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|United States Patent Application
LaBelle; Lisa Ann
;   et al.
July 21, 2011
AMPHIBIOUS CARRIER AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURING
An all weather amphibious carrier and method for manufacturing thereof,
for use on land and in water, which includes an adjustable strap system
for wearing by a person; a foldable body or member adjustably attachable
to the strap system and capable of supporting an infant or child upon
folding the member and attaching the member to the strap system; the
strap system being made of weather-resistant, synthetic, polymerized
rubber, a high-strength, resilient synthetic polymer, and a polymer
containing polyurethane; and the foldable body member being made of a
weather-resistant, synthetic, polymerized rubber, a synthetic fabric made
from a polymer containing polyurethane; and a flexible polyurethane
open-cell antimicrobial-coated foam. The unique combination of materials
keeps the baby/toddler from becoming sweaty when used for land
activities, because the materials breathe. When used in water, rain, and
snow, it dries quickly, because the water can pass through the through
the body if conventional stitching is used or the body can be completely
water-tight by using flatlock, breathable seams. The special quilted
design also adds extra support, comfort and security for both
care-giver/parent and baby, making this carrier ergonomically sound, both
on land and in water.
LaBelle; Lisa Ann; (Fairfield, CA)
; Parkinson; Jana; (Fairfield, CA)
January 21, 2010|
|Current U.S. Class:
|Class at Publication:
||A47D 13/02 20060101 A47D013/02|
1. An amphibious carrier comprising: an adjustable strap system for
wearing by a person; a member adjustably attachable to said strap system
and capable of supporting a load upon attaching said member to said strap
system; wherein said strap system is made of weather-resistant,
synthetic, polymerized rubber, a high-strength, resilient synthetic
polymer, and polymer containing polyurethane; and said member is made of
a weather-resistant, synthetic, polymerized rubber, a synthetic fabric
made from a polymer containing polyurethane, and an antimicrobial-coated
2. An amphibious carrier as set forth in claim 1 wherein: said member has
a stitched pattern therethrough forming quilted sections.
3. An amphibious carrier as set forth in claim 2 wherein: said strap
system is made of a layer of neoprene secured to a layer being one of
nylon webbing and polypropylene webbing.
4. An amphibious carrier as set forth in claim 3 wherein: said member is
made of two layers of neoprene with a layer of open cell
antimicrobial-coated foam sandwiched between said neoprene layers.
5. An amphibious carrier as set forth in claim 4 wherein: said strap
system and said member allow water to pass there-through for quick drying
and preventing mildewing and mold.
6. An amphibious carrier as set forth in claim 1 wherein: said carrier is
intended for carrying one of an infant and toddler that can be seated
facing inward toward the person or outward facing away from the person
when wearing said carrier.
7. An amphibious carrier as set forth in claim 6 wherein: said strap
system and said member are adjustable so as to accommodate a baby
weighing between less than 10 and 35 pounds.
8. An amphibious carrier as set forth in claim 7 wherein: said strap
system includes strap members that when said carrier is worn ride on the
shoulders and cross on the back of the person and said member is
supported when worn by the person on the upper chest of the person
wearing the carrier; and a stabilizer member is provided through which
said strap members cross on the person's back when the carrier is worn by
9. An amphibious carrier as set forth in claim 8 wherein: said strap
members cross on the person's back at about the bottom third of the
person's shoulder blades.
10. An amphibious carrier as set forth in claim 9 wherein: said member
includes a head support, upper tabs on either side and lower tabs below
said upper tabs so as to form arm openings for the baby when seated in
said carrier; and said upper tabs can be adjustably attached to said
strap members near the person's shoulders and said lower tabs can be
adjustably attached at a lower position than said upper tabs along said
11. An amphibious carrier as set forth in claim 10 wherein: said member
forms a lower portion in which the baby can be seated and from which the
baby's legs can extend and are freely movable; and said lower portion
having a waist strap attached thereto, said waist strap being adjustably
attachable to the ends of said strap members opposite the shoulder
portions of said strap members.
12. An amphibious carrier as set forth in claim 11 wherein: said upper
tabs are attachable to said strap members by hooks secured to said upper
tabs and attachable to a selected one of a plurality of rings secured at
different positions on said strap members, allowing adjustment of said
carrier; said lower tabs are attachable to said strap members by
releasable buckles secured to said lower tabs and to said strap members;
and said waist strap is attachable to said strap members by releasable
buckles secured to said waist strap and the ends of said strap members
opposite said shoulder portions of said strap members; wherein said hooks
and buckles are adjustable for securely and snugly positioning the baby
in said carrier.
13. An amphibious carrier as set forth in claim 13 wherein: said hooks
have a protective loop around them to increase the comfort of a baby when
placed in the carrier; and said hooks, buckles and rings are all made of
14. An amphibious carrier as set forth in claim 10 wherein: said head
support and upper tabs can be folded over so that a larger baby when
placed in the carrier can hang its arms freely over the sides of said
15. The amphibious carrier according to claim 1, wherein, said member
further comprises a high performance material comprising: a top layer
formed from a synthetic polymerized rubber; a bottom layer formed from a
synthetic polymerized rubber; and an intermediate layer formed from an
16. The amphibious carrier according to claim 15, wherein the synthetic
polymerized rubber is neoprene.
