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United States Patent Application 20170354860
Kind Code A1
Bennett; Philippe December 14, 2017

CHEST PROTECTOR AND REMOVABLE AND ADJUSTABLE STRAPS

Abstract

A fencer chest protector is provided which includes comprising a rigid chest plate, the rigid chest plate having a top side, a bottom side, and a pair of lateral sides, a top left opening and a top right opening formed at the top side, and a lateral opening at each of the lateral sides; and a removable harness includes a pair of shoulder straps, each shoulder strap having a distal end which is adjustably connectable to, and removable from, a corresponding one of the top left and top right openings via a top connector, the removable harness further including a back strap having a first distal end which is adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, one of the lateral openings via a lateral connector, and having second distal end which is adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, the other one of the lateral openings via a lateral connector. One, some, or all of the central connector, lateral connectors, and top connectors may be comprised of fabric hook and loop fasteners.


Inventors: Bennett; Philippe; (New York, NY)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Radical Fencing, LLC

Glenford

NY

US
Family ID: 1000002695583
Appl. No.: 15/621158
Filed: June 13, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62350009Jun 14, 2016

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A63B 2071/1208 20130101; A63B 71/12 20130101
International Class: A63B 71/12 20060101 A63B071/12

Claims



1. A fencer chest protector comprising a rigid chest plate, the rigid chest plate having a top side, a bottom side, and a pair of lateral sides, a top left opening and a top right opening formed at the top side, and a lateral opening at each of the lateral sides; a removable harness includes a pair of shoulder straps, each shoulder strap having a distal end which is adjustably connectable to, and removable from, a corresponding one of the top left and top right openings via a top connector, the removable harness further including a back strap having a first distal end which is adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, one of the lateral openings via a lateral connector, and having a second distal end which is adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, the other one of the lateral openings via a lateral connector.

2. The fencer chest protector of claim 1, wherein the removable harness comprises a first garment piece and a second garment piece, each garment piece including a back panel and one of the shoulder straps, the back panels together forming the back strap, one of the back panels having the first distal end and the other of the back panels having the second distal end, each back panel further including a proximal end which is adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, the back panel of the other garment piece via a central connector.

2. The fencer chest protector according to claim 2, wherein each garment piece includes a back panel and a shoulder strap that extends from the back panel such that the removable harness comprises a pair of back panels and a pair of shoulder straps.

3. The fencer chest protector according to claim 2, wherein the pair of shoulder straps are interconnected.

4. The fencer chest protector according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the central connector, lateral connectors, and top connectors are comprised of fabric hook and loop fasteners.

5. The fencer chest protector according to claim 1, wherein the central connector, lateral connectors, and top connectors are comprised of fabric hook and loop fasteners.
Description



FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to the field of breast and chest protectors for women and men and is more particularly directed to a chest protector for use by female and male fencers.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Chest protectors for fencing are well known in the art. Prior art female and male fencer chest protectors were manufactured as a single rigid chest plate, typically having a right cup and left cup formed therein to accommodate the breasts of the wearer, and included a fabric harness permanently secured to the chest plate at four locations: one on each lateral side of the chest plate, one on the top side of the chest plate above the left breast and one on the top side of the chest plate above the right breast. The chest protectors are typically provided in a number of sizes, e.g., extra small, small, medium, large, and extra-large. The shoulder straps of these harnesses are typically adjusted with conventional bra strap buckles to provide two points of adjustment. In female chest protectors, the back panels of the harness are typically connected via a pair of hooks on one panel, and a series of laterally spaced apart pairs of loops on the other panel. In male chest protectors, the there is typically a single piece back strap which is permanently secured to the lateral sides of the chest plate, and the chest protector is put on and removed by pulling it over the head and shoulders.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, a fencer chest protector is provided which includes a rigid chest plate, the rigid chest plate having a top side, a bottom side, and a pair of lateral sides, a top left opening and a top right opening formed at the top side, and a lateral opening at each of the lateral sides. The chest protector further includes a removable harness having a pair of shoulder straps, each shoulder strap having a distal end which is adjustably connectable to, and removable from, a corresponding one of the top left and top right openings via a top connector. The removable harness further includes a back strap having a first distal end which is adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, one of the lateral openings via a lateral connector, and having second distal end which is adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, the other one of the lateral openings via a lateral connector.

