US20070025647A1 - Collapsible tool bag - Google Patents

Collapsible tool bag Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070025647A1
US20070025647A1 US11/193,896 US19389605A US2007025647A1 US 20070025647 A1 US20070025647 A1 US 20070025647A1 US 19389605 A US19389605 A US 19389605A US 2007025647 A1 US2007025647 A1 US 2007025647A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
bag
bottom panel
handles
sidewalls
tool
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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
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US11/193,896
Inventor
Brian Hamlin
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OmniQuest Ltd
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OmniQuest Ltd
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 OmniQuest Ltd filed Critical OmniQuest Ltd
Priority to US11/193,896 priority Critical patent/US20070025647A1/en
Assigned to OMNIQUEST LTD. reassignment OMNIQUEST LTD. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: HAMLIN, MR. BRIAN
Publication of US20070025647A1 publication Critical patent/US20070025647A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B25HAND TOOLS; PORTABLE POWER-DRIVEN TOOLS; MANIPULATORS
    • B25HWORKSHOP EQUIPMENT, e.g. FOR MARKING-OUT WORK; STORAGE MEANS FOR WORKSHOPS
    • B25H3/00Storage means or arrangements for workshops facilitating access to, or handling of, work tools or instruments

Abstract

A tool storage bag is provided for storing tools and accessories at a work site. The tool storage bag has slidable fabric handles which move between extended and retracted positions. In even the extended position, the handles present a full-width opening for the bag to allow even relatively large tools and accessory items to be received within the bag. The bag can be easily collapsed for storage or shipping.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates generally to the field of storage and carrying bags and more specifically to worksite storage or carrying bag designed to hold and protect various tools and accessories.
  • 2. Description of the Prior Art
  • In the past, some companies have offered either metal or hard plastic tool boxes that have a hinged top and a small removable tray that lifts out to reveal the inner confines of the box for bulk tool storage. Some have small mounted drawers either in the top or the bottom for smaller tools or loose fasteners. Since these boxes are made of metal, hard plastic or rubber, they often do not conform to unique storage situations in real life trade applications. For a tradesman, storage in a vehicle is critical and sometimes a specific space for a rectangular hard box is not available. Some pick-up trucks have storage space behind the seats that do not lend itself to a rectangular box shape. Additionally, the surface of these boxes is slick and the boxes will quickly slide around if not properly wedged or packed tightly for security. Since these boxes are made of rigid materials, they are not collapsible for storage and shipment.
  • Another more recently introduced product in the marketplace is the “soft” or synthetic fabric tool bag which is available in different sizes and configurations. It is known in the art to produce a bag of this type that is required to carry substantial loads for various situations. These bags have numerous designs for various specific functions. Some of these are very similar to a doctor's bag with a zippered opening providing access to an inside cavity where tools lay horizontally. These synthetic fabric bags offer an improvement to the metal and plastic boxes by overcoming many of the deficiencies discussed above. However, these designs fail to address many concerns for a bag in use, for example, by a plumber, carpenter or an electrician at a construction or job site.
  • Thus, despite the advantages offered by the soft-sided bags, there continues to exist a need for improvements in tool bags of the type used by carpenters, plumbers, electricians and similar tradesmen. For example, many prior bag designs are made out of a unitary material that creates an enclosure. These bags, though good for light loads, are not well suited for carrying larger loads that require a great deal of strength. In particular, the handles of many of the prior art designs are not sufficiently robust or of industrial strength for use by tradesmen, or are not retractable to allow easy collapsibility and storage of the bag when not in use, or during shipping. More particularly, the handles of the prior art bags were generally placed simply sitting on the outside walls of the bag, thereby reducing the durability of the handles and the ability to carry heavy loads. It would be desirable to more integrally associate the handles with the bag in many circumstances. An additional problem with the prior art handle designs was that the non-collapsible handles tended to partly cover the bag mouth opening in use. This would prevent a user from placing, for example, a 5 inch circular saw within the tool bag.
  • Both U.S. Pat. No. 5,518,315 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,550,592 disclose a reinforcing frame attached to the bottom of a bag. These external reinforcements are somewhat awkward to use and detract to some extent from the appearance of the bags. In some ways, they are overly complicated for the task at hand.
  • There exists a need, therefore, for an improved soft-sided tool bag which has a handle arrangement which is able to accommodate heavier loads.
  • There exists a need for such a tool bag which has handles which are retractable for storage and shipping, or merely to more effectively provide an unobstructed top opening for the bag.
