CA2327764A1 - Container with insulated enclosures - Google Patents

Container with insulated enclosures Download PDF

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Publication number
CA2327764A1
CA2327764A1 CA 2327764 CA2327764A CA2327764A1 CA 2327764 A1 CA2327764 A1 CA 2327764A1 CA 2327764 CA2327764 CA 2327764 CA 2327764 A CA2327764 A CA 2327764A CA 2327764 A1 CA2327764 A1 CA 2327764A1
Authority
CA
Canada
Prior art keywords
insulated
coolers
soft
combination
wall structure
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
CA 2327764
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Melvin S. Mogil
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
California Innovations Inc
Original Assignee
California Innovations Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by California Innovations Inc filed Critical California Innovations Inc
Priority to CA 2327764 priority Critical patent/CA2327764A1/en
Publication of CA2327764A1 publication Critical patent/CA2327764A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C7/00Collapsible or extensible purses, luggage, bags or the like
    • A45C7/0059Flexible luggage; Hand bags
    • A45C7/009Flexible luggage; Hand bags with interchangeable elements forming the storage space, e.g. modular
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C11/00Receptacles for purposes not provided for in groups A45C1/00 - A45C9/00
    • A45C11/20Lunch or picnic boxes or the like
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C3/00Flexible luggage; Handbags
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C7/00Collapsible or extensible purses, luggage, bags or the like
    • A45C7/0059Flexible luggage; Hand bags
    • A45C7/0086Flexible luggage; Hand bags comprising a plurality of separable elements which can be used independently of one another
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C13/00Details; Accessories
    • A45C13/02Interior fittings; Means, e.g. inserts, for holding and packing articles
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C5/00Rigid or semi-rigid luggage
    • A45C5/06Rigid or semi-rigid luggage with outside compartments
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C7/00Collapsible or extensible purses, luggage, bags or the like
    • A45C7/0059Flexible luggage; Hand bags
    • A45C7/0077Flexible luggage; Hand bags collapsible to a minimal configuration, e.g. for storage purposes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45FTRAVELLING OR CAMP EQUIPMENT: SACKS OR PACKS CARRIED ON THE BODY
    • A45F3/00Travelling or camp articles; Sacks or packs carried on the body
    • A45F3/14Carrying-straps; Pack-carrying harnesses
    • A45F2003/142Carrying-straps

Abstract

A container assembly includes a utility bag, such as an athletic equipme nt container, or a gym bag, and two thermally insulated structures, such as a soft-sided coolers, that have a thermally insulated compartment. A person using the assembly can participate in a sporting activity, and while taking a break, or after finishing, can take refreshment or food from the insulated compartments. A liner can be employed to prevent migration of liquids between the enclosures. The athletic bag can be soft sided, and can be collapsible to a storage position. The insulated compartments can also be collapsible, to facilitate storage when not in use.

Description

CONTAINER WITH INSULATED ENCLOSURES
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to an integrated container that has an equipment storage and cooler compartments.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Carrying bags are used in many recreational activities. Typically, personal use carrying containers have a soft-sided body with handles, or a shoulder strap, or both, for ease of carrying. Carrying containers are of many types. They may be characterized as "equipment bags", or most commonly, as "gym bags" or "duffel bags". Larger versions of similar structure may tend to be termed "hockey bags". Although rigid containers can also be used, they tend to be less commonly used for carrying sports equipment. Rigid containers with large carrying volumes tend to be bulky, and may be difficult, or cumbersome. A rigid container may also tend to be heavy. A soft sided container can be flattened when not in use, and will tend to accommodate awkward shaped pieces of sports clothing, while also being suitably deformable for throwing in the irregular storage space of the trunk of a car, the footwell of a backseat of a car, or the rearward part of a van or station wagon.
Gym bags tend to have a number of desirable features. For example, they tend to be made of relatively light weight materials, so that they do not add unreasonably to the weight of objects to be carned. Further, inasmuch as they may be used to carry malodorous athletic clothing, they may tend to be made of a material that breathes, or that can itself be easily washed or aired. It is generally not desirable for the body of a gym bag to be made of a foamy or spongy material that may tend to absorb moisture, as from wet footwear or sweat, rain, or mud-soaked clothing, and whence it may be difficult adequately to rid pungent odours.
A gym bag is distinct from a knapsack or a gunny sack. A knapsack is generally taller than broad or thick, and has a pair of straps on a leading portion to permit the sack to be carried on a wearer's back. A knapsack, when slung from one arm, may tend to drag on the ground, and, if carned high enough not to drag on the ground, may be tiring.
A gunny sack tends also to be rather taller than wide or thick, and may tend to have a

- 2-draw string at the top, the draw string also serving as a grab by which the gunny sack can be slung over one's shoulder. Access to objects at the bottom of the sack may be relatively poor.
A gym bag, by contrast, is designed to be carried in one hand. A gym bag is typically longer than broad or deep, with aspect ratios of length to width in the order of 2:1 being common. A size of roughly 20 - 24 inches (0.5 to 0.6 m) in length, by 10 - 12 inches ( 25 - 30 cm) in width, and 10 - 12 inches (25 -30 cm) in height would be typical.
This is a size that makes for a convenient carry-on bag, such as might squeeze to fit in the overhead bin during a commuter airplane flight, or for storing in the overhead rack of a bus. A gym bag is not usually greater than about 3 ft (1.0 m) in length, as beyond this size the bag becomes less handy and more cumbersome.
A gym bag generally has handles mounted on opposite longitudinal sides, such that a person can clasp both handles in one hand. When so grasped, the handles tend to be relatively close to the center of gravity of the bag (depending, of course, on how it is loaded). In use, when being carried in one hand by a user of average height, a gym bag tends to swing at about the level of the user's knee or calf, the handles generally being too short to permit the bag to drag on the ground and be scuffed. A gym bag does not tend to have back pack straps, since it is generally not intended to be carried over great distances.
Rather, a gym bag is intended to be carned to an activity venue, such as a sport field, and carned back home again when the activity is finished.
The main compartment of a gym bag, frequently the only compartment, generally has a closure member in the nature of a zipper, or a pair of parallel zippers, running longitudinally from end to end of the bag between the handles along the top potion of the bag. The bag is generally shallow enough to give good access to all parts of the interior when the zipper is open.
While gym bags are longer than tall, the cross-section of gym bags varies.
Smaller, older gym bags tend to have a round, or nearly round, cylindrical shape with few adornments. In more recent times gym bags have tended to be larger in section, and to tend to be more square or rectangular in shape. A third kind of gym bag is often seen in use for racquet sports, and has a base that is roughly rectangular, having an aspect ratio of length to width of 1.5: 1 to 2.5: 1, and sides that taper somewhat upwardly and inwardly.
Gym bags of this type tend to be somewhat taller than wide, and may have an external racquet pouch.