[0004] In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, the removable harness comprising a first (left side) garment piece and a second (right side) garment piece. Each garment piece includes a back panel and a shoulder strap. Accordingly, each garment piece includes a back panel and a shoulder strap that extends from the back panel such that the removable harness comprises a pair of back panels and a pair of shoulder straps. The pair or shoulder straps may, or may not, be interconnected. The back panels together form the back strap.

[0005] Each back panel has a distal end that is adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, one of the lateral openings via a lateral connector; and a proximal end that is adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, the back panel of the other garment piece via a central connector. Each shoulder strap has a distal end which is adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, one of the top openings via a top connector. Preferably the central connector, lateral connectors, and top connectors are comprised of fabric hook and loop fasteners such as VELCRO.RTM..

[0006] In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, the chest protector includes a removable harness comprising a single piece back strap and a pair of shoulder straps that extends from the back strap. The pair or shoulder straps may, or may not, be interconnected, The back strap has a first end which is adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, one of the lateral openings via a lateral connector; and a second end that is adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, the other lateral openings via a lateral connector. Each shoulder strap has a distal end which is adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, one of the top openings via a top connector. Preferably the lateral connectors and top connectors are comprised of fabric hook and loop fasteners such as VELCRO.RTM..

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] FIG. 1 shows a back view of an exemplary female chest protector with a racerback harness configuration.

[0008] FIG. 2 shows a back view of an exemplary female chest protector with a bikini harness configuration.

[0009] FIG. 3 shows another back view of an exemplary chest breast protector with a racerback harness configuration.

[0010] FIG. 4 shows a front view of the exemplary female chest protectors of FIGS. 1-3.

[0011] FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary central connector for the harnesses in the chest protector of

[0012] FIGS. 1-4.

[0013] FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary top or lateral connector for the harnesses in the chest protector of FIGS. 1-4.

[0014] FIG. 7 shows a front view of an exemplary male chest protector.

[0015] FIG. 8 shows a back view of an exemplary male chest protector.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0016] Referring to FIGS. 1-6, a female chest protector 1 is provided which includes a rigid chest plate 10, the rigid chest plate having a top side 11, a bottom side 12, and a pair of lateral sides 13,14, the rigid chest plate having a right cup 15 (from the perspective of the wearer) and a left cup 16 formed therein, a top left opening 18 formed at the top side 11 above the left cup 16, a top right opening 17 formed at the top side 11 above the right cup 15, and a lateral opening (19, 20) at each of the lateral sides (13,14).

[0017] The chest protector 1 further includes a removable harness 30 comprising a first (left side) garment piece 40 and a second (right side) garment piece 50. Each garment piece includes a back panel (41, 51) and a shoulder strap (42, 52). The shoulder strap (42, 52) may be sewn or otherwise permanently secured to the back panel (41, 51). Alternatively, the back panel and the shoulder strap may be formed from a single piece of material.

[0018] The back panel 41 has a first end 45 which is adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, one of the lateral openings 20 via a lateral connector 80. The back panel 51 similarly has a first end 55 connected to lateral opening 19 via a lateral connector 80. The back panel 41 has a second end 57 which is adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, the second end 58 of the back panel 51 of the other garment piece via a central connector 90.

[0019] Each shoulder strap has a distal end (46, 56) which is adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, one of the top openings (17, 18) via a top connector 80' (e.g., the top right opening in the case of the second garment piece and the top left opening in the case of the first garment piece).

[0020] Each garment piece includes a back panel and a shoulder strap that extends from the back panel such that the removable harness comprises a pair of back panels and a pair of shoulder straps.

[0021] In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, the shoulder straps are not interconnected (e.g., the bikini configuration of FIG. 2), so that the harness is comprised of separate left and right garment pieces. In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention the shoulder straps are interconnected, so that the left and right garment pieces of the harnesh are connected via the shoulder straps. For example, the shoulder straps may be interconnected in a racerback configuration as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3.

