US20070221693A1 - Multi-purpose insulating and protective cover for containers - Google Patents

Multi-purpose insulating and protective cover for containers Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070221693A1
US20070221693A1 US11/388,923 US38892306A US2007221693A1 US 20070221693 A1 US20070221693 A1 US 20070221693A1 US 38892306 A US38892306 A US 38892306A US 2007221693 A1 US2007221693 A1 US 2007221693A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
cover
flap
container
bottle
pocket
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Abandoned
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US11/388,923
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Howard Moore
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Moore Howard L
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Priority to US11/388,923 priority Critical patent/US20070221693A1/en
Publication of US20070221693A1 publication Critical patent/US20070221693A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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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
    • A45F3/16Water-bottles; Mess-tins; Cups
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45FTRAVELLING OR CAMP EQUIPMENT: SACKS OR PACKS CARRIED ON THE BODY
    • A45F5/00Holders or carriers for hand articles; Holders or carriers for use while travelling or camping
    • A45F5/02Fastening articles to the garment
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61JCONTAINERS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR MEDICAL OR PHARMACEUTICAL PURPOSES; DEVICES OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR BRINGING PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS INTO PARTICULAR PHYSICAL OR ADMINISTERING FORMS; DEVICES FOR ADMINISTERING FOOD OR MEDICINES ORALLY; BABY COMFORTERS; DEVICES FOR RECEIVING SPITTLE
    • A61J9/00Feeding-bottles in general
    • A61J9/08Protective covers for bottles
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45FTRAVELLING OR CAMP EQUIPMENT: SACKS OR PACKS CARRIED ON THE BODY
    • A45F2200/00Details not otherwise provided for in A45F
    • A45F2200/05Holder or carrier for specific articles
    • A45F2200/0583Beverage vessels, e.g. bottles
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45FTRAVELLING OR CAMP EQUIPMENT: SACKS OR PACKS CARRIED ON THE BODY
    • A45F5/00Holders or carriers for hand articles; Holders or carriers for use while travelling or camping

Abstract

A unique one piece container cover (20) made from a single blank of flexible insulating material (36) and constructed so the tubular container cover (20) is closed at the bottom and open at the top with a flap (28) that when pulled over the enclosed container (39), integrally forms a complete seal (38) with the cover body (22) thus encapsulating the container (39) providing insulation to keep the container (39) contents either hot or cold while also protecting container (39) from outside contamination. The container cover (20) works with various sizes and shapes of bottles, containers or cans. The multipurpose cover (20) can be used without attachments for use in a bike cage, diaper bag, travel bag or the like. The cover (20) can also be fitted with various attachments for hiking, running, backpacking, golf, carrying baby bottles or the like. The cover (20) is efficient, cost effective, lightweight, durable, easy to use and clean, and can be produced in many colors with graphics.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • Not Applicable
  • FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
  • Not Applicable
  • SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM
  • Not Applicable
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of Invention
  • This invention relates in general to insulators for beverage bottles and containers, and in particular to a multi-purpose insulator that is portable and which provides an insulating and sanitary encapsulation for many sizes and shapes of bottles, containers and cans.
  • 2. Prior Art
  • Leading outdoor sports activities such as biking, hiking, running, golf and snow skiing are growing at a fast pace each year. The need for clean liquid replenishment for these and other activities is essential for the health, performance and intellectual capacities of the athlete. Liquid replenishment for sports activities is available in many forms. The two most common forms are sports drinks that contain added ingredients such as electrolytes and just plain water.
  • Three of the most common containers for these liquid replenishments are sports bottles, water bottles and sports drink bottles. These bottles are made of various types of plastic. The two terms of water bottles and sports bottles are used interchangeably in the industry. However, for clarification within in the context of this document the terms will be used as described below.
  • Sports bottles are available at bike and sports shops without liquid refreshment contained in the bottle. There are many sizes and shapes of sports bottles. The smaller bottle generally contains between 20 to 23 ounces of liquid depending on the manufacturer. The larger bottle generally contains between 26 to 29 ounces of liquid depending on the manufacturer. These sport bottles also have two different top sizes. One size top is generally known in the trade as the small mouth top. It has an opening of approximately 1½ inches at the top of the body of the bottle where the cap affixes to the bottle. The second size top is known in the trade as the large mouth top. It has an opening of approximately 2⅛ inches at the top of the body of the bottle where the cap affixes to the bottle. A large bottle may have either a small or a large mouth top. A small bottle may also have either a small or a large mouth top. There are also various types of valves located on top of the caps of sports bottles from which the liquid is dispensed. When one squeezes the soft sides of the bottle the liquid is forced from the bottle through the valve for consumption. Some valves are plastic and some are rubber. Some valves are large and round while some are oval. Some valves open easier than others. Valves also differ in the volume of liquid that is dispensed. These are important factors because a substantial number of athletes use a favorite sports bottle and valve so they need a cover to fit that bottle. Many bottle covers sold today are molded to fit only the bottles supplied with those covers so an athlete's favorite bottle usually does not fit.