17. The amphibious carrier according to claim 15, wherein the top layer
has a thickness of about 1.0 mm-3.0 mm.
18. The amphibious carrier according to claim 15, wherein the bottom
layer has a thickness of about 1.0 mm-3.0 mm.
19. The amphibious carrier according to claim 15, wherein the
intermediate layer has a thickness of about 0.5 inches.
20. The amphibious carrier according to claim 15, wherein the
antimicrobial foam has an open cell structure.
21. The amphibious carrier according to claim 15, wherein the top layer
and the intermediate layer are stitched together and the intermediate
layer and the bottom layer are stitched together to form a water-tight
22. The amphibious carrier according to claim 15, wherein a stitching
pattern is formed through the top, intermediate and bottom layers forming
23. The amphibious carrier according to claim 15, wherein the
intermediate layer is secured between the top and bottom layers by an
edging stitched along an edge and through each of the top layer, the
bottom layer and the intermediate layer.
24. The amphibious carrier according to claim 23, wherein the edging is
formed from a polymer containing polyurethane.
25. The amphibious carrier according to claim 24, wherein the polymer
containing polyurethane is one of spandex or Lycra.
26. The amphibious carrier according to claim 23, wherein the edge
stitching includes flatlock stitching to create breathable seams.
 This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. .sctn.120 of
co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/242,847 filed on Oct. 5,
2005 which claims benefit under 35 U.S.C .sctn.119(e) filed on Oct. 6,
2004, which are both hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.
BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION
 I. Field
 The present invention concerns an amphibious carrier and a method
of manufacturing the carrier, for carrying an infant or child that can be
used both in all weather conditions on both land and in water. The
carrier is constructed is such manner that it dries quickly without
mildewing or mold.
 II. Art
 Baby carriers are well known and generally they are designed either
for use in dry conditions or for use in water. Generally, these type
carriers are designed and made of materials that are suitable for dry use
or designed and made of materials primarily for use in water.
 Certain baby carriers designed for use in water have been
developed. These, however, are not without their drawbacks. Some carriers
of this type may be designed for larger babies and not for very small
 As well, other front-position baby carriers known on the market,
especially some designed for water-use, carry the baby very low on the
adult, around the stomach region. Most baby carriers are used for
approximately seven months. After that, the baby becomes too heavy for
most adults to comfortably carry.
 One such carrier is disclosed in U.S. Ser. No. 20050076856 A1 filed
on Oct. 29, 2004 and published on Apr. 14, 2005. Although this carrier is
designed primarily for use in water, it is not constructed in such a way
and is not made of materials that allow it to be used in all weather
conditions amphibiously on both land and in water and without mildewing
or molding after use in water. Two other infant carriers are made by Body
etailers%3Dyes) and WaterTot (http://www.watertot.com/product.asp), and
although they use neoprene, on a portion of the strap system and on the
seat member of the carrier, they do not use the unique and novel design,
construction and combination of materials of the strap system and body of
the present invention.
 It would be desirable to improve upon the foregoing prior art
carriers, and overcome the problems associated with them. It would be
especially desirable to provide a versatile all weather amphibious
carrier for use on land and in water environments for use with babies and
toddlers spanning several years in age.
DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION
 In general, the present invention provides an all weather
amphibious carrier, for use on land and in water, which comprises an
adjustable strap system for wearing by a person; a foldable member
adjustably attachable to the strap system and capable of supporting an
infant or child upon folding the member and attaching the member to the
strap system; the strap system being made of weather-resistant,
synthetic, polymerized rubber, a high-strength, resilient synthetic
polymer, and thermoplastic resinous polymers; and the foldable member
being made of a weather-resistant, synthetic, polymerized rubber, a
synthetic fabric made from a polymer containing polyurethane; and a
flexible polyurethane open-cell antimicrobial-coated foam. The unique
combination of materials keeps the baby/toddler from becoming sweaty when
used for land activities, because the materials breathe. When used in
water, rain, and snow, it dries quickly, because the water goes right
through the materials. The special design also adds extra support and
security for both caregiver/parent and baby, making this carrier
ergonomically sound, both in and out of water.
 The invention is useful in baby/infant care and recreation, because
its unique fabric and construction make it possible for you to keep your
baby or toddler close to you, safely and securely, on both land and
water. Because of its unique design, construction and materials'
properties, the invention is suitable for use in other products where
these characteristics are desirable. The materials used and manufacturing
technique gives the carrier strength and comfort and as a result the
invention is applicable to other items such as snow and winter apparel,
beach and sun apparel, diaper bags, beach bags, and physical fitness
accessories, such as gym bags and the like.