- 3-There are many occasions when it may be desirable to carry both perishable food items, such as fresh fruit, or cool drinks, simultaneously with a relatively large volume of other items, such sports clothing. While engaged in strenuous sporting activity, such as soccer or other field sports, tennis or other racquet sports, or other physical activity, a person may tend to work up a good thirst. At a break in the game or match a cool drink may be preferred, rather than a tepid liquid that has been left too long in the sun. Large coolers for carrying beer for the entire team are well known, for example. It has also become common at sporting events, or vigorous physical activities, for participants to desire refreshment, whether merely drinks or also including foods, such as sliced oranges.
A participant in a sport may not wish to carry separate containers, such as a gym bag for sports clothing and a portable cooler for refreshments. It may also be undesirable to carry refreshments, whether drinks or perishable foods such as fruit, in the same container, whether insulated or otherwise, as basketball shoes; workout clothing such as socks, shorts and shorts; a basketball, soccer ball, or football, and a sandwich or drink for later consumption. In the first instance a drink, or juicy piece of fruit, may leak over the sporting equipment. In the second instance, food carned with sports clothing and athletic shoes, and having spent a morning or afternoon in a sports locker, or the trunk of a car, may not acquire an overly palatable taste. In terms of keeping a cool drink cool, or a hot drink hot, it may be desirable to have an insulated, watertight container.
Further, the transportation of perishable foods may call for the use of an insulated container in the interests of health and sanitation.
It may not be that only cooled beverages or snacks are desired. Lawn bowling is often played well into the autumn. After an evening on the greens there may be a chill in the air, and tea or hot chocolate may be desired. In that light, an insulated container, such as a cooler, may also serve to keep items warm.
It would be advantageous to employ a single carrying container combining spaces for both sporting gear on the one hand, and insulated refreshments on the other, and to maintain a level of segregation between the spaces.
Heretofore, a typical solution has been to transport the items in two separate containers: one insulated, the other not. Unfortunately this is usually a cumbersome arrangement which may require two hands rather than one. A single person may not need or desire an entire large cooler. There is a need for a personal carrying container, such as

- 4-gym bag, that permits the carriage of sporting equipment while at the same time permitting the carrying of drinks or foods that require or benefit from cooling, the two items being carned in a relatively convenient, and reasonably hygienic manner.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In an aspect of the invention, there is a combination comprising a gym bag, and a cooler mounted to the gym bag.
In another aspect of the invention, there is a flexible soft-sided container assembly. The container assembly has a wall structure having a first portion and a second portion mounted thereto. The first portion has an uninsulated wall structure defining a first chamber therewithin. The second portion has an insulated wall structure defining a second insulated chamber therewithin. The uninsulated wall structure has a longitudinal extent, namely a length, a vertical extent, namely a depth, and an extent transverse to both the length and depth, namely a width. The length is greater than each of the depth and the width. The uninsulated wall structure has a pair of longitudinally spaced end walls, and a sidewall extending therebetween. The insulated wall structure is mounted to one of the end walls.
In an aspect of the invention, there is a combination comprising a gym bag and a plurality of coolers mounted to said gym bag.
In an additional feature of that aspect of the invention, the coolers have a soft-shell flexible insulated wall structure. The insulated wall structures define insulated chambers. In another additional feature, the insulated wall structures are moveable to a collapsed position, and have means for securing the insulated wall structures in the collapsed position. In a still further additional feature, the gym bag has an uninsulated wall structure. In still another further additional feature, the gym bag is moveable to a collapsed position and has means for securing the gym bag in the collapsed position.
In yet another additional feature, the gym bag is moveable to a collapsed position and has means for securing the gym bag in the collapsed position thereof. The insulated coolers are each moveable to a collapsed position and each has means for securing the coolers in the collapsed position thereof. In still another additional feature, the gym bag has a pair of end walls and a sidewall extending between the end walls. The coolers are each mounted to one of the end walls. In still yet another additional feature, the gym bag

- 5-has a pair of end walls and a sidewall extending between the end walls. The coolers are mounted to one of (a) the end walls and (b) the sidewall.
In another additional feature of that aspect of the invention, the coolers have an insulated soft-shell wall structure defining an insulated chamber. The coolers have a receptacle mounted to the soft-shell wall structure. The receptacles extend inwardly of the wall structures relative to the insulated chambers. The receptacles are accessible from outside the chambers. In yet another additional feature of that aspect of the invention, a covering is mounted to each of the coolers. The coverings are movable to a position overlying the receptacles.
In another additional feature, the gym bag has a first soft-shell wall structure having a longitudinal extent, namely a length, a depth transverse to the length, and a width transverse to both the length and the width. The length is greater than each of the depth and the width. The wall structure has a pair of longitudinally spaced apart ends and a sidewall member extending therebetween to define a first enclosure. The first soft shell wall structure is moveable between a collapsed position and an expanded position. The sidewall member has a lower portion upon which the first soft-shell wall structure can rest, and an upper portion having a closure member. The closure member extends at least partially longitudinally, and is operable to control access to the first enclosure. The coolers have a second and third soft-shell wall structures. The second and third soft-shell wall structures each have an insulating layer, and define a second and third enclosures therewithin. The second and third enclosures are insulated. The coolers are movable to a collapsed position, and is securable in the collapsed position thereof. The coolers are mounted to one of the end walls of the gym bag.
In yet another feature, the coolers have an externally accessible receptacle mounted thereto. The receptacle extends inwardly of the insulated wall structures relative to the second and third enclosures. In still another feature, the coolers have a cover. The cover is movable to a position to overlie the receptacle. In a further feature, the first soft shell structure has a stiffened panel for placement adjacent the lower portion thereof inside the first enclosure. In yet a further feature, the stiffened panel is foldable. In still yet a further feature, the first enclosure and the second enclosure share a common wall.
In still a further feature, the coolers have a watertight liner mounted therein to discourage migration of liquids contained in the coolers from the coolers to the gym bag.

- 6-In yet another further feature, the gym bag has a first soft-shell wall structure having a longitudinal extent, namely a length, a depth transverse to the length, and a width transverse to both the length and the width. The length is greater than each of the depth and the width. The wall structure has a pair of longitudinally spaced apart ends and a sidewall member extending therebetween to define a first enclosure. The first soft shell wall structure is moveable between a collapsed position and an expanded position. The sidewall member has a lower portion upon which the first soft-shell wall structure can rest, and an upper portion having a closure member, and a pair of spaced apart, opposed ascending portions intermediate lower and upper portions. The closure member extends at least partially longitudinally, and the closure member is operable to control access to the first enclosure. The coolers have a second and third soft-shell wall structure. The second and third soft-shell wall structures have an insulating layer, and define second and third enclosures therewithin. The second and third enclosures are insulated.
The coolers are movable to a collapsed position, and are securable in the collapsed position thereof.
The coolers are each mounted to one of the ascending portions of the gym bag.
In another aspect of the invention, there is a flexible soft-sided container assembly. The container assembly has a wall structure having a first portion, a second portion and a third portion mounted thereto. The first portion has an uninsulated wall structure defining a first chamber therewithin. The second and third portions have an insulated wall structure defining a second and third insulated chamber therewithin. The uninsulated wall structure has a longitudinal extent, namely a length, a vertical extent, namely a depth, and an extent transverse to both the length and depth, namely a width.
The length is greater than each of the depth and the width. The uninsulated wall structure has a pair of longitudinally spaced end walls, and a sidewall extending therebetween. The insulated wall structures are each mounted to one of the end walls.
In an additional feature of that aspect of the invention, the insulated containers have a height, a width, and a depth. The depth of the uninsulated wall structure is at least as great as the height of the insulated container assemblies. The width of the uninsulated container structure is at least as great as the width of the container assembly. The depth of the insulated container structures is less than each of the width and the depth of the insulated container structures.
Other aspects and features of the present invention will become apparent to those ordinarily skilled in the art upon review of the following description of the preferred embodiment of the invention in conjunction with the accompanying figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Figure 1 a is a general assembly isometric view of a container assembly;

