US20070152007A1 - Modular Pack System - Google Patents

Modular Pack System Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070152007A1
US20070152007A1 US11/617,118 US61711806A US2007152007A1 US 20070152007 A1 US20070152007 A1 US 20070152007A1 US 61711806 A US61711806 A US 61711806A US 2007152007 A1 US2007152007 A1 US 2007152007A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
harness
pack
waistband
modular pack
lumbar
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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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US11/617,118
Inventor
Eric Kauss
Joseph Croft
Jerry Boquist
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RMK ACCESSORIES Inc
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RMK ACCESSORIES Inc
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Publication date
Priority to US75504005P priority Critical
Application filed by RMK ACCESSORIES Inc filed Critical RMK ACCESSORIES Inc
Priority to US11/617,118 priority patent/US20070152007A1/en
Assigned to RMK ACCESSORIES, INC. reassignment RMK ACCESSORIES, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: KAUSS, ERIC, CROFT, JOSEPH, BOQUIST, JERRY R.
Publication of US20070152007A1 publication Critical patent/US20070152007A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • 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
    • 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
    • A45F3/04Sacks or packs carried on the body by means of two straps passing over the two shoulders
    • A45F2003/045Sacks or packs carried on the body by means of two straps passing over the two shoulders and one additional strap around the waist
    • 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
    • A45F2003/144Pack-carrying waist or torso belts
    • 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
    • A45F3/04Sacks or packs carried on the body by means of two straps passing over the two shoulders
    • A45F3/047Sacks or packs carried on the body by means of two straps passing over the two shoulders with adjustable fastenings for the shoulder straps or waist belts

Abstract

Modular pack systems that may be used for backpacking, biking, hunting, fly fishing, or other indoor or outdoor activities are disclosed. In one embodiment, a system is adjustable to fit different user torso sizes and includes attachment structures that may removably secure various detachable packs, pouches, or containers for different items needed. The attachment structures are generally spaced apart evenly in groupings throughout various locations on shoulder straps, a torso structure, and/or waistband, providing for standardization of pouches for attachment to the harness. Certain embodiments may also include hydration and waist packs, fabric flex points on shoulder straps that provide more flexibility in fitting over the shoulders, an adjustable lumbar support system for additional back support for the wearer, and/or flaps on the waistband for securing excess belt webbing after adjustment by the wearer.

Description

  • This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/755,040, filed Dec. 30, 2005, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention generally relates to pack systems, belts, harnesses and other devices for carrying objects other than in a user's hands and arms. More particularly, the invention relates to methods and systems for providing a modular pack and load carrying system including a multifunctional harness with attachment structures for holding different needed items.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Pack systems and belts have been used to transport items of various sizes and purposes. Many forms of backpacks, fanny packs, nap sacks, duffel bags, belts, and carriers have been used to carry loads on the back and shoulders or around the waist and are available in various sizes and shapes. These pack systems are used in walking, traveling, hiking, climbing, and other often strenuous activities. Similarly, tool users who want to carry tools they may need, such as an electrician's tools or a carpenter's tools, use pack systems, and a police officer or other public safety officer may carry public safety devices that are or utilze pack systems.
  • Prior modular pack systems have been developed. Although a number of such systems have featured methods for adding packages and containers to pack systems, some such systems have drawbacks associated with the container attachment structures, and others do not adequately address the wearer's comfort. Some conventional pack systems require a user to carry multiple items that are not capable of interfacing with one another to provide a modular pack system. In other instances, such additional parts of a system are totally independent, bulky and cumbersome, and are not particularly attractive. Furthermore, these conventional systems do not allow for the easy attachment and removal of modular components based on advanced modular technology, and none of the available systems also allow for a hydration unit that may be removably attached to the system, as well as providing a lumber support system.
  • Thus, there is a continuing need for a flexible, highly adaptable system that minimizes the need to carry unnecessary packs or components and/or that accommodates a hydration pack and additional lumbar support, while providing a system to conveniently carry diverse types of goods in a diverse range of environments. There is also a need for improved methods and systems for providing a modular pack system that allows for the efficient and effective attachment and removal of various packs, pouches, containers, or other useful components.
  • SUMMARY
  • Certain embodiments of this invention include a modular pack system comprising a multifunctional harness and related components. In one embodiment, a multifunctional harness may be used for backpacking, biking, hunting, fly fishing, or other indoor or outdoor activities, including both work and recreational activities, specifically including industrial (like electrical, construction, or carpentry work) and military activities. The harness may be adjustable to fit different user torso sizes. The harness may have shoulder straps, a torso structure, a waistband, or a combination of any of these that are adjustable. The modular pack system may include attachment structures capable of removably and adjustably securing various detachable packs, pouches, or containers for different needed items, such as a GPS unit, knife, flashlight, mobile phone, hunting or fishing equipment, and the like. In one embodiment, shoulder straps may include fabric flex points that provide more flexibility in fitting over the shoulders depending on the adjustment to torso fitting components.
  • In some embodiments, a modular pack system may be adjustable in the lumbar region, allowing the user to customize the fit of the harness to the user's unique upper torso. Adjustability may be provided by use of suitable adjustable materials such as spandex, which permits stretching at the neck. Certain embodiments may also include a movable, adjustable sternum strap. In some embodiments, fabrics that reduce noise may be used and are particularly useful in embodiments designed to be used in hunting, where materials that are noisy in use need to be avoided. In certain embodiments, a modular pack system may include waist straps that are adjustable or flexible for certain activities such as bicycling.
  • In some exemplary embodiments, attachment structures, studs for example, are spaced apart at generally consistent distances within different groupings at various locations on shoulder straps, a torso structure, a waistband, and other components to permit standardization of attachment structure spacing on packs and other items that may attach to the modular pack system. In one embodiment, the stud comprises a head and a base joined by a shank. The stud is inserted into or received in a plastic clip mounted on a pouch, pack, or other item to be carried on the shoulder straps, waistband, or other part of the system. In one embodiment, the plastic clip is generally rectangular in shape with a slot for securely receiving the attachment stud in order to hold packs or other attachable components of varying sizes or additional items.
