US20110225706A1 - Hybrid Head Covering - Google Patents

Hybrid Head Covering Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110225706A1
US20110225706A1 US13/051,975 US201113051975A US2011225706A1 US 20110225706 A1 US20110225706 A1 US 20110225706A1 US 201113051975 A US201113051975 A US 201113051975A US 2011225706 A1 US2011225706 A1 US 2011225706A1
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head covering
head
external surface
covering
thickness
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Abandoned
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US13/051,975
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Brian Pye
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Brian Pye
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Application filed by Brian Pye filed Critical Brian Pye
Priority to US13/051,975 priority patent/US20110225706A1/en
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Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A42HEADWEAR
    • A42BHATS; HEAD COVERINGS
    • A42B1/00Hats; Caps; Hoods
    • A42B1/004Hats; Caps; Hoods with special decorative arrangements or effects

Abstract

A versatile protective headgear which is a close replica of a football helmet, fabricated from a lightweight, suitable foam material that is conformable and resilient, capable of absorbing energy and protecting the wearer from lacerations and/or contusions from incidental contact in outdoor sporting activities. The headgear provides warmth and protection from moisture in cold weather, but the internal design also provides sufficient ventilation for year around use. The foam material can be produced in a variety of colors and has a smooth external surface that will accept paint and decals for authentic team identification. The headgear may be held in place by a standard football chin strap and is designed to have a removable face mask. The authentic appearance and cold weather protection it provides makes it an effective and desirable head covering for all cold weather recreational and work activities, including attendance at football games. Its flexibility permits packing for travel and storage. The simple construction from one piece of material makes is easy and economical to manufacture.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/315,881 filed Mar. 19, 2010 which is incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The invention relates generally to a head covering and more specifically to a hybrid head covering which provides a level of protection from cold weather elements and accidental physical contact while encompassing an aesthetically pleasing appearance which increases head covering wearability and protection compliance.
  • 2. Background Information
  • Team identification gear has been available to athletes participating in sporting activities for many years. Protective gear for football and boxing began to make its appearance almost a century ago. Specialized protective headgear is now available to athletes in many sports. Head injury prevention continues to attract a great deal of focus. The helmet which is now used in professional and scholastic football is generally very effective at providing head protection. Its unique shape covers every part of the head except the front of the face. The standard football helmet has excellent protection qualities when used in any sporting activity, whether it is for the professional ice hockey player or a child riding a bike in the neighborhood park. However, it is also bulky and heavy, and generally provides more protection than is necessary for other sports. Nearly every competitive contact sport now has protective headgear designed exclusively for that sport, and in scholastic and professional competition, such protective headgear is required. For every athlete that participates in organized sports that require the use of protective headgear, there are far more that participate in those same sports on a casual level and most participants do not use head protection. There are many outdoor activities that have the potential for head injuries: snowboarding, skiing, ice skating, to name a few. Only 22 states have bicycle helmet laws requiring minors to wear helmets, and a few of these states laws also include skateboarders and in-line skaters. If helmets are not required by law, most participants do not use them. There simply is no light weight head protection available that can be used in a variety of outdoor sporting activities.
  • Few Americans wear hats unless the weather becomes very cold. There are no particularly acceptable styles in cold weather head wear for men or women. Many of these styles do not cover the head completely. The baseball cap is the only form of head covering that is widely acceptable. Baseball caps provide little protection from the elements, but they have become enormously popular. Caps are now an accepted style statement; they are versatile, being worn for any outdoor occasion by anybody. However, the popularity of the baseball cap can first be attributed to the fact that the first caps were authentic replicas of the caps worn by the major league players. For years, the only baseball caps which were made were authentic baseball caps. As they became increasingly more popular, caps became an acceptable style of head covering. Now caps are available in any color and design with virtually anything imprinted on them.
  • Over the last 30 years, there have been attempts to make some form of football headgear an acceptable style of head covering. Examples are hard shell plastic replicas, inflatable helmets, bomber, trooper, and stocking/beanie hats imprinted with team logo's, and gag headgear like the Packer “cheesehead”.
  • The previous head gear attempts reviewed above were designed for the football fan attending a game in an outdoor stadium and other than some cold weather protection the head gear had little additional utility. Additionally, the previous head gear did not possess an appearance that is sufficiently authentic as to create mass consumer.