 The carrier of the present invention is versatile, as it can
quickly be adjusted to fit all sized adults and babies or toddlers. It
can be used with tiny infants lacking the strength to control his/her the
neck. The baby can be placed in the carrier to face either in toward the
adult or out, facing forward away from the adult, giving the adult safe
and complete control of the baby. The carrier is made to be worn in
front, although other designs may be constructed. It is simple and easy
to put on--the adult just slips strap system shoulder straps onto the
shoulders, with the body of the carrier in front. A waist buckle is
provided on each side so as to buckle to the buckle piece of each
shoulder strap, which can be tightened or loosened as necessary. The body
of the carrier is designed to support the baby's head and back, as well
as allow freedom of the baby's arms and legs for splashing and kicking
when used in the water. The carrier is designed for babies from less than
10 through 35 pounds and at least 21 inches long.
 The shoulder straps cross in back, allowing even distribution of
weight and support. The combination of specially quilted design and the
materials from which the strap system and body are designed and the way
they are constructed make the carrier novel, unique, extra comfortable,
and ergonomically sound for both care giver/adult and baby/toddler.
 When the carrier gets wet, because of the construction and
particular materials used, it dries very quickly. Even if it gets dirty,
sandy, or muddy, the carrier is completely washable and is cleaned very
easily. The secure fit and convenience of hands free ensures safety and
 The appended drawings form part of the specification hereof. With
respect to the drawings, which are not necessarily drawn to scale, the
following is briefly noted:
 FIG. 1 is a front view depicting an embodiment of a prior art
carrier made by Water Tot.
 FIG. 2 is a front view of the prior art carrier depicted in U.S.
patent application Ser. No. 20050076856 A1.
 FIGS. 3 and 3A are a perspective view and a back view respectively
of an adult carrying a child in the carrier of the present invention.
 FIG. 4 is a front view of the embodiment of the carrier of the
present invention shown in FIG. 3.
 FIG. 5 is a rear view of the embodiment of the carrier of the
present invention shown in FIG. 3.
 FIG. 6 is another view of the back straps of the present invention.
 FIGS. 6A and 6B show a side view and a three-dimensional view of
the shoulder straps of the present invention.
 FIG. 7 is a detailed view of the parts of the body of the present
invention in which the baby is carried.
 FIG. 7A is a detailed side view of the layers making up the main
body shown in FIG. 7.
 FIG. 8 shows a strap protector that may be used with the carrier.
 The invention can be further understood by the additional detail
set forth below. Such is to be taken in an illustrative and not
necessarily limiting sense.
 A brief key to some of the features of the carrier embodiments that
are depicted in the drawings is set forth as follows:
 Number Feature
 2, 2' Carrier shoulder/back straps, made of material layers 50, 52
 4 Shoulder/back strap stabilizer. p0 6, 6' Attachment rings, for
example, D-rings, attached to shoulder straps 2, 2' by straps 7, 7'.
 8 Main body or member of carrier, made of material layers 54, 56,
58, and 60.
 10 Head support for child on upper portion of main body.
 12, 12' Upper tabs on main body.
 14, 14' Lower tabs on main body.
 17 Waist strap.
 18, 18' Waist strap buckles.
 20, 20' Back strap buckle ends.
 22, 22' Body upper tab swivel hooks.
 23, 23' Upper tab straps.
 24, 24' Body lower tab buckles.
 24A, 24A' Body lower tab straps.
 25, 25' Velcro tabs on lower tabs 14, 14'.
 27 Lower portion of main body 8.
 30, 30' Tabs on lower end of straps 2, 2' with velcro and buckles
 32, 32' Velcro tabs on the ends of tabs 30, 30'.
 34, 34' Buckle ends on the ends of tabs 30, 30'.
 62 Main body stitching forming quilted portions 63 of body 8.
 With further reference to the drawings, the carriers shown in FIGS.
1 and 2 represent prior art carriers. The carrier in FIG. 1 is made by
Water Tot and a similar carrier, not shown, is made by Body Glove. FIG. 2
is a front view of the prior art carrier depicted in U.S. patent
application Ser. No. 20050076856 A1. None of these prior art carriers
have the design, construction or combination of materials that makes the
carrier of the present invention superior to and patentably
distinguishable from these prior art carriers as will be described below.
 The carrier 1 shown in FIGS. 3-5 generally includes two main parts
that are integrated into a single unit. Basically, the first of these
parts is a fully adjustable, criss-crossed shoulder and back strap system
including shoulder/back straps 2, 2' worn by the adult caregiver and
which distributes the weight of baby or infant being carried. The second
of these parts is the main body 8 in which the infant or baby sits when
the body 8 is appropriately folded.