Figure 1b shows a top view of the container assembly of Figure la with a gym bag and a cooler in extended positions;

Figure lc is a left hand side view of the container assembly of Figure la;

Figure 1d is a right hand side view of the container assembly of Figure la;

Figure 1e is a view of an end of the container assembly of Figure la, being the cooler end face;

Figure if is a view of another end of the container assembly of Figure la, being the gym bag end face;

Figure 1g is a bottom view of the container assembly of Figure la;

Figure 2a is a detail view of the container assembly of Figure 1 a showing a pouch of the gym bag end in an open position;

Figure 2b is a detail view of the container assembly of Figure 1 a, showing a lid of the cooler in an open position;

Figure 2c shows a view of a liner of the cooler of Figure la in an inverted position;

Figure 2d is a scab view illustrating the wall construction of the cooler portion of the container assembly of Figure 1 a;

Figure 3a shows an isometric view of the container assembly of Figure 1 a in a collapsed position;

Figure 3b shows a top view of the container assembly of Figure 3a;

Figure 3c is a left hand side view of the container assembly of Figure 3a;

Figure 3d is a right hand side view of the container assembly of Figure 3a;

Figure 3e is a view of an end of the container assembly of Figure 3a, being the cooler end face;

Figure 3f is a bottom view of the container assembly of Figure 3a;

Figure 4a shows an isometric view of the container assembly of Figure la with the cooler in a collapsed position and the gym bag in an extended position;

Figure 4b shows an isometric view of the container assembly of Figure la with the cooler in an extended position and the gym bag in a collapsed position;

Figure Sa shows an alternate container assembly to the container assembly of Figure la, having externally accessible receptacles mounted in the cooler;

Figure 5b is a cross-sectional view showing the wall construction of the receptacles of Figure 5a;

Figure 6 shows an isometric view of an alternative embodiment of container assembly to the container assembly of Figure la, having a side mounted cooler;
Figure 7 shows an isometric view of an alternate embodiment to the container assembly of Figure la with a gym bay of round cross-section;
Figure 8a shows an isometric view of a further alternative embodiment of container assembly to the container assembly of Figure la;
Figure 8b shows a reverse isometric view of the container assembly of Figure 8a;
Figure 9a is a general assembly isometric view of an alternative embodiment of a container assembly to that of Figure la;
Figure 9b shows a top view of the container assembly of Figure 9a with a gym bag and coolers in extended positions;
Figure 9c is a left hand side view of the container assembly of Figure 9a;
Figure 9d is a right hand side view of the container assembly of Figure 9a;
1 S Figure 9e is a bottom view of the container assembly of Figure 9a;
Figure 10a shows an isometric view of the container assembly of Figure 9a in a collapsed position;
Figure lOb shows a top view of the container assembly of Figure 10a;
Figure lOc is a side view of the container assembly of Figure 10a;
Figure lOd is a bottom view of the container assembly of Figure 10a;
Figure lla shows an isometric view of the container assembly of Figure 9a with the coolers in a collapsed position and the gym bag in an extended position;
Figure llb shows an isometric view of the container assembly of Figure 9a with both coolers in an extended position and the gym bag in a collapsed position;
Figure 12 shows an alternate container assembly to the container assembly of Figure 9a, having externally accessible receptacles mounted in the coolers, with one of the coolers collapsed;
Figure 13 shows an isometric view of an alternative embodiment of container assembly to the container assembly of Figure 9a, having a side mounted cooler as well as an end cooler;
Figure 14 shows an isometric view of an alternate embodiment to the container assembly of Figure 9a with a gym bay of round cross-section; and Figure 15a shows an isometric view of a further alternative embodiment of container assembly to the container assembly of Figure 9a; and Figure 15b shows a reverse isometric view of the container assembly of Figure 15a.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
The description that follows, and the embodiments described therein, are provided by way of illustration or example, or examples of particular embodiments of the principles of the present invention. These examples are provided for the purposes of illustration, and not of limitation, of those principles and of the invention.
In the description that follows, like parts are marked throughout the specification and drawings with the same respective reference numerals. The drawings are not necessarily to scale and in some instances proportions may have been exaggerated in order to more clearly depict certain features of the invention.
1 S A soft sided container assembly is shown in Figures 1 a - 1 g and indicated generally as 20. It has two sections: a general container section in the nature of an uninsulated, soft sided athletic or recreational activity bag of greater length than height or width, exemplified by a gym bag indicated generally as 22, and an insulated section, in the nature of a cooler indicated generally as 24. Gym bag 22 and cooler 24 are connected in such a manner as to permit them to be carried through the use of left and right hand carrying handles 25, 26 or a shoulder strap 27. In the preferred embodiment, gym bag 22 and cooler 24 are each independently collapsible, and can be secured in a respective collapsed position. This permits either section to be independently collapsed while permitting use of the other section. Also, both cooler 24 and gym bag 22 can be collapsed at the same time to facilitate storage or transportation when not in use.
Considering the illustrations in greater detail, Figure la is a perspective view of container assembly 20 in a fully extended configuration, that is, in which gym bag 22 and cooler 24 are moved to respective fully extended positions. Figure 1b shows a top view of container assembly 20 with the general container section, gym bag 22, open.
Gym bag 22 has a lower, or bottom portion, namely a generally rectangular floor 28, a pair of left and right hand ascending sidewall portions 30, 32 rising upwardly from floor 28, and an upper or top portion 34 extending between the upper margins of sidewall portions 30 and 32 above floor 28. Floor 28, sidewall portions 30, 32 and top portion 34 collectively form a structure that, when moved to the extended position shown in Figure la, has the form of a cylinder of generally rectangular cross-section. The central axis of the cylindrical structure so formed, indicated as 35, is the longitudinal axis of container assembly 20. A