  • Unfortunately, a head covering that provides measurable protection from cold weather elements and accidental or incidental physical contact which is aesthetically pleasing and thus generally wearable has not yet been described. Thus, a need exists for a hybrid head covering which provides thermal and physical protection and is also aesthetically pleasing enough to be worn in multiple social situations.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The basis of the invention was to provide to a wearer a head covering that balances utility functions and ornamental appearances and thus results in a protective, comfortable and socially accepted head covering.
  • The present invention relates to a hybrid head covering in the general configuration of a football helmet wherein said head covering comprises a foam-based material fabricated to provide the following properties:
  • a) protection from physical contact: conformable resilient capable of absorbing energy and protecting the wearer from lacerations and/or contusions from incidental or accidental contact in outdoor sporting activities, or accidental slips and falls, particularly in icy conditions;
  • b) protection from outdoor elements: the head covering is designed to provide the wearer with protection from the elements specifically cold wind, rain, hail, sleet and snow;
  • c) physical comfort: the head covering is much lighter in weight than a competition football helmet and fits snugly but comfortably on the head with adequate ventilation zones to avoid overheating specifically when participating in athletic endeavors but additionally the ventilation assists in the comfort of the wearer when used as protection from outdoor elements; and
  • d) social comfort: may be customized to the wearers desired entity or affiliation; e.g., may have color schemes of favorite athletic team; college; business or other desired entity.
  • The invention generally pertains to protective headgear used in outdoor sports, such as football, snowmobiling, snowboarding, and skateboarding. It may also pertain to the field of general cold weather head coverings and fan apparel worn by those attending outdoor recreational events such as football games.
  • The hybrid head covering may be fabricated from a resilient foam material such as polyurethane foam, which is cut and/or molded to cover the head, and includes specific energy absorption zones and ventilation zones; and is shaped to resemble the outward appearance of a competition helmet for football, hockey or lacrosse with football being most preferred; but is far lighter, requires less fabrication time and variance of materials, and is customizable both pre and post fabrication.
  • A method for the fabrication of a hybrid head covering is also described herein as comprising the steps of 1) forming a foam material to define the shape of the user's head; 2) 2) comprising energy absorbing zones; 3) ventilation zones; 4) has the outward appearance of a competition football, lacrosse or hockey helmet, with the football helmet being most preferred; and 5) is fully customizable in color, logos, emblems and exterior decorative implements.
  • The product is designed to be a hybrid fashionable helmet to increase helmet compliance where typically there is poor or no compliance, combined with a comfortable protective shell which assists and protects the wearer from lacerations and/or contusions associated with incidental or accidental contact with other players, equipment or with the environment itself.
  • The head covering consists of a unitary construction of a foam-like material substantially in the shape of a football helmet. Additional features may include: face protectors (e.g., shields, cages or facemasks), helmet securing devices (such as chin straps), face protector and helmet securing device attachment equipment (including Velcro, snaps, rivets, screws and the like), and decorative/customizing features (including logos, pinstriping, color schemes, and entity identification devices).
  • Head gear compliance is a problem particularly in children and young adults where judgment is often most limited and peer pressure regarding looks over protection is most prevalent. Many adults and children refuse to do what is safe for the fear of appearing “uncool”. Therefore, the embodied head covering is designed to be a protective device that can achieve peer acceptance while providing a protective element which may greatly reduce the incidence and severity of accidental head injuries.
  • One embodied invention is a light weight protective headgear constructed of a foam material in the shape of a football helmet that conforms to the shape of one's head, produced in a number of sizes from infant to adult. As noted above, the shape of a football helmet covers every part of the head except the face. It will provide head protection for a variety of sporting activities that have the potential for head injuries due to incidental contact, such as: Football (neighborhood, flag, school PE classes, college intramural, “no-pads” practice); Field hockey & lacrosse; Winter sports (snowmobiling, snowboarding, skiing, ice skating, ice hockey, tobogganing); Cycling & roller sports (skateboarding, roller skating, in-line skating roller hockey). The headgear is not intended to be a substitute for the specialized helmets designed for these sporting activities. However, the headgear will prevent head lacerations and contusions, and though it is not intended to prevent brain injury, the protection it provides is better compared to wearing nothing.