  • In certain exemplary embodiments, a lower adjustable lumbar support strap may surround the waist of the user and may also attach to a pack or hydration pack. The lumbar support strap may include attachment studs generally evenly spaced along its length. At the end of each of the shoulder strap and the lumbar support strap are male and female quick-release fastener components securing the harness with the lumbar support strap. The lumbar support system may also use a compression molded lumbar pad for additional back support for the user. A waistband may include fabric flaps on each side that cover part of the lumbar support straps and allow the wearer to secure any excess belt webbing after adjustment. Thus is particularly desirable to wearers engaged in any outdoor, sporting, or similar activity.
  • In one exemplary embodiment, a modular pack system harness comprises (a) an adjustable waistband comprising two ends and a middle; (b) a torso structure comprising a bottom attached to the middle of the waistband and a top; (c) two shoulder straps, each shoulder strap comprising an upper end attached to the top of the torso structure and a lower end; (i) a lower end of one of the two shoulder straps being adjustably attachable to the waistband between the waistband middle and one of the two waistband ends; and (ii) a lower end of the other of the two shoulder straps being adjustably attachable to the waistband between the waistband middle and the other of the two waistband ends; and (d) a plurality of first attachment structures secured to the harness, wherein at least two different packs are attachable to the first attachment structures utilizing a second attachment structure.
  • In another exemplary embodiment, a waistband for supporting one or more of a plurality of packs and accessories comprises a belt to which studs are attached, each stud comprising a shank extending from the belt and topped by a head, wherein the studs are spaced apart from each other equidistantly. In another embodiment, a waistband for supporting one or more of a plurality of packs and accessories comprises: (a) a padded plate for positioning against a lower back of a wearer of the waistband, the plate comprising a first side edge and a second side edge opposite the first side edge; (b) waist-encircling structures connected to the plate for encircling a wearer's waist and attaching in the wearer's front, the waist-encircling structures comprising: (i) a first belt web and a second belt web; (ii) a first adjustable length lumbar strap attached between the first side edge and the first belt web, and a second adjustable length lumbar strap attached between the second side edge and the second belt web; (iii) a buckle for adjustably attaching the first and second belt webs to each other; (iv) underlying each of the first and second adjustable length lumbar straps, padding having an upper edge and a lower edge; (v) a cover overlying each of the first and second adjustable length lumbar straps; and (vi) a plurality of studs secured to the covering material.
  • In yet another exemplary embodiment, a multifunctional modular pack system comprises a harness with two shoulder straps, at least one torso-encircling strap, multiple first attachment structures on the harness, and at least two different soft-sided packs; and each pack comprising at least one second attachment structure for mating with one of the first attachment structures, and at least one of the packs having at least two second attachment structures.
  • In another exemplary embodiment, a modular pack system comprises a multifunctional harness assembly comprising shoulder straps, a lower lumbar support structure, connecting structure located on a distal end of each shoulder strap for securing the distal ends to the lumbar support structure, a plurality of studs spaced along a portion of each shoulder strap and a portion of the lumbar support structure, each stud comprising a shank, and one or more attachable components, each component including a clip that has a slot configured to securely receive a stud by forcing the shaft of the stud beyond a neck in the slot to capture the clip.
  • In yet another exemplary embodiment, a system for attachment of an object to clothing or other articles worn by a mammal comprises (a) a stud comprising (i) a generally round flat base with a plurality of prongs extending from a bottom of the base; (ii) a shank having a diameter extending from a top of the base; (iii) a polygonal plate head having a thickness, the head attached to an upper end of the shank; and (iv) a threaded hole extending through the base and into the shank for receiving a screw for securing the stud to a fabric or other flat material by capturing the fabric or other flat material between the bottom of the base and the screw head, while drawing the prongs into the fabric or other flat material; and (b) a clip comprising (i) a base plate for securing to fabric or other flat material; and (ii) a slot plate attached to the base plate and elevated above the base plate at least the thickness of the stud head, the slot plate comprising a slot open at one end and defined by resilient slot sides that form a neck narrower than the shank diameter such that the shank can be forced through the neck to capture the stud within the clip.
  • Additional embodiments include a method of providing a modular pack system with one or more of the components described herein and a method of preparing for an activity including donning a multi-functional harness and attaching to the harness at least two paks useful in the course of the activity by positioning a clip attached to each of the packs to a stud mounted on the harness.
  • A few examples of the numerous possible embodiments of this invention are depicted in the drawings and described in the Detailed Description below.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention are better understood when the following Detailed Description is read with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a rear view of one embodiment of a modular pack system of this invention with one lumbar strap cover open and one lumbar strap cover closed.
  • FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 with shoulder straps and an upper torso plate detached from a lower torso plate and waistband.
  • FIG. 3 is a front view of the shoulder straps of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 with movable, adjustable sternum strap shown attached to the shoulder straps.
  • FIG. 4 shows an embodiment of a hydration pack of this invention with the hydration unit open with a bladder inside and a tube extending therefrom.
  • FIG. 5 is a rear view of the embodiment of the modular pack system of FIG. 1 with embodiment of the hydration pack shown in FIG. 4 mounted directly to the modular pack system and the hydration unit closed.
  • FIG. 6 is a rear view of the embodiment of the modular pack system of FIG. 1 with embodiment of a backpack attached to the modular pack system.
  • FIG. 7 is a view of the backpack shown in FIG. 6 in isolation showing the side of the backpack that mounts to the modular pack system.
  • FIG. 8 is an exploded view of the backpack shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 with the backpack open and a hydration pack that fits within the backpack.
  • FIG. 9 is a rear view of the embodiment of the modular pack system of FIG. 1 with an embodiment of a waist pack mounted to the modular pack system.
  • FIG. 10 is a view of the waist pack shown in FIG. 9 in isolation showing the side of the waist pack that mounts to the modular pack system.
  • FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a top and one side of an embodiment of a stud according to the present invention.
  • FIG. 12 is a top view of the stud of FIG. 11.