common wall, or dividing wall, such as might be termed a partition, bulkhead or panel 36 of generally rectangular plan form is located to one end of the rectangular cylinder, and is joined about its periphery to first longitudinal margins of floor 28, sidewall portions 30, 32 and top portion 34, and thereby defines an end wall of gym bag 22. Another end wall, or bulkhead, indicated as end panel 38, of similar plan form to panel 36, is joined about its periphery to second, distal margins of floor 28, sidewall portions 30, 32 and top portion 34, and thereby defines another end wall of gym bag 22.
Panels 36, 38 and floor 28, sidewall portions 30, 32 and top portion 34 co-operate to define a first space, storage chamber or cavity, indicated generally as 40.
Top portion 34 has a pair of verges that are, structurally, inward extensions of sidewalls 30, 32 that lean inwardly from the upper regions of sidewalk portions 30, 32 toward each other, and a closure member 42 running longitudinally along the inboard edge of the verges between the panels 36 and 38. Closure member 42 has a pair of parallel longitudinal track fasteners, in the nature of zippers, 43, 44 bounding a central flap 45.
Zippers 43 and 44 are operable to provide access, through an opening 50, to cavity 40. Floor 28, side walls 30, 32 and end panels 36, 38 are all made from a lightweight, durable and flexible water-resistant or water-proof material, and are sewn together, although other fastening methods could also be used.
Opening 50 runs along the longest dimension of general container 54, being its length. Opening 50 of cavity 40 is equal in dimension to the length of flap 45, whose proximal end is sewn to the top of end wall panel 36. Flap 45 is flexible, and easily movable to provide access to cavity 40. The distal end 52 of flap 45 has an hook-and-eye connector strip 54 (typically made of Velcro (T.M.)), which mates with a similar connector strip (not shown) on a cover flap 56. Flap 56 is sewn to the top of common wall 36.
In Figure lc, when zippers 43 and 44 are in their closed position, flaps 45 and 56 fill the entire opening, namely opening 50. The two halves of zipper 43 are sewn respectively into the verges extending inward from sidewall 30, and the edge of flap 45;
and the two halves of zipper 44 are sewn into the verge extending inwardly from side wall 32 and the other side edge of flap 45. Tabs 64 and 66 of zippers 43 and 44, respectively, are connected by a thin strap 68, permitting zippers 43 and 44 to be easily and simultaneously operated.

Lifting, or carrying, members in the nature of handles 70 and 72 are attached to respective side wall portions 30 and 32, the handles being formed of strapping secured at either end and having a seamed bail 73. The strapping material of handles 70 and 72 is earned fully under floor 28 and up the other side such that handles 70 and 72 are formed from a continuous loop of webbing material. The bails of handles 70 and 72 can be clasped together in a single hand.
Gym bag 22 has peripheral skirts 74 and 76 that are mounted about the periphery of end panels 36 and 38 respectively, and which extend longitudinally inboard therefrom.
The most inboard edges of skirts 74 and 76 carry respective halves of 78 and 79 of a tracked closure member in the nature of a zipper 80, whose operation is described more fully below. Zipper halves 78, 79 extend around the circumference of container side wall 30, floor 28 and side wall 32.
A pocket 82 is mounted to sidewall 30 and has an upper edge having a longitudinal tracked closure member in the nature of zipper 84. Pocket 82 has an open mesh outer panel such that objects in pocket 82 can be seen, and so that pocket 82 can breathe. Other pocket panel materials could also be used.
At the distal end of gym bag 22, that is to say, at panel 38 distant from cooler 24, gym bag 22 has a flap 86 that is sewn about its bottom edge, and about lower portions of its side edges to a thin peripheral wall 88 that extends outwardly from panel 38. The remainder of the periphery of flap 86 is releasably attached to panel 38 by a zipper 90 that runs along the remaining, upper portions of the side edges, and across the top edge of flap 86. Zipper 90 is operable to control access to the end pouch 87 thus formed.
On the outer face of end panel 38, concealed by flap 86 when zipper 90 is closed, is an internal pouch 92 having a divider member 93, an outer, screen-mesh pouch 94, pen holders 95, and a key holder 96 having a quick release spring catch.
Another lifting member is provided in the nature of long, rectangular strap 27 of webbing material with releasable attachment fittings in the nature of clasps 102 and 104, located at either end thereof. In the preferred embodiment, strap 100 has a closable pouch 106 slidably attached to a medial portion thereof, and also has a plastic shoulder brace 108 slidably attached thereto. Clasps 102 and 104 can be attached to lifting memhPrc mounted to the body of container assembly 20, namely lifting lugs, or eyelets 110 and 112, which are attached, respectively, to a sewn in web loop 114 mounted centrally at the top edge of panel 36, and to a distal web loop sewn to external flap 86. When clasps 102 and 104 are attached to eyelets 110 and 112, carrying container assembly 20 can be carned by strap 100.
A bottom panel liner in the nature of a floor board, is indicated in Figure 1 a as 120. It is made of a pair of stiff rectangular pieces 122, 124 of material, overlain with a fabric, and having a medial transverse hinge 126 to permit floor board 120 to be folded.
Each of pieces 122, 124 is of a width slightly less than the width of end panel 36 or 38, and of a longitudinal extent less then the height of end wall panel 36 or 38, such that, when folded, floor board 120 can lie against, and within the peripheral profile of, either panel 36 or 38. Floor board 120 is inserted through opening 50 and placed to lie on floor panel 28, thus tending to provide a measure of rigidity, and puncture resistance, to floor 28 of gym bag 22.
In the preferred embodiment, gym bag 22 is roughly 16 inches long (40 cm), with a height of roughly 10 inches (25 cm) and a width of roughly 10 inches (25 cm). The corners of end panels 36 and 38 are radiused, and portions 28, 30, 32 and 34 conform to the radiused profile so defined.
Cooler 24 will now be described in greater detail. Cooler 24 has a bottom panel, or floor 142; side walls 144 and 146 upstanding from floor 142 and substantially in line with side wall portions 30, 32 of gym bag 22; an end wall 148 distant from wall panel 36, also upstanding from floor 142 and meeting side walls 144 and 146 at common vertices;
and wall panel 36 itself. Floor 142 , walls 144 and 146 and 148 and panel 36 define a second storage chamber, or cavity 150. The upper margins, being top edges 162, 164, and 166 of walls 144, 146, 148 and panel 36 define an opening 151 of cavity 150. A lid 152 is directly connected to panel 36 by a folded fabric hinge 153. A zipper releasably connects lid 152 to the upper margins of side walls 144 and 146 and end wall 148. When zipper 154 is unzipped, lid 152 can be folded back to permit entry and exit of objects from cooler 24. The inside surfaces of floor 142, side walls 144 and 146, end wall 148, common wall panel 36, and lid 152 forming the bounds of cavity 150 are covered in a shiny, reflective surface.
Top edges 162, 164 and 166 form the rim 168 of cavity 150. On the inside of rim 168 is a liner securing means, or liner attachment mounting, in the nature of a zipper 170, which, in the embodiment illustrated, includes portions 171, 172 and 173 mounted respectively to side walls 144 and 146, and end wall 148, and a hook-and-eye fabric fastener strip 176 mounted to common wall panel 36. Although this arrangement is preferred, in an alternative embodiment all of strip portions 171, 172, 173 and 176 (or some other combination of them) could be hook-and-eye fasteners. Other types of mounting could be used, in addition to zippers, such as interlocking strip seals, snaps, clips, grommets or other means.
Figure 2d shows a cross section of end wall 148 with a liner 180 in place. A
scab section of side wall 144 is also shown for the purpose of revealing its layers of construction. With the exception of auxiliary pouch 182, this section is typical not only of end wall 148 but also, more generally, of panel 36, side walls 144 and 146, bottom panel 142 and lid 152. The outer facing layer of end wall 148 is a woven nylon covering layer 184 for resisting abrasion. It overlays a closed cell foam insulation layer 186. The inner face of insulation layer 186 is covered by a flexible plasticised reflective sheeting 188.
Liner 180 seats inside sheeting 188, and, in use, is pressed against it by the obj ects it contains.
Liner 180 is made from a membrane, or web, preferably from flexible, transparent stock such as static cling vinyl, and as such, is impermeable to water or other liquids such as beverages, juice from fruit, leaking jam or peanut butter, and so on. Liner 180 has a floor 190 and sides 192, 193, 194, and 195 extending upwardly from floor 190.
Each of sides 192, 193, 194 and 195 is joined to floor 190 at a floor edge 196, 197, 198 and 199, respectively, and each has an opposite or distal edge 200, 201, 202 and 203, respectively, distant from its respective floor edge. In this way a complete water-tight lining is provided for cavity 150.
Liner 180 has a peripheral lip 204 formed collectively by distal edges 200, 201, 202 and 203. Immediately below lip 204 are liner support fasteners, mounted to some or all of sides 192, 193, 194 and 195. This mounting may be by heat welding or by use of a bonding agent or adhesive. In the preferred embodiment lip 204 is folded over to form a hem, and fasteners 205, 206 and 207 are of the nature of a continuous zipper around the three sides of lip 204, and a fastener 208 in the nature of a fabric hook-and-eye strip is sewn in place at a height relative to floor 196 expected to be above the likely liquid level in liner 180. In an alternative embodiment, fasteners 205, 206 and 207 can all be replaced by fabric hook-and-eye fasteners each mounted on one side of lip 180, and which mate with corresponding fabric hook-and-eye fasteners mounted to walls 144, 146 and 148.
These fabric hook-and-eye fastener strips are commonly sold under the name Velcro (T.M.).