  • Water bottles and sports drink bottles are those that are most commonly sold with the beverage already contained in the bottle. These bottles are available in a variety of sizes including but not limited to 12 oz., 20 oz., 710 ml, one liter, and two liters. These bottles are usually sold with threaded tops that are available with or without valves.
  • In addition to bottles for sport activities there is also a need to cover and protect bottles and other containers, such as cans, that contain refreshment for relaxation. These containers include, but are not limited to, containers for juices, carbonated beverages, wine and beer. These containers are made of plastic, glass, metal and other materials.
  • There are basic problems associated with all bottles and containers that contain liquid refreshment. One problem is that most containers are not insulated, therefore the liquid inside the container easily gets hot or cold as the case may be. People outside in warm or hot weather such as bikers, runners, hikers and golfers want to keep their container contents cold or at least cool. Many sports and health magazines recommend drinking cool water on hot days because it is more refreshing and is absorbed more quickly by the body. Conversely, people in cold weather such as skiers and hikers in the snow may want to keep their bottle contents hot, warm or at least above freezing. Like hikers, mothers may want a container or baby bottle kept warm on some occasions or kept cold or cool on other occasions.
  • Another problem with unprotected containers is contamination. Cans with open and unprotected tops allow dirt and insects into the container for accidental ingestion. Containers and bottles with unprotected valves at the top of the bottle which one drinks from can get very dirty. This allows the valve and the contents of the container to be contaminated. There are documented cases of bikers becoming sick after drinking from a bottle that had bacteria laden creek water splashed onto the valve of the bottle. Bacteria can also be transferred via dust from dry ground to bottle valves while biking, hiking and running. Golfers can get bacteria, fertilizer or pesticides on the bottle valve if they lay their golf bag down on the grass with an unprotected bottle valve attached. Runners, bikers and hikers have accidentally dropped their bottles in creeks and mud, in which case the valve and the liquid in the bottle is no longer sanitary and drinkable. The liquid must then be discarded leaving the person in a potentially dangerous situation. If one is miles away from an aid station in hot weather with no water, severe dehydration can cause weakness, delirium and even death. When mountain biking, one usually rides dirt trails in forests, mountains and pastures that animals also use. The result is that grit, dirt, bacteria and mud are kicked up by the knobby tires of the mountain bike and ends up on the valve of the bottle. Drinking from an unprotected bottle under these conditions is not only unpleasant to taste, but has led to stomach irritations and bacterial infections.
  • Another problem is that many sports people want a multi-functional sports bottle cover. They need a single style of cover that will fit their personal favorite sports bottle when biking, running, hiking, playing golf, and snow skiing. This cover and bottle also needs to fit in the holders in their car when driving to these activities so they can hydrate on the way to and from the activities.
  • Prior art describes a variety of attempts to try to overcome problems associated with the insulation of beverage containers. Some examples show container covers that insulate only the cylindrical recess or base of the container. This leaves the top or a portion of the bottle or container uncovered and thus unprotected from the ambient temperature and outside contamination. Some of these examples are shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,550,271 (2003) to Silbert, U.S. Pat. No. 6,401,993 (2002) to Andrino, U.S. Pat. No. 6,276,579 (2001) to DeLoach, U.S. Pat. No. 6,029,847 (2000) to Mahoney, Jr. et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,059,140 (2000) to Hicks, U.S. Pat. No. 4,514,995 (1985) to Curtis et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,316,193 (1994) to Heilberger and U.S. Pat. No. 6,182,464 (2001) to Mamich. The Heilberger prior art is a product whereby the body of the bottle is insulated. However the insulation is inside the bottle, which takes up valuable space and reduces the amount of water you can carry in relation to the size of the bottle. Also one has to use that particular bottle and valve, which again is not preferred. The Mamich prior art is based on a self chilling wrap for bottle cooling which necessitates keeping the cover wet. This method is not popular with most bicyclists and especially golfers who need to keep their hands dry for their sport. The Hielberger product is made to keep the contents cool by reducing the electromagnetic energy by the sun, but it does not address keeping a bottle warm. In both the Heilberger and Mamich prior art, the valve is uncovered and subject to dirt and bacteria There are writings by bicyclists on web sites such as mtbr.com and bikefriday.com discussing the critical need for clean valves on water bottles while bike riding.
  • Some prior art show bottle covers that apply to one use only and are not practical for multiple uses. Prior art that pertains mainly to insulating bottles for biking are U.S. Pat. No. 6,216,929 (2001) to Bonard et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,427,285 (1995) to Kreitzman, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,007,566 (1991) to Fick. These are typical of other prior art showing bottle cages on bicycles whereby the insulation is attached to the bike and not to the bottle. When a biker stops to dismount the bike and drink, as one does in many bike rides, the insulation is left on the bike and is not protecting the bottle. Thus the heat of one's hand and ambient air will warm the liquid contents of the bottle more quickly than if the bottle had the insulation still attached. Although Bonard et al. discusses the need for keeping the cap of the bottle clean, it does not entirely enclose the whole sports bottle, so insulation values would be lost. The prior art also reveals the bottle would not be covered when taken out of the device and would lose the insulation value. These applications obviously would not be useful for other sports such as hiking, running, or snow skiing. Additional prior art that is designed for biking are U.S. Pat. No. 5,238,160 (1993) to Faulds and U.S. Pat. No. 5,094,363 (1992) to Monahan et. al. Although these devices are trying to solve biking hydration problems, they have objectionable issues. Neither accepts the standard sports bottle that is preferred by most athletes, and both have parts such as a pivotally-mounted hood or dust cap that could jam or break.