  • The embodied headgear provides excellent protection from the elements for the entire head except the face. The foam material is wind and moisture resistant and has great insulation qualities, keeping the wearer's head warm in the coldest weather. The hybrid headgear is an effective and practical head covering during the winter months for those working outdoors and participating in all forms of recreational activities. The internal design provides sufficient ventilation for the device to be used as a protective headgear throughout the year.
  • An embodied hybrid head covering may be constructed from foam with the authentic shape and detail of a competition football helmet. The surface of the foam may be smooth and has the gloss of a hard surface. Colors may be added to the foam during production so they are true to the teams they represent. Paint, striping and decals adhere to the foam material tenaciously. When the headgear is slipped onto the head, it is designed to feel much like a competition football helmet. It is an authentic replica of an official helmet, designed to fit the wearer's head snuggly. A standard competition chinstrap may be attached by snaps and a light gauge rigid facemask assembly can be attached to the headgear with Velcro strips or other fasteners. The embodied head covering is designed to strongly appeal to the football fan that at one time played competitive football. While the invention may never achieve the popularity and versatility of the baseball cap, its authentic design will create acceptance among the football fan base and those that value its protective qualities.
  • The construction process is efficient and economical. Identical right and left side pieces are die cut from a sheet of molded foam such as a closed cell polyvinylnitrile, or created from foam injection into left and right side molds, and joined together along a center seam, creating the circumferential shape of the football helmet. Known dipping and/or painting processes are used to apply a coating that gives the foam its smooth and glossy surface and color. Team striping and emblems are added. Snaps and/or Velcro strips are added for attachment points for the chin strap and facemask.
  • The embodied hybrid headgear is customizable to support virtually any team or logo, and designed to provide physical protection against accidental and incidental contact, thermal protection in cold weather climates; and an aesthetically pleasing design and comfort designed to promote a team, company or school.
  • The embodied hybrid headgear may be economically manufactured so that cost will not be the limiting factor over whether one wears a protective headgear.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The principles of the present invention will be apparent with reference to the following drawings, in which like reference numerals denote like components:
  • FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a hybrid head covering embodiment.
  • FIG. 2 shows a right side elevation view of the same hybrid covering embodiment.
  • FIG. 3 shows a front elevation view of the same hybrid head covering embodiment.
  • FIG. 4 shows a back elevation view of the same hybrid head covering embodiment.
  • FIG. 5 shows a top plan view of the same hybrid head covering embodiment.
  • FIG. 6 shows a bottom plan view of the same hybrid head covering embodiment.
  • FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of another hybrid head covering embodiment.
  • FIG. 8 shows a top plan view of another hybrid head covering embodiment as it may appear in a production molding before left and right sides are merged to form a unitary head covering piece.
  • FIG. 9 shows a front elevation view of another hybrid head covering device.
  • FIG. 10 shows a front elevation view of the same hybrid head covering device with a front portion of the head covering removed to show the internal surface of the head covering which is in contact with the back portion of a users head.
  • FIG. 11 shows a front elevation view of the same hybrid head covering with a portion of the right side of the head covering removed to show the internal surface of the head covering which is in contact with the side and back right portion of a users head.
  • FIG. 12 shows a bottom plan view of the same hybrid head covering with a portion of the bottom surface of the head covering removed to show the internal surface of the head covering which is in contact with the top portion of a users head.
  • FIG. 13 shows a perspective view of another hybrid head covering for use with an infant.
  • FIG. 14 shows a perspective view of another hybrid head covering for use with a toddler or young child.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention contemplates a hybrid head covering dimensioned to and designed to be worn on the head of a user and provide protection from physical contact and the outdoor elements and is designed to be comfortably worn in both the physical and social context.
  • The hybrid head covering is capable of being customized to serve a purpose for individuals in all stages of life.
  • For example in infants a head covering as exemplified in FIG. 13 may be used to protect from the elements and accidental bumps. The contemplated embodiment for this age group will focus more on a skull cap type covering.
  • For toddlers and young children with more movement and less fear than coordination, a hybrid head covering that mixes peer acceptance with safety may be used to protect this group from accidental contact when learning to walk or just being an adventurous young child. Additionally the head covering is capable of protecting the young child from the elements in cold weather climates. An exemplary embodiment is featured in FIG. 14.