  • There exists a need for such a tool bag which has internal reinforcements of a simple design which provide increased load carrying ability for the bag and overall structural reinforcement, while at the same time are hidden from view during normal use of the bag.
  • There exists a need for a bag with such internal reinforcements which are quickly and easily removed to allow the bag to be collapsed for shipment or storage.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • It is an object of the present invention to provide a handle system for a bag that may carry a heavy load without breaking or tearing away from the bag to which the handles are attached.
  • It is another object of the present invention to provide a storage bag which is large and strong enough to carry heavy loads.
  • A third object of the present invention is to provide a bag with a storage compartment that is reinforced and yet which can be collapsed for storage or shipment.
  • The present invention is a heavy-duty soft-sided tool bag which is well adapted for use, for example, at a construction work site by a plumber, carpenter or electrician. The bag has a bottom panel and a plurality of sidewalls each having a bottom edge attached to said bottom panel. The bag also has an outside surface, an inside surface and an intermediate wall thickness, the sidewalls together with the bottom panel forming an interior for the bag. A pair of handle straps are provided, each having a first and second planar end portions and an intermediate portion. Preferably, the intermediate portion of each strap is also reinforced, as with a rigid bar. The first and second planar end portions of each handle strap are slidably received within the intermediate wall thickness of selected opposing sidewalls of the bag and are slidable between retracted and extended positions. The intermediate portion of each strap forms a carrying handle for the bag. In use, the bag has a closed position and an open position in which the opposing sidewalls housing the handles form substantially vertical parallel planes with respect to each other and a substantially perpendicular plane with respect to the bottom panel, whereby the handles in either the retracted or extended position present a full-width and non-obstructed opening for the bag.
  • The tool bag is also preferably reinforced with at least one removable stiffening element which is inserted coplanar with the bottom panel. The bag is then collapsible by removing the removable stiffening element and folding the bag together by means of a crease along a mid-line of the bottom panel. In one embodiment of the invention, the bag has additional stiffening elements which are placed in the interior of the bag in planes generally perpendicular to the bottom panel intermediate the sidewalls carrying the handles. The additional stiffening elements may be partially arcuate and are placed in pockets in the interior of the bag in planes generally perpendicular to the bottom panel intermediate the sidewalls carrying the handles. This gives the bag a rounded top for the intermediate sidewalls. In another embodiment of the invention, the bag has additional stiffening elements in the form of narrow elongate strips which slide into pockets located in planes generally parallel to the bottom panel and generally transverse to the sidewalls carrying the handles.
  • Additional objects, features and advantages will be apparent in the written description which follows.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the tool bag according to the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is another view of the tool bag of FIG. 1 but showing the removable stiffening elements and showing the retracted and extended positions of the slidable handles, the extended position being shown in phantom lines.
  • FIG. 3 shows the tool bag of FIG. 1 in the collapsed position.
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an alternate tool bag design of the invention.
  • FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but showing the removable stiffening elements of the bag of FIG. 4, the bag handles being shown in the retracted position.
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the bag of FIG. 4 in the collapsed position.
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the tool bag of the invention with the extended position of one of the handles being shown in phantom lines.
  • FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 7, but showing the removable stiffening element being inserted within a pocket of the bag.
  • FIG. 9 is a view of the bag of FIG. 7 in the collapsed position.
  • FIG. 10 is another perspective view of the bag of FIG. 7, partly broken away, to show the positioning of the removable stiffening element.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Turning to FIG. 1, there is shown a soft-sided tool bag 11 for carrying a workman's tools. Although the bags of the invention can be used for a wide variety of purposes, they are primarily directed toward the needs of a workman such as a carpenter, electrician, plumber, or the like who has need for transport and easy access to tools at a work or construction site. These tools can range from fairly small items, such as a screwdriver, to fairly large, heavy and bulky items such as, for example, a five inch circular saw. One object of the present invention is to provide a soft-sided bag which is collapsible for easy storage or shipping and yet which is yet robust enough to accommodate a variety of tools of the above type which a workman might need to transport.