  • Examples of prior art designed for baby bottle covers only are U.S. Pat. No. 4,473,907 (1984) to Maillard, U.S. Pat. No. 3,085,612 (1963) to Gobel, and U.S. Pat. No. 1,706,034 (1927) to Moore. These examples are also not practical for multiple uses.
  • Examples of prior art designed mainly for golf are U.S. Pat. No. 3,844,459 (1974) to Chambers and U.S. Pat. No. 2,731,182 (1953) to Higgins. These applications are for specific sized containers only, and neither would apply to biking, running or hiking.
  • Examples of prior art that show whole containers to be covered but are designed mainly for cans are U.S. Pat. No. 6,860,399 (2005) to Reeves, U.S. Pat. No. 5,048,734 (1991) to Long, U.S. Pat. No. 4,194,627 (1980) to Christensen, and U.S. Pat. No. 3,023,922 (1959) to Arrington. Although these prior arts are fully enclosed, they will not fulfill the needs for sports bottle covers for biking, running, hiking and baby bottles. These prior arts also have multiple parts.
  • Other examples of prior art showing the whole container to be covered are U.S. Pat. No. 6,814,252 (2004) to Murakami et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,349,846 to (2002) to Meza, U.S. Pat. No. 6,145,715 (2000) to Slonim, U.S. Pat. No. 6,073,796, (2000) to Mogil, U.S. Pat. No. 5,425,484 (1995) to Kawand et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 4,194,627 (1980) to Christensen. These prior arts cover the whole bottle, however they are made of multiple pieces which could get lost or do not possess the qualities needed to work with all the enclosed applications of biking, running, golf, hiking and baby bottles. The Murakami et al. device would not work on a bike because it would not fit in the securing piece of a bike cage. It would also be too difficult to open the device and access a bottle while riding. The Slonim device is designed for portability while off of a bicycle but is not large enough to cover the top of a sports bottle. U.S. Pat. No. 6,789,693 (2004) to Lassiter also covers a bottle but is limited to two-liter bottles.
  • Examples of prior art for bottles that use a refrigerant system are U.S. Pat. No. 6,584,800 (2003) to Roth et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 4,981,022 (1991) to Snyder. Both of these devices contain a thermal energy storing member or a core that fits inside the container. This core contains a refrigerant. In testing of the Roth et al. device, when inserting the storing member there was a ⅛ loss of liquid volume. The Snyder device would probably lose the same amount of liquid volume. Another disadvantage to this type of system is that once the refrigerant temperature is equal to the temperature of the liquid of the container, it will not cool additional liquids when refilling the bottle. An additional problem is the refrigerant needs to be frozen to be effective. When one is on a ride or a hike of more than one day and does not have access to a means for freezing the storing member or core for the next day's ride, then this system is not effective. Another disadvantage is the bottle valve or container top is not covered and is subject to dirt and bacteria contamination.
  • Thus, an examination of the art reveals that a need still exists as there is no known one piece insulative and flexible cover for a beverage bottle or container with this new and unique flap seal that would fit flush with the cover body to totally encapsulate various styles and sizes of containers for insulation and sanitation, that is simple to produce and use, and while also by simply altering the carrying style of attachments, be adaptable to the needs of bikers, hikers, golfers, runners, snow skiers, parents with baby bottles and the like.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In accordance with the present invention an insulating and protecting cover for bottles and containers comprises a single piece of neoprene or any suitable flexible and insulating material that is die cut into a flat blank with a unique configuration that makes up a cover body with a closure flap. The outward edges and bottom of the body of the cover are then sewn or otherwise joined together forming a mainly tubular body configured and dimensioned to be compatible with standard-sized conventional sports bottles or beverage containers. However, it will be understood that the dimensions of the cover can be readily modified to be compatibly sized for receiving substantially any shape and size of beverage container. The cover is closed at the top with an integrally formed closing and locking flap that fits over the open, upper end of the body of the device which receives the bottle or container. A resealable fastener on the underside of the flap cooperates with a complementary mating fastener on the front of the insulating and protective cover thereby locking the cover when the closure flap is pivoted about its fixed edge, thus closing the top opening of the cover. A unique and exact cut of the blank of material at the main body opening enables a flush fit sealing of the closed flap to the cover body thereby encapsulating and sealing the container inside the cover. This encapsulation enables the temperature of the beverage in the bottle to remain constant for a longer period of time than if any portion of the bottle were exposed. The encapsulation also protects the top of the container, which may contain a valve or a constant opening, from hazardous materials such as dirt and bacteria As the stretchable cover flap is pivoted over the top of the container and is pulled down to the fastening position, a dome is created on the cover by the top of the bottle or the valve. As tests have shown, this raised dome is beneficial when riding a bike through creeks or standing water. The dome of the cover top allows the water to properly drain off the top of the cover thereby preventing the water from coming in contact with the bottle valve. Considering the normal position for riding a bike is that the rider is seated above the bicycle's bottle cages, the cover also keeps the rider's sweat from dripping onto the container valve or top that can make the drink distasteful.