  • For the active older child or adult active in both various recreational or athletic endeavors, the head covering is designed to protect or minimize injury sustained when accidental or incidental contact occurs in such events as organized sports, flag football, 7 on 7 football drills, gym hockey, or accidents associated with outdoor activity particularly in cold weather climates. The hybrid head covering is sufficiently styled so that helmet compliance is increased and inexpensive enough to produce so that the head covering can be tailored towards ones individual tastes eg. professional or local sports teams or intramural or Greek organization or company.
  • For the older adult that may be less active in athletic or recreational endeavors a hybrid head covering may protect or minimize injury sustained in either unstable conditions including icy/slippery terrain associated with cold weather climates, or unstable physical abilities often associated with aging.
  • Illustrative embodiments of the invention are described below. In the interest of clarity, not all features of an actual implementation are described in this specification. It will of course be appreciated that in the development of any such actual embodiment, numerous implementation-specific decisions must be made to achieve the developers' specific goals, such as compliance with system-related and business-related constraints, which will vary from one implementation to another. Moreover, it will be appreciated that such a development effort might be complex and time-consuming, but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking for those of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of this disclosure.
  • FIGS. 1-6 show a hybrid head covering 100 contemplated in the present invention with embodiments and dimensions for use with a young adult or adult user. FIG. 1 represents a perspective view of a hybrid head covering 100. The head covering has a top area 105 bottom area 106, left side area 107, right side area 108, interior surface 109 and external surface 110. The head covering 100 is fabricated from a suitable foam material in a variety of specified colors that is conformable to the head and resilient, capable of absorbing energy and forces during incidental or accidental contact with the head. The exterior surface 110 is smooth and may embody the features of a competition football helmet. The head covering has a uniform thickness at the energy absorbing zones 113 which are generally in direct contact with the users head. The thickness of the headgear at the energy absorbing zones or bands 113 may range from 0.25 to 2 inches with a preferable thickness ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 inches and a more preferable thickness ranging from 1.0 to 0.75 inches. Additionally the head covering has a ventilation area identified as 114 which also assists with energy dispersion. The ventilation zones 114 generally have a thickness which is less than the thickness of the energy absorbing bands 113 which enables the head covering 100 to be elevated away from direct contact with the head and allows a gap or channels which allow airflow ventilation. The ventilation surfaces 114 range generally from any thickness that is at least 0.25 inches less than the thickness of the energy absorbing bands 113. The thickness of the ventilation surfaces ranges from 0.1 to 1.75 inches with a preferable thickness ranging from 0.2 to 1.0 inches and a more preferable range from 0.375 to 0.5 inches, permitting air circulation between the wearer's head and the headgear. Additionally the ventilation surfaces 114 comprise airflow apertures 116 that may be any shape which allow the exchange of airflow from both the internal surface 109 to the external surface 110 and the external surface 110 to the internal surface 109. Also contained within the ventilation surfaces 114 are ear-hole apertures 115 one placed on the left 107 and right 108 sides over where the user's ears reside inside the head covering 100 and allow for both ventilation and sound transmission. The head covering 100 is designed to fit securely upon the head of the user even during vigorous activity, but the head covering 100 may optionally comprise a head covering securing mechanism 117 (not shown) such as a chinstrap which may be attached to the head covering 100 at a securing implement 118 which may comprise a snap, velcro or any similar fastening mechanism and may be embedded in the headgear 100 during fabrication or attached to the external surface 110 post fabrication. In order to provide expanded protection of a user's facial features (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth and chin) the head covering 100 may optionally comprise a face protector 119 (not shown) which may comprise of a clear or colored visor, shield or facemask similar to face protectors seen in football, lacrosse and hockey helmets. The face protector 119 comprises a rigid material (such as plastics, and metals) which have appropriate resilience and rigidity as to be shape stable, and may be attached to the external surface 110 of the head covering 100 at face protector securing implement 120 which may comprise of snaps, rivets or velcro or any similar fastening mechanism which may be embedded in the headgear 100 during fabrication or attached to the external surface 110 post fabrication. Additionally, the aesthetic features of the head covering 100 may be customized with a variety of decorative elements 111 to the users preferences for colors, authentic team representation, logos, advertising, names, numbers, decals and the like either during or post fabrication. As shown in FIG. 1 a decorative element 111 which features pin-striping is shown on the external surface 110 of the present head covering 100.