  • The bag 11 includes a bottom panel 13 and a plurality of sidewalls, such as sidewalls 15, 17, 19, 21. Each sidewall has a bottom edge, such as edge 23 in FIG. 1, attached to the bottom panel 13. As shown in FIG. 1, each sidewall, such as sidewall 15, has an outside surface 25, an inside surface 27, and an intermediate wall thickness “t”. The sidewalls, together with the bottom panel 13, form an interior space for the bag. The bag can be formed of any convenient, durable material, such as ballistic nylon. The sidewalls of the bag may be reinforced in some circumstances. For example, the bag might be formed having an inner and outer ballistic nylon shell with an open cell polyurethane liner disposed there between. The bag might also include a plurality of exterior pockets 29 which are disposed on the outside surface 25 and which are formed by stitching additional material to the sidewalls of the bag. The sidewalls 15, 17 in FIG. 1 are spaced apart a predetermined distance to create a relatively large footprint for the tool bag 11. This large footprint allows for the storage of numerous tools of various sizes not currently accommodated by many of the other currently available tool bags. For example, for the exemplary “giant tool bag” shown in FIG. 1, the footprint might be 21 inches in width by 47 inches in length. Furthermore, the exterior pockets 29 allow for the additional storage of tools and there attendant accessories.
  • As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the opposing sidewalls 15, 17, are each provided with vertical pockets for receiving a pair of handle straps. Each handle strap 31, 33, has a first and second planar end portion 35, 37 and an intermediate portion 39. The first and second planar end portions 35, 37 of each handle strap are slidably received within the intermediate wall thickness “t” of the selected opposing sidewall 15, 17 within the vertical pocket provided therein. Each handle strap also has an enlarged lower end (shown in phantom lines as 16 in FIG. 2) which retains the handle within the pocket as the handle is moved between the retracted position illustrated in solid lines in FIG. 2 and the extended position illustrated in phantom lines. The intermediate portion 39 of each handle strap forms a carrying handle for the bag and may be provided with a rigid reinforcement such as a solid metal or rigid plastic bar.
  • As will appreciated from FIGS. 1 and 2, the bag 11 of the invention has a closed position in which the extended handle straps 31, 33, are brought together and an open position (shown in FIG. 1) in which the opposing sidewalls 15, 17 housing the handles formed substantially vertical parallel planes with respect to the each other. In the open position, the sidewalls also create a substantially perpendicular plane with respect to the bottom panel 13, whereby the handles in either the retracted or extended positions illustrated in FIG. 2 present a full-width and a non-obstructed opening for the bag, the opening being designated as “o” in FIG. 1. The bag shown in FIG. 1 is intended to constitute a giant tool bag with the opening “o” being sufficient to receive, for example, a five inch circular saw or other bulky tool or accessory. The opening “o” shown in FIG. 1 can be, for example, on the order of 21 inches.
  • As shown in FIG. 2, the bag 11 of the invention is reinforced with at least one removable stiffening element 41 which is inserted coplanar with the bottom panel 13. The stiffening element can be formed, for example, of a rigid plastic and can be inserted and removed from the bag as illustrated in the exploded view of FIG. 2. In this way, the bag is collapsible by removing the stiffening element 41 and folding the bag together by means of a crease 43 along the approximate mid-line of the bottom panel 13, as shown in FIG. 3.
  • The bag 13, as shown in FIG. 2, is also preferably provided with additional stiffening elements 45, 47 which are placed in the interior of the bag and planes generally perpendicular to the bottom panel 13 intermediate the sidewalls 15, 17 carrying the handles. In the embodiment of bag illustrated in FIG. 2, the additional stiffening elements 45, 47 are received within pockets 49, 51 which are coplanar with the end walls 19, 21, each of which is provided with a velcro closure slip 53 which opens and close the pocket.
  • FIG. 4 shows another version of the soft-sided bag of the invention 55 which is similar in many respects to the bag 11 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The bag 55 shown in FIG. 4 is especially designed to meet the needs of a plumber or carpenter but could be used by others as well. The bag again features soft sides and extendable and retractable handles 57, 59. The bag has an interior space 61 which can be equipped with internal pockets 63. The external sidewalls are similarly equipped with accessory pockets 65 of various sizes and shapes.
  • As shown in FIG. 5, the bag 55 also has a plurality of additional stiffening elements which are received within the interior space thereof. In the preferred embodiment, the bag 55 includes a removable bottom stiffening element 67 which is received coplanar with the bottom panel 69 of the of the bag in the manner previously described with respect to FIGS. 1 and 2. The bag 55 also includes a pair of partially arcuate stiffening elements, such as element 71 shown in FIG. 5. The element 71 includes a base strip 73 intermediate vertical strip 75, 77 and the intermediate arcuate strip 79. Each of the partially arcuate stiffening elements 71 are placed in pockets 81, 83 in the interior of the bag and planes generally perpendicular to the bottom panel 69 intermediate the sidewalls 85, 87 carrying the handles. In one embodiment of the bag of FIG. 5, the stiffening elements 71 are retained within zippered pockets coplanar with each of the sidewalls 89, 91. In another embodiment, the stiffening element 71 are simply retained in position adjacent the sidewalls 89, 91, as by Velcro strips 93 (see FIG. 5). As shown in FIG. 6, the bag can again be collapsed by removing the stiffening elements 67, 71 and folding the bottom panel 69 along a crease 95.
  • FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate an additional embodiment of the bag 97 of the invention. The bag 97 is specifically designed as an electrician's tool bag, although it could be used for a variety of other purposes. The bag 97 has more of an approximately square interior space 99. The sidewalls 101, 103, 105, 107 which together with the bottom panel 109 make up the interior space 99 might be, for example, each approximately 20-25 inches in width. The height of the bag is approximately the same as the width. In the embodiment of the bag illustrated in FIG. 7, the interior is pocketless but the exterior is provided with a variety of accessory pockets 111.
  • As best seen in FIG. 10, the electrician's tool bag 97 has a bottom stiffening element 113 which is removably installed coplanar with the bottom panel 109. The bag also has a pair of stiffening elements in the form of narrow elongated strips, 115, 117, which slide into pockets 119, 121, which are formed on the exterior of the bag 97 in planes generally parallel to the bottom panel 109 intermediate the sidewalls 105, 107 carrying the handles. Each pocket 119 may be provided with a Velcro closure region 123.
  • As shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, the bag can be collapsed by removing the bottom element 113 and the side elements 105, 107 and folding the sidewall 105 in the direction of the sidewall 107. Instead of a horizontal crease line as shown in the previous bag designs, the bag 97 collapses to form a pair of vertical crease lines 125, 127.
  • An invention has been provided with several advantages. The collapsible soft-sided tool bags of the invention are sturdy enough to accommodate even relatively heavy and bulky tools and accessory items. The bags feature collapsible handles which present a clean, full-width opening for the bag which allows tools to be inserted and withdrawn without obstruction. The bags are collapsible by removing internal stiffening elements for ease of shipment and storage. The retractable handles are formed of industrial strength ballistic nylon with reinforced stitching so that they can support a heavy load. The stiffening or reinforcing elements are concealed within the interior of the bag, presenting a neater appearance without detracting from the overall esthetics of the bag design.
  • While the invention has been shown in only three of its forms, it is not thus limited but is susceptible to various changes and modifications without departing from the spirit thereof.

Claims (14)

1. A soft-sided tool bag for carrying a workman's tools, comprising:
a bottom panel;
a plurality of sidewalls each having a bottom edge attached to said bottom panel and having an outside surface, an inside surface and an intermediate wall thickness, the sidewalls together with the bottom panel forming an interior for the bag;
a pair of handle straps, each having a first and second planar end portions and an intermediate portion, wherein the first and second planar end portions of each handle strap are slidably received within the intermediate wall thickness of a selected opposing sidewalls and are slidable between retracted and extended positions, the intermediate portion of each strap forming a carrying handle for the bag;
wherein the bag has a closed position and an open position in which the opposing sidewalls housing the handles form substantially vertical parallel planes with respect to each other and a substantially perpendicular plane with respect to the bottom panel, whereby the handles in either the retracted or extended position present a full-width and non-obstructed opening for the bag.
2. The tool bag of claim 1, wherein the intermediate portion of each strap is reinforced with a rigid bar.
3. The tool bag of claim 1, wherein the bag is reinforced with at least one removable stiffening element which is inserted coplanar with the bottom panel.
4. The tool bag of claim 3, wherein the bag is collapsible by removing the removable stiffening element and folding the bag together by means of a crease along a mid-line of the bottom panel.
5. The tool bag of claim 3, wherein the bag has additional stiffening elements which are placed in the interior of the bag in planes generally perpendicular to the bottom panel intermediate the sidewalls carrying the handles.
6. The tool bag of claim 3, wherein the bag has additional partially arcuate stiffening elements which are placed in pockets in the interior of the bag in planes generally perpendicular to the bottom panel intermediate the sidewalls carrying the handles.
7. The tool bag of claim 3, wherein the bag has additional stiffening elements in the form of narrow elongate strips which slide into pockets located in planes generally parallel to the bottom panel and generally transverse to the sidewalls carrying the handles.