  • The bottle and container cover can be used without carrying attachments for various uses such as when riding bicycles and motorcycles, driving automobiles or boats, traveling on airplanes, or for keeping sand or insects out of one's beverage can at the beach. Various carrying attachments may also be used in concert with this container cover for other uses such as during hiking, running, golf, snow skiing, or for parents traveling with infants needing insulation and protection for baby bottles and the like.
  • Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a new, novel and useful insulator cover with a unique flap seal that effectively fits flush against the main body of the cover thereby providing an insulative and sanitary encapsulation for beverages in bottles and containers.
  • It is also an object of the invention to provide a one piece insulating cover whereby the top flap covering and encapsulating the bottle or container can not get detached, lost or broken. A single piece cover is also simple to manufacture and is cost effective.
  • It is also an object of the invention to provide a cover that is stretchable and flexible so one sized cover will conform to a variety of similar sizes and shapes of bottles and containers. For example, one version tested fits the smaller sports bottle sizes of 20, 21 and 22 ounces as well as sports drink bottles and soda bottles of 20 ounces. Another version tested fits larger sizes and shapes of sports bottle sizes of 25, 26, 27, 28, and 29 ounces and also water bottle and sports drink bottle sizes of 710 ml. Another size tested fits all standard 12 ounce metal cans. It is to be understood that the dimensions of the invention can be easily and readily modified and be compatibly sized to receive substantially any size and shape of bottle or container so as to not limit the scope of the invention.
  • It is an important object of the invention to provide a bottle cover that is user friendly. When used by a bicyclist the covered container fits into standard bike cages. Two prior arts discuss the inability of cages to easily receive a container with a neoprene cover, but tests show this container and cover combination fits well as it enters and exits the bike cage easily. There is an extra benefit for harsh mountain bike riding as the metal bike cage can be bent inwardly making a slightly snug fit with the container. This snug fit keeps the bottle from falling out of the cage while the durability of the cover protects the bottle. Thus, a cyclist does not have to buy a special cage or attachment for use with this cover on one's bike. Also, while riding a bike one does not need any complicated or unsafe maneuvering to open or close the container cover as this can quickly be accomplished with one hand while the covered container is still in the bike cage. The cyclist will also use normal movements to remove and replace the bottle insulator cover from and to the bike cage.
  • Another object of the invention is to provide a bottle cover that is lightweight, durable, dependable and easily cleaned. Cyclists, runners and hikers go to great extremes and expense to keep their sports equipment lightweight and sanitary so as to not hinder their efficiency while competing.
  • Another object of the invention is to provide a cover that stays with the bottle so the bottle or container will still be covered and protected when the bicyclist, golfer or hiker is carrying the bottle and is away from their bike, golf cart or backpack.
  • Another object of the invention is to provide a means to keep the bottle or container contents in either a cold or cool state or in a hot or warm state.
  • Another object of the invention is to provide a cover with a material that is visually distinguishable. The material is available in a variety of colors and can have graphics added such as printing, silk screening or the like. A distinguishable color of cover can be used for different sporting events, different advertisers, different biking clubs and associations wanting to advertise their clubs at races and functions where multiple clubs ride and the like. Another benefit is that retail store owners can give printed bottle covers to customers for use as advertisement and promotion of their stores.
  • Another main object of the invention is to provide an insulating cover that can be used with multiple carrying attachments for various ramifications. For example runners could us a cover fitted with a hand strap and pocket for use while running. Also hikers would use straps and holders such as D rings and clips that are attached to the cover for attaching the bottle cover to backpacks, belt loops or the like. Golfers would use the same attachments for attaching the bottle cover to golf carts. Snow skiers could use the same attachments or a sling or a similar adjustable carrying mechanism to carry their hot beverage inside their bottle while in the cold. Another special need is met by this present invention by the attachment of a D ring, a clip or other attachment at the bottom or base of the bottle cover as hikers and snow skiers in the severe cold need to carry their sports bottles upside down with the valves at the bottom so the valves will not freeze. Parents with children using baby bottles can use attachments to hang the insulated baby bottle from a baby stroller or use a sling to carry a baby bottle on their person.
  • These and other objects, features and,advantages of the present invention will become more apparent upon reading the following specification in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of an assembled beverage insulator in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, demonstrating the insulator flap in an open position ready for insertion of a beverage bottle.
  • FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of the assembled beverage insulator that shows the stitching that seals the bottom of the insulator.
