US20090282595A1 - Antiballistic Garment - Google Patents

Antiballistic Garment Download PDF

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Publication number
US20090282595A1
US20090282595A1 US11754981 US75498107A US2009282595A1 US 20090282595 A1 US20090282595 A1 US 20090282595A1 US 11754981 US11754981 US 11754981 US 75498107 A US75498107 A US 75498107A US 2009282595 A1 US2009282595 A1 US 2009282595A1
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Prior art keywords
antiballistic
back
quick
portion
front
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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
Application number
US11754981
Inventor
Donna Branson
Semra Peksoz
John J. Frost
Bert Jacobson
Diane Ricord
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Oklahoma State University
FSTechnology LLC
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Oklahoma State University
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41HARMOUR; ARMOURED TURRETS; ARMOURED OR ARMED VEHICLES; MEANS OF ATTACK OR DEFENCE, e.g. CAMOUFLAGE, IN GENERAL
    • F41H1/00Personal protection gear
    • F41H1/02Armoured or projectile- or missile-resistant garments; Composite protection fabrics

Abstract

An antiballistic garment for protecting a user's torso and shoulders comprises a front portion releasably coupled to a back portion, the front and back portion both include soft armor, the back portion includes shoulder and side panels which include soft armor, the front and back portion have provisions for hard armor plates. The antiballistic garment has a quick release mechanism adapted to rapidly separate the front portion from the back portion.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCES
  • The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Ser. No. 60/803,465, which was filed May 30, 2006, and is hereby incorporated by reference.
  • BACKGROUND
  • The evolution of body armor for personal protection has progressed greatly since body armor's early historical inceptions. However, in recent years, new materials have been devised which make significant improvements. Some materials such as soft, fabric-based antiballistic material allow for greater flexibility and wearability. Hard antiballistic plates such as those used to provide protection against higher caliber weapons and fragmentary explosive devices are becoming stronger and/or lighter by use of, for example, ceramic or titanium.
  • The increased capabilities provided by these newer protective elements allow designers to devise better tactical solutions that are tailored to specific threat environments.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Aspects of the present disclosure are best understood from the following detailed description when read with the accompanying figures. It is emphasized that, in accordance with the standard practice in the industry, various features are not drawn to scale. In fact, the dimensions of the various features may be arbitrarily increased or reduced for clarity of discussion.
  • FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of an antiballistic garment as worn by a user according to an exemplary embodiment;
  • FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of an antiballistic garment as worn by a user according to an exemplary embodiment;
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the front-facing side of a front portion of the antiballistic garment;
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an embodiment showing a front portion hard armor pocket;
  • FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view along line 5-5 of FIG. 4 of the front portion hard armor pocket;
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the body-facing side of a front portion of the antiballistic garment;
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an embodiment showing a front portion soft armor compartment;
  • FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an embodiment showing a side panel hard armor pocket;
  • FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an embodiment showing the rear-facing side of a back portion and associated hard armor pocket;
  • FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an embodiment showing the body-facing side of a back portion;
  • FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the body-facing side of a back portion showing various associated components;
  • FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an embodiment showing assembly of a load transfer system;
  • FIGS. 13 and 14 are perspective views showing additional assembly details for the load transfer system;
  • FIG. 15 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the antiballistic garment after the quick release mechanism has been activated;
  • FIG. 16 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a quick-release link;
  • FIG. 17 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a partially folded load-bearing belt; and
  • FIG. 18 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a folded load-bearing belt.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The antiballistic garment described herein provides a protective armor to the user's torso, including front, back, sides, and shoulders. Provisions are included for further attachment of protective armor to protect areas such as the arms, neck, legs and groin.
  • As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the antiballistic garment 100 is illustrated as a sleeveless vest with neck and arm openings, although the garment 100 may be implemented in other forms. The exemplary antiballistic garment 100 generally has a front portion 102 covering the user's chest and belly, held in place by a back portion 104. The back portion 104 covers the user's back, and has extension panels 306 and 308 which cover the user's sides and shoulders.
  • The front portion 102 has a front cover 106 that faces away from the user's body and is generally stitched or otherwise attached to a body-facing front lining 108 (shown in FIGS. 5-7) which comes in contact with the user's torso. Other features of the front portion 106 are described in detail below.
  • The back portion 104 has a back cover 300 that faces away from the user's torso and is generally stitched or otherwise attached to a body-facing back lining 302 (shown in FIG. 10) which comes in contact with the user's torso. The back portion side and shoulder extension panels 306 and 308 have releasable fasteners which connect or fasten to the front portion 102. Thus, the front portion 102 and the back portion 104 are connected together at the sides and over the shoulders of the user. The back portion 104 further includes a load-bearing belt 312 (a portion thereof shown in FIG. 1) that can be used to ease the weight and fatigue on the user's shoulders. Details of the load-bearing belt 312 and the back portion 104 are described below.
  • The antiballistic garment 100 can be donned by the user by slipping the vest over the user's head—as if putting on a T-shirt. Additionally, one or both of the sides can be opened to facilitate donning of the garment 100.
  • A quick-release mechanism 114 shown in FIG. 1 is provided to allow the user to rapidly disconnect the side and shoulder panels 306 and 308 from the front portion 102. After the quick-release mechanism 114 is activated, the front portion and back portions “break away” and fall from the user's torso. Details of the quick-release mechanism 114 are provided below.
  • A more detailed description of the antiballistic garment 100 is now provided with reference generally to FIGS. 1 and 3-7. The front cover 106 of the front portion 102 is preferably made from a durable fabric, such as, for example, CORDURA (TM) nylon printed with a camouflage pattern, though other patterns and suitable fabrics may be used. The body-facing front lining 108 is preferably made from ripstop nylon, though other patterns and suitable fabrics may be used. The front cover 106 features Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) webbing 118 that substantially spans the surface of the front cover 106 to provide attachment points for optional equipment.
  • The MOLLE 118 comprises one or more strips of parallel webbing attached to the antiballistic garment 100 at predetermined, spaced locations. The MOLLE 118 may also be a generic woven Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALs) comprised of strips of spaced apart horizontal webbing approximately once inch wide that are vertically stitched to the front cover 106 at approximately one and one half inch intervals.
  • Alternatively, the MOLLE 118 used on the front cover 106 of the antiballistic garment 100 may comprise strips of webbing that are offset and substantially placed adjacent one another without significant spacing therebetween. The MOLLE webbing 118 may have a camouflage pattern printed thereon.
  • FIG. 4 shows an exemplary embodiment of a front hard armor pocket 116 shown in phantom. As shown in this embodiment, the front hard armor pocket 116 is adapted to contain a front antiballistic plate 120. In an exemplary embodiment, the front antiballistic plate 120 is an Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert (ESAPI). Other antiballistic plates are also contemplated for use in the front hard armor pocket 116 and may include, but are not limited to, standard SAPI, titanium, nano-fiber, composite, honeycomb, ceramic and metallic armor plates.
  • The front hard armor pocket 116 has a closeable opening 122 and an inside surface 124. The closeable opening 122 may be shut closed by a heavy duty zipper 126 or other forms of suitable fasteners. Although the front hard armor pocket 116 may be used to restrain and position the front antiballistic plate 120, additional restraints and positioning means are disclosed herein.
  • As shown in FIG. 4, first and second straps 130 and 132 are attached to the inside surface 124 of the front hard armor pocket 116. The first and second straps 130, 132 cross each other at a general location 134 either in front of or behind the front antiballistic plate 120. Strap attachment means 136 are included for attaching each strap 130 and 132. The strap attachment means 136, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, are attached to the inside surface 124 of the front hard armor pocket 116 near the opening 122. Thus, the first and second straps 130 and 132 extend towards the bottom of the front hard armor pocket 116 around the front antiballistic plate 120 and back to the strap attachment means 136 where they are secured.