 The main body 8, is soft and made to be positioned around the
adult's midsection to allow the seated child to ride high on the adult's
chest so that the adult's chin should be able to touch the top of the
baby's head. Adjustment of the strap system having the straps 2,2' with
main body 8 can be carried out conveniently through lockable plastic
buckles. Each strap 2, 2' has a series of three spaced-apart plastic
D-rings 6, 6' secured on the outer sides of straps 2, 2'. The highest
D-rings 6, 6' are located where the straps rest on the adult's shoulders
and the other two D-rings are spaced about three inches apart extending
downwardly from the highest D-rings as seen in FIG. 4. D-rings 6, 6' are
secured to the side of shoulder/back straps 2, 2' facing away from the
adult by 1-inch wide straps 7, 7' made of nylon webbing or polypropylene
webbing or other suitable polymeric material as shown in FIG. 7. The
child can be securely positioned in the bottom end of body 8 with the
combination of buckles and Velcro pieces as will be described below. The
carrier can be designed for the adult caregiver to slip on the adjustable
shoulder/back straps 2,2' over the adult's head and shoulders and the
height adjustment is accomplished by swivel hooks being snapped onto the
appropriate D-rings 6, 6'. The additional D-rings 6, 6' may be used for
hanging other useful items such as toys, and other baby items to them.
 The carrier includes an adjustable head support 10 which is an
integral part of the top portion of body 8 (FIGS. 3, 4, 7) that can be
attached to the shoulder/back straps 2,2' as will be described. Head
support 10 as shown in the FIGS. is a solid area of the body 8. However,
in an alternative embodiment to allow for more air flow around the baby's
head and decrease perspiration, head support 10 could have shoelace-type
eyelets mounted through the body across the area of the head support, as
well as one or more mesh panels to allow more airflow. FIG. 7 shows the
inside of the body 8 against which the baby rests. The body 8 has upper
tabs 12, 12' and lower tabs 14, 14', which together form the openings
through which the baby's arms can hang freely from the body 8. The upper
tabs 12, 12' have common type adjustable, plastic swivel hooks 22, 22'
secured to the tabs 12, 12' by 1-inch wide nylon webbing straps 23, 23'
secured to tabs 12, 12'. Optional strap protectors 26, 26' (see FIGS. 4
and 8) can be provided which slip over each strap 23, 23' to make the
area around the upper tabs 12, 12' more comfortable for the baby.
Protectors 26, 26' are preferably made of neoprene or similarly suitable
material for use in water. The upper tabs 12, 12' of body 8 are secured
by hooks 22, 22' being snapped around the appropriate one of the D-rings
6, 6', depending on the size of the baby being carried. Further
adjustment can be accomplished by tightening the nylon webbing straps 23,
23' using 1-inch strap adjusters 23A, 23A through which the nylon webbing
straps 23, 23' pass.
 The lower tabs 14, 14' have common snap-in type buckle ends 24, 24'
secured to the lower tabs 14, 14' by 3/4-inch wide nylon webbing straps
24A, 24A', as well as Velcro pieces 25, 25' secured to the inner side of
the lower tabs 14, 14' respectively. The lower portion of body 8 tapers
into portion 27, which when folded up and back toward the head support 10
forms the seat for holding the child as will be further described.
 When the body portion 27 is folded forward and upward toward the
head support 10, the lower portion 27 and the lower tabs 14, 14' together
form the openings through which the baby's legs extend out from body 8
and the place where the baby sits in the carrier. Also attached to the
lower portion 27 is the nylon webbing waist strap 17, which has standard
adjustable snap-in style buckles 18, 18' attached at the ends 16, 16'
respectively thereof. Buckles 18, 18' are place around the waist of the
adult toward the back to snap-in respectively to buckle ends 20, 20'
shown in FIG. 6 at the lower ends of shoulder/back straps 2,2'.
 Extending from and secured to the lower portion 27 of body 8 are
the other ends of straps 2, 2' as seen in FIGS. 5, 6 and 8. Extending
outwardly and secured to straps 2, 2', between the lower portion 27 and
D-rings 6, 6', are 2-inch wide nylon webbing tabs 30, 30' respectively.
Tabs 30, 30' have Velcro tabs 32, 32' secured on the inner side next to
the neoprene side of straps 2, 2' and adjustable snap-in buckle ends 34,
34' are respectively secured to tabs 30, 30' by 3/4 inch nylon webbing
straps 35, 35' on the same side of tabs 30, 30' as the Velcro tabs 32,
32'. The view in FIG. 7 is of the outer nylon webbing side of straps 2,
2', so that portions of the buckle ends 34, 34' are shown in dotted form
behind the nylon webbing side of tabs 30, 30'. Velcro tabs 32,32' are
also located on the inner sides of tabs 30, 30' as seen in FIG. 7. When
the lower portion 27 of body 8 is folded forward and upward, the buckle
ends 34, 34' are engaged to snap-in to the mating buckles 24, 24' located
on the lower tabs 14, 14' of body 8 (see FIG. 5) and the Velcro tabs 32,
32', each approximately 2-inces wide and 3-inces long, are secured to the
mating Velcro tabs 25, 25' respectively on the inner side of the lower
tabs 14, 14' of body 8. The combination of buckle ends 34, 34' and
buckles 24, 24' and Velcro tabs 32, 32' and 25, 25' respectively provide
a double locking mechanism for securing the lower portion 27 of body 8 to
the lower tabs 14, 14' to safely, snugly and securely hold the baby in
the lower seat portion formed by body 8.