  • FIG. 3 is a plan view of a blank of insulating material from which the beverage insulator is fabricated, showing the unique cut which allows the flap and body of the insulator to encapsulate a bottle.
  • FIG. 4 is a right side perspective view of the bottle insulator containing a larger sports bottle demonstrating how a seal is formed after folding over and locking down the insulator flap.
  • FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the beverage insulator containing a larger sports bottle showing the flap seal on both sides of the insulator. This view also shows the protective dome that is formed in the insulator cover by the bottle top or valve when the flap is folded over and fastened.
  • FIG. 6 is a right side perspective view of the beverage insulator container with the insulator flap in the upright position exposing the top of a larger sports bottle contained within the insulator.
  • FIG. 7 is a right side perspective view of the beverage insulator with the insulator flap folded back and down, illustrating the accessibility of the larger sports bottle contained therein.
  • FIG. 8 is a front elevational view of a second embodiment of a beverage insulator containing a larger sports bottle with an attached pocket with the flap in the down and sealed position.
  • FIG. 9 is a front elevational view of the second embodiment of a beverage insulator containing a larger sports bottle with an attached pocket with the flap in the up position demonstrating the attaching and locking means.
  • FIG. 10 is a back elevational view of the second embodiment of a beverage insulator containing a larger sports bottle with an attached hand strap.
  • FIG. 11 is a back perspective view of the preferred embodiment of a beverage insulator containing a smaller sports bottle showing various means for attachment to backpacks, golf carts and carrying around ones shoulder and body.
  • FIG. 12 is a side perspective view of motion stabilizer.
  • FIG. 13 is a back perspective view of the preferred embodiment of a beverage insulator containing a smaller sports bottle showing an attachment means and the motion stabilizer. DRAWINGS - REFERENCE NUMBERS 20 Insulating and protective cover 22 Main body of cover 24 Seam of cover 26 Stitching of cover seam 28 Elongated locking cover flap 30 Interior cavity of cover 32 Cover flap fastener 33 Mating cover flap fastener 34 Unique cut of insulating material 36 Blank form of insulating material 38 Insulating cover and flap seal 39 Bottle, container or can 40 Dome in cover flap created by valve 42a Upper double indention by larger bottle 42b Lower double indention by larger bottle 44 Container cap 46 Container cap valve 48 Insulated cover pocket 50 Pocket flap in closed position 52 Pocket flap fastener 53 Pocket flap mating fastener 56 Stitching of pocket 57 Stitching of pocket flap 58 Ventilated hand strap 59 Hand strap attachment means 60 Single indention caused by smaller bottle 62 Strapping material with loop for keeper 64 Attachment means for strapping material 66 Keeper 68 Clip 70 Adjustable carrying mechanism 72 Adjustment device 74 Motion Stabilizer 76 Hook and loop fastener 78 Elastic material 80 Tab 82 Stitching 84 Attachment means for fastener to elastic
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1 and 2 show an empty preferred embodiment of the present invention of an insulative and protective cover 20 in an assembled manner. FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of the cover 20 with main components being a main body 22, an elongated locking flap 28, an integral unique cut 34 of material, a cover flap fastener 32 on the underside of the flap 28 and a complementary mating cover flap fastener 33 on the front of the main body 22. The cover 20 and locking flap 28 are constructed of a single piece of material. The main body is joined at the seam 24 by stitching 26 or other attachment means such as gluing or heat melting. After stitching 26 of the seam 24, the main body 22 becomes an elongated tubular body with an open top and an interior cavity 30 which is formed and sized to receive a bottle, container 39 or a can as shown in FIG. 6. Fasteners 32 and 33 are shown attached to the flap 28 and cover body 22 respectively by means of glue, however other means of attaching the fasteners are available such as stitching and the like. Fasteners 32 and 33 are preferably of the hook and loop material, however other fastening means can be used such as button and string, brads, snaps and the like.
  • FIG. 2 shows the stitching 26 of the cover 20 that permanently encloses the side and bottom of the main body 22.
  • FIG. 3 shows the depicted shape of the single blank form 36 of flexible insulating material from which the cover 20 is constructed. The blank 36 is formed from of a material such as neoprene, however any suitable flexible insulating material may be used. A benefit of neoprene is this material has a textile fabric covering with a vast range of color selections for construction of the cover 20. This is beneficial as the insulating covers 20 can be fabricated in different colors for different needs or wants of a customer. For example a biker may wish a cover 20 be made of the color yellow for use with ones bike water bottle, or a hunter may wish to use a camouflage colored cover 20 while hunting. This flexible material also provides a contour fitting or conforming shape of the cover 20 to the encapsulated container 39 as shown in FIGS. 4-9 and 11. This conforming shape thereby ensures a snug fit that eliminates thermally conductive gaps between the container 39 and cover 20 that enhances the insulating capacity of the cover 20. Another benefit of this material is its flexibility in concert with the unique construction of the cover 20 so containers 39 of similar sizes and styles will fit in the same sized cover 20. This flexibility of the cover 20 also provides a snug fit of the container 39 in relation to the cover 20 thereby keeping the container 39 frictionally enclosed and stable within the cover 20.