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a right side 108 view of the head covering 100 described above and illustrates the general orientation of the right side ear-hole aperture 115 and ventilation apertures 116. Additionally, the head covering securing implement 118 and face protector securing implements 120 are shown without a head-covering securing mechanism 117 or a face protector 119.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of the head covering 100 described above and the features described above as they appear in this orientation. This orientation is helpful to show the outer surface 110 of the head covering 100 when viewed from the front. The placement of the ear-hole apertures 115 and ventilation apertures 116 present in the front side of the head covering 100 are represented. A portion of the internal surface 109 of the head covering 100 is shown with a demonstration of the relationship of the energy absorbing bands 113 and the ventilated region 114 of the head covering within the internal surface 109. Additionally the head covering and face protector securing implements are represented as 118 and 120 respectively.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates the back view of the head covering 100 described above and as they appear in this orientation. This orientation is helpful to show the outer surface 110 of the head covering 100 when viewed from the back. The placement of the ventilation apertures 116 present in the back side of the head covering 100 is represented.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates the top view of the head covering 100 described above and as they appear in this orientation. This orientation is helpful to show the outer surface 110 of the head covering 100 when viewed from the top. The placement of the ventilation apertures 116 present in the top side of the head covering 100 is represented.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates the bottom view of the head covering 100 described above and as they appear in this orientation. This orientation is helpful to show the inner surface 109 of the head covering 100 when viewed from the bottom. This view demonstrates the relationship of the energy absorbing bands 113 and the ventilated region 114 of the head covering within the internal surface 109 and the placement of the ventilation apertures 116 present in the top side of the head covering 100.
  • FIG. 7 shows a hybrid head covering designed generally for the older child or adult user which is a protective headgear in the shape of a football helmet, generally shown as 200 in the drawings. It has a helmet top area 205 bottom area 206, left side area 207, right side area 208, interior surface 209 and external surface 210. The head covering 200 is fabricated from a suitable foam material in a variety of specified colors that is conformable to the head and resilient, capable of absorbing energy and forces during incidental contact with the head. The exterior surface 210 is smooth and embodies the details of a competition football helmet. The headgear has a uniform thickness of 1.0 to 0.75 inches at the energy absorbing bands 213, but in the ventilation zones 214, the thickness is reduced to 0.5 to 375 inches, permitting air circulation between the wearer's head and the headgear and also provides a gap for the dispersal of energy when physical contact is applied to the head covering. Ventilation apertures 216 within these ventilation zones 214 permit air-flow into and out of the head covering. Openings for each ear are also shown as 215, permitting hearing and ventilation. A standard off-the-shelf football helmet chin strap 217 can be attached to snaps 218 which are embedded in the exterior surface of the headgear 210 during fabrication. A single piece facemask 219, formed in the same configuration as those on competition football helmets, made of a plastic material having appropriate resilience and rigidity as to be shape stable, may be attached to the exterior surface of the headgear 210 by an attachment means which may comprise of Velcro fasteners 220. Painting, striping, and/or decals 211 may be attached to the exterior surface 210 to give the headgear 200 an authentic team representation.
  • FIG. 8 represents a sample manufacturing of a hybrid head covering 300 showing the internal surface 309 of both the left side 307 and 308 as they would appear in an injection mold before the two sides 307 and 308 are fused together to form a unitary head covering 300. The thicker head energy absorbing bands 313 are shown as well as the raised thinner ventilation portions 314 which also include ventilation apertures 316 and ear-hole apertures 315.