Figure 2b shows liner 180 removed from cooler section 24. Although liner 180 could be formed by heat-welding together floor 190 and sides 192, 193, 194 and 195, it is preferable to construct liner 180 from a single integral sheet of material, folded to a watertight vessel as shown. This construction may tend to enhance durability during repeated foldings and un-foldings when cooler 24 is collapsed and expanded, as described below. It would also be desirable for liner 180 to be thin to better facilitate collapsing cooler 24. It would also be preferable for liner 178 to be transparent to permit the shiny, reflective surfaces of the inside surfaces of floor 142, side walls 144 and 146, end wall 148, panel 36, and lid 152 forming the bounds of cavity 150 to be seen.
Figure Zc is a perspective view of container 20 with liner 180 inverted, or pulled out and its inside surfaces exposed, facilitating cleaning of liner 180 without removal from container 20.
An elasticized retaining matrix 210 is located on top of lid 152, and permits other materials such as cups, plates, serving utensils or other objects to be carned on top of cooler 24. Eyelet 212 is located on side wall 144, and a similarly placed eyelet 214 is located on side wall 146. Eyelets 212 and 216 can connect with clasps 102 and 104 to attach strap 100 as a convenient carrying strap when gym bag 22 is in a collapsed position.
Insulated pouch 182 has an external pocket 220, which may be made of mesh or other material. A horizontal strip of fabric and hook-and-eye fastener 222 is located on pocket 220, and mates with a strip 224 located on the underside of lid 152 when cooler 24 is collapsed. Rectangular pieces of fabric hook-and-eye fastener 226 and 228 are located on insulated pouch 182.
Securing straps 230 and 232 are attached to side walls 144 and 146 at their junction with panel 36. Hook-and-eye strips 234, 236 are located on side walls 144 and 146, respectively to provide fastening points for mating hook-and-eye strips at the distal extremities of straps 230 and 232 when cooler 24 is in its extended position.
The use of hook-and-eye fasteners 226 and 228 when cooler 24 is collapsed is illustrated in Figure 3a. End wall 148 is pushed toward common wall panel 36 with side walls 144 and 146 being folded inward thus collapsing cavity 150. Zipper 154 is open, and fastener strip 224 under lid 152 is mated with fastener strip 222. Straps 230 and 232 extend about cooler 24 to engage strips 226 and 228, thus securing cooler 24 in a collapsed position.
When cooler 24 is fully collapsed and gym bag 22 is expanded as in Figure 4a, container assembly 20 can be used as an equipment or gym bag, using the general storage space of gym bag 22. Container assembly 20 in this configuration can be transported using shoulder strap 100 attached to eyelets 110 and 112.
A top view of container assembly 20 with gym bag 22 collapsed and cooler 24 expanded is illustrated in Figure 4b. Floor board 120 is folded, and placed flat against common wall panel 36. End wall panel 38 is then pushed toward common wall panel 36 (with floorboard 120 in-between). This can be accomplished with zippers 43 and open. Zipper 80 is then closed, enclosing handles 70 and 72. Zipper 80 thus acts to secure the gym bag 24 in a fully collapsed position. Flap 78 is typically tucked in against end wall 36, although this is not necessary. Note that in this configuration, the container may be used as a cooler carried by using strap 110.
A top view of container assembly 20 with both gym bag 22 and cooler 24 collapsed is illustrated in Figure 3a. In this fully collapsed configuration, the container 20 20 takes up a reduced amount of space for storage or transportation.
Figure Sa shows an isometric view of a container assembly 280 having an overall parallelepiped shape. Container assembly 280 is substantially the same as container assembly 20 but also includes a cooler 282 having two externally accessible receptacles 300, 302 for holding a beverage container. Container assembly 280 has cooler 282 and a gym bag 284. Cooler 282 is similar to cooler section 24. Gym bag 284 is similar to gym bag 22 and is made from a flexible, durable, moisture-resistant and breathable material, so that it is possible to collapse gym bag 22 in a manner similar to that of gym bag 22, described above. When collapsed, gym bag 22 is held in place by a closing zipper 288.
Cooler 282 has a hinged lid 290 having openings 304 formed therethrough. Lid 290 like the other walls of cooler 282, or cooler 24 has insulative properties in that heat transfer is retarded through lid 290. An example of a suitable lid in this regard includes an internal core of foam 306. Suitable foam polymers include ethylpropylene ethylene (EPE). A typical core will be about 8 mm thick. External to, or on opposite sides thereof, are an outer protective and decorative layer of polymer sheeting 308 and another inner protective layer of polymer sheeting 310. Layers 308 and 310 are preferably made of a material suitable for cleaning. A suitable material in this regard is nylon (T.M.) sheeting.
Other suitable materials and combinations of materials may also be found.
Each externally accessible receptacle 300, 302 may take the general form desired for the particular end use. These include sleeves, pockets, cylinders and the like. Each such receptacle 300, 302 includes a mouth 312. In the illustrated embodiment, mouth 312 conforms to the shape of opening 304 and has a perimeter size slightly less than that of the opening 304. Mouth 312 is selected to have a perimeter and size which closely approximates the external perimeter shape and size of the can, bottle, or the like to be held such as can 314. Each receptacle 300, 302 provides a downwardly depending structure which accommodates at least a substantial portion of the volume of the can, bottle or the like. Preferably, the height of the receptacle is less than the total height of the can, bottle or like, to permit and facilitate access to the can, bottle or like: that is, a user can grasp and remove the can, bottle, or the like, from receptacle 300, 302 when desired, such as in order to drink or pour from can 314.
The structure of receptacle 300, 302 is illustrated in the scab cross-section of Figure Sb. It includes a downwardly depending sidewall 316 which is generally vertically oriented when container cooler 282 is in the upright position illustrated in Figure Sa. The illustrated receptacle 300, 302 further includes a bottom wall 318 upon which can 314 or the like can rest. In the illustrated form, downwardly depending sidewall 316 has the configuration of a right cylinder, and the bottom wall 318 takes on the shape of a disk. This shaping is suited for closely accommodating illustrated can 314.
Receptacles 300, 302 are to be mounted integrally with lid 290 at openings 304.
Single-piece construction is possible in this regard, although often an assembly can be somewhat more convenient, particularly when the receptacle material is different from that of lid 290. As illustrated, a flange member 320 is used to join the receptacle to lid 290. Illustrated flange member 320 includes a horizontal plate 322 which overlies the opening 304 and the adjacent edge of lid 290. A plurality of fastening devices in the nature of flexing fasteners 324 project from the horizontal plate 322 and into and through the lid 290. Horizontal backing plate 326 is included to enhance the security of the connection between fasteners 324 and lid 290. In this regard, the fasteners 324 pass through respective openings provided in separate horizontal backing plate 326.
Fasteners 324 snap into place thereat.