  • The attachment of the straps 130 and 132 with criss-cross 134 further restrain and position the front antiballistic plate 120. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the strap attachment means 136 comprise hook and loop tape stitched to a piece of webbing, although other attachment means are contemplated such as buttons, snaps, buckles, hooks, and the like.
  • As shown in FIG. 5, which is a cross-sectional view along line 5-5 of FIG. 4, a free end 140 of each first or second strap 130 and 132 is releasably attachable at multiple locations on the strap attachment means 136, thereby making the vertical position of the front antiballistic plate 120 in the front hard armor pocket 116 adjustable, as shown by front antiballistic plate 120A in an alternate vertical position. The height adjustment is accomplished by looping the straps 130 and 132 around the front antiballistic plate 120 and then pulling up on the free ends 140 before attaching them.
  • The straps 130 and 132 may have a maximum length which corresponds to the length required to allow the front antiballistic plate 120 to be vertically positioned at the bottom of the front hard armor pocket 116. Alternatively, one strap alone, or more than two straps may be used to position and/or restrain the front antiballistic plate 120. In addition, the straps and/or strap attachment means 136 inside the front hard armor pocket 116 may be attached at various other angles and/or positions inside the front hard armor pocket 116.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 5-7, the front lining 108 of the front portion 102 is shown with a front soft armor compartment 142 for containing a front soft armor insert 150. As most clearly shown in FIGS. 5 and 7, the front soft armor compartment 142 is created in the space between the front cover 106 and the front lining 108. Inside the front soft armor compartment 142 are front soft armor compartment attachment means 148 (shown in phantom lines) for releasably securing the front soft armor insert 150. In this embodiment, hook and loop fasteners are disposed on the inside surface of the front lining 108 to function as the front soft armor compartment attachment means 148. The front lining 108 may be printed with a camouflage pattern and is preferably constructed of ripstop nylon.
  • The front soft armor insert 150 is made of a plurality of layers of a suitable ballistic material such as, but not limited to, DYNEEMA, TWARON, KEVLAR, SPECTRA, ZYLON and materials to be developed in the future. In addition, the front soft armor insert 150 has a shape that closely matches or correlates to that of the front cover 106 and front lining 108. The front soft armor insert 150 is insertable into the front soft armor compartment 142 through an opening 152, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. The front soft armor insert 150 includes hook and loop tape 154 disposed on its surface which allows the insert 150 to be securely and releasably coupled to mating hook and loop fasteners 148 inside the front soft armor compartment 142. Opening 152 is formed in the front lining 108 and is maybe shut closed by hook and loop fasteners, for example. The front soft armor insert 150 may also be removed via the opening 152.
  • As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, a first circumferential adjustment device 144 is disposed near either side of the front lining 108 and includes first and second fasteners 144A and 144B. As shown in FIG. 6, the first circumferential adjustment first fastener may comprise hook and loop tape 144A and the second fastener may comprise adjustable buckles 144B. The hook and loop tape 144A is generally stitched to the front lining 108 and the adjustable buckles 144B are generally attached to quick-release side interfaces 110 (described below). The hook and loop tape 144A and adjustable buckles 144B provide for easy circumferential adjustment of the antiballistic garment 100. The fasteners 144A and 144B of the first circumferential adjustment device 144 correspond to and releasably and adjustably couple to corresponding fastening means 422A and 422B on the side panels 306 of the back cover 300 as described below in conjunction with FIG. 8.
  • Turning now to FIG. 6, groin plate attachment means 146 are provided on the front lining 108. In this embodiment, the groin plate attachment means 146 are constructed from short pieces of webbing stitched to the front lining 108 in two places. The groin plate attachment means 146 provide a convenient way to attach an optional soft or hard armor groin protector. Alternatively, the groin plate attachment means 146 may be used as an attachment anchor for additional body armor accessories, such as for additional leg or thigh protection.
  • As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the front lining 108 may further include a plurality of vent holes 160 appropriately spaced towards the bottom of the front lining to allow air and/or moisture to travel between the front cover 106 and the front lining 108.
  • Now turning generally to FIGS. 1-8, 15 and 16, the quick-release mechanism 114 is described in further detail. The quick-release mechanism 114 comprises a plurality of quick-release links 164 that releasably intermesh to couple and decouple the front portion 102 of the antiballistic garment 100 from the back portion 104. Further, two primary components of the quick-release mechanism 114 are the quick-release side interfaces 110 and quick-release shoulder interfaces 112. The quick-release side interfaces 110 provide an interface between the front portion 102 and back portion 104 at the sides of the user's torso. The quick-release shoulder interfaces 112 provide an interface between the front portion 102 and back portion 104 at the shoulders of the user.
  • As shown in detail in FIG. 3, the quick-release side interfaces 110 comprise first circumferential adjustment buckles 144B and quick-release links 164 attached to a portion of webbing 166. The quick-release side interfaces 110 provide a part of the first circumferential adjustment 144 and cooperate with a second circumferential adjustment 422 (shown in FIG. 8) to keep the antiballistic garment 100 closed securely around the sides of the user's torso. Thus, the quick-release side interfaces 110 securely, but releasably and adjustably connect the front portion 102 to the side panels 306 of the back portion 104 as described below in more detail with reference to FIG. 8.
  • The buckles 144B may be attached to the webbing portion 166 by looping a piece of webbing around each buckle 162 and stitching it in place. As shown in FIG. 6, upper and lower buckles 144B may be used on each quick-release side interface 110.
  • The quick-release mechanism 114 further includes a plurality of quick-release links 164 that may be quickly decoupled to separate the front and back portions 102 and 104. Details of an embodiment of the quick-release links 164 are described below with reference to FIG. 16. The quick-release links 164 are attached to the webbing portion 166 located on the front portion 102 of the antiballistic garment 100. The quick-release side interfaces 110 form a primary component of the quick-release mechanism 114, allowing rapid disconnection of the front portion 102 from the side panels 306 of the back portion 104 as described below in conjunction with FIG. 8. As shown in FIG. 3, two quick-release links 164 are positioned at each end of the two quick-release side interfaces 110, although other quantities and configurations may be used and are contemplated. In addition, the quick-release links 164 are spaced apart to allow an opposing, interleaved interface with quick-release links 164 attached to the front cover 106.
  • Returning now to FIG. 3, the quick-release shoulder interfaces 112 are shown in phantom lines as being generally comprised of a fastening portion 184, a buckle 186 and quick-release links 164. The quick-release shoulder interfaces 112 cooperate with the shoulder panels 308 (as illustrated in FIG. 9) to keep the antiballistic garment 100 closed securely over the shoulders of the user. Thus, the quick-release shoulder interfaces 112 securely, but releasably and adjustably, connect the front portion 102 to the shoulder panels 308 of the back portion 104 as described below in conjunction with FIG. 9.
  • The fastening portion 184 is attached to each quick-release shoulder interface 112 and is preferably made from hook and loop tape. The buckle 186 is attached to the quick-release shoulder interface 112 by attaching one end of a webbing strap 192 and adjustably threading the other end through the adjustable buckle 186. As shown in FIG. 3, a single adjustable buckle 186 is preferably used on each quick-release shoulder interface 112, although other fastening means and quantities are contemplated. Each webbing strap 192 allows the buckle 186 to adjust in or out to accommodate different sized users.
  • The quick-release links 164 are attached to an edge of the quick-release shoulder interfaces 112. As shown in FIG. 3, an embodiment of the antiballistic garment 100 has five quick-release links 164 positioned along the edge of each quick-release shoulder interface 112, although other quantities and configurations may be used and are contemplated. The quick-release links 164 are spaced apart to allow an opposing, interleaved interface with quick-release links 164 attached to the front cover 106.