  • FIGS. 9-12 show a hybrid head covering 400 contemplated in the present invention with embodiments and dimensions for use by a toddler or a young adult. FIG. 9 represents a perspective view of a hybrid head covering 400. The head covering has a top area 405 bottom area 406, left side area 407, right side area 408, interior surface 409 and external surface 410. The head covering 400 is fabricated from a suitable foam material in a variety of specified colors that is conformable to the head and resilient, capable of absorbing energy and forces during incidental or accidental contact with the head. The exterior surface 410 is smooth and embodies details of a competition football helmet. The head covering has a uniform thickness at the energy absorbing zones 413 of 0.2 to 1.5 inches with a preferable thickness ranging from 0.3 to 1.0 inches and a more preferable thickness ranging from 0.4 to 0.8 inches. Additionally the head covering has a ventilation area identified as 414 which also assists with energy dispersion. The ventilation zones 414 generally have a thickness which is less than the thickness of the energy absorbing bands 413 which enables the head covering 400 to be elevated away from direct contact with the head and allows gaps or channels which facilitate airflow ventilation. The ventilation surfaces 414 range generally from any thickness that is at least 0.2 inches less than the thickness of the energy absorbing bands 413. The thickness of the ventilation surfaces ranges from 0.1 to 1.3 inches with a preferable thickness ranging from 0.15 to 1.0 inches and a more preferable range from 0.2 to 0.5 inches, permitting air circulation between the wearer's head and the headgear. Additionally, the ventilation surfaces 414 comprise airflow apertures 416 that may be any shape which allow the exchange of airflow from both the internal surface 409 to the external surface 410 and the external surface 410 to the internal surface 409. Also contained within the ventilation surfaces 414 are ear-hole apertures 415 one placed on the left 407 and right 408 sides over where the user's ears reside inside the head covering 400 and facilitate ventilation and sound transmission. The head covering 400 is designed to fit securely upon the head of the user even during vigorous activity, but the head covering 400 may optionally comprise a head-covering securing mechanism 417 (not shown) such as a chinstrap which may be attached to the head covering 400 at a securing implement 418 which may comprise a snap, velcro or any similar fastening mechanism which may be embedded in the headgear 400 during fabrication or attached to the external surface 410 post fabrication. In order to provide expanded protection of a user's facial features (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth and chin) the head covering 400 may optionally comprise a face protector 419 (not shown) which may comprise any of a clear or colored visor, shield or facemask similar to face protectors seen in football, lacrosse and hockey helmets, made of a rigid material (such as plastics, and metals) having appropriate resilience and rigidity as to be shape stable, may be attached to the external surface 410 of the head covering 400 at face protector securing implement 420 which may comprise of snaps, rivets or velcro or any similar fastening mechanism which may be embedded in the headgear 400 during fabrication or attached to the external surface 410 post fabrication. Additionally, the aesthetic features of the head covering 400 may be customized with a variety of decorative elements 411 to the users preferences for colors, authentic team representation, logos, advertising, names, numbers, decals and the like either during or post fabrication. As shown in FIG. 9 the decorative element 411 features pin-striping on the external surface 410 of the present head covering 400.
  • FIG. 10 illustrates a front elevation view of the hybrid head covering device 400 with a front portion of the head covering 400 removed to show the internal features 409 of the head covering 400 which is in contact with the back portion of a users head. The presence of the energy absorbing bands 413 are featured in relation to the ventilation zones 414. Additionally, due to the cut away the interior foam cells 412 are viewable.
  • FIG. 11 illustrates a front elevation view of the hybrid head covering 400 with a portion of the right side 408 of the head covering removed to show the internal surface 409 of the head covering which is in contact with the side and back right portion of a users head. The placement of the energy absorbing bands 413 featured in relation to the ventilation zones 414 is viewable at this angle in relation as to where the energy absorbing bands 413 and ventilation zones 414 would interact with the right back portion of a users head.
  • FIG. 12 shows a bottom plan view of the hybrid head covering 400 with a portion of the bottom surface 406 of the head covering 400 removed to show the internal surface 409 of the head covering 400 which is in contact with the top portion of a users head. The placement of the energy absorbing bands 413 featured in relation to the ventilation zones 414 is viewable at this angle in relation as to where the energy absorbing bands 413 and ventilation zones 414 would interact with the top portion of a users head.