_ CA 02327764 2000-12-06 Flange member 320 also includes a vertical annular leg 328 which depends downwardly from horizontal plate 322. A cut-out or indent in the nature of a shouldered annular rabbet 330 is provided in receptacle sidewall 316 to accommodate the thickness and height of vertical annular leg 328. By either approach, the exposed surface of the vertical plate is flush with the inside surface of receptacle sidewall 316, or, alternatively vertical annular leg 328 is slightly indented with respect to receptacle sidewall 316. The surface of receptacle 302 will thus engage the container when seated in receptacle 302.
Another alternative embodiment of container assembly is shown in Figure 6. A
soft-sided container assembly 350 has a cooler 352 and a duffel, or gym bag 354. Gym bag 354 is substantially similar in construction to the duffel bag, that is to say gym bag 24, of Figure 1 a. However, rather than having panel 36, which is insulated, gym bag 354 has a second end panel 356 which is of the same construction as end panel 38, thus completing the boundary of the internal cavity of gyrn bag 365.
By contrast to container assembly 20, cooler 352 is mounted to a side wall portion 360 of gym bag 354, in a saddle-bag like mounting, and has a rear insulated panel, in place of panel 36, that forms the rearward wall of cooler 352. The wall construction of cooler 352 is the same as cooler 22, but employs a greater width, oriented to mount lengthwise relative to sidewall portion 360, and lesser depth, extending roughly from the level of the floor of gym bag 24 to the base of handle 362. As shown, cooler 352 also includes beverage container receptacles 364, 366 of the same form of construction as receptacles 300, 302 discussed above. Further, a cover, in the nature of a flap 368 extends outwardly from the juncture of cooler 352 with sidewall portion 360.
Flap 368 is positionable to cover containers seated in either of receptacles 364, 366 and thereby to tend to protect then from rain, or sun, and or wind.
Figure 7 shows a further alternative embodiment of container assembly 380, that differs from container assembly 20 by having a duffle bag, or gym bag, 382 that is of substantially round cross-section, rather than the more square cross-sectional configuration of gym bag 22. An insulated wall structure, namely cooler 384 is mounted to an end wall 386, of gym bag 382, and is of a size to fall within the projected profile of endwall 386. Although cooler 384 is box-shaped, having rectangular side wall, lid, and bottom wall panels, other shapes could be employed, and their profiles need not necessarily fall within the projected profile of the respective end wall of the gym bag.
Further, a saddle-bag mounting along the side of a rounded gym bag could also be made.
Cooler 384 is similar to cooler 24, and notably has hook-and-eye strips 258 and 259 attached to end wall 261 of cooler 384. Hook-and-eye strip 259 mates with hook-and-eye strip 263 attached to a strap 262. There is also a hook-and-eye strip 264 which mates with a hook-and-eye strip (not shown) on the inside of lid 268. Cooler 384 can thus move to a collapsed position, and can be retained, or secured, in the collapsed position by using hook-and-eye strips 258, 259, and 264 in a manner similar to cooler 24 of container assembly 20. Although gym bag 382 is in the form of a round cylinder, it is generally similar to gym bag 24. The method of closure, while still running along the longest dimension of gym bag 382, consists of a zipper 265. Gym bag 382 is made from a flexible, durable, moisture-resistant and breathable material, so that it is possible to collapse gym bag 382 in a manner similar to that of gym bag 24, described above. When collapsed, gym bag 382 is held in place by closing zipper 260. As shown in Figure 7, both gym bag 382 and cooler 384 are longitudinally collapsible in a manner similar to gym bag 22 and cooler 24. Cooler 384 is secured in the collapsed position by the hook and-eye fasteners, in the manner described above, and bag 382 is secured in the collapsed position by circumferential zipper 388.
More generally, the shape of the container assembly need not be square, as assembly 20, or round, as assembly 380, but could be oval, elliptical, partially flat sided (such as for a bottom face for resting on the floor), and partially arcuately sided, or some combination of flat and arcuate sides or large radius corners. A duffel bag or gym bag can have varying dimensions and proportions while still maintaining the relationship of having a major dimension, being the length, and minor dimensions for depth and width that are substantially less than the length.
Similar securement means is also provided to maintain the elements in their collapsed positions to that of the container assembly 20. For each of the collapsible embodiments illustrated and described above, other types of securing means could be provided, whether a different arrangement of hook-and eye fasteners, the use of snaps or buttons, the use of zippers, or the use draw strings, or belts, or the use of elasticized bands such as bungee cords or the like.
A number of alternative configurations are possible, such as the addition of a cover in the nature of flap 368 to cooler 282, or in the use of a cooler that lacks beverage receptacles, as in cooler 22, or in the nature of a container assembly having coolers mounted along either side, as in a double saddle-bag arrangement, or in having coolers such as cooler 24, or cooler 282, mounted to both ends of a gym bag similar to gym bag 22 or gym bag 354.