[0022] In the preferred embodiments, the lateral connectors 80, central connectors 90 and top connectors 80' are each comprised of a strip of Velcro.RTM. (or other fabric hook and loop fastener) secured to the garment piece. As one or ordinary skill in the art will appreciate, fabric hook and loop fasteners such as Velcro.RTM. include a fabric hook panel which mates with a fabric loop panel.

[0023] Accordingly, in the embodiments described above, the central connector 90 may comprise a fabric hook panel 70 on an exterior side of the second end of one back panel, and a fabric loop panel 71 on the interior side of the second end of the other back panel (or vice versa). In this manner, second ends are secured to one another by pressing the fabric hook panel against the fabric loop panel. This provides continuous adjustment points for the fabric loop panel along fabric hook panel.

[0024] Similarly, the lateral and top connectors 80, 80' may comprise adjacent fabric hook panels 70 and fabric loop panels 71 on the same side of the distal end of each shoulder strap (e.g., panels 70 and 71 would be on the same side of distal end 46 of strap 42), and on the same side of the first end of each back panel (e.g., panels 70 and 71 would be on the same side of the first end 45 of back panel 41). In this manner, the distal end (or first end) is secured to the top opening (or lateral opening) by looping the distal end (or first end) through the opening and pressing the fabric hook panel against the fabric loop panel. This provides continuous adjustment points for the fabric loop panel along fabric hook panel.

[0025] In this manner a chest protector is provided in which the harness includes five separate points of adjustment in order to securely and comfortably secure the chest plate on the user. Further, because the first and second garment pieces are selectively removable from the chest plate, the garment pieces can be washed separately and/or replaced as needed.

[0026] FIGS. 7 and 8 show an illustrative male chest protector 1', where similar components bear similar reference numerals to FIGS. 1-6. The male chest protector 1' includes a rigid chest plate 10', the rigid chest plate having a top side 11', a bottom side 12', and a pair of lateral sides, a top left opening 18' and top right opening 17' formed at the top side 11', and a lateral opening at each of the lateral sides (not shown).

[0027] As such, like the female chest protector 1, the male chest protector 1' has a chest plate with four openings (two on top, one on each lateral side). Accordingly, it will be appreciated that the harnesses 30 shown in FIGS. 1-6 can also be employed in the male chest protector 1' of FIGS. 6 and 7.

[0028] FIGS. 7 and 8, however, illustrate an alternative harness 30'. Harness 30' is a harness which includes a pair of shoulder straps 42', 52' which are connected to a single piece back panel or strap 50'. Like the harnesses of FIGS. 1-6, each shoulder strap in FIGS. 7 and 8 has a distal end (46',56') which is adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, one of the top openings (17', 18') via a top connector 80.'

[0029] The shoulder straps 42', 52' can be connected to back panel 50' in a variety of ways. For example, the straps 42', 52' can be connected to the back panel 50' via a common loop connector 43' so that the connector 43' can move freely over the back panel 50' as shown in FIG. 8. Alternatively, the connector 43' could be sewn or otherwise be permanently fixed to the back panel 50', or each strap (42' or 52') could be separately secured to the back panel 50' (thus eliminating the connector 43'). Similar to FIGS. 1-6, the ends (45', 55') of the back panel 50' are adjustably connectable to, and selectively removable from, one of the lateral openings of the chest plate 10' via a lateral connector 80.

[0030] Although the harness 30' is illustrated in connection with the male chest protector 1, it will be appreciated that it can also be employed in the female chest protector 1.

[0031] The chest protectors and harnesses discussed above may be are provided in a number of sizes, e.g., extra small, small, medium, large, and extra-large.

[0032] In the preceding specification, the invention has been described with reference to specific exemplary embodiments and examples thereof. It will, however, be evident that various modifications and changes may be made thereto without departing from the broader spirit and scope of invention as set forth in the claims that follow. The specification and drawings are accordingly to be regarded in an illustrative manner rather than a restrictive sense.

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