  • FIG. 13 is a bottom view of the stud of FIG. 11.
  • FIG. 14 is an exploded side view of the stud of FIG. 11, an embodiment of a screw that threadably engages the stud, and an embodiment of a cover that may cover the stud when not in use.
  • FIG. 15 is a bottom perspective view of the cover of FIG. 14.
  • FIG. 16 is a perspective view of one side of an embodiment of a clip of this invention.
  • FIG. 17 is a bottom view of the clip of FIG. 16 that shows the inner, fabric-facing side of the clip.
  • FIG. 18 is a top view of the clip of FIG. 16 that shows the outward-facing side of the clip.
  • FIG. 19 shows the stud of FIG. 11 inserted within a slot of the clip of FIG. 16.
  • FIG. 20 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a pack of this invention with two clips of FIG. 16 attached to the pack for mounting the pack.
  • FIG. 21 is a side view of an embodiment of a duffel bag of the present invention.
  • FIG. 22 is an interior view of the duffel bag of FIG. 21.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Referring now to the drawings in which like numerals indicate like elements throughout the several figures, FIG. 1 is a rear view of one embodiment of a modular pack system 40 in accordance with the present invention. Modular pack system 40 includes a harness 42 with two shoulder straps 44, a torso structure 70, and a waistband 80. In this embodiment, the structure of each shoulder strap 44 is generally the same, so further description of an exemplary shoulder strap 44 applies to both shoulder straps, but it should be understood that some embodiments may include shoulder straps that are not identical to one another.
  • Harness 42 includes padding 50 in the area that is adjacent the wearer's neck when harness 42 is being worn. Each strap 44 also includes padding 48 and an elastic fabric loop 52 attached to strap 44. An elastic fabric includes any textile fabric with elastic strands, solid elastic bands similar to a large, wide rubber band, or any other flexible elastic material. Elastic fabric loop 52 may be used for several purposes, including to hold a tube 116 that is connected to a hydration pack, water bottle, or other liquid source, as is further described below with reference to FIGS. 4 and 5. As shown in FIG. 1, one of shoulder straps 44 also includes a tube clip 60 that may be used to assist with keeping the tube in place along strap 44 and out of the wearer's way.
  • At a lower end of each shoulder strap 44 is a pivotable buckle 54 for attaching the lower end of shoulder strap 44 to waistband 80 of the modular pack system. One pivotable buckle suitable for use is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,860,769, entitled “Combination Buoyancy Compensator and Support for a Diver's Backpack with a Swivel Buckle and Triangular Holder,” which is hereby incorporated by reference. Another suitable pivotable buckle 54 is available from Duraflex, a licensee of National Molding Corporation. Pivotable buckle 54 is attached to a strap 56 that has a male end 58 of a quick-release fastener on its opposite end. A male end 58 on each shoulder strap 44 is inserted into a female end 100 secured to waistband 80 in order to attach shoulder straps 44 to waistband 80.
  • Each shoulder strap 44 also includes studs 46 that may be used to attach packs to harness 42. As used herein, a pack includes any pack, pouch, container, case, kit, organizer, holder, or other attachable component including, but not limited to, a backpack, a waist pack, a bottle holder, a binocular pouch, a drink pouch, a mobile phone holder, a range finder pouch, a GPS holder, a radio holder, a flashlight pouch, a knife pouch, a flashlight/knife pouch, a sunglasses case, a camera pouch, an accessories pouch, a medical kit, an MP3 player pouch, a multi-purpose organizer, a ripple foam fly pad, a fly fishing organizer or chest pack, a field organizer, a grunt tube holder, a turkey organizer, a turkey seat, an ammunition holder, a combination of any of the above, or any other component attachable to one or more studs.
  • As shown in FIGS. 1-3, 5, 6, and 9, the studs 46 on each shoulder strap 44 include two studs 46 near the top of shoulder strap 44 that are near the wearer's neck or shoulder tops in use and six studs 46 that are arranged generally in a row down the length of shoulder strap 44 that are in front of a wearer's chest in use. It should be well understood that the particular number of studs or groupings of studs on a shoulder strap 44, or other part of modular pack system 40, is not limited to the disclosed embodiments. However, it is desirable to place studs 46 so that they are a generally consistent, even distance from one another within a grouping of studs 46.
  • For example, in one embodiment, the two studs 46 in the grouping at the top of shoulder strap 44 are spaced about 1.5 inches apart, as are the six studs 46 in the grouping down the length of shoulder strap 44. Of course, however, there is greater space between the grouping of two studs and the grouping of six studs than 1.5 inches. Although it has been found that a spacing of 1.5 inches between adjacent studs in a grouping works well, other spacing may be used. The use of generally consistently and even-spaced studs permits standardization of attachment structure (such as clips 160) spacing on packs that may attach to modular pack system 40. The structure of an exemplary stud 46 is described further below with reference to FIGS. 11-14. In order to attach to studs 46, a pack preferably includes one or more clips 160, which are described in detail below with reference to FIGS. 16-19.
  • FIG. 3 shows a front view of harness 42 that includes an adjustable sternum strap 62. Sternum strap 62 comprises two straps 64 and 66. The adjoining ends of straps 64 and 66 are fastened with a quick-release fastener 68, and the opposite ends each have a clip (not shown) that secures the strap to a stud 46 on each shoulder strap 44. Sternum strap 62 adjustably secure harness 42 across a wearer's chest. In one embodiment, fastener 68 may also be used a distress whistle, and a suitable fastener/whistle is available commercially from ITW Nexus.
  • Returning now to FIGS. 1 and 2, each shoulder strap 44 contains flexible fabric such as spandex or LYCRA® for flexible fitting of the shoulder straps to the wearer and are joined with stitching to a torso structure 70 so as to be connected behind the neck of the wearer. Torso structure 70 is attached to harness 42 at its top and to waistband 80 at its bottom. Torso structure 70 comprises two plates, an upper torso plate 72 and a lower torso plate 74. Upper torso plate includes two studs 46, one positioned in each upper corner of upper torso plate 72.