  • The quick-release mechanism 114, as shown generally in FIGS. 1-3, 15 and 16, is a mechanism that allows a person wearing the antiballistic garment 100 to quickly separate and remove the front and back portions 102 and 104 of the antiballistic garment 100 from his/her body. The quick-release mechanism 114 may also be conveniently activated by another person to remove the garment 100 from the user. The quick-release mechanism 114 includes a plurality of quick-release links 164 fastened to the front cover 106 that intermesh with a plurality of quick-release links 164 fastened to the shoulder interface panels 112 and side interface panels 110 along a predetermined, generally rectangular, path 198 on the front portion 102 of the antiballistic garment 100. As disposed along the path 198, the plurality of quick-release links 164 form an inner series of openings and an outer series of openings that are operable to receive one or two cables. In particular, the plurality of quick release links comprises cable-turn links 228 that are generally disposed at the corners of the substantially rectangular path 198, side-engaging links 230 to engage the quick-release side interfaces 110, and shoulder-engaging links 232 disposed at the shoulders to engage the quick-release shoulder interfaces 112.
  • In an embodiment shown in FIGS. 3 and 6, the plurality of quick-release links 164 are releasably coupled together by first and second quick-release cables 200 and 201. The cables 200 and 201 each has a handle 208 and 209, which are shown in FIG. 6 as loops 210 and 211 at the end of each cable 200 and 201. In this embodiment, the cables 200 and 201 have been looped to form handles 208 and 209. Alternatively, the handles 208 and 209 may be a separate construction made from fabric, rubber, plastic or the like and attached to the cables.
  • In another embodiment, not explicitly shown, the quick-release links may be pre-attached to a flexible strip of fabric or webbing. The flexible strip is then attached to the front cover 106, thereby facilitating manufacture and assembly of the antiballistic garment 100.
  • The cables 200 and 201 may be constructed from braided steel, each with a fused end to prevent unraveling and to facilitate assembly of the quick-release mechanism 114. In the embodiment shown in the figures, the handles 208 and 209 of cables 200 and 201 are preferably centrally located along the lower edge 216 of the front portion 102 and are covered by a handle cover flap 218. The handle cover flap 218 has a fastener 220 to keep the handle cover flap 218 releasably closed, thereby preventing unintended or unexpected activation of the quick-release mechanism 114. In one embodiment, the handle cover flap fastener 220 is a hook and loop closure.
  • The quick-release mechanism 114 further comprises spaced apart cable sleeves 222 that are attached to the front cover 106 to protect and route the cables 200 and 201 of the quick-release mechanism 114. Cable sleeves 222 conceal, protect and guide the quick-release cables 200. In a further enhancement, the lower cable sleeves 224 disposed along the lower edge 216 of the front cover 106 have reinforced openings 226 from which the cables and cable handles extend to reduce pulling friction and prevent significant wearing of the lower cable sleeve openings. The reinforced openings 226 are preferably made from metal grommets or other suitable reinforcement. For example, the reinforced openings 226 may be treated by singeing the fabric around the opening or by use of a plastic grommet or other device to prevent wear of the lower cable sleeve 224 and to facilitate quick-release of the cables 200 and 201. In an alternate embodiment, the cables 200 and 201 exit the cable sleeve 224 at the two lower (or upper) corners of the front cover 106, which would require the user to pull both cables with both hands to actuate the quick-release mechanism. In another alternate embodiment, only one cable is used having two fused ends with a single handle disposed centrally at the lower edge of the front cover 106.
  • To thread the quick-release mechanism 114, the end of a first cable 200 is introduced into a reinforced opening 226 on a lower cable sleeve 224. The first cable 200 is advanced through an inner series of openings in the cable-turn quick-release link 228, and then through the inner series of openings in the side-engaging quick-release links 230 and the inner series of openings in the side-interface quick-release links 164. The first cable 200 is then advanced only through another inner series of openings in the cable-turn quick-release link 228, then through the inner series of openings in the shoulder-engaging quick-release links 232 and the inner series of openings in the shoulder-interface quick-release links 164.
  • A second cable 201 is similarly threaded, but in the opposite direction and through the outer series of openings in the plurality of quick-release links. The second cable 201 overlaps the first cable 200 along the interleaved shoulder-engaging links 232 and shoulder-interface links 164. The ends of the cables 200 and 201 generally terminate after each cable is threaded through all of the inner and outer series of openings in the shoulder-interface links 164. Thus, the shoulder-interface quick-release 164 links are secured by two cables—a first cable 200 and a second cable 201. By doubling the cables 200 through the shoulder-interface quick-release links 164, inadvertent activation of the quick-release mechanism 114 is prevented.
  • Now turning to FIGS. 9-11, the back portion 104 is described in further detail. The back portion 104 includes an outside-facing back cover 300 which is generally stitched or otherwise attached to a body-facing back lining 302. The back cover 300 generally has a central portion 304, with side panels 306 and shoulder panels 308 extending therefrom. Referring now to FIG. 9, the central portion 304 of the back cover 302 is described.
  • The central portion 304 includes a back hard armor pocket 314 which is adapted to hold a back antiballistic plate 322. In this exemplary embodiment, the back antiballistic plate 322 is an ESAPI, but other types of antiballistic plates such as standard SAPI, titanium, nano-fiber, composite, honeycomb, ceramic and metallic plates may be used.
  • The back hard armor pocket 314 has a closeable opening 324 and an inside surface 326. The closeable opening 324 may be shut closed by a heavy duty zipper 328, for example. Although the back hard armor pocket 314 may be used to restrain and position the back hard armor plate 322, additional restraints and positioning means are disclosed herein.
  • As shown in FIG. 9, first and second straps 332 and 334 are attached to the inside surface 326 of the back hard armor pocket 314 at an angle, such that the first and second straps 332 and 334 cross each other at a general location 336 either in front of or behind the back hard armor plate 322. Strap attachment means 338 are used for attaching each strap 332 and 334. The strap fasteners 338 are attached to the inside surface 326 of the back hard armor pocket 314 near the opening 324 at an angle. Thus, the first and second straps 332, 334 extend towards the bottom of the back hard armor pocket 314, around the back hard armor plate 322, and back to the strap fasteners 338 where they are secured.
  • The angled attachment of the straps 332 and 334 with criss-cross 336 enables further restraint and positioning of the back hard armor plate 322. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 9, the fasteners 338 comprise hook and loop tape stitched to a piece of webbing, although other attachment means are contemplated such as buttons, snaps, buckles, hooks, and the like.
  • Free ends 342 of the first and second straps 332 and 334 are releasably attachable at multiple locations on the strap fasteners 338, thereby making the vertical position or height of the back hard armor plate 322 in the back hard armor pocket 314 adjustable. The height adjustment is accomplished by looping the straps 332 and 334 around the back hard armor plate 322 and then adjusting the attachment point of the free ends 342 on the fasteners 338.
  • The straps 332 and 334 may have a maximum length which corresponds to the length required to allow the back hard armor plates 322 to be vertically positioned at the bottom of the back hard armor pocket 314. Alternatively, one strap or more than two straps may be used to position and/or restrain the back hard antiballistic plate 322. In addition, the straps 332 and 334 and/or fasteners 338 may be attached at various other angles and/or locations inside the back hard armor pocket 314.
  • The central portion 304 of the garment back portion 104 further includes a plurality of MOLLE 316 webbing which is attached substantially horizontally to the back cover 300 and is usable for attaching items and equipment to the antiballistic garment 100. MOLLE 316 comprises one or more strips of parallel webbing attached to back cover 300 of the antiballistic garment 100 at predetermined spaced locations. The MOLLE 316 may also be generic woven PALs comprised of strips of spaced apart horizontal webbing approximately once inch wide that is vertically stitched to the central portion 304 at approximately one and one half inch intervals, for example.
  • Alternatively, the MOLLE 316 used on the back cover 300 of the antiballistic garment 100 could also comprise strips of webbing that are offset and substantially placed adjacent one another without significant spacing therebetween. The back cover 300 and/or MOLLE 316 are preferably made from a durable fabric, such as, for example, CORDURA nylon printed with a camouflage pattern, though other patterns and suitable fabrics may be used. In addition, any or all of the antiballistic garment components may be printed with or without any pattern.