A further alternative embodiment is shown in Figures 8a and 8b. A container assembly 400 has a collapsible athletic gear bag 402 having a shape similar to a small valise or satchel, to which a collapsible insulated wall structure in the nature of a cooler 404 is mounted in a side mounting. Athletic gear bag 402 has a lower, floor, or bottom panel 406, a top panel 408, and a pair of symmetrical end walls 410. Side wall panels 414 and 416 extend upwardly from bottom panel 406, each having an upper portion 418, 420, that is tapered inward (that is, toward each other). A pair of carrying handles 422, 424 are mounted to upper portions 418 and 420, and have bails 426, 428 that can be drawn together and grasped by a single hand. Bag 402 has a longitudinal tracked closure member, in the nature of a zipper 430 that extends longitudinally along the centre of top panel 408, dividing it into two inwardly extending, co-operating verges 431, 433. Zipper 402 also extends partially down the end faces 410 such that when zipper 430 is open, upper portions 418, 420 can be spread outwardly somewhat to facilitate access to the interior of bag 402. Bag 402 is of relatively soft-walled construction, although, in an alternative embodiment, side panels could be substantially rigid, or could have a degree of stiffening. Bag 402 is movable between collapsed and extended positions, but, in contrast to gym bag 22, gym bag 402 is collapsible in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction. That is, athletic gear bag 402 is collapsible, or expandable as the case may be, in the width direction as indicated by arrow 'A', rather than in the length direction. As above, a means for securing bag 402 is provided, in the nature of hook-and-eye-strips 434, 435, 436 and straps 438.
Cooler 404 has a bottom panel 442, an outboard panel 444, left and right hand side panels 446 and 448, and a hingedly connected top panel 440, with the same general construction as cooler 24 or 352, including a water proof liner similar in construction to liner 180. Beverage receptacles, such as receptacles 300, 302 could also be installed in the lid, namely top panel 440, in the manner shown in Figure Sa and Sb, above.
Cooler 404 is also collapsible in the direction of the width of bag 402, being movable between collapsed and extended positions, and has securing means, in the nature of straps 441 and hook-and-eye fasteners 443, 445 in an analogous manner to that described above.
Container assembly 400 differs from container assembly 20 in having a different aspect of height to width, the height being greater than the width, typically by 20 to 60 %.
For example, the width may be in the range of for example, about 8 - 10 inches (20 - 25 cm) while the height is in the range of 10 or 12 to 16 inches (25 or 30 to 40 cm). The aspect ratio of height to length may also be lower, the length being typically 18 to 24 inches (45 - 60 cm). As seen in the reverse view of container assembly 400, such a container assembly can also have, optionally, an external equipment mounting, 452. As shown, external equipment mounting 452 is a racquet housing 454, such as would be suitable for racquet ball, tennis, badminton, or squash. A similar bag, without a racquet housing or mount, could be used for other sporting or recreational activities, whether as a collapsible picnic case, as a case for lawn bowls (with suitable internal dividers) or bocce balls. Alternatively, a second cooler, like cooler 404, can be mounted in place of equipment mounting 452. In this regard, while the term "cooler" has been used above, it is intended that the principles of the invention may apply to insulated wall structures that maintain warmth as well as those that maintain coolness.
As shown in Figures 9a - 9e, a soft-sided container assembly is generally illustrated as 460. It has three sections: a general container section in the nature of an uninsulated, soft sided athletic or recreational activity bag of greater length than height or width, exemplified by a gym bag indicated as 462, and two insulated sections in the nature of a cooler 464 and 466. Gym bag 462 and coolers 464 and 466 are connected in such a manner as to make them easy to carry through the use of left and right hand carrying handles 465, 467 or a shoulder strap 469. In the preferred embodiment, gym bag 462 and coolers 464 and 466 are each independently collapsible, and can be secured in a respective collapsed position. This permits any section to be independently collapsed while permitting use of the other sections. This also permits any two sections to be collapsed while permitting independent use of the third section. Also, coolers 464 and 466 and gym bag 462 can be collapsed at the same time to facilitate storage or transportation when not in use. Assembly 460 has the same features and construction as assembly 20, described above, except insofar as it has two collapsible coolers 464 and 466 mounted to opposed end walls 468, 470 of bag 462. The construction of cooler 464 is the same as the construction of cooler 462, both being the same as cooler 22 described above.
In the embodiment of figures 9a to 9e, gym bag 462 is roughly 16 inches long (40 cm), with a height of roughly 10 inches (25 cm) and a width of roughly 10 inches (25 cm). Coolers 462 and 464 are roughly 7 inches ( 18 cm) long, with a height of roughly 10 inches (25 cm) and a width of roughly 10 inches (25 cm).
Figure 10a shows an isometric view of container assembly 460 with all three of gym bag 462 and coolers 464 and 466 in a collapsed position. In this fully collapsed configuration, the container 460 takes up a reduced amount of space for storage or transportation. A top view of container assembly 460 with all three of gym bag 462 and coolers 464 and 466 collapsed is illustrated in Figure 10b. A side view of container assembly 460 with all three of gym bag 462 and coolers 464 and 466 collapsed is illustrated in Figure 10c. The end view of container assembly 460 with all three of gym bag 462 and coolers 464 and 466 collapsed is identical to Figure 3d. A bottom view of container assembly 460 with all three of gym bag 462 and coolers 464 and 466 collapsed is illustrated in Figure 10d.
Figure 11 a shows an isometric view of container 460 with gym bag 462 expanded, cooler 466 expanded and cooler 464 collapsed. A top view of container assembly with gym bag 462 collapsed and coolers 464 and 466 expanded is illustrated in Figure 11b.
Figure 12 shows an isometric view of a container assembly 470 having an overall parallelepiped shape. Container assembly 470 is substantially the same as container assembly 460 but also includes a cooler 472 having two externally accessible receptacles 474, 476 for holding a beverage container. Cooler section 478 (shown in collapsed position) can optionally be provided with two externally accessible receptacles similar to receptacles 474 and 476 for holding beverage containers. Container assembly 470 has coolers 472 and 478 and a gym bag 480. Coolers 472 and 478 are similar to cooler sections 464 and 466, but have lids 473 and receptacles 474, 476 similar to those described in connection with Figures Sa and Sb. Gym bag 480 is similar to gym bag 462 and is made from a flexible, durable, moisture-resistant and breathable material, so that it is possible to collapse gym bag 480 in a manner similar to that of gym bag 462, described above. When collapsed, gym bag 480 is held in place by a closing zipper 482.
Another alternative embodiment of container assembly is shown in Figure 13. A
soft-sided container assembly 490 has a coolers 492 and 494 and a duffel, or gym bag 496. Gym bag 496 is substantially similar in construction to the duffel bag, that is to say gym bag 466, of Figure 1 a and Figure 6. Cooler 494 is substantially similar to cooler 472 in Figure 12. By contrast to container assembly 460, cooler 492 is mounted to a side wall portion 498 of gym bag 496, in a saddle-bag like mounting similar to that of Figure 6 and described above.
Figure 14 shows a further alternative embodiment of container assembly 500, that differs from container assembly 460 by having a duffle bag, or gym bag, 502 that is of substantially round cross-section, rather than the more square cross-sectional configuration of gym bag 462. Although coolers 504 and 506 are similar to cooler 466, being box-shaped and having rectangular side wall, lid, and bottom wall panels, other shapes could be employed, and their profiles need not necessarily fall within the projected profile of the respective end wall of the gym bag. Further, a saddle-bag mounting along the side of a rounded gym bag could also be made.
A further alternative embodiment is shown in Figures 15a and, in reverse isometric view, 15b. A container assembly 510 has a collapsible athletic gear bag 512 having a shape similar to a small valise or satchel, to which collapsible insulated wall structures in the nature of coolers 514 and 516 are mounted in a side mounting.
Container assembly 510 corresponds generally to container assembly 400 shown in Figures 8a and 8b, but differs therefrom in having two collapsible coolers, namely 514 and 516, on either side, rather than a single side mounted cooler. As shown, container assembly 510 does not have a racquet comparable to external equipment mounting 452.
A preferred embodiment has been described in detail and a number of alternatives have been considered. As changes in or additions to the above described embodiments may be made without departing from the nature, spirit or scope of the invention, the invention is not to be limited by or to those details.