  • Hook and loop fabric (e.g., Velcro®) is attached to adjacent surfaces of upper and lower torso plates 72 and 74 so that plates 72 and 74 may be detachably secured to each other. The use of hook and loop fabric also allows the extent to which one of plates 72 and 74 overlies the other of plates 72 and 74 to be changed, thereby adjusting the height of torso structure 70. As shown in FIG. 2, upper torso plate 72 and lower torso plate 74 are detached. As an example, a surface 76 of lower torso plate 74 includes loop fabric, and the adjoining underside (not shown) of upper torso plate 72 includes hook fabric. Either or both of torso plates 72 and 74 may include padding for contact with the wearer's back in use.
  • Waistband 80 is attached to the bottom of lower torso plate 74. Waistband 80 include a centrally-located lumbar plate 82. Lumbar plate 82 may include padding on its inside surface (not shown) to support the lower back of the wearer when modular pack system 40 is in use. The outside surface of lumbar plate 82 includes two groupings of studs 46, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Lumbar plate 82 may be made from a compression molded panel made from any suitable material such as polyethylene, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), or similar materials.
  • Connected to opposite edges of lumbar plate 82 are two side panels 86. A composite of foam bonded to a mesh panel with a foam-knit laminate secured thereto may form a portion of lumbar plate 82 and side panels 86. Extending from the end of each side panel 86 is a belt web 88 that terminates in a quick-release fastener component. As shown in the figures, female component 90A is on the left side and male component 90B is on the right side. A wearer secures waistband 80 around the waist by inserting male component 90B into female component 90A. Each side panel 86 also includes a female end 100 of a quick-release fastener configured to receive a male end 58 to secure shoulder straps 44 to waistband 80.
  • Each side panel 86 underlies a lumbar adjustment strap 84. Each lumbar adjustment strap 84 extends from an opposite edge of lumbar plate 82 and terminates on the underlying side panel 86, as shown in FIG. 1. Each lumbar adjustable strap is adjustable so that waistband 80 can be tightened or loosened around the wearer's waist as desired. Each side panel 86 includes a cover 92 comprised of a bottom fabric flap 94 and a top fabric flap 96.
  • As shown in FIG. 1, cover 92 is closed on the right side, with bottom and top fabric flaps 94 and 96 attached to one another, and cover 92 is open on the left side, where fabric flaps 94 and 96 are not attached. As shown on the left side, the interior surface of top fabric flap 96 includes a strip 98 of one of hook and loop fabric. The top of the outer surface (not shown) of bottom fabric flap 94 includes the other of the hook and loop fabric so that fabric flaps 94 and 96 can be detachably secured to one another using hook and loop fabric, forming cover 92 when secured. Flaps 94 and 96 of cover 92 provide the wearer with the ability to secure excess belt webbing of straps 84 underneath the flaps after the wearer has adjusted the straps. Thus, cover 92 keeps portions of lumbar adjustment strap 84 from hanging loose during use of modular pack system 40 or being bothersome for the wearer, which is particularly desirable to wearers engaged in any outdoor, sporting, or similar activity.
  • As shown in FIG. 2, each side panel 86 includes a plurality of studs 46 mounted to top fabric flap 96. In the embodiment shown, seven studs 46 are mounted to each top fabric flap 96 and are spaced apart in a row at even distances from one another. It should be understood that more, fewer, or differently arranged studs 46 could be used on a side panel 86. In one embodiment, studs 46 are mounted on polyethylene board stitched in place in modular pack system 40.
  • FIGS. 11-14 show various views of one embodiment of stud 46. Stud 46 includes a head 190 connected to a base 194 by a shank 196. In one embodiment, epoxy may be used to secure the parts of stud 46 to provide additional strength. In the embodiment shown, base 194 is generally circular and of a larger diameter than head 190. Head 190 has a generally octagonal shape with a slight indentation 192 or inward curve in each side edge. It should be understood that head 190 may be of a variety of polygonal or other shapes and that base 194 may have a shape other than generally circular. As shown best in FIG. 14, stud 46 includes a bottom portion 198 extending down from the center of base 194. Bottom portion 198 may be of the same diameter as shank 196 or slightly wider and/or tapered, as shown in FIG. 14. A threaded hole 199 extends up through bottom portion 198 and into shank 196. Three pointed prongs 200 extend down from base 194 and are generally located as shown in FIG. 13.
  • To mount a stud into a polyethylene board, wooden board, or other similar mounting material that is typically backed by fabric, a screw 202 with threads 204 is threaded into hole 199 in stud 46 from a side of the mounting material opposite stud 46. As screw 202 is inserted further into hole 199, stud 46 is pulled into the fabric or other mounting material and prongs 200 extending from base 194 engage the fabric to help hold stud 46 in place. A stud cover 206, shown in FIGS. 14 and 15, may optionally be placed over stud 46 when the wearer is not using stud 46. In one embodiment, stud cover 206 is a generally oval-shaped dome made of a flexible plastic material and includes a stepped, curved opening 208 in its underside. Stud cover 206 fits over stud 46 such that head 190 and shank 196 are covered. This may be useful to keep studs 46 that are not in use from catching on or interfering with packs or other attachable components that are mounted to other studs 46 of modular pack system 40.
  • FIGS. 16-19 show various views of one embodiment of a clip 160. Clip 160 includes a base plate 162 and slot plate 164. In this embodiment, base plate 162 has a generally rectangular shape with rounded corners and is open at one end. Base plate 162 is the part of clip 160 that is mounted or otherwise attached to the pack or other attachable component that is mountable on one or more of studs 46. Slot plate 164 is attached to base plate 162 and is elevated above base plate 162 a distance that is at least the same or greater than the thickness of head 190 of stud 46. Slot plate 164 comprises a slot 166 open at one end. Slot 166 is defined by resilient slot sides 168 that form a neck 170 narrower than the diameter of shank 196 of stud 46. Slot 166 and neck 170 are sized relative to shank 196 of stud 46 so that shank 196 is forced through neck 170 to capture stud 46 within slot 166 of clip 160.