  • As shown in FIGS. 2 and 9, a rescue-drag handle 318 is disposed between the shoulder panels 308 near the top of the central portion 304 of the back cover 300. The rescue-drag handle 318 according to one embodiment is made from nylon webbing and stitched to the back cover 300. In other embodiments the rescue-drag handle 318 may be fastened by other methods known in the art, and may be made from other materials such as plastic, rubber, leather, metal, and the like. The rescue drag handle 318 allows another person to more easily move the person wearing the antiballistic garment 100 by grasping and pulling on the rescue-drag handle 318.
  • Turning now to FIGS. 12-14, a load transfer system 320 is shown incorporated into the central portion 304 of the garment back cover 300. The load transfer system 320 comprises first and second load support sleeves 344 and 345 and first and second load support members 346 and 347 (only support member 346 is shown). Each load support sleeve 344 and 345 is attached substantially vertically to the back cover 300 and extends generally vertically between the user's shoulder and waist. Each load support sleeve 344 and 345 is operable to accommodate at least one load support member 346 and 347. The load support member 346 and 347 may be removed from the load support sleeve 344 and 345 and may be replaced or adjusted by the user. The exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 12 has a pair of load support sleeves 344 and 345, but other embodiments may have more or less load support sleeves and load supports depending on requirements.
  • The load support sleeves 344 and 345 in the embodiment shown are made from nylon webbing stitched to the central portion 304 of the back cover 300 along the vertical edges and bottom horizontal edge of the load support sleeves 344 and 345. Each load support sleeve 344 and 345 has an opening 348 and 350 at the top for receiving a load support member 346 and 347 and an internal opening 350 and 351 (not shown) at the bottom which communicate with the space between the back cover 300 and back lining 302. The internal openings 350 and 351 at the bottom of the load support sleeves 344, 345 allow the load supports 346 and 347 to pass through the back cover 300 to contact the load-bearing belt 312 such that the weight on the user's shoulders is at least partially transferred to the user's waist.
  • As shown in FIG. 12, the load support member 346 is shown separated from load support sleeve 344. Each load support member 346 and 347 is substantially rigid and sturdy and is disposed substantially vertically in the back portion 104 within the load support sleeves 344 and 345. The load supports 346 and 347 provide lift of the antiballistic garment 100 off the user's shoulders to allow for increase ventilation and to transfer the garment's weight to the user's waist via the load-bearing belt 312. Details of the load-bearing belt 312 are described below with references to FIGS. 17 and 18.
  • Each load support member 346 and 347 is preferably shaped to the contour of the user's back as shown in FIG. 12, having a slightly “S”-shaped contour. The load support member 346 may be made from a metal or any suitable rigid and sturdy material.
  • Each load support member 346 and 347, when fully inserted, has a lower end 352 supported by the load-bearing belt 312, and an upper end 354 that is visible at the top of the load support sleeve 344 and 345, as shown in FIG. 13. The upper end 354 of each load support member 346 and 347 is further integrated with the antiballistic garment 100 by the use of a load support cover 356.
  • FIGS. 13 and 14 both show the load support cover 356 with a retention strap 358. As shown in more detail in FIG. 14, the load support cover 356 is designed to cover the exposed upper end 354 of each load support member 346 and 347 and to allow a partial overlap of the load support sleeve 344 over the load support cover 356. The retention strap 358 is fixedly attached at one end to the load support cover 356 and releasably attached at the other end also to the load support cover 356. Thus, after the load support cover 356 is in place over each load support 346 and 347, the retention strap 358 is wrapped around a load transfer strap 400 and then releasably attached back to the load support cover 356.
  • In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 14, the load support cover 356 is made from nylon webbing and the retention strap 358 is stitched on one end has and with a hook and loop tape on the other end. The retention strap 358 includes a transverse portion 360 with hook and loop tape as shown in FIG. 13, which functions to prevent an accidental opening of the load support cover 356. Other embodiments are also contemplated such as making the load support sleeves 344 and 345 with an integral load support cover.
  • As shown in FIG. 9, the load transfer system 320 is further incorporated with the shoulder panels 308. The load transfer system 320 includes load transfer straps 400 with a first portion attached to the load support sleeves 344 and 345. In the embodiment shown, each load transfer strap 400 first portion includes an adjustable buckle 402. A load transfer strap 400 second portion has a first end attached to the shoulder panel 308 and a second end threaded through the adjustable buckle 402.
  • When the antiballistic garment 100 is being worn by a user, the load transfer straps 400 are operable to transfer loading or weight between the shoulders and the waist of the user. Shortening the load transfer strap 400 second portion by pulling downward on the free end shifts the loading forward towards the user's shoulders, while lengthening the load transfer strap 400 second portion by lifting an edge of the adjustable buckle 402 shifts the loading backwards towards the user's waist. The ability to offer the user the flexibility transfer weight between the user's shoulders and waist can reduce user fatigue over extended periods of use.
  • FIG. 9 also shows the shoulder panels 308 of the back portion 104. The shoulder panels 308 extend generally from the top edge of the central portion 304 of the back cover 300, and releasably connect the back portion 104 to the front portion 102 over the shoulders of the user. The shoulder panels 308 also function to provide containment for soft armor and shoulder padding, a slip-resistant surface for a rifle butt, and a way to transfer loading and garment length adjustment.
  • As shown in FIGS. 9 and 10 there are generally two fastening connections between each shoulder panel 308 and the quick-release shoulder interfaces 112 of the front portion 102. In the exemplary embodiment shown, a shoulder buckle 362 is attached to the shoulder panel 308 on the top side and hook and loop tape is attached to the back side of the shoulder panel 308 on the back lining 302 as described below.
  • The shoulder buckle 362 is releasably coupled to mating buckle 186 of the front portion quick-release shoulder interface 112. In other embodiments, the shoulder buckle 362 is attached by a separate piece of webbing, or other fastening means. Alternately, the shoulder panel 308 may be connected to the quick-release shoulder interface 112 with a fastener other than a buckle.
  • As shown in FIG. 9, a rifle bolster 368 is attached to each shoulder panel 308. The rifle bolster 368 provides a textured slip-resistant surface for supporting a rifle butt as well as additional support and strength in the shoulder panel 308. The rifle bolster 368 may be made from suede, but other textured fabric, fabric treatments and non-fabrics may be used including leather, vinyl, rubber, silicon and the like. In addition, a slightly protruding lip or edging 372 is provided around the perimeter of the rifle bolster 368 to further stabilize and support a rifle.
  • The shoulder panels 308 also include epaulettes 374, as shown in FIG. 9. Each epaulette 374 has a main strap 376 with a fixed first end and a releasably attachable second end. The epaulette main strap 376 is generally aligned transversely to the load transfer strap 400 and the first end is fixedly attached to the shoulder panel 308 near the edge closest to the user's neck. The main strap 376 travels under the load transfer strap 400, under an epaulette cross strap 382, loops back over the load transfer strap 400, and then the second end of the main strap 376 is releasably attached to the main strap 376 by a fastening means.
  • In the exemplary embodiment shown, the fastening means is a hook and loop tape. The epaulette cross strap 382 is generally aligned transversely to the epaulette main strap 376 and is stitched to the shoulder panel 308. A central lateral stitch across the cross strap 382 divides the strap into two slots so that the epaulette main strap 376 may be optionally positioned through either slot for proper positioning and fit of optional armor for the shoulders, upper back, arms, or the like attached to the epaulette main strap.
  • The epaulette 374 may be formed without the cross strap 382, or the cross strap 382 may be divided into more or less slots. In the preferred embodiment, the epaulette main strap 376 and cross strap 382 are made from webbing such as that used for the back MOLLE 316.