8. A soft-sided tool bag having a full-width top opening for receiving and carrying a workman's tools, the bag comprising:
a foldable bottom panel;
a plurality of sidewalls each having a bottom edge attached to said bottom panel and having an outside surface, an inside surface and an intermediate wall thickness, the sidewalls together with the bottom panel forming an interior for the bag;
a pair of fabric handle straps, each having a first and second planar end portions and an intermediate portion, wherein the first and second planar end portions of each handle strap are slidably received within the intermediate wall thickness of selected opposing sidewalls of the bag and are slidable between retracted and extended positions, the intermediate portion of each strap forming a carrying handle for the bag when the handles are grasped by a user and brought into proximity;
wherein the bag has a closed position and an open position in which the opposing sidewalls housing the handles form substantially vertical parallel planes with respect to each other and a substantially perpendicular plane with respect to the bottom panel, whereby the handles in either the retracted or extended position present a full-width and non-obstructed opening for the bag to allow the bag to receive tools of a variety of sizes.
9. The tool bag of claim 8, wherein the intermediate portion of each strap is reinforced with a rigid bar.
10. The tool bag of claim 8, wherein the bag is reinforced with at least one removable stiffening element which is inserted coplanar with the bottom panel.
11. The tool bag of claim 10, wherein the bag is collapsible by removing the removable stiffening element and folding the bag together by means of a crease along a mid-line of the bottom panel.
12. The tool bag of claim 10, wherein the bag has additional stiffening elements which are placed in the interior of the bag in planes generally perpendicular to the bottom panel intermediate the sidewalls carrying the handles.
13. The tool bag of claim 10, wherein the bag has additional partially arcuate stiffening elements which are placed in pockets in the interior of the bag in planes generally perpendicular to the bottom panel intermediate the sidewalls carrying the handles.
14. The tool bag of claim 10, wherein the bag has additional stiffening elements in the form of narrow elongate strips which slide into pockets located in planes generally parallel to the bottom panel and generally transverse to the sidewalls carrying the handles.
US11/193,896 2005-07-29 2005-07-29 Collapsible tool bag Abandoned US20070025647A1 (en)

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US20070131568A1 (en) * 2005-12-13 2007-06-14 Georgia Brian D Law enforcement officer's utility bag
US20070242904A1 (en) * 2006-03-03 2007-10-18 Matthew Williams Multi-handle utility bag
US20080128441A1 (en) * 2006-11-30 2008-06-05 Chang-Ying Chen Hideable toolbox handle
WO2008100890A2 (en) * 2007-02-14 2008-08-21 Union Rich Usa, Llc Tool container
WO2008154583A1 (en) * 2007-06-11 2008-12-18 Union Rich Usa Tool tote
US20100177986A1 (en) * 2009-01-12 2010-07-15 Albert Kohn Non-woven shopping bag
US20110268374A1 (en) * 2010-04-28 2011-11-03 Makita Corporation Tool storage bag and tool storage bag set
WO2012012004A2 (en) * 2010-06-24 2012-01-26 Vir Narula Reinforced bag
US20120118941A1 (en) * 2010-11-15 2012-05-17 Wen-Tsan Wang Stackable storage box
US20120211134A1 (en) * 2011-02-23 2012-08-23 Barbara Goldstein Handbag with Removable Liner
US8382373B1 (en) * 2009-04-04 2013-02-26 Custom Leathercraft Manufacturing Co., Inc. Wear-point protection system, apparatus and method
US20130048649A1 (en) * 2011-08-22 2013-02-28 Patrice Renee Williams Insulated tote bag for transporting baking pans
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US20140093188A1 (en) * 2012-09-29 2014-04-03 Erica Bush Rigid Self-Supporting Collapsible Stackable Reusable Bag
US20140262886A1 (en) * 2013-03-12 2014-09-18 Lf Centennial Ltd. Tool storage and transport system
US8978912B1 (en) * 2012-03-19 2015-03-17 Response Holdings Corporation Collapsible shipping tote
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USD771938S1 (en) 2015-02-23 2016-11-22 L.F. Centennial Ltd. Two pocket small framer pouch
USD771937S1 (en) 2015-02-23 2016-11-22 L.F. Centennial Ltd. Triple snap pouch
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US20070242904A1 (en) * 2006-03-03 2007-10-18 Matthew Williams Multi-handle utility bag
US20080128441A1 (en) * 2006-11-30 2008-06-05 Chang-Ying Chen Hideable toolbox handle
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