  • FIG. 19 shows a top view of stud 46 captured within clip 160. Clip 160 also includes a protrusion 172 with a pointed end. Protrusion 172 is positioned to prevent free rotation of clip 160 once stud 46 is captured within slot 166. The point of protrusion 172 is located within an indentation 192 in head 190 of stud 46 and provides resistance to rotation of clip 160 about stud 46 to keep packs from swinging about stud 46 while the wearer is engaged in an activity. However, the wearer, with some applied manual force, may rotate clip 160 about stud 46 into a desired position. For example, an octagonal-shaped head 190 of stud 46 provides eight possible positions, as protrusion 172 may rest within any one of indentations 192. Stud 46 and clip 160 are configured for quiet, easy attachment and detachment from one another. By attaching one or more clips 160 to a pack, the pack may be mounted to one or more studs 46, and thus attached to various locations on modular pack system 40, such as shoulder straps 44, torso structure 70, and waistband 80.
  • Several exemplary packs are now described with reference to FIGS. 4-10 and 20 and may be included as part of modular pack system 40. It should be understood that packs of numerous sizes, types, and configurations may be utilized with modular pack system 40 including those shown in the figures, those identified in the list recited above, or others, and that the invention is not limited to the use of a particular pack. One embodiment of a hydration pack 10 is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. FIG. 4 shows hydration pack 110 open, while FIG. 5 shows hydration pack 110 closed and mounted to torso structure 70 of modular pack system 40. Specifically, hydration pack 110 includes two clips 160 (not shown) on the surface adjacent torso structure, and the two clips are mounted on studs 46 of upper torso plate 72 (see FIGS. 1 and 2). Alternatively, hydration pack 110 may be mounted within a backpack 130 that attaches to modular pack system 40, as shown in the exploded view of FIG. 8. In another alternative embodiment, hydration pack 110 (and its contents) may be permanently attached to torso structure 70.
  • Hydration pack 110 includes an outer fabric shell 112 with a zipper 124 to open and close outer shell 112. Outer shell 112 surrounds a bladder 114, and a top 122 on bladder 114 may be removed to fill bladder 114 with liquid or to empty bladder 114 between uses of hydration pack 110. A tube 116 extends from bladder 114 and has a mouthpiece 118 on its end. Outer shell 112 includes two openings 120 surrounded by elastic fabric, and tube 116 may be inserted through either opening 120 to exit outer shell 112. Referring now to FIG. 5, tube 116 may be inserted through tube clip 60, which is on the left shoulder strap 44 but may be attached to a stud 46 on either shoulder strap 44. Tube 116 may also be inserted through one of elastic fabric loops 52 present each shoulder strap 44. Tube clip 60 and elastic fabric loop 52 aid in holding tube 116 in position along one of shoulder straps 44 such that tube 116 does not hinder the wearer during the activity in which the wearer is engaged, while also allowing the wearer to position mouthpiece 118 as desired and adjacent the wearer's mouth when modular pack system 40 is being worn.
  • FIGS. 6-8 show an embodiment of a backpack 130 for use with modular pack system 40. Backpack 130 includes a plurality of outer pockets 132, a zip-out raincover pocket 138 at the bottom, and a handle 144 at the top. Belt webs 134 extend from each side of the central outer pocket 132 and each includes a female component 136 of a quick-release fastener, as shown in FIG. 6. Straps 140 extend from near the top of central outer pocket 132, and each strap 140 includes a male component 142 of a quick-release fastener. Female components 136 and male components 142 attach to components of fasteners extending from straps on the other side of backpack 130 that are shown in FIG. 7.
  • FIG. 7 shows a side 158 of backpack 130 that mounts to shoulder straps 44, torso structure 72, and waistband 80 of modular pack system 40. Straps 146 extend from opposite edges of backpack 130, and each strap 146 includes a male component 148 of a quick-release fastener. Male components 148 may be coupled to female components 136 (see FIG. 6) to secure belt webs 134 along the sides of backpack 130. A zipped pocket 150 may include straps (not shown) that may be used if the wearer desires to use backpack 130 without the remainder of modular pack system 40. Straps 152 extend from the top of side 158 of backpack 130, and each strap includes a female component 154 of a quick-release fastener. Female components 154 may be secured to male components 142 (see FIG. 6) to secure the top of backpack 130.
  • Load-stabilizing buckles 156 are also provided at the bottom of backpack 130. Buckles 156 increase the ability of backpack 130 to carry more weight and to stabilize the load being carried. When using backpack 130 with modular pack system 40, it is desirable to detach straps 56 from female ends 100 on waistband 80 and secure male ends 58 of straps 56 to buckles 156 on backpack 130. This pulls the lower load of backpack 130 into the body for load stabilization, in conjunction with two aluminum support bars (not shown) in backpack 130.
  • As shown in FIG. 7, this embodiment of backpack 130 has six clips 160 mounted to side 158. Clips 160 engage studs 46 attached to modular pack system 40 to mount backpack 130 to system 40. As may be seen by reference to FIGS. I and 6, four clips 160 are at the top of backpack 130. The uppermost two clips 160 attach to two studs 46, one on each shoulder strap 44, while the other two clips 160 near the top of backpack 130 attach to the two studs 46 on upper torso plate 72. Two clips 160 positioned near the bottom of backpack 130 attach to the studs 46 on lumbar plate, one in each grouping near opposite edges of lumbar plate 82. It should be understood that clips 160 (and studs 46) may be positioned other than as shown in the drawings, provided that clips 160 are positioned to mount to a number of studs 46 on modular pack system 40 to effectively secure backpack 130 to system 40.
  • FIG. 8 shows an exploded view of backpack 130 open and hydration pack 110 exploded out of a location in backpack 130 in which hydration pack 110 may be mounted. The inside surface of backpack 130 includes two studs 46 that may be used to mount hydration pack 110 or other packs. As described above, hydration pack 110 includes two clips for mounting pack 110 onto studs 46 inside of backpack 130. Additional studs 46 may be positioned in various locations inside backpack 130, as well as inside any of outer pockets 132 of backpack 130 or on the outside of backpack 130, so that packs or other attachable components may be attached within or on backpack 130 or its various pockets.