  • Now referring to FIGS. 8 and 9, the side panels 306 of the antiballistic garment 100 are described. The side panels 306 extend generally from the side edges of the central portion 304 of the back cover 300 and cover the user's sides. The side panels 306 releasably connect the back portion 104 to the front portion 102 around the sides of the user's torso. Other functions of the side panels 306 are to partially contain soft armor, provide garment circumferential adjustment and provide additional hard antiballistic plate support. The side panels 306 include second circumferential adjustment 422, hard armor side pockets 424 and MOLLE webbing 426.
  • As shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the second circumferential adjustment 422 generally includes two fasteners 422A and 422B. In the exemplary embodiment shown, hook and loop tape 422A and upper and lower buckles 422B are attached to the side panel 306. The upper and lower buckles 422B are attached to the side panel 306 by use of a loop made from webbing. As shown in FIG. 2, the same webbing used to form the side MOLLE 426 (described below) may continuously extend to become a circumferential-size adjustable strap 428 for the upper and lower buckles 422B.
  • The second circumferential adjustment hook and loop tape 422B which is disposed on the side panels 306, is releasably coupled to the first circumferential adjustment hook and loop tape 144A attached to the front lining 108.
  • The second circumferential adjustment upper and lower buckles 422B are releasably coupled to the first circumferential adjustment buckles 144B of the front portion quick-release side interfaces 110. In other embodiments, first or second circumferential adjustments 144 and 422 may be releasably and adjustably connected by only one, or more than two fasteners.
  • The side hard armor pocket 424 is shown in this embodiment as a pocket for containing a side antiballistic plate 434. In an exemplary embodiment, the side antiballistic plate 434 is an ESAPI. Other antiballistic plates are also contemplated for use in the side hard armor pocket 424 and may include, but are not limited to, standard SAPI, titanium, nano-fiber, composite, honeycomb, ceramic and metallic plates.
  • The side hard armor pocket 424 has a closeable opening 436 and an inside surface 438. The closeable opening 436 in this embodiment is a side pocket flap 440 with a hook and loop tape closure. Alternatively, a heavy duty zipper or other closure means may be used. Although the side hard armor pocket 424 may be used to restrain and position the side armor plate 434, additional restraints and positioning means are disclosed herein. In addition, the side hard armor pocket 424 may be used as a storage pocket, or a secondary storage pocket may be included.
  • In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 8, a first end of strap 442 is fixedly attached to the inside surface 438 of the side hard armor pocket 424. A strap fastener 444 is included for releasably attaching a second, free end 448 of the strap 442. The strap fastener 444 shown in FIG. 8 is attached to the inside surface 438 of the side hard armor pocket 424 near the opening 436. Thus, the strap 442 extends towards the bottom of the side hard armor pocket 424 around the side armor plate 434 and back to the strap attachment means 444 where it is secured.
  • In the embodiment shown in FIG. 8, the strap fastener 444 comprises a hook and loop tape stitched to a piece of webbing, although other strap attachment means are contemplated such as buttons, snaps, buckles, hooks, and the like. The free end 448 of the strap 442 is releasably attachable at multiple locations, thereby making the vertical position of the side armor plate 434 in the side hard armor pocket 424 adjustable. The height adjustment is accomplished by looping the strap 442 around the side armor plate 434 and then pulling up on the free end 448 before attaching it.
  • The strap 442 has a maximum length which corresponds to the length required to allow the side armor plate 434 to be vertically positioned at the bottom of the side hard armor pocket 424. In an additional embodiment, a second strap may be used in a similar manner as that described for the back hard armor pocket 314. In a further embodiment, the side armor plate 434 may be secured by strap 442 and pocket flap 440 so that the top of the side armor plate 434 is positioned above the closeable opening 436 of the side hard armor pocket.
  • The side panel 306 also includes a plurality of MOLLE 426 webbing disposed substantially horizontally and is usable for attaching items or equipment to the antiballistic garment 100. Side MOLLE 426 comprises one or more strips of parallel webbing attached to the antiballistic garment 100 at predetermined spaced locations. The MOLLE 426 may also be a generic woven PALs comprised of strips of spaced apart horizontal webbing approximately once inch wide that is vertically stitched to the side panel 306 approximately one and one half inch intervals.
  • Alternatively, the MOLLE 426 used on the side panel 306 could comprise strips of webbing that are offset and substantially placed adjacent one another without significant spacing therebetween. In another embodiment the side panels 306 and/or shoulder panels 308 may be integral with, or separate from, the back portion 104.
  • The antiballistic garment 100 further includes a load-bearing belt 312 that cooperates with the load transfer system 320. Referring now generally to FIGS. 10 and 17-18, details of the load-bearing belt 312 are described. The load-bearing belt 312 adjustably encircles the user's torso to stabilize the antiballistic garment and to support the antiballistic garment's weight transferred from the shoulders to the user's waist. Internally, the load-bearing belt 312 preferably comprises one or more layers of antiballistic soft armor 450 as well as one or more types of foam and cushioning layers 452. Externally, the load-bearing belt 312 has a cover 454, a buckle 456, an adjustable strap 458 and load support interfaces 460.
  • As shown in FIG. 17, the load-bearing belt buckle 456 is used to couple the first and second ends 462 and 464 of the load-bearing belt 312 around the torso of the user. The buckle 456 may be quickly uncoupled to remove the antiballistic garment 100 from the user's body. The adjustable strap 458 is threaded through the buckle 456 and is adjustable to lengthen or shorten the load-bearing belt 312.
  • In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 17 and 18, the load-bearing belt 312 has a contoured lumbar support portion 470 and protection portion 472. The lumbar portion 470 is preferably half-moon shaped and extends upward from the top edge 474 of the load-bearing belt 312.
  • The protection portion 472 of the load-bearing belt 312 includes one or more layers of the soft armor material 450. The antiballistic soft armor layers 450 are disposed inside the belt cover 454 in the protection portion 472 and may be made of a plurality of layers of any suitable antiballistic material including, but not limited to, DYNEEMA, TWARON, KEVLAR, SPECTRA, and ZYLON. To increase user comfort, a soft felted antiballistic material may be used
  • The load-bearing belt 312 also comprises one or more layers of one or more types of foam or cushioning material in the protection portion 472 to increase the comfort of the user. One or more soft cushioning layers 452 used to provide a more cushioning interface to the user's body. Multiple layers of different cushioning properties may be used with the softest layers right next to the user's body, for example. Additional cushioning materials may be provided in regions of the load-bearing belt 312 where contact is made with the user's hip bones to further increase the user's comfort level.
  • As shown in FIG. 17, at least one load support interface 460 is disposed on the cover 454 of the load-bearing belt 312 and is operable to accommodate and support the lower ends 352 the load support members 346 and 347. The load support interface 460 provides a non-slip surface and added support and wear resistance for the lower ends 352 of the load support members 346 and 347.
  • FIG. 17 further shows how the load-bearing belt 312 may be constructed from a single layout 476 that is folded along a longitudinal fold line 478 before being incorporated into the space between the back cover 300 and back lining 302. The back cover 300 and back lining 302 are stitched together around the edges except for a narrow space 480 at the bottom edge of the back portion 104, as shown in FIG. 10. The narrow opening space 480 is wide enough to allow the adjustable webbing 458 to pass through, but not the protection portion 472 of the load-bearing belt 312.
  • Optionally, a set of hook and loop fasteners (not shown) may be attached or otherwise fastened to the load-bearing belt 312. A soft armor insert 512 (FIG. 11) of the back portion 104 may be inserted into the top open edge of the folded load-bearing belt 312. These hook and loop fasteners are operable to couple to corresponding hook and loop fasteners disposed on the soft armor insert 512 of the back portion 104. These hook and loop fasteners couple the load-bearing belt 312 to the soft armor insert 512 so that they are secured to one another and do not shift substantially with respect to one another.