 Although buckles 18, 18' and 24, 24', buckle ends 20, 20' and 34,
34', swivel hooks 22, 22', and D-rings 6, 6' are all shown as made of
plastic, they could easily be made of metal, composites or other suitable
lightweight, non-corrosive materials. Buckles 18, 18' and buckle ends 20,
20' are 2-inches wide and buckles 24, 24' and buckle ends 34, 34' are
3/4-inches wide. The straps 16, 16' and tabs 30, 30' are made of 2-inch
wide nylon webbing, straps 23, 23' are made of 1-inch wide nylon webbing,
and straps 24A, 24A' are made of 3/4-inch wide nylon webbing, but they
could all be made of other suitable, non-stretchable materials, such as
polypropylene webbing or other suitable polymeric material. The buckles
and buckle ends, which are simple side release buckles, swivel hooks and
D-rings are commercially available from the John Howard Company, Inc. of
 The shoulder/back straps 2, 2' are constructed of two layers as
shown in FIG. 6A along the entire length of straps 2, 2'. The inner layer
50, which rests against the adult and is made of weather-resistant,
synthetic, polymerized rubber, such as for example a 1.0 to 3-mm thick
sheet of neoprene, secured face-to-face to an outer layer 52 which is
made of a high-strength, resilient synthetic polymer, such as for example
2-inch wide nylon webbing. Waist strap 17 is 2-inches wide and is made of
nylon webbing or polypropylene webbing. Outer layer 52 could also be made
of polypropylene webbing or other suitable polymeric webbing. The nylon
webbing and polypropylene webbing are commercially available from the
John Howard Company, Inc. of Chino, Calif.
 The two layers 50 and 52 of straps 2, 2' are stitched together with
an industrial strength thread and a polymer containing polyurethane
edging 54 is wrapped around both outer edges of straps 2,2' as seen in
FIG. 6B. Edging 54 is made, for example, of spandex or Lycra, and is
stitched along the edges of and through both the layers 50 and 52 to keep
them securely attached together and to prevent fraying of the edges of
layers 50 and 52. The inner layer 50 is made of thermoplastic resinous
polymers that are a water buoyant fabric while in water, for example,
neoprene. The outer layer 52 is made of a polymeric webbing material,
such as nylon webbing, to give the straps 2, 2' their carrying strength.
Neoprene stretches too easily and cannot be used alone for the
weight-bearing straps 2, 2'. By making the straps 2, 2' of the neoprene
layer 50 and nylon webbing layer 52, they are strong and provide more
than adequate support for carrying the baby, while providing a
quick-drying, non-mildewing and non-mold-forming material, through which
water or body moisture is not trapped and moves easily through. When the
carrier gets wet, because of the construction and particular materials
used, it dries very quickly. Even if it gets dirty, sandy, or muddy, the
carrier is completely washable and is cleaned very easily. The secure fit
and convenience of hands free use ensures safety and comfort for both
adult and baby.
 The body 8 as seen in FIG. 7A is made of an inner layer 56, an
outer layer 58, both made of a weather-resistant, synthetic, polymerized
rubber, such as for example neoprene, of 1.0 to 3-mm thickness. Secured
between layers 56 and 58 is a layer 60, made of an antimicrobial-coated
foam of approximately one-half inch in thickness and of medium density.
The edges of the three layers 56, 58 and 60 of body 8 are secured
together just as straps 2, 2' with a polymer containing polyurethane the
same as edging 54 as seen in FIG. 6B, such as for example spandex or
Lycra. The edging 54 is stitched all along the edges of and through both
the layers 56, 58 and 60 all the way around body 8 to keep the layers
securely attached together and to prevent fraying of the edges of layers
56, 58 and 60. The neoprene together with the open-cell foam, gives the
carrier extra cushion, support and comfort for baby/toddler during all
safe land and water activities, year round. The foam layer 60 has an
antimicrobial coating that prevents mildewing and mold from growing. This
foam is variously called dry foam, outdoor foam or open cell foam and is
commercially available from various companies including Foamex
InternationaL Inc. of Linwood, Pa. Foamex polyurethane foam is a fully
cross-linked reaction product of polyhydroxy polyol, touluene
di-isocyanate, catalysts, surfactants, pigments and water. Polyurethane
foam is a polymeric material consisting of repeating units of carbon,
hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. When the carrier 1 is in water or gets
wet, the water passes into the interior of the outer neoprene layers 56
and 58 where the regular type of stitching of edges 54 is used when they
are sewn together, but the anti-microbial coated foam layer 60 does not
soak up the water. Therefore, the carrier dries very quickly. The open
cell foam layer 60 does not hold or soak up the water like a sponge. Foam
60 generally takes the form of a piece of rubber that has been shaved at
different thicknesses and can have many different types of fabric
laminated to it, such as the nylon and lycra used for the strapping and
edging of the carrier. When the carrier is sewn together using regular
stitching, the holes from the stitching, though allowing small amounts of
water to enter, because of the open cell foam, water is not held by or
soaked up by the foam.