  • An additional advantage of the present invention is that because of the single piece of blank form 36 in the construction of the cover 20, only one seam is created on the tubular portion of the main body 22, thereby enabling more uninterrupted graphics to be printed on the exterior surface of the cover 20. As will be understood, insulated covers of this type usually carry distinctive promotional graphics on the exterior surface and, hence, this feature of the present cover 20 provides substantially greater flexibility and variety in the size, type and arrangements of graphics which can be placed on the cover 20.
  • FIGS. 4 and 5 are views of the main embodiment of the cover 20 showing a fit flush seal 38 of the cover 20 and flap 28 over the enclosed container 39. After the container 39 is inserted into the interior cavity 30 of the cover 20, the flap 28 folds over the top of the container 39 at the open, upper end of main body 22 and down the front of the main body 22 to where a cover flap fastener 32 on the underside of the flap 28 engages a complementary mating cover flap fastener 33 on the front of main body 22. The predetermined, novel and precise shape of the unique cut 34 allows the flap 28 to seal 38 with the body 22 of the cover 20, thereby encapsulating the container 39 therein. This seal 38 begins with the fold of the flap 28 against the main body 22 of the cover 20 and continues around the balance of the opening of the top of the cover 20 thus completing the seal 38. This encapsulation protects the container 39 from ambient air, rays of the sun and outside contaminates. Tests have shown this unique cut 34 sealing of the cover 20 performs well with various containers such as existing sports bottles, sports drink bottles, water bottles, baby bottles, cans and the like.
  • A main requirement is the exact placement of the fasteners 32 and 33 so the joining of the fasteners 32 and 33 will align the flap 28 to the main body 22 so as to equally seal 34 the flap 28 to the main body 22 on both sides of the cover 20 as shown in FIG. 5. With this alignment, while riding a bike, one can replace the cover 20 containing the container 39 into a bike cage after drinking and reseal the flap 28 to the main body 22 by attaching the fasteners 32 and 33 by touch so one does not have to look down and take ones eyes off the road.
  • As the flap 28 is pulled down over the container 39 a dome 40 is created by the stretching of the flap 28 material over the top of the container 39. This dome 40 is beneficial as it aids in the dispersant of potentially harmful liquids such as bacteria laden creek water splashing on the flap 28. FIGS. 4 and 5 also show the conforming qualities of this invention as to the relationship of the flexible material used for the cover 20 and the shape of the containers 39 used therein. The double indention of 42 a and 42 b on the cover 20 indicates a larger sports bottle contained therein which has the same indentions. These indentions 42 a and 42 b being reproduced in the cover 20 are beneficial as one can grasp the container 39 in the same manner as usual for consumption. A biker needs these indentions 42 a and 42 b to grasp and retrieve the bottle from the cage on a bike as the cage usually holds a firm grip on the bottle for safety.
  • FIG. 6 reveals the general location of the container valve 46 in relation to the cover 20 opening at the unique cut 34. The valve 46 sits on top of the container cap 44. A benefit of this location of the valve 46 is that when the flap 28 is closed, the dome 40 protects the open or closed valve 46 of a container 39 contained in the cover 20. When riding a bike, the normal beverage bottle for use in the sport has a valve 46 on the top of the bottle cap 44 from which the beverage is dispersed. Bikers traditionally retrieve the bottles from the bike bottle cages with their hand and open the valve 46 with their teeth. However, sometimes these valves get very sticky and obstinate and do not open easily. The benefit of using the cover 20 with one's bottle is that the biker would not have to close or open the valve 46 with one's teeth. The bottle could be put back in the bike cage with the valve 46 open, then engage the flap 28 with the cover flap fastener 32 and mating cover flap fastener 33, and the dome 40 would cover and protect the valve 46.
  • The unique cut 34 of the insulating material also allows the flap 28 to fold down and back as shown in FIG. 7 and stay in this open position without the aid of one's hand or other attachment means. In this position one can drink from the container 39 often without changing the flap 28 from the closed to the open position. This also provides easy access to the container 39 and the container cap 44 for refilling the container 39 without taking the container 39 out of the insulative cover 20.
  • In a second embodiment of the cover, FIG. 8 reveals an insulated cover pocket 48 on the front side of cover 20 with the pocket flap 50 in the closed and sealed position. The material for this pocket 48 and flap 50 is of the same type of waterproof material used for the cover 20, as this embodiment will be used mainly by runners. When running long distances runners keep necessities such as energy pills and powders that must not get wet in pockets and pouches of this type. A fastening means such as stitching 56 attaches the pocket 48 to the cover 20. In the same embodiment FIG. 9 shows the pocket flap 50 in the open position. A fastening means such as stitching 57 attaches the flap 50 to the cover 20. The preferred method of stitching 57 the pocket flap 50 to the cover 20 is from the inside of the flap 50 as shown. By this method, the pocket flap 50 will naturally stay open while one is retrieving the contents of the pocket 48 and will not fall down and be resealed before desired. The fastening means for the pocket flap 50 to the cover pocket 48 is a pocket flap fastener 52 on the underside of the pocket flap 50, which engages a complementary mating pocket flap fastener 53 on the front of the pocket 48. This is the same type material used for the 32 and 33 fasteners in FIG. 2.