  • FIGS. 9 and 10 show an embodiment of a waist pack 180 that may be used with modular pack system 40. FIG. 9 shows waist pack 180 attached to waistband 80, and FIG. 10 shows a view of the side of waist pack 180 that mounts onto waistband 80. As shown in FIG. 10, waist pack 180 has four clips 160 that attach to studs 46 of lumbar plate 82. Thus, when modular pack system 40 is being worn, waist pack 180 is attached around the back of the wearer's waist. A wearer may use waist pack for storage of items as desired.
  • Referring now to FIG. 9, waist pack includes a pocket 182 located on its front and a top hatch flap 184, both opened with zippers in this embodiment. Top hatch flap 184 provides easy top entry into the interior of waist pack 180. The interior of waist pack 180 or pocket 182 may have organizers or studs 46 for the attachment or storage of smaller items. Adjustable straps 186 extend from opposite edges of pocket 182 to near opposite ends of waist pack 180, and webbing of the straps is stitched to the body of waist pack 180. At the ends of each strap 186 are a clip 160 (not shown) that attaches to one of studs 46 on waistband 80. Straps 186 then act as additional lumbar support that may be pulled tight so that waist pack 180 hugs the wearer's body.
  • FIG. 20 shows a perspective view of a generic pack 220 that has two clips 160 attached thereto for mounting pack 220 on studs 46 of modular pack system 40. As described above, any of numerous types of packs or other attachable components may be used, including, but not limited to, those listed herein and other structures for holding fishing equipment, ammunition, camping equipment, tactical or military equipment, industrial tools, (such as electrical, construction, or carpentry) and the like. Additionally, certain embodiments of methods of this invention may include providing a modular pack system with one or more of the components described herein and preparing for an activity by donning a modular pack system with one or more of such components and attaching to the system two or more packs useful for the activity.
  • FIGS. 21 and 22 show a duffel bag 230 that may be used to transport a modular pack system, such as system 40, or other packs. Duffel bag 230 has two straps 232 for carrying bag 230. Straps 232 may be secured together using a hook and loop fabric cover 234. Elastic straps 240 may be pulled to secure bag 230 for easy transport on all-terrain vehicles and the like. Duffel bag 230 also includes pockets 236 on one or more sides for storage. The interior of duffel bag 230 is sized so that it has sufficient space to hold modular pack system 40. Duffel bag 230 also includes one or more panels 238 that may be detachably removed from the interior of duffel bag 230 using a hook and loop fabric connection or similar mechanism. Each panel 238 has a plurality of studs 46 to allow addditional packs or other attachable components to be secured within duffel bag 230. The number of studs 46 on each panel 238 may vary.
  • The foregoing description of exemplary embodiments of the invention has been presented only for the purposes of illustration and description and is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed. Many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above disclosure. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to explain the principles of the invention and their practical application so as to enable others skilled in the art to make and utilize the invention and various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. Alternative embodiments will become apparent to those skilled in the art to which the present invention pertains without departing from its spirit and scope.

Claims (80)

1. A modular pack system harness, comprising:
(a) an adjustable waistband comprising two ends and a middle;
(b) a torso structure comprising a bottom attached to the middle of the waistband and a top;
(c) two shoulder straps, each shoulder strap comprising an upper end attached to the top of the torso structure and a lower end;
(i) a lower end of one of the two shoulder straps being adjustably attachable to the waistband between the waistband middle and one of the two waistband ends; and
(ii) a lower end of the other of the two shoulder straps being adjustably attachable to the waistband between the waistband middle and the other of the two waistband ends; and
(d) a plurality of first attachment structures secured to the harness, wherein at least two different packs are attachable to the first attachment structures utilizing a second attachment structure.
2. The modular pack system harness of claim 1, wherein first attachment structures are secured to each of the waistband and the shoulder straps.
3. The modular pack system harness of claim 2, wherein the first attachment structures on each of the waistband and the shoulder straps are generally positioned in rows such that the first attachment structures within each row are substantially equally spaced apart.
4. The modular pack system harness of claim 1, wherein each shoulder strap further comprises a pivotable buckle secured to the lower end for attaching the lower end of the shoulder strap to the waistband.
5. The modular pack system harness of claim 1, wherein the torso structure further comprises:
(a) an upward-extending lower torso plate attached the waistband and having an inside;
(b) a downward-extending upper torso plate attached to the shoulder straps and having an inside; and
(c) one of hook fabric and loop fabric attached to one of the torso plates and the other of the hook fabric and loop fabric attached to the other of the torso plates so that the plates may be secured to each other with the hook fabric and loop fabric and the extent to which one of the plates overlies the other plate may be changed to adjust the height of the torso structure.
6. The modular pack system harness of claim 5, wherein the lower torso plate further comprises padding attached to the inside of the lower torso plate for contact with the user's back.
7. The modular pack system harness of claim 1, wherein the waistband further comprises a centrally located lumbar plate with padding on an inside and carrying first attachment structures on an outside.
8. The modular pack system harness of claim 7, wherein the waistband further comprises a first belt web between the lumbar plate and one of the two ends of the waistband and a second belt web between the lumbar plate and the other of the two ends of the waistband.
9. The modular pack system harness of claim 8, further comprising a lumbar adjustment strap extending from each of two opposite edges of the lumbar plate, each lumbar adjustment strap coupled to a belt web.
10. The modular pack system harness of claim 9, further comprising two side panels, each side panel comprising a padded structure connected between one of the belt webs and the lumbar plate and underlying a lumbar adjustment strap.
11. The modular pack system harness of claim 10, wherein each side panel further comprises an upper edge, a lower edge, a first fabric flap extending from the upper edge to overlie the associated lumbar adjustment strap, and a second fabric flap extending from the lower edge to overlie the associated the lumbar adjustment strap.
12. The modular pack system harness of claim 11, wherein the first fabric flap carries first attachment structures and overlies the second fabric flap and attaches to the second fabric flap with hook and loop fabric.