 Another alternative to regular stitching is to completely seal the
outer edges of body 8 and stitching 62 so that no water passes through
the outer edges of body 8 or through the stitching so it is completely
water-tight. Edge sealing can be accomplished by flatlock stitching to
provide breathable seams. Flatlock stitching is serging two layers of
fabric together, then pulling them apart until the seam lies flat. It
takes some experimentation to get the tension just right. Too loose a
tension and the seam pulls away, too tight and it is difficult to get the
seam to lay flat. Another way to accomplish a flatlock-type stitch is as
follows. Serge the edges of the seams to be joined, trimming off the seam
allowance. Place the two serged edges together, then using a zig-zag
stitch, sew the two sides together. Sometimes it may be desired to use a
three step zig-zag; this creates a sturdier seam, but flattens the
serging more. This flatlock-type seam will be considerably wider than
normal flatlocking, but in some cases the trade off may be worth the ease
of completion. If desired, a decorative thread made of nylon can be used
to zig-zag the seam for added texture. It is also possible to seal the
outer edges of body 8 using a no stitch technology and a 4 mm Metallite
neoprene, laminated with a Diamond-Tuff nylon construction system where
not a single stitch is used to seal the outer edges of body 8. This type
seal is commercially available and is described at
description is incorporated herein by reference.
 The body of the carrier 1 is first sewn together using a straight
stitch leaving the bottom end of lower portion 27 open approximately 3
inches. The edges are then bound with lycra trim. The
antimicrobial-coated foam is stuffed through the bottom making sure the
foam lays flat against the inside edges of the carrier 1. Once the foam
is flat and smooth it is stitched all around the edges of body 8 and held
in place using specific stitching lines 62 as shown on the pattern in
FIG. 7. It is the stitching that creates quilted sections 63 on the body
8 as seen in FIG. 7 that gives strength to the body 8 of the carrier by
allowing for minimal stretch. Without this the carrier would stretch too
much and loose its shape.
 The materials needed for manufacturing the carrier 1 are as
 a. Carrier Pattern--the body member of the carrier is 17 inches
wide and 221/2 inches long.
 b. Neoprene Fabric (1.0-4 mm thick), 50, 56, 58
 c. Open-Cell Outdoor Foam (medium density, 1/2 in. thick), 60.
 d. 2 inch Nylon or Polypropylene Webbing, 2, 2', 16, 16'
 e. 1 inch Nylon or Polypropylene Webbing, 23, 23'
 f. 3/4 inch Nylon or Polypropylene Webbing, 24A, 24A'
 g. (2) 2 inch Side Release Buckles, 18, 18'
 h. (2) 3/4 inch Side Release Buckles, 24, 24'
 i. (2) 1 inch Strap Adjusters, 23A, 23A'
 j. (6) 1 inch D-Rings, 6, 6'
 k. (2) 1 inch Swivel Snap Hooks, 22, 22'
 l. (2) 2 inch Velcro, 3 inches long, 25, 25'
 m. Lycra trim, 1/4 inch
 n. Scissors
 o. Pins
 p. Industrial Strength Thread
 q. Heat (to fuse all webbing ends-avoid fraying).
 r. Industrial Sewing Machine and attachments to apply trim.
 The following materials must be prepared prior to final assembly of
 a. Cut 2 Neoprene pieces out of Pattern A.
 b. Cut 1 Open-Cell Outdoor Foam piece out of Pattern B.
 c. Cut 2 pieces of 3/4 inch Webbing, each being 6 inches long (for
3/4 inch Side Release Buckle ends 34, 34' on Arm 2 of Pattern A).
 d. Cut 2 pieces of 3/4 inch Webbing 24A, 24A', each being 3 inches
long (for 1/4 in. Side Release Buckles 24, 24' attached to Lower Tabs,
 e. Cut 2 pieces of 1 inch Webbing, 23, 23' each being 10 inches
long (for Strap Adjusters 23A, 23A' and Swivel Hooks 22, 22' on Arm 1A
and Arm 1B).
 f. Cut 1 piece of 2 inch Webbing, 48 inches long for waist strap
 g. Cut 2 pieces of the 1 inch Webbing, each being 8 inches long for
straps 7, 7' for attaching D-Rings 6, 6' to straps 2, 2'.
 h. Cut 2 pieces of 2 inch Hook and Loop Velcro 25, 25' and 32, 32',
4 inches long for Lower Tabs 14, 14' and strap Velcro tabs 25, 25'.
 i. Tabs 30, 30' for Shoulder Straps: Cut 2 pieces of 2.times. 31/2
inches of Neoprene.
 j. Next, cut 2 Neoprene Straps 50, being 2 inches wide.times.38
 k. Cut 2 Nylon Webbing Straps 52 out of 2 inch Nylon Webbing, each
being 38 inches long.
 l. Heat and fuse all Webbing ends after cutting, in order to
 m. Cut out 1 4 mm thick Neoprene Back Stablizer piece 4 from the
Back Stablizer Pattern piece.
 n. Then, cut out the (4) 21/2 inch openings in the Back Stablizer
Pattern, which is where the Shoulder Straps 2, 2' go through (See FIG.
