the shock-absorbing ability of the helmet. The padding 18 may be thicker near back and side portions 20 & 22 adjacent the head receiving opening 16. These portions 20 & 22 constitute functional areas of the padding in accordance with the present embodiment. They serve to provide comfort to the wearer and to ensure a snug fit. In the case of impact, they provide further protection to the wearer. A front opening 24 is provided at a front face of the helmet 10 to allow an unobstructed forwardly directed line of sight for the wearer during use. The front opening 24 may alternatively be covered by a transparent or semi-transparent visor (not shown). The helmet 10 further comprises an exterior portion 26, which is normally designed to have advantageous aerodynamic properties and may also bear aesthetically pleasing decoration.
A recess 11 is provided within the padding 18 in the back portion 22 thereof. The recess 11 is adapted to store a helmet cover adapted to protect the helmet when not in use. The cover comprises part of the thickness of the padding 18 when so received. In this way, the cover participates in providing comfort and protection to the wearer. The cover may optionally be received within a storage pouch (not shown in FIG. 1) which is then stored within the recess 11. When the helmet is not in use, the cover is removed from the recess 11 and used to protect the helmet.
FIG. 2 illustrates another embodiment of the present invention. The helmet 10 is essentially similar to the one described with reference to FIG. 1. However, in place of a recess, a pouch 12 is provided which forms an integral part of the padding 18. It comprises an interior 28 adapted for the storage, and may have a fastening device 30 (shown closed), such as a zipper or a hook and loop arrangement (such as the one sold under the trade name Velcro.RTM.), for closing the pouch during storage of the cover. During storage, the pouch 12 and the cover provide additional padding within the thickness. In particular, the pouch is embedded into the back portion 20, being a functional area, of the padding 28, adjacent the head receiving opening 16 in accordance with the present embodiment. However, any suitable configuration is possible. The cover may be attached to the interior of the pouch or separate therefrom.
Ordinarily, a helmet, when not in use, may be transported by grasping its head receiving opening 16. However, the cover may be adapted to protect the entire helmet 10, including the interior, and will obstruct the opening, making such a grasping awkward or impossible. Therefore, a handle 34, as seen in FIG. 5, may be attached to the interior of the pouch 12. Although there is particular utility in providing the handle 34 to the interior of the pouch 12 when the cover is attached thereto, it is also useful to provide such a handle when the cover is unattached.
It should be noted that the placement of the pouch is not limited to being within the interior 14 of the helmet above the head receiving opening 16. According to another embodiment, shown in FIG. 3, the pouch 12 is integrated into a portion 19 of the padding which hangs below the head receiving opening 16. However, it should be noted that the pouch 12 does not impact on the design of the helmet exterior 26.
FIG. 4 shows another embodiment of the present invention, wherein the pouch 12 as described above is attachable to the padding. The pouch 12 may be removable therefrom, or may be permanently secured thereto. When the pouch is removable, cooperating attachment means (such as a hook and loop arrangements or snaps) located at the interface 32 between the pouch 12 and the padding 18 may be secured to the pouch 12 and the padding 18 at locations where the attachment is to occur. This configuration has the advantage that an existing helmet which does not have an integrated pouch according to any of the above described embodiments may be fitted with the pouch 12 of the present invention without adversely affecting the form and structure of the padding 18 or requiring replacement thereof.
In addition to the above-described storage recess or pouch, which is typically disposed within or associated with the padding portion of the helmet, it is within the scope of the present invention to provide other storage means as part of a helmet, as described below.
FIG. 6 shows one embodiment of a storage receptacle 50 according to the present invention. The receptacle 50 is adapted to be attached to a helmet 52. The helmet 52 comprises apertures 54 formed therein, e.g. for the purpose of ventilation. According to one modification, the receptacle 50 is made of a rigid or semi-rigid material, substantially having the shape of the aperture 54. According to another modification, the storage receptacle 50 is made of a flexible material, and is adapted to fit tightly within the aperture 54 when the helmet is in use. The receptacle 50 is preferably adapted to lie flush with the outer shell of the helmet 52 when in use. It may be adapted for storing a helmet cover (not shown), which, when stored, provides for the tight fit.
The exterior of the storage receptacle 50 and a facing portion of the aperture 54 may comprise corresponding strips of a hook and pile fastener (such as Velcro™). The thickness of the fastener is taken into account when deciding the size of the receptacle 50 vis-a-vis the aperture 54.
FIG. 7 shows two further embodiments of a storage receptacle according to the present invention adapted to be received in apertures 154 and to be attached to a helmet 152.
Storage receptacle 150 in FIG. 7 comprises a storage portion 156 and an attachment means 158 joined thereto. The storage portion 156 may be made of any suitable material for the intended use. The attachment means 158 may comprise at least one clip or straps. The straps may be adapted to close with a hook and pile fastening means. According to another modification, the helmet 152 may comprise one part of a fastening means integrated therein, and the storage receptacle 150 may comprises a complementary fastening means. The storage receptacle 150 is adapted to be stored within the aperture 154 substantially without projecting therefrom, and it suits to hold any appropriate article such as money, helmet cover, etc.
Storage receptacle 250 in FIG. 7 is similar in construction to the receptacle 150 described above, and further comprises at least one aperture 260. The receptacle 250 is adapted to hold a media device, such as an MP3 player, which fits within one of the apertures 154 of the helmet 152. The at least one aperture 260 is adapted to allow passage therethrough of binaural or other headphones 262. The receptacle may further comprise at least one opening 264 adapted to allow access therethrough to controls of the media device.
It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that the present invention is not limited by what has been particularly shown by the exemplary embodiments described hereinabove. Thus, the pouch and padding can be embodied by a variety of aspects within the scope of the invention, mutatis mutandis.