  • FIG. 13 shows an embodiment when used for the protection or minimization of injury of an infant or toddler wherein the hybrid head covering 500 is designed as a protective headgear in the shape of a football helmet, generally shown as 500 in the drawings. It has a helmet top area 505 bottom area 506, left side area 507, right side area 508, interior surface 509 and external surface 510. The head covering 500 is fabricated from a suitable foam material in a variety of specified colors that is conformable to the head and resilient, capable of absorbing some energy and forces during incidental contact with the head. The exterior surface 510 is smooth and embodies the details of a competition football helmet. The headgear has a uniform thickness of 0.1 to 1.0 inches with a preferred range from 0.15 to 0.6 inches and a most preferred range from 0.2 to 0.5 inches. Openings for each ear are also shown as 515, permitting hearing and ventilation. A single bar facemask 519, formed in the same configuration as those on competition football helmets, made of a plastic material having appropriate resilience and rigidity as to be shape stable, may be attached to the exterior surface of the headgear 510 by an attachment means which may comprise of Velcro fasteners 520. Painting, striping, and/or decals 511 may be attached to the exterior surface 510 to give the headgear 500 an authentic team representation. Additionally the single bar facemask 519 may be used as an attachment point for a toy or a pacifier 521.
  • FIG. 14 shows an embodiment when used for the protection or minimization of injury to a toddler or young child wherein the hybrid head covering 600 is designed as a protective headgear in the shape of a hockey or football helmet, generally shown as 600 in the drawings. It has a helmet top area 605 bottom area 606, left side area 607, right side area 608, interior surface 609 and external surface 610. The head covering 600 is fabricated from a suitable foam material in a variety of specified colors that is conformable to the head and resilient, capable of absorbing energy and forces during incidental contact with the head. The exterior surface 610 is smooth and embodies the details of a competition football helmet. The headgear has a uniform thickness of 0.2 to 0.8 inches at the energy absorbing bands 613, but in the ventilation zones 614, the thickness is reduced to 0.2 to 0.5 inches, permitting air circulation between the wearer's head and the headgear and also provides a gap for the dispersal of energy when physical contact is applied to the head covering. Ventilation apertures 616 within these ventilation zones 614 permit air-flow into and out of the head covering. Openings for each ear are also shown as 615, permitting hearing and ventilation. A chin strap 617 can be attached to snaps 618 which are embedded in the exterior surface of the headgear 610 during fabrication. A single piece face-shield 619, formed in the same configuration as those on competition hockey helmets, made of a plastic material having appropriate resilience and rigidity as to be shape stable, may be attached to the exterior surface of the headgear 610 by an attachment means which may comprise of Velcro fasteners 620. Painting, striping, and/or decals 611 may be attached to the exterior surface 610 to give the headgear 600 an authentic team representation.
  • Although the invention has been described with reference to the above example, it will be understood that modifications and variations are encompassed within the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is limited only by the following claims.

Claims (20)

1. A head covering shaped in the general configuration of a football helmet comprising:
a top area, bottom area, left side area, right side area, interior surface and external surface;
wherein the head covering is fabricated from a suitable foam material in a variety of specified colors and is conformable to the user's head and resilient, capable of absorbing energy and forces during incidental or accidental contact with the head;
wherein the external surface is smooth;
wherein the head covering further comprises energy absorbing bands ranging in thickness from 0.25 to 2.0 inches;
wherein the head covering comprises ventilation zones having a thickness which is at least 0.25 inches less than the thickness of the energy absorbing bands;
the ventilation surfaces further comprise airflow apertures of any shape which allow the exchange of airflow from both the internal surface to the external surface and the external surface to the internal surface;
the ventilation surfaces additionally comprise two ear-hole apertures one placed on the left and right sides over where the user's ears reside inside the head covering and allow for both ventilation and sound transmission.
2. The head covering of claim 1, wherein the thickness of the energy absorbing bands is from about 0.5 to about 1.5 inches.
3. The head covering of claim 1, wherein the thickness of the energy absorbing bands is from about 0.75 to about 1.0 inches.
4. The head covering of claim 1, further comprising a head covering securing mechanism.
5. The head covering of claim 4, wherein the head covering securing mechanism is a chinstrap which may be attached to the head covering at a securing implement which may comprise a snap, velcro or any similar fastening mechanism and may be embedded in the headgear during fabrication or attached to the external surface post fabrication.
6. The head covering of claim 1, further comprising a face protector comprising a clear or colored visor, shield or facemask;
wherein the face protector is attached to the external surface of the head covering with a face protector securing implement which may comprise of snaps, rivets or velcro or any similar fastening mechanism which may be embedded in the headgear during fabrication or attached to the external surface post fabrication.