  • Also a part of the second embodiment, FIG. 10 teaches a ventilated hand strap 58 shown on the back of the cover 20. This strap 58 aids the runner in holding onto the beverage bottle in the cover 20 with little effort while running. Another much needed benefit of this embodiment is that the runners hand will have the container cover between their hand and the usually cold container. Many runners hand carry their water bottle while they run as it reminds them to drink more often and is more convenient. Before they start a run, and at interval race aid stations, runners fill their bottles with ice and water. However, the runner's hand gets cold while holding the bottle while the beverage gets hot. This device will provide insulation between the runner's hand and the beverage bottle, provide a strap for ease of carry and provide a waterproof pocket for essentials. The hand strap 58 is preferably made of ventilated nylon or the like to help reduce the runners' hand from getting hot and sweaty while running. Stitching 59 is the chosen method of attachment of the hand strap 58 to the cover 20, although other means may be used.
  • The third embodiment FIG. 11 shows various carrying means for the cover 20 and its contents. These carrying means or attachments fit a cover 20 containing virtually any sized container. The single indention 60 of the cover denotes a smaller sports bottle is contained within the cover. A strapping material 62 with a loop at each end is attached to the cover 20 at both ends of the strapping 62 by means of stitching 64. The loops' purpose is for attachment of a keeper 66, which is preferably a D-ring, but could be an O-ring, triangle, DR or other suitable attachment means. A clip 68 can be attached to the keeper 66 at one end of the strapping 62 or both. An adjustable carrying mechanism 70, such as a strap with keepers 66 and clips 68 can be attached to the cover 20. The clip 68 may be a standard snap hook, swivel hook, retainer, bolt snap, carabiner or any other similar retention mechanism. An adjustment device 72 such as a slide, cam buckle, straplock or loop may be used to adjust the length of the carrying mechanism 70. This embodiment may be used by anyone simply by changing out attachments. If used by a hiker the cover 20, when used in concert with the strapping material 62 and keeper 66, may be attached to a backpack with the clip 68. To keep the cover 20 and enclosed container 39 from swinging about while walking, a motion stabilizer 74 can be added as shown in FIG. 12. The stabilizer 74 is manufactured from an open ended piece of hook and loop material 76 which is attached 84 by means of sewing, grommet or the like to a strip of elastic material 78. The elastic 78 is sized to snugly fit around the cover 20 with an enclosed container 39. The elastic 78 is stitched 82 at the end so as to form a tab 80. FIG. 13 shows the motion stabilizer 74 in an attached position on the cover 20. The tab 80 is needed to pull the elastic 78 off of the cover 20 if one is wearing thick gloves. The hook and loop material 76 can be looped around and attached to each other on the backpack at the lower end of the shoulder strap or on the hipbelt which will stabilize the container 20 and its contents. The pocket, hand strap, motion stabilizer and carrying mechanisms are preferred features, but they are not necessary to the invention in its broadest sense.
  • Active tests have been conducted on the container cover 20 using 25 ounce bottles and indicate that its unique design as disclosed herein keeps the water contents of a pre-chilled 25 ounce container clean and chilled beyond expectations. The first test was a three hour mountain bike ride through unpaved trails of dirt, mud and creek water with ambient temperatures of 95 degrees. This test involved carrying two containers 39, both containing a valve 46 to dispense the water. One container was encapsulated by a cover 20 as disclosed herein and one container 39 had no protection. At the start of the test both containers were filled with 22 ounces of water of the same temperature. After 45 minutes of testing, the encapsulated container was still clean and dry, and the water inside was cold. However, the unprotected container 39 was dirty and wet and the water inside was warm and declared undrinkable because of the dirty container valve 46. At the end of the three hour test, the encapsulated container was still clean and dry and the beverage was cool, while the unprotected container 39 was dirtier and wet, and the beverage inside was hot and still undrinkable. A second active test was conducted on paved neighborhood streets with containers in bike cages and traveling at speeds of 15 to 19 miles per hour, at ambient temperatures of 98 degrees. The second test also involved carrying two containers 39, both containing 22 ounces of water with one encapsulated by a cover 20 as disclosed herein, and the other unprotected. This second test had two parts. Test (a) involved the contents of each container 39 being frozen at the start of the test. The ambient temperature was 90 to 95 degrees. Test (b) involved the container 39 contents starting at 44 degrees. Thermometers were inserted into the containers 39 before chilling so as to record the test accurately. The temperature of the water was recorded at intervals with the following results: Recorded Temperature of the Water (° F.) Time period Start 30 min. 60 min. 90 min. 120 min. Test (a), ambient air 95° F. Bottle with Frozen Half frozen 51° F. 59° F. 73° F. cover 20 Bottle without Frozen 53° F. 78° F. 86° F. 92° F. cover 20 Test (b), ambient air 98° F. Bottle with 46° F. 54° F. 67° F. 77° F. 83° F. cover 20 Bottle without 46° F. 68° F. 89° F. 96° F. 96° F. cover 20
  • As shown by these active tests results, on a moving vehicle the insulating cover 20 keeps an encapsulated bottle and the water contained therein 25 to 35 per cent cooler for one hour and 13 to 20 per cent cooler for two hours over the same type of bottle which is uncovered. Since sponsored bike rides such as the MS 150 have rest areas approximately every 10 miles, a rider can get fresh cold water for one's container about every 30 to 60 minutes depending on the speed of the biker. But on non-sponsored rides such as individual training, a biker can be riding for many hours with no way of refilling one's bottles, so having a means to keep ones water bottles cool for an extended time is critical for training and health.