13. The modular pack system harness of claim 1, wherein the waistband further comprises at least one side panel, each side panel comprising first attachment structures.
14. The modular pack system harness of claim 13, wherein each side panel further comprises an upper edge, a lower edge, a first fabric flap carrying the first attachment structures of the side panel, and a second fabric flap extending from the lower edge that attaches to the first fabric flap with hook and loop fabric.
15. The modular pack system harness of claim 14, further comprising at least one lumbar adjustment strap, wherein the first and second fabric flaps of each side panel attach to each other to cover at least a portion of a lumber adjustment strap.
16. The modular pack system harness of claim 1, further comprising:
(a) a bladder for holding water or other fluids and positionable against the torso structure;
(b) a mouthpiece positionable on the harness proximate a location near a harness wearer's mouth when the harness is being worn; and
(c) a tube connected between the bladder and the mouthpiece.
17. The modular pack system harness of claim 16, further comprising at least one elastic fabric loop attached to one of the shoulder straps to hold the tube.
18. The modular pack system harness of claim 16, wherein the bladder is held within a bladder pack permanently attached to the torso structure.
19. The modular pack system harness of claim 16, wherein the bladder is held within a bladder pack alternatively positionable at least (a) attached to the torso structure, or (b) within a backpack attachable to the harness.
20. The modular pack system harness of claim 1, wherein the plurality of first attachment structures comprises studs, each stud having a shank projecting from a base and topped by a head.
21. The modular pack system harness of claim 20, further comprising the at least two different packs, each pack including a second attachment structure.
22. The modular pack system of claim 21, wherein the second attachment structure comprises a clip having a slot open at one end with resilient slot sides defining a neck narrower than the diameter of the shank of the stud such that the shank of the stud is forced through the neck to capture the stud within the clip.
23. The modular pack system harness of claim 20, further comprising studs attached to each of the shoulder straps.
24. The modular pack system harness of claim 23, further comprising an adjustable sternum strap attachable between a stud on one of the shoulder straps and a stud on the other of the shoulder straps.
25. The modular pack system harness of claim 24, wherein the adjustable sternum strap includes a quick-release fastener for separating the sternum strap into two parts, each part attachable to a stud on one of the shoulder straps.
26. The modular pack system harness of claim 20, further comprising studs attached to the waistband proximate the middle of the waistband.
27. The modular pack system harness of claim 20, further comprising studs attached to the torso structure.
28. The modular pack system harness of claim 1, further comprising an adjustable lumbar strap having two strap ends, one of which is attached to different points along the waistband.
29. The modular pack system harness of claim 1, wherein the waistband further comprises a quick-release fastener for securing the two ends of the waistband to one another.
30. The modular pack system harness of claim 1, wherein the first attachment structures are mounted on polyethylene board that is stitched in place.
31. A waistband for supporting one or more of a plurality of packs and accessories, the waistband comprising a belt to which studs are attached, each stud comprising a shank extending from the belt and topped by a head, wherein the studs are spaced apart from each other equidistantly.
32. The waistband of claim 31, further comprising a pouch comprising at least one clip for mounting on one of the studs, and a plurality of pockets for holding tools.
33. The waistband of claim 31, wherein the studs are mounted on polyethylene board that is stitched in place.
34. The waistband of claim 31, further comprising a centrally located lumbar plate with padding on an inside and carrying studs on an outside.
35. The waistband of claim 34, further comprising two adjustable length lumbar straps, each strap attached to an opposite edge of the lumbar plate.
36. The waistband of claim 35, further comprising two side panels, each side panel comprising an upper edge, a lower edge, a first fabric flap extending from the upper edge to overlie a lumbar strap, and a second fabric flap extending from the lower edge to overlie the lumbar strap.
37. The waistband of claim 31, further comprising at least one side panel, each side panel including studs and further comprising an upper edge, a lower edge, a first fabric flap carrying the studs of the side panel, and a second fabric flap extending from the lower edge that attaches to the first fabric flap with hook and loop fabric.
38. The waistband of claim 37, further comprising two lumbar adjustment straps, wherein the first and second fabric flaps of each side panel attach to each other to cover one of the two adjustment lumbar straps.
39. A waistband for supporting one or more of a plurality of packs and accessories, the waistband comprising:
(a) a padded plate for positioning against a lower back of a wearer of the waistband, the plate comprising a first side edge and a second side edge opposite the first side edge;
(b) waist-encircling structures connected to the plate for encircling a wearer's waist and attaching in the wearer's front, the waist-encircling structures comprising:
(i) a first belt web and a second belt web;
(ii) a first adjustable length lumbar strap attached between the first side edge and the first belt web, and a second adjustable length lumbar strap attached between the second side edge and the second belt web;
(iii) a buckle for adjustably attaching the first and second belt webs to each other;
(iv) underlying each of the first and second adjustable length lumbar straps, padding having an upper edge and a lower edge;
(v) a cover overlying each of the first and second adjustable length lumbar straps; and
(vi) a plurality of studs secured to the covering material.
40. The waistband of claim 39, wherein each cover comprises a first flap of material attached proximate the lumbar strap padding lower edge, a second flap of material attached proximate the lumbar strap padding upper edge, and hook material attached to the one of the first and second flaps and loop material attached to the other of the first and second flaps for closing the flaps over the lumbar strap by securing the hook material to the loop material.
41. A multifunctional modular pack system, comprising:
a harness with two shoulder straps, at least one torso-encircling strap, multiple first attachment structures on the harness, and at least two different soft-sided packs; and
each pack comprising at least one second attachment structure for mating with one of the first attachment structures, and at least one of the packs having at least two second attachment structures.
42. The multifunctional modular pack system of claim 41, wherein the shoulder straps contain elastic material.
43. The multifunctional modular pack system of claim 41, wherein the shoulder straps are joined with stitching to a padded laminate so as to be connected behind the neck of the wearer in use.
44. The multifunctional modular pack system of claim 41, wherein, when mated, the second attachment structure is rotatable on the first attachment structure.