  • Now referring to FIGS. 10 and 11, a contoured comfort pad 310 placed at the inside surface of the back portion 104 is described. The contoured comfort pad 310 is a device that is contoured to provide cushioning and support to the user's back and is removably coupled to the back lining 302 of the back portion 104. The contoured comfort pad 310 is operable to provide cushioning and ventilation. The contoured comfort pad 310 may comprise a number of layers of materials, such as foam and other types of materials with cushioning as well as moisture-wicking and ventilation properties. The cushioning layers may include one or more materials of different density to achieve the desired cushioning properties.
  • As shown in FIG. 10, the outside cover 482 of the contoured comfort pad 310 comprises a flexible mesh. A soft dimpled layer 484 is disposed at the interface of the user's body and at least one additional resilient cushioning layer 486. Other combinations of layers and constructions are contemplated.
  • FIG. 10 shows an exemplary shape for the contoured comfort pad 310 having a concave lower end 488 designed to interface with the lumbar portion 470 of the load-bearing belt 312, and side and top edges 490 and 492 to interface with the user's shoulders and upper back. FIG. 10 further shows how the load-bearing belt lumbar portion 470 interfaces with the lower concave end 488 of the contoured comfort pad 310.
  • The contoured comfort pad 310 is removably coupled to the back lining 302 of the back portion 104. As shown in FIG. 11, the outside surface 494 of the outside cover 310 of the contoured comfort pad 310 has hook and loop tape attached at various locations 498. This hook and loop tape 498 is connected to corresponding hook and loop tape 522 stitched to the back lining 302. Additional webbing loops 496 are attached towards the upper edge of the comfort pad back lining interface 494 to attach to comfort pad attachment means 502 incorporated into the back lining 302. In an alternative embodiment the contoured comfort pad 310 has a shape that is generally rectangular, but the contoured comfort pad 310 may be designed with other shapes as needed.
  • Referring now to FIG. 11, the back lining 302 is shown with a back soft armor compartment 500, comfort pad attachment means 502, communications routing means 504, shoulder length adjustment 506 and shoulder padding. The soft armor compartment 500 is created in the space between the back cover 300 and the back lining 302. Inside the soft armor compartment 500 are attachment means 510 (shown in phantom lines) for securing a back soft armor insert 512. In this embodiment, hook and loop fasteners are disposed on the inside surface of the back lining 302 to function as the attachment means 510.
  • The back soft armor insert 512 is made of a plurality of layers of any suitable antiballistic material including, but not limited to, DYNEEMA, TWARON, KEVLAR, SPECTRA, and ZYLON. In addition, the back soft armor insert 512 has a shape that closely matches that of the back cover 300 and back lining 302. Thus, the back soft armor insert 512 is shaped so that it substantially covers the user's torso (back and sides) as well as shoulders. Additional cushioning materials may be provided at selected regions of the soft armor insert 512 such as over the tops of the shoulders.
  • The soft armor insert 512 is introduced into the soft armor compartment 500 through an opening 514. The back soft armor insert 512 may be oriented between the folded portions of the load-bearing belt 312. The back soft armor insert 512 includes hook and loop fasteners 516 disposed on its surface which allow it to be securely, though releasably coupled to mating hook and loop fasteners 510 inside the soft armor compartment 500. Opening 514 is formed in the back lining 302 and has a releasably closeable edge. As shown in FIG. 11, the releasably closeable edge of the opening 514 includes hook and loop tape as a closure means. The back soft armor insert 512 may also be removed via the opening 514.
  • The back lining 302 includes a plurality of spaced apart vent holes 520 towards the bottom of the back lining 302 to allow air and/or moisture to be conveyed between the back lining 302 and back cover 300.
  • The back lining 302 may be printed, at least partially, with a camouflage pattern, and is preferably constructed of ripstop nylon, though other patterns and suitable fabrics may be used.
  • As shown in FIG. 11, the back lining 302 has comfort pad attachment means 502 which function to secure the contoured comfort pad 310 to the back lining 302 of the back portion 104. Specifically, the contoured comfort pad 310 hook and loop fasteners 498 are releasably attached to back lining hook and loop tape 522. The webbing loops 496 of the contoured comfort pad 310 are releasably coupled to comfort pad attachment means 502 which are each comprised of a strap loop that is releasably closeable with hook and loop tape, for example.
  • Communications routing means 504 are shown in FIG. 10 attached to the back lining 302. In this embodiment, the communications routing means 504 are constructed from a short of piece webbing stitched to the back lining 302 along both ends and are operable to retain communications equipment wiring, and the like. The communications routing means 504 provide the further option of routing wires and cables to the right or left side of the user depending on the user's preference.
  • Now referring to FIG. 11, the shoulder length adjustments 506 are shown attached to the back lining 302 opposite the shoulder panels 308 of the back cover 300. As shown in the exemplary embodiment in FIG. 11, the shoulder length adjustments 506 are made from a piece of hook and loop tape, designed to secure the front portion 102 to the back portion 104 along the shoulders, and also provide garment length adjustment. Shoulder length adjustments 506 releasably and adjustably couple to the front cover quick-release shoulder interfaces 112. Other fastening methods may also be used such as snaps, and buttons, among others.
  • Shoulder padding is preferably included between the back lining 302 and the shoulder panels 308 of the back cover 300. As shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, the back lining 302 includes a shoulder padding pocket 524 for containing extra shoulder padding. FIG. 11 shows one embodiment of a padded shoulder insert 528 which is constructed by adding a nylon cover around a cushioning material. The padded shoulder insert 528 is contoured to follow the edges of the back portion 104 where the back portion 104 interfaces with the user's upper back, shoulder and collar bone areas. In one embodiment the shoulder padding pocket 526 is closable with a hook and loop fastener, or the like.
  • As shown in FIG. 15, activation of the quick-release mechanism 114 is commenced by pulling the quick-release handles 208 and 209. Pulling the quick-release handles 208 and 209 causes the cables to be pulled out of the inner and outer series of openings in the plurality of quick-release links 164 to separate from one another causing the front portion 102 of the antiballistic garment 100 to rapidly fall apart from the back portion 104. Thus, by using the quick-release mechanism 114 and unbuckling the load-bearing belt 312, the user can very quickly remove the antiballistic garment 100. After the front and back portions 102 and 104 have been separated by using the quick-release mechanism 114, the quick-release side interfaces 110 remain attached to the back portion side panels 306 and the quick-release shoulder interfaces 112 remain attached to the back portion shoulder panels 308.
  • As described above, the quick-release mechanism 114 comprises a plurality of quick-release links 164 disposed along the path 198 at the interface of the front and back portions 102 and 104. As shown in FIG. 16, each quick-release link 164 may be generally designed as a double-opening structure, having a body portion 172 with a laterally projecting tab 174. Two generally circular openings 176 and 178 are formed in the body portion 172. The openings 176 and 178 are operable to provide two separate cable paths for the quick-release cables 200 and 201 as they thread through the quick-release shoulder interfaces 112. The openings 176 and 178 may have chamfered edges 180. The body portion 172 may have a groove 182 disposed along a side thereof between the holes 176 and 178, although the quick-release link 164 may be constructed without groove 182. The tab 174 projects, as shown in FIG. 16, outwardly and transversely from the body portion 172, and generally tangentially to openings 176 and 178. In particular, each quick-release link 164 is attached by sandwiching the tab 174 between two pieces of fabric or webbing and then stitching therethrough.
  • The quick-release link 164 is preferably made from an injection molded plastic, but may also be made from an extrusion or other manufacturing process known in the art. The quick-release link 164 may also be made from other materials such as aluminum, titanium, graphite composite, among others. In other embodiments, the quick-release link may include a single opening large enough to pass one or more quick-release cables. The quick-release link openings may be non-circular and may be designed without a tab 174. The quick-release link may be made from a material such as fabric, such as a link constructed from webbing with or without reinforcing grommets.