  • While the above description contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but as exemplifications of the presently preferred embodiments thereof. Many other ramifications and variations are possible within the teachings of the invention. For example, the cover may be various sizes in width and length to fit numerous sizes of containers whether they are cylindrical, square or other shapes. The container need not be contained for reasons of temperature, but instead for safety as in carrying a glass bottle to avoid breakage. The fasteners may be of any shape. The attachments may be of any multitude of fasteners and could be either plastic or metal. The motion stabilizer may be as shown or could be as simple as an elastic cord.
  • Thus the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, and not by the examples given.

Claims (17)

1. A multi-purpose insulating and protective cover for beverage containers, bottles and cans formed of a single blank of flexible insulating material, said cover comprising:
a) a single blank for forming said cover comprising a generally planar web of said insulating material including a main elongated rectangular body portion defined by and contiguous with opposed top edges and bottom edges and opposed lengthwise edges of a length sufficient to encircle the beverage container when the end edges are abutted with one another, and said bottom edge of predetermined serially cut angles or similar configuration which would effectively enclose said bottom and with said top edge comprising identically configured unique and novel predetermined arcuate edges being final and contiguous to an elongated locking cover flap,
b) wherein as the bottom angles of the cover blank are abutted and attached with one another and said lengthwise edges are abutted and attached with one another form a tubular receptacle defining an interior area of a shape and dimension for receiving said beverage container though an upper opening formed of the top arcuate edges and contiguous said cover flap,
c) said cover flap secured to said main body of said cover for pivotal movement relative hereto, said flap including an inner face and an outer face,
d) at least one fastener with a predetermined position attached to said inner face of said cover flap,
e) at least one mating fastener with a predetermined position attached to front of said cover to receive said cover flap fastener,
f) the cover flap being pivoted relative to said main body cover bringing said cover flap over and across the top of said bottle, container or can to bring said fasteners into engagement to cover and encapsulate said bottle, container or can inside said cover.
2. A blank according to claim 1 wherein said blank is formed of a unitary planar web of flexible insulative material.
3. A blank according to claim 2 wherein said material comprises a foamed synthetic material.
4. A cover according to claim 1 wherein said flexible material allows said cover to accommodate containers, bottles and cans of close dimensions.
5. A cover according to claim 1 wherein said flexible material allows for graphics.
6. A cover according to claim 1 wherein attachment means for said edges and said fasteners is stitching, heat welding, ultrasonic welding, adhesives, and hook-and-loop fasteners.
7. A cover according to claim 1 further including a front pocket having a complementary pocket flap both being formed of flexible insulating material, and having attachment means for securing the pocket and flap to said cover, with said flap including an inner face and an outer face with at least one fastener in a predetermined position secured to said inner face of said pocket flap and at least one mating fastener on outer face of pocket to secure pocket and flap.
8. A cover pocket of claim 7 wherein attachment means of said pocket, flap and fasteners are of stitching, heat welding ultrasonic welding or adhesives.
9. A cover pocket according to claim 8 wherein the pocket and flap have an area for graphics.
10. A cover according to claim 1 further including a ventilated hand strap formed of a flexible synthetic mesh material, attached to the back of said cover by attachment means.
11. The cover of claim 10 wherein attachment means of said strap is of stitching, heat welding, ultrasonic welding or adhesives.
12. The cover of claim 1, further including securing means comprising a strip of strapping material attached to one side of said cover, with the strip containing an upper and lower loop, with each loop having an attached keeper and attachment means, and a carrying strap having a loop at each end with each loop having an attached keeper and clip.
13. The cover of claim 12, wherein the upper and lower loop contains a keeper such as a D-shaped ring, O-ring, triangle or other attachment means.
14. The cover of claim 13 wherein the keeper for the upper loop contains an attachment means such as a standard snap hook, swivel hook, retainer, bolt snap, carabiner or other similar attachment means for retention.
15. The cover of claim 14 wherein the carrying strap contains a loop on each end with a keeper.
16. The cover of claim 15 wherein the carrying strap is adjustable for adjusting the length of the strap.
17. The cover of claim 16 wherein the carrying strap may be attached or detached from the cover.
US11/388,923 2006-03-24 2006-03-24 Multi-purpose insulating and protective cover for containers Abandoned US20070221693A1 (en)

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