Claims (30)

-23- I claim:
1. A combination comprising a gym bag, and a plurality of coolers mounted to said gym bag.
2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said coolers each have a soft-shell flexible insulated wall structure, said insulated wall structure defining a respective insulated chamber.
3. The combination of claim 2 wherein said insulated wall structure is moveable to a collapsed position, and has means for securing said insulated wall structure in said collapsed position.
4. The combination of claim 1 wherein said gym bag has an uninsulated wall structure.
5. The combination of claim 1 wherein said gym bag is moveable to a collapsed position and has means for securing said gym bag in said collapsed position.
6. The combination of claim 1 wherein:
said gym bag is moveable to a collapsed position and has means for securing said gym bag in said collapsed position thereof; and said insulated coolers are each moveable to a collapsed position and each has means for securing said coolers in said collapsed position thereof.
7. The combination of claim 1 wherein:
said gym bag has a pair of end walls and a sidewall extending between said end walls; and said coolers are each mounted to one of said end walls.
8. The combination of claim 1 wherein:
said gym bag has a pair of end walls and a sidewall extending between said end walls; and said coolers are each mounted to one of (a) said end walls and (b) said sidewall.
9. The combination of claim 1 wherein said at least a first of said coolers has an insulated soft-shell wall structure defining an insulated chamber, and said first cooler has a receptacle mounted to said soft-shell wall structure, said receptacle extending inwardly of said wall structure relative to said insulated chamber, said receptacle being accessible from outside said chamber.
10. The combination of claim 9 wherein a covering is mounted thereto, said covering being movable to a position overlying said receptacle.
11. The combination of claim 1 wherein:
said gym bag has a first soft-shell wall structure having a longitudinal extent, namely a length, a depth transverse to said length, and a width transverse to both said length and said width, said length being greater than each of said depth and said width;
said wall structure has a pair of longitudinally spaced apart ends and a sidewall member extending therebetween to define a first enclosure;
said first soft shell wall structure is moveable between a collapsed position and an expanded position;
said sidewall member has a lower portion upon which said first soft-shell wall structure can rest, and an upper portion having a closure member;
said closure member extends at least partially longitudinally, and is operable to control access to said first enclosure;
said coolers have respective second and third soft-shell wall structures, said second and third soft-shell wall structures each having an insulating layer, and defining respective second and third enclosures therewithin, said second and third enclosures being insulated;
said coolers are each movable to respective collapsed positions, and are securable in said respective collapsed positions thereof; and said coolers are each mounted to one of said end walls of said gym bag.
12. The combination of claim 11 wherein said at least one of said coolers has an externally accessible receptacle mounted thereto, said receptacle extending inwardly of said insulated wall structure relative to said second enclosure.
13. The combination of claim 12 wherein said one cooler has a cover, said cover being movable to a position to overlie said receptacle.
14. The combination of claim 11 wherein said first soft shell structure has a stiffened panel for placement adjacent said lower portion thereof inside said first enclosure.
15. The combination of claim 14 wherein said stiffened panel is foldable.
16. The combination of claim 11 wherein said first enclosure and said second enclosure share a common wall.
17. The combination of claim 11 wherein said at least one of said coolers has a watertight liner mounted therein to discourage migration of liquids contained in said one cooler from said one cooler to said gym bag.
18. The combination of claim 1 wherein:
said gym bag has a first soft-shell wall structure having a longitudinal extent, namely a length, a depth transverse to said length, and a width transverse to both said length and said width, said length being greater than each of said depth and said width;
said wall structure has a pair of longitudinally spaced apart ends and a sidewall member extending therebetween to define a first enclosure;
said first soft shell wall structure is moveable between a collapsed position and an expanded position;
said sidewall member has a lower portion upon which said first soft-shell wall structure can rest, and an upper portion having a closure member, and a pair of spaced apart, opposed ascending portions intermediate lower and upper portions;
said closure member extends at least partially longitudinally, and said closure member is operable to control access to said first enclosure;
said coolers have respective second and third soft-shell wall structures, said second and third soft-shell wall structures having an insulating layer, and defining second and third enclosures therewithin, said second and third enclosures being insulated;
said coolers are movable to respective collapsed positions, and are each securable in said respective collapsed positions thereof; and said coolers are each mounted to one of said ascending portions of said gym bag.
19. The combination of claim 18 wherein at least one of said coolers has an externally accessible receptacle mounted thereto, said receptacle extending inwardly of said insulated wall structure relative to said second enclosure.
20. The combination of claim 18 wherein said cooler has a cover, said cover being movable to a position to overlie said receptacle.
21. The combination of claim 18 wherein said first soft shell structure has a stiffened panel for placement adjacent said lower portion thereof inside said first enclosure.
22. The combination of claim 21 wherein said stiffened panel is foldable.
23. The combination of claim 18 wherein said first enclosure and said second enclosure share a common wall.
24. The combination of claim 18 wherein said at least one of said coolers has a watertight liner mounted therein to discourage migration of liquids contained in said at least one of said coolers from said at least one of said coolers to said gym bag.
25. A flexible soft-sided container assembly comprising:
a wall structure having a first portion, a second portion and a third portion;
said first portion having an uninsulated wall structure defining a first chamber therewithin;
said second and third portions each having an insulated wall structure defining respective second and third insulated chambers therewithin;
said uninsulated wall structure having a depth, and a width;
said length being greater than each of said depth and said width;
said uninsulated wall structure having a pair of longitudinally spaced end walls, and a sidewall extending therebetween; and each of said insulated wall structures being mounted to one of said end walls.
26. The flexible soft sided container assembly of claim 25 wherein:
said insulated containers each have a height, a width, and a depth;
said depth of said uninsulated wall structure is at least as great as said height of at least one of said insulated container assemblies;
said width of said uninsulated container structure is at least as great as at least one of said widths of said container assemblies, and said depth of at least one of said insulated container structures is less than each of said width and said depth thereof.
27. The flexible, soft-sided container assembly of claim 25 wherein said insulated wall structures have an externally accessible receptacle mounted thereto, said receptacle extending inwardly of said insulated wall structure relative to said insulated chamber.
28. The flexible, soft-sided container assembly of claim 27 wherein said insulated container structures are movable to a collapsed position, and is securable in said collapsed position.
29. The flexible, soft-sided container assembly of claim 27 wherein said uninsulated container structure is movable to a collapsed position, and is securable in said collapsed position.
30. The flexible, soft-sided container assembly of claim 27 wherein:
said insulated container structures are movable to a collapsed position, and are securable in said collapsed position thereof; and said uninsulated container structure is movable to a collapsed position, and is securable in said collapsed position.
CA 2327764 2000-12-06 2000-12-06 Container with insulated enclosures Abandoned CA2327764A1 (en)

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EP3269663A1 (en) * 2016-07-15 2018-01-17 Zhejiang Natural Travel Goods Co., Ltd. Foldable thermal insulation case
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