  • Depending on how the quick-release link 164 is disposed along the path 198 and its orientation as it is fastened to the front cover 106 or the interface panels, the openings of the links may be a part of the inner series of openings or the outer series of openings.
  • In addition to embodiments described herein, alternative means of attaching fabric to fabric and components to fabric are also contemplated such as using rivets, adhesive, hook and loop tape, snaps, buttons, snaps, buckles, belts, ties, zippers, crimps, grommets, staples, bands, and the like, among others.
  • Although embodiments of the present disclosure have been described in detail, those skilled in the art should understand that they may make various changes, substitutions and alterations herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure. Accordingly, all such changes, substitutions and alterations are intended to be included within the scope of the present disclosure as defined in the following claims. In the claims, means-plus-function clauses are intended to cover the structures described herein as performing the recited function and not only structural equivalents, but also equivalent structures.

Claims (41)

  1. 1. An antiballistic garment comprising:
    a front portion comprising:
    a body-facing front lining attached to an outside-facing front cover, the front lining and front cover defining a front portion soft armor compartment having a closeable opening operable for insertion and removal of a soft armor insert into the front portion soft armor compartment, the soft armor insert being constructed from at least one layer of antiballistic fabric and being releasably affixed inside the front portion soft armor compartment by use of a fastening means;
    the front cover further comprising a front hard antiballistic plate pocket, the front hard antiballistic plate pocket having an opening in the front cover and having a pocket body, the front hard antiballistic plate pocket further having at least one vertical positioning strap to adjust the height of a front hard antiballistic plate inserted into the front hard antiballistic plate pocket;
    the front cover further comprising a plurality of MOLLE webbing fixedly arranged in substantially horizontal rows;
    the front lining comprising at least one groin armor accessory fastener and a plurality of vent holes operable to allow air and/or moisture to pass between the front lining and the front cover;
    a back portion being releasably and adjustably coupled to the front portion, the back portion comprising:
    a body-facing back lining attached to an outside-facing back cover, the back lining and back cover defining a back portion soft armor compartment having a closeable opening operable for insertion and removal of a soft armor insert into the back portion soft armor compartment, the soft armor insert being constructed from at least one layer of antiballistic fabric and being releasably affixed inside the back portion soft armor compartment by use of a fastening means;
    the back cover comprising a central portion and outwardly extending side and shoulder panels;
    the central portion comprising a back hard antiballistic plate pocket, the back hard antiballistic plate pocket having an opening in the back cover and having a pocket body, the pocket further having at least one vertical positioning strap to adjust the height of a back hard antiballistic plate inserted into the back hard antiballistic plate pocket;
    the central portion further comprising a plurality of MOLLE webbing fixedly arranged in substantially horizontal rows, and at least one rescue-drag handle;
    the shoulder panels comprising adjustable, releasable fastening means for attaching the shoulder panels to the front portion;
    the shoulder panels further comprising epaulette straps and rifle bolsters, the rifle bolsters having a slip-resistant surface and a lipped edge;
    the side panels comprising adjustable, releasable fastening means for attaching the side panels to the front portion, and side hard antiballistic plate pockets, each side hard antiballistic plate pocket further having at least one vertical positioning strap to adjust the height of a side hard antiballistic plate inserted into each side hard antiballistic plate pocket;
    the side panels further comprising a plurality of MOLLE webbing fixedly arranged in substantially horizontal rows;
    the back lining comprising a contoured back comfort pad which is removably coupled to the back lining of the back portion, the contoured back comfort pad being operable to provide cushioning and ventilation;
    the back lining further comprising a plurality of vent holes operable to allow air and/or moisture to pass between the back lining and back cover;
    a circumferential adjustment comprised of a plurality of fastening means being disposed between the front portion and the back portion to allow the antiballistic garment to be adjusted to fit users of different sizes;
    a quick-release mechanism operable to rapidly decouple the back portion from the front portion, the quick-release mechanism comprising:
    a plurality of quick-release links attached to the front cover of the front portion;
    a plurality of quick-release links attached to quick-release side interfaces, the plurality of side interface quick-release links being releasably intermeshed with the plurality of quick-release links on the front cover, the side interfaces further comprising side interface fastening means releasably attachable to the side panels of the back portion;
    a plurality of quick-release links attached to quick-release shoulder interfaces, the plurality of shoulder interface quick-release links being releasably intermeshed with the plurality of quick-release links on the front cover, the shoulder interfaces further comprising shoulder interface fastening means releasably attachable to the shoulder panels of the back portion;
    load transfer system adapted to transfer loading of the antiballistic garment from a user's shoulders to a user's waist, the load transfer system comprising:
    a load-bearing belt adapted to encircle a user's waist;
    at least one load support sleeve fixedly attached to the central portion of the back cover and having a top opening for receiving a load support member and a bottom opening for passing a lower end of the load support member through the back cover to the load-bearing belt, the load support member being sufficiently rigid to transfer loading of the antiballistic garment from a user's shoulders to a user's waist, the load support sleeve comprising an adjustable load transfer strap attached to an upper portion of the load support sleeve and the shoulder panels; and
    the load-bearing belt having a padded portion and a protection portion accommodated inside a belt cover, the load-bearing belt comprising an adjustable strap and buckle attached to the belt cover, the protection portion comprising a soft antiballistic armor insert and the padded portion comprising a semi-circular lumbar pad extending therefrom, the belt cover further comprising at least one load support interface to communicate with the lower end of the load support member.
  2. 2. The antiballistic garment of claim 1, wherein the side panels and shoulder panels are separable from the back portion.
  3. 3. An antiballistic garment comprising:
    a front portion comprising soft armor, the soft armor being constructed from multiple layers of antiballistic fabric;
    a back portion being releasably and adjustably coupled to the front portion, the back portion comprising soft armor, the soft armor being constructed from multiple layers of antiballistic fabric, the back portion further comprising outwardly extending side and shoulder panels;
    the shoulder panels comprising adjustable, releasable fastening means for attaching the shoulder panel to the front portion;
    the side panels comprising adjustable, releasable fastening means for attaching the side panels to the front portion; and
    a quick-release mechanism having a plurality of quick-release links incorporated into the front portion and back portion, the quick-release mechanism adapted to rapidly separate the front portion from the back portion by removal of at least one quick-release cable.
  4. 4. The antiballistic garment of claim 3, further comprising a plurality of quick-release links attached to a front cover of the front portion.
  5. 5. The antiballistic garment of claim 4, further comprising quick-release side interfaces, the quick-release side interfaces comprising a plurality of quick-release links, the plurality of side interface quick-release links being releasably intermeshed with the plurality of quick-release links on the front cover, the side interfaces further comprising side interface fastening means releasably attachable to the side panels of the back portion.
  6. 6. The antiballistic garment of claim 4, further comprising quick-release shoulder interfaces, the quick-release shoulder interfaces comprising a plurality of quick-release links being releasably intermeshed with the plurality of quick-release links on the front cover, the shoulder interfaces further comprising shoulder interface fastening means releasably attachable to the shoulder panels of the back portion.
  7. 7. The antiballistic garment of claim 3, wherein the at least one quick-release cable is a braided wire cable with a handle at a first end for pulling the cable from the quick-release mechanism and a fused tip at a second end to prevent the cable from unraveling and to facilitate in threading the cable though a series of quick-release links.
  8. 8. The antiballistic garment of claim 3, wherein the at least one quick-release cable has a handle located along an edge of the front cover and are covered by a protective flap which is attached to the front cover to protect the quick-release mechanism from accidental activation.
  9. 9. The antiballistic garment of claim 3, wherein the quick-release link comprises a single hole for threading at least one quick-release cable.
  10. 10. The antiballistic garment of claim 3, wherein the quick-release link comprises at least two holes for threading at least two quick-release cables.
  11. 11. The antiballistic garment of claim 3, wherein the quick-release link comprises a transverse tab extending laterally from a body defining at least one opening, the transverse tab being attachable to fabric by stitching through the transverse tab.