45. The multifunctional modular pack system of claim 41, wherein the first attachment structures comprise one or more groupings of studs, wherein each grouping of studs comprises studs generally in a row and the studs in each row are spaced apart equidistantly.
46. The multifunctional modular pack system of claim 41, wherein each first attachment structure has a head joined by a central shaft to a generally circular base larger than the head.
47. The multifunctional modular pack system of claim 41, further comprising camouflage patterns on at least some of the surfaces visible during use.
48. The multifunctional modular pack system of claim 41, further comprising a plurality of pockets for holding tools.
49. The multifunctional modular pack system of claim 41, further comprising a cover positionable over a head of a first attachment structure when the first attachment structure is not in use.
50. The multifunctional modular pack system of claim 41, wherein the first attachment structures are mounted on fabric backed by board.
51. A modular pack system comprising:
a multifunctional harness assembly comprising shoulder straps;
a lower lumbar support structure;
connecting structure located on a distal end of each shoulder strap for securing the distal ends to the lumbar support structure;
a plurality of studs spaced along a portion of each shoulder strap and a portion of the lumbar support structure, each stud comprising a shank; and
one or more attachable components, each component including a clip that has a slot configured to securely receive a stud by forcing the shaft of the stud beyond a neck in the slot to capture the clip.
52. The modular pack system of claim 51, wherein the one or more attachable components comprises a hydration pack removably attached to the harness assembly.
53. The modular pack system of claim 51, wherein the one or more attachable components comprises a removable backpack.
54. The modular pack system of claim 53, wherein the backpack includes an outer pocket having pocket straps on the sides of the outer pocket.
55. The modular pack system of claim 54, wherein the outer pocket contains studs located inside the pocket.
56. The modular pack system of claim 51, wherein the lumbar support structure comprises a compression molded panel and a lumbar support pad.
57. The modular pack system of claim 51, wherein the lumbar support structure comprises an adjustable lumbar support strap at least a portion of which is enclosed within a hook and loop closable textile cover.
58. The modular pack system of claim 51, wherein the plurality of studs are mounted on polyethylene board that is stitched in place.
59. The modular pack system of claim 56, further comprising a plurality of screws, each screw passing through the polyethylene board into an opening in each stud to mount the studs to the polyethylene board.
60. The modular pack system of claim 51, further comprising camouflage patterns on at least some surfaces of the harness assembly visible during use.
61. The modular pack system of claim 51, further comprising a plurality of pockets for holding tools.
62. The modular pack system of claim 51, wherein the one or more attachable components comprises a pouch comprising at least one clip for mounting on one of the plurality of studs.
63. The modular pack system of claim 51, wherein the one or more attachable components comprises a structure for holding fishing equipment.
64. The modular pack system of claim 51, wherein the one or more attachable components comprises a structure for holding ammunition.
65. The modular pack system of claim 51, wherein the one or more attachable components comprises a pack for holding camping equipment.
66. The modular pack system of claim 51, wherein the one or more attachable components comprises a plurality of structures for holding tactical or military equipment.
67. The modular pack system of claim 51, further comprising a duffel bag.
68. The modular pack system of claim 67, wherein the duffel bag includes a plurality of studs spaced along a portion of an interior of the duffel bag.
69. The modular pack system of claim 51, further comprising a cover positionable on a stud to which a clip is not attached.
70. The modular pack system of claim 51, wherein the studs are mounted on fabric backed by board.
71. A system for attachment of an object to clothing or other articles worn by a mammal, the system comprising:
(a) a stud comprising:
(i) a generally round flat base with a plurality of prongs extending from a bottom of the base;
(ii) a shank having a diameter extending from a top of the base;
(iii) a polygonal plate head having a thickness, the head attached to an upper end of the shank; and
(iv) a threaded hole extending through the base and into the shank for receiving a screw for securing the stud to a fabric or other flat material by capturing the fabric or other flat material between the bottom of the base and the screw head, while drawing the prongs into the fabric or other flat material; and
(b) a clip comprising:
(i) a base plate for securing to fabric or other flat material;
(ii) a slot plate attached to the base plate and elevated above the base plate at least the thickness of the stud head, the slot plate comprising a slot open at one end and defined by resilient slot sides that form a neck narrower than the shank diameter such that the shank can be forced through the neck to capture the stud within the clip.
72. The system of claim 71, wherein the clip further comprising a protrusion to engage an edge of the head to partially resist clip rotation relative to the stud.
73. A method of providing a modular pack system, the method comprising:
providing a multifunctional harness assembly comprising shoulder straps;
providing a lower lumbar support structure;
providing connecting structure located on a distal end of each shoulder strap for securing the distal ends to the lumbar support structure;
providing a plurality of studs spaced along a portion of each shoulder strap and a portion of the lumbar support structure, each stud comprising a shank; and
providing one or more attachable components, each component including a clip that has a slot configured to securely receive a stud by forcing the shaft of the stud beyond a neck in the slot to capture the clip.
74. The method of claim 73, further comprising providing a duffel bag having a plurality of studs spaced along removal panels on an interior of the duffel bag.
75. The method of claim 74, further comprising storing any of the one or more attachable components by securing a clip of the attachable component to one of the plurality of studs inside the duffel bag.
76. The method of claim 74, further comprising storing the modular pack system in the duffel bag for transport.
77. A method of preparing for an activity, the method comprising:
donning a multi-functional harness with two shoulder straps, a waistband, and multiple studs on the harness; and
attaching to the harness at least two packs useful in the course of the activity by positioning a clip attached to each of the packs to a stud mounted on the harness.
78. The method of claim 77, further comprising adjusting an adjustable lumbar strap of the waistband about a user's waist.
79. The method of claim 77, further comprising moving one of a lower torso plate and an upper torso plate of a torso structure of the harness relative to the other to adjust the height of the torso structure.
80. The method of claim 77, further comprising adjustably attaching a distal end of each shoulder strap to the waistband.
US11/617,118 2005-12-30 2006-12-28 Modular Pack System Abandoned US20070152007A1 (en)

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TW200744498A (en) 2007-12-16
WO2007079387A3 (en) 2008-10-09

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