7. The head covering of claim 1, wherein the aesthetic features of the head covering may be customized with a variety of decorative elements to the users preferences for colors, authentic team representation, logos, advertising, names, numbers, decals and the like either during or post fabrication.
8. A head covering shaped in the general configuration of a hockey helmet comprising:
a top area, bottom area, left side area, right side area, interior surface and external surface;
wherein the head covering is fabricated from a suitable foam material in a variety of specified colors and is conformable to the user's head and resilient, capable of absorbing energy and forces during incidental or accidental contact with the head;
wherein the external surface is smooth;
wherein the head covering further comprises energy absorbing bands ranging in thickness from 0.25 to 2.0 inches;
wherein the head covering comprises ventilation zones having a thickness which is at least 0.25 inches less than the thickness of the energy absorbing bands;
the ventilation surfaces further comprise airflow apertures of any shape which allow the exchange of airflow from both the internal surface to the external surface and the external surface to the internal surface;
the ventilation surfaces additionally comprise two ear-hole apertures one placed on the left and right sides over where the user's ears reside inside the head covering and allow for both ventilation and sound transmission.
9. The head covering of claim 8, wherein the thickness of the energy absorbing bands is from about 0.5 to about 1.5 inches.
10. The head covering of claim 8, wherein the thickness of the energy absorbing bands is from about 0.75 to about 1.0 inches.
11. The head covering of claim 8, further comprising a head covering securing mechanism.
12. The head covering of claim 11, wherein the head covering securing mechanism is a chinstrap which may be attached to the head covering at a securing implement which may comprise a snap, velcro or any similar fastening mechanism and may be embedded in the headgear during fabrication or attached to the external surface post fabrication.
13. The head covering of claim 8, further comprising a face protector comprising a clear or colored visor, shield or facemask;
wherein the face protector is attached to the external surface of the head covering with a face protector securing implement which may comprise of snaps, rivets or velcro or any similar fastening mechanism which may be embedded in the headgear during fabrication or attached to the external surface post fabrication.
14. The head covering of claim 8, wherein the aesthetic features of the head covering may be customized with a variety of decorative elements to the users preferences for colors, authentic team representation, logos, advertising, names, numbers, decals and the like either during or post fabrication.
15. The head covering of claim 1, wherein the helmet is designed and manufactured at sizes and thicknesses for use by an infant or very small toddler.
16. The head covering of claim 1, wherein the helmet is designed and manufactured at sizes and thicknesses for use by a toddler or young child.
17. The head covering of claim 1, wherein the helmet is designed and manufactured at sizes and thicknesses for use by a larger or adolescent child or small adult.
18. The head covering of claim 1, wherein the helmet is designed and manufactured at sizes and thicknesses for use by an adult.
19. The head covering of claim 8, wherein the helmet is designed and manufactured at sizes and thicknesses for use by an infant, toddler or young child.
20. The head covering of claim 8, wherein the helmet is designed and manufactured at sizes and thicknesses for use by a larger child or adult.
US13/051,975 2010-03-19 2011-03-18 Hybrid Head Covering Abandoned US20110225706A1 (en)

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US8474064B2 (en) * 2011-04-15 2013-07-02 Sam Neverson Hardy, III Ear hole cover for headgear
US20130298316A1 (en) * 2012-05-14 2013-11-14 William J. Jacob Energy dissipating helmet utilizing stress-induced active material activation
US20140317819A1 (en) * 2013-04-30 2014-10-30 Ampac Enterprises Inc. Ergonomic facemask for an athletic headpiece
USD743674S1 (en) * 2013-09-03 2015-11-24 Clay Edward James Caird Ball hat
WO2016007795A1 (en) * 2014-07-10 2016-01-14 Protective Sports Equipment International, Inc. Helmet cover
USD844255S1 (en) 2014-02-12 2019-03-26 Riddell, Inc. Football helmet
US10271605B2 (en) 2018-06-13 2019-04-30 Riddell, Inc. Protective sports helmet

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USD743674S1 (en) * 2013-09-03 2015-11-24 Clay Edward James Caird Ball hat
USD844255S1 (en) 2014-02-12 2019-03-26 Riddell, Inc. Football helmet
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US10271605B2 (en) 2018-06-13 2019-04-30 Riddell, Inc. Protective sports helmet

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