 Once the above materials have been created, then the following
steps are followed to assemble the carrier into finished form:
 a. Trace, with the erasable sewing chalk, the top stitching on
Pattern A (only one side of Neoprene).
 b. Lay both pieces of neoprene body 56 and 58 (wrong sides
together), matching all edges (the piece with the seamline tracings will
be considered the right side of the neoprene. Using trim edging 54, sew
1/4 inch lycra trim around edges, leaving bottom open. If a water-tight
seal is desired, this is where the flatlock stitching techniques
described above may be used. Take the Open-Cell Foam piece 60, and place
it between the 2 Neoprene pieces 56 and 58 of Pattern A, with the back
sides together. Carefully stuff foam in bottom opening of body member 8,
making sure foam is fitted into all corners and curves.
 c. Topstitch tracings, working from the center to the outer edge
(this holds foam in place), thus forming the quilted sections 63 as seen
in FIGS. 4 and 7.
 d. Leave the bottom Center Line open 21/2 inches from the bottom
until the Waist Strap 17 is ready to be placed.
 e. Assemble upper tab straps 23, 23' as follows: Using 1 inch
webbing, 10 inch long straps 23, 23', turn under 1/4 inch on one end and
stitch. Place each strap 4 inches from the end of upper tabs 12, 12' in
the middle. Stitch in place, stitch again 1/2 inch from first stitching,
and again 1 inch on end of each strap twice, and stitch securely in
place. Run each strap 23, 23' through the swivel hooks 22, 22' and then
through 1 inch Strap Adjusters 23A, 23A'.
 f. Assembly of lower tab 14, 14' Velcro tabs 25, 25' and buckles
 Using the soft 1/2 of the velcro (loop side), cut from pattern
piece "T" shorten straight end by 11/2 inch. Total Length should be 21/2
inches. Position on lower tabs 14, 14' (solid black side), and stitch
around all edges. Repeat for both tabs (See FIG. 7).
 g. Placement of 3/4 inch buckles 24, 24' on outside facing of piece
of lower tabs 14, 14': Turn under 1/4 inch of end of 3/4 inch.times.6
inch of piece of webbing 24A, 24A' and stitch. Place 3 inch in from curve
of lower tabs 14, 14'. Stitch securely in place, and stitch again 1/4
inch from previous stitching. Run webbing 24A, 24A' through 3/4 inch end
of side release buckles 24, 24'. Turn under 1/4 inch end of
webbing.times.2, and stitch in place.
 h. Shoulder/Back Straps 2, 2':
 1. Sew 2 inch.times.38 inch neoprene (2 mm) 50 to 2 inch.times.38
inch nylon webbing 52 (repeat for other strap). Place correct use and
care instructions label on neoprene side of one shoulder/back strap 2 or
2'. Sew around all edges.
 2. Sew 1/4 inch lycra trim edging 54 around all edges of straps 2,
 3. Put end of each strap through female buckle end 20, 20'. Turn
under 1/2 inch to neoprene side 50 and stitch.
 4. Assemble Tabs: Using previously cut hook side of Velcro 32, 32'
from pattern "T." Stitch together velcro tabs 32, 32' and nylon webbing
tabs 30, 30' (previously cut from pattern "t"). Sew 1/4 inch lycra trim
edging 54 around all edges. Place 3/4 inch.times.3 inch nylon webbing
through the female buckle ends 34, 34' of side release buckles, folding
webbing evenly. Place on nylon side of tabs 30, 30' (5 inches from end of
straps, sew around edges), enclosing buckle ends 34, 34' between straps
2, 2' and tabs 30, 30'.
 i. Placement of D-rings 6, 6', with 3 on each strap 7, 7', using 1
inch.times.8 inch piece of nylon webbing.
 1. Turn under each end of strap 7, 7' 1/4 inch and stitch. Place
end of straps, 7, 7' 21/2 inches above tab. Stitch securely in place.
 2. Slide on one D-ring 6, 6' and stitch above D-ring.
 3. Stitch 3 inches from previous stitching. Place 2.sup.nd D-ring
6, 6' and stitch above 2.sup.nd D-ring.
 4. Stitch 3 inches from previous stitching. Place 3.sup.rd D-ring
6, 6' and stitch securely (see FIG. 7).
 j. Waist Straps:
 1. Fold in half the 2 inch.times.48 inch piece of webbing strap 17,
mark the center.
 2. Place center of webbing strap 17 in open lower end of carrier.
 3. Place the neoprene straps 50 with tabs 30, 30' in opening at the
bottom of carrier (nylon side with D-rings facing up). Secure end of
straps 2 inches inside carrier, sew edges down. Close top flap of carrier
and stitch around edges.
 4. Run male end of 2 inch side release buckles 18, 18' through ends
16, 16' of waist strap 17. Turn over 1/4 inch end.times.2 and stitch
securely in place.
 k. Run shoulder straps through slots in back strap holder 4 (see
FIGS. 3A and 5).
 l. If desired, all the stitching may be accomplished with flatlock
stitching techniques to create a completely water-tight product.
 The child is held securely in the carrier in seat formed in the
lower part of body 8. The carrier is designed for small children with and
without neck control. For infants or other special needs children who do
not have neck control, the head support 10 built integral with body 8 is
provided. The head support can also be used when the baby is place in the
carrier to face the adult.