  12. 12. The antiballistic garment of claim 3, wherein the quick-release link is made from a material selected from the group consisting of plastic, rubber, metal, ceramic and graphite composite.
  13. 13. The antiballistic garment of claim 3, the antiballistic garment further comprising at least one hard antiballistic plate pocket, the hard antiballistic plate pocket comprising a closeable opening and a pocket body, the hard antiballistic plate pocket further comprising at least one vertical positioning strap to adjust the height of the hard antiballistic plate inserted into the hard antiballistic plate pocket.
  14. 14. The antiballistic garment of claim 13, wherein the pocket body includes a positioning strap attachment means, such that the positioning strap may be attached at various locations on the position strap attachment means.
  15. 15. The antiballistic garment of claim 14, wherein the positioning strap attachment means is attached to the pocket body at an angle.
  16. 16. The antiballistic garment of claim 13, wherein the hard antiballistic plate pocket comprises at least two positioning strap attachment means, such that the at least two positioning straps may be crossed in front of or behind the hard antiballistic plate to secure the hard antiballistic plate in the pocket body.
  17. 17. The antiballistic garment of claim 13, wherein the front portion includes a front hard antiballistic plate pocket.
  18. 18. The antiballistic garment of claim 13, wherein the back portion includes a back hard antiballistic plate pocket.
  19. 19. The antiballistic garment of claim 13, wherein at least one side panel includes a side hard antiballistic plate pocket.
  20. 20. An antiballistic garment comprising:
    a front portion comprising soft armor, the soft armor being constructed from multiple layers of fabric;
    a back portion being releasably and adjustably coupled to the front portion, the back portion comprising soft armor, the soft armor being constructed from multiple layers of antiballistic fabric, the back portion further comprising outwardly extending side and shoulder panels;
    the shoulder panels comprising adjustable, releasable fastening means for attaching the shoulder panel to the front portion;
    the side panels comprising adjustable, releasable fastening means for attaching the side panels to the front portion; and
    a load transfer system integrated with the antiballistic garment and adapted to transfer loading of the antiballistic garment from a user's shoulders to a user's waist, the load transfer system comprising a load-bearing belt adapted to encircle the user's waist.
  21. 21. The antiballistic garment of claim 20, the load transfer system further comprising at least one load support sleeve, wherein the at least one load support sleeve is fixedly attached to the back portion, the support sleeve having a top opening for receiving a load support member and a bottom opening for passing a lower end of the load support to the load-bearing belt.
  22. 22. The antiballistic garment of claim 21, the load transfer system further comprising at least one load support member, wherein the at least one load support member is sufficiently rigid to transfer loading of the antiballistic garment from a user's shoulders to a user's waist, the load support member being a generally flat and narrow elongated member shaped to match the general profile of the user's back.
  23. 23. The antiballistic garment of claim 21, wherein each of the at least one load support sleeves comprises an adjustable load transfer strap attached to the load support sleeve and the shoulder panel of the back portion.
  24. 24. The antiballistic garment of claim 22, wherein the load-bearing belt further comprises at least one load support interface to communicate with the lower end of the load support member.
  25. 25. The antiballistic garment of claim 20, wherein the back portion further comprises at least one rescue-drag handle, fixedly attached to an upper end of the back portion, to facilitate transport of an incapacitated user.
  26. 26. The antiballistic garment of claim 20, wherein the shoulder panels further comprise epaulette straps which are each comprised of a main strap and a cross strap, the main strap operable to provide an attachment point for optional armored and non-armored accessories, and the cross strap operable to partially retain the main strap.
  27. 27. The antiballistic garment of claim 20, wherein the shoulder panels further comprise rifle bolsters, the rifle bolsters having a slip-resistant surface.
  28. 28. The antiballistic garment of claim 27, wherein the rifle bolsters further comprise a raised lip around the slip-resistant surface.
  29. 29. The antiballistic garment of claim 20, wherein the load-bearing belt has a padded portion and a protection portion accommodated inside a belt cover, the load-bearing belt comprising an adjustable strap and buckle attached to the belt cover, the load-bearing belt being encased within the back portion.
  30. 30. The antiballistic garment of claim 29, wherein the load-bearing belt is separable from the back portion.
  31. 31. The antiballistic garment of claim 29, wherein the protection portion of the load-bearing belt includes a soft armor insert.
  32. 32. The antiballistic garment of claim 29, wherein the padded portion of the load-bearing belt includes at least one layer of foam padding.
  33. 33. The antiballistic garment of claim 29, wherein the padded portion of the load-bearing belt includes a semi-circular lumbar pad extending from a top edge of the load-bearing belt.
  34. 34. The antiballistic garment of claim 20, wherein the back portion further comprises a contoured back comfort pad which is removably attached to a body-facing back lining of the back portion, the contoured back comfort pad being operable to provide cushioning and ventilation.
  35. 35. The antiballistic garment of claim 34, wherein the contoured back comfort pad is comprised of a stretchable mesh cover with moisture-wicking and ventilation, and having at least one layer of foam padding.
  36. 36. The antiballistic garment of claim 34, wherein the contoured back comfort pad includes a concave portion that is capable of interfacing with a semi-circular lumbar pad extending from a top edge of the load-bearing belt.
  37. 37. The antiballistic garment of claim 34, wherein the contoured back comfort panel comprises at least one first foam layer that has a raised-profile surface to allow passage of air, and wherein the first foam layer raised-profile surface is oriented towards to the user's body.
  38. 38. The antiballistic garment of claim 37, wherein the contoured back comfort panel comprises at least on second foam layer that is more rigid than the first foam layer, wherein the second foam layer is oriented away from the user's body.
  39. 39. The antiballistic garment of claim 20, further comprising a circumferential adjustment comprised of a plurality of fastening means being disposed between the front portion and the back portion to allow the antiballistic garment to be adjusted to fit users of different sizes.
  40. 40. The antiballistic garment of claim 20, the quick-release mechanism adapted to rapidly separate the front portion from the back portion.
  41. 41. The antiballistic garment of claim 22, wherein the at least one load support member is removable.
US11754981 2006-05-30 2007-05-29 Antiballistic Garment Abandoned US20090282595A1 (en)

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US20160040958A1 (en) * 2014-08-07 2016-02-11 5.11, Inc. Hexagonal attachment system
US9664481B2 (en) * 2014-08-07 2017-05-30 5.11, Inc. Hexagonal attachment system
US9723909B2 (en) 2014-08-07 2017-08-08 5.11, Inc. Hexagonal attachment system
USD822288S1 (en) 2014-08-07 2018-07-03 5.11, Inc. Attachment platform
US9874423B1 (en) * 2014-08-14 2018-01-23 Survivial Armor, Inc. Medical kit carrier for body armor vests
US20160128394A1 (en) * 2014-11-12 2016-05-12 Zachary Eugene Hubert Kohrman Vest garment with multi-purpose, universal hydration system carrier compartment
US9109859B1 (en) * 2014-11-14 2015-08-18 John A Nittolo Spine plate vest
US20160202023A1 (en) * 2015-01-09 2016-07-14 Chris Osman Cutaway Vest
GB2534189B (en) * 2015-01-16 2017-01-11 Np Aerospace Ltd Releasable fastenings
GB2534189A (en) * 2015-01-16 2016-07-20 Np Aerospace Ltd Releasable fastenings
US20160270554A1 (en) * 2015-03-21 2016-09-22 Shira Silverman Baby Carrier for Twins
US10070714B2 (en) 2017-08-07 2018-09-11 5.11, Inc. Hexagonal attachment system
US10051945B1 (en) * 2017-11-20 2018-08-21 Eduardo Pomare Bulletproof backpack with solar charger, concealed carry compartment, baton scabbard, and GPS module

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WO2008108856A2 (en) 2008-09-12 application

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