 The carrier 1 is used and adjusted as follows. The shoulder straps
2, 2' are placed over the adult's head with the body 8 positioned on the
adult's chest and the strap stabilizer 4, made of 4 mm thick neoprene,
resting flat on the adult's back between the bottom 1/3 of the adult's
shoulder blades. See FIG. 3A. The left and right waist buckles 18, 18'
are snapped into the buckle ends 20, 20' on the ends of straps 2, 2'. The
ends of straps 2, 2' are then pulled until the carrier fits snugly
against the adult's body. Before the baby is placed in the carrier, the
waist buckles 18, 18' are fastened and tightened. One side of the carrier
is completely fastened. This is accomplished by ensuring that buckle 24
on lower tab 14 is snapped into buckle end 34 of tab 30 and Velcro tab 32
is engaged with Velcro tab 25 on the inside of lower tab 14 of body 8. If
preferred the other side could be fastened instead. Then the open side of
the carrier is closed. This is accomplished by first attaching Velcro tab
32' on tab 30' to the Velcro tab 25' on the inside of lower tab 14' of
body 8. Buckle 24' is then snapped into buckle end 34' on the end of tab
30, closing the buckle 24' over the Velcro engaged tabs 32' and 25'.
Upper tab 12' is then attached to shoulder/back strap 2' by latching the
swivel hook into D-ring 6'. Further adjustment of the carrier is
provided, depending on which of the three D-rings 6, 6' the swivel hooks
22, 22' are attached. The end of nylon webbing strap 23' is pulled on to
tighten and adjust the fit.
 The baby is then placed in the carrier through the open side,
making sure the baby's arms are through the armholes formed between the
upper tabs 12, 12' and lower tabs 14, 14' of body 8. Check to make sure
that the back and waist are securely buckled. Pull straps 16, 16', 23,
23' and 24A, 24A' so as to provide a secure and snug fit.
 The baby may be placed in the carrier facing in toward the adult.
First attach Velcro tabs 32, 32' and 25, 25' respectively. Fasten buckles
24, 24' into buckle ends 34, 34' to ride over the engaged Velcro tabs.
Latch one side of the carrier by fastening swivel hook 22' of upper tab
12' to D-ring 6' on shoulder strap 2'. Pull on the end of nylon webbing
strap 23' to adjust the fit. Making sure the openings for the legs on
both sides are open and that buckle 18' is snapped into buckle end 20' on
strap 2, pull on the waist strap end 16' to ensure a snug fit. Adjust the
carrier until the baby rides high on the adult's chest. The adult's chin
should be able to touch the top of the baby's head. By placing the
carrier high on the adult's chest the stress on the adult's lower back is
 The baby may also be placed in the carrier facing outward away from
the adult. This position is appropriate for babies that are able to hold
their heads and shoulders in an upright position. Place the baby in the
carrier facing out through the open side. Make sure the baby's legs
straddle the seat formed at the bottom of body 8. In this position the
head support 10 portion of the body 8 should be folded down about 4
inches so that the baby's arms are over the armholes that would normally
be formed by upper and lower tabs 12, 12' and 14, 14'. Attach the Velcro
tabs 32' on tab 30' and 25' on the inside of lower tab 14' of body 8.
Fasten buckle 24' into buckle end 34' on tab 30' so that the buckle rides
over the fastened Velcro tabs 32' and 25'. Latch the upper tab 12' by
fastening swivel hook 22' to D-ring 6'. Further adjustment of the carrier
is provided, depending on which of the three D-rings 6, 6' the swivel
hooks 22, 22' are attached. Adjust upper and lower tabs 12, 12' and 14,
14' respectively by pulling on the ends of straps 23, 23' and 24A, 24A'
so that the baby's back fits snuggly against the adult's chest. For
smaller babies, the baby's arms should go through the armholes formed by
upper and lower tabs 12, 12' and 14, 14' of body 8. For larger babies
with good upper body control, the arms can rest over the folded-over
upper tabs 12, 12' and head support 10. Adjust straps 16, 16', 23, 23'
and 24A, 24A' as necessary to ensure a snug fit.
 Although the carrier shown in the FIGS. describe and show a baby
carrier for carrying the baby in the front of the adult, modifications
could be made by those skilled in the art so that a carrier containing
the unique and novel combination of elements of the present invention
could be incorporated in a back carrier or side carrier to be worn on the
adult's side body. The combination of design, construction and materials
of the present invention could also be used by those skilled in the art
to make other types of carrying devices for amphibious use on land and in
water. The fact that the neoprene is quilted with the foam in between the
neoprene layers gives it strength and comfort and makes it applicable to
other items such as snow and winter apparel, beach and sun apparel,
diaper bags, beach bags, and physical fitness accessories, such as gym
bags and the like.
 Various features, parts, and combinations can be utilized by those
skilled in the art in the practice of the invention, and numerous
adaptations and modifications can be made within its spirit, the literal
claim scope of which is particularly pointed out in the claims.
* * * * *