Clarke, Peter Reginald (2 Flint Cottages, Woodcote farm Graffha, Petworth Sussex GB28 0NU, GB)
|1.||A bag having a handle (12) that includes a rigid hand grip portion (16) defining a finger aperture, characterised in that the bag is further provided with a suspension cord (18) that is retractable into the handle (12); the cord (18), when extended, enabling the bag to be suspended from an item having a significantly larger cross sectional area than the finger aperture.|
|2.||A bag as claimed in claim 1, wherein the handle (12) is a formed from a moulded plastics material.|
|3.||A bag as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein the cord (18) is retractable into the hand grip portion of the handle (12).|
|4.||A bag as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the cord (18), when in its retracted position, lies flush with the surface of the hand grip (12).|
|5.||A bag as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein free ends of the cord (18) are knotted to prevent the ends of the cord from pulling away from the hand grip.|
|6.||A bag as claimed in any of claims 1 to 4, wherein loose ends of the cord are attached to the underside of the handle to prevent the over extension of the cord.|
|7.||A bag as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the cord is a shockcord, having a limited degree of elasticity.|
|8.||A bag as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the handle (12) is formed of two interengaging handle parts.|
|9.||A bag as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the bag is made of a plastics material.|
|10.||A bag as claimed in any of claims 1 to 8, wherein the bag is made of a paper or fabric material.|
Background of the invention Conventionally carrier bags are formed from a single sheet of plastics material, with cut-out sections enabling the bag to be supported by the hands. When the bags are intended for use with heavier or bulkier items, they are often supplied with separately formed plastics handles secured to the mouth of the bag to reduce the stress by spreading the load over a larger area of the side walls.
Such handles have an integrally formed rigid plastics grip portions dimensioned to receive only the fingers of the user. Thus the handles can only be used to suspend the bags from items such as hooks that have a relatively small cross sectional area. As a result, when transporting this type of bag in a vehicle, there is often no convenient item from which the bag can be suspended.
Summary of the invention In order to mitigate this problem, the present invention provides a bag having a handle that includes a rigid hand grip portion defining a finger aperture, the bag being further provided with a suspension cord that is retractable into the handle; the cord, when extended, enabling the bag to be suspended from an item having a significantly larger cross sectional area than the finger aperture.
When transported in a vehicle, the retractable cord of a bag of the invention permits it to be suspended from the
head restrain of a seat, thereby allowing the bag to be supported in a vertical attitude. This is important when the bag is used to hold food containers from which spillage can occur.
As the cord is retractable into the handle when it is not in use, it allows the bag to be used in the same way as a conventional bag without getting in the way of the user.
Conveniently, the hand grip may be formed with a groove into which the cord can fit flush to improve the appearance of the bag and its ease of use.
It is further advantageous to use a shock cord as the retractable cord. Shock cords are elastically extendable up to a maximum limit beyond which they do not extend significantly. Hence the cord can be pulled out of the hand grip and can support the weight of the bag, even when it is fully laden. On release of the cord, it will retract automatically into the hand grip by virtue of its own elasticity. The elasticity will also reduce the transmission of shocks to the bag, this being advantageous if the contents are fragile.
Often the handle may be formed of two interengaging plastics handle parts. In such a case, a hand grip may be provided on one or both parts of the handle. It would be advantageous in situations where two hand grips are provided to provide a retracting cord on each handle part, thereby reducing the force on the locking mechanism.
Brief description of the drawings The invention will now be described further, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: Figure 1 is a front view of a preferred embodiment of the invention showing the cord in a retracted position, and
Figure 2 is a front view of the handle of the bag in Figure 1 with the cord in an extended position.
Detailed description of the preferred embodiment Figure 1 shows a handle 12 of a bag of the invention, the walls of which may be made of a plastics material, paper or fabric. The handle 12 is secured to the mouth of the bag by any suitable means, such by plastic welding, riveting or an adhesive. The handle 12 has an elongate portion 14 and a hand grip portion 16 which defines a finger aperture 22 for receiving the fingers of a user. The handle is formed of two interengaging parts, each having a respective grip portion, which are brought together and locked into one another to form a contoured finger aperture 22 that is comfortable for the user to hold.
In Figure 1, the hand grip portion 16 of the preferred embodiment is semi-circular and has an integrally formed groove 20 positioned along its outer semicircular perimeter.
The groove 20 are contiguous with two channels 26 which pass through the hand grip portion 16 and the elongate portion 14 to lead into the interior of the bag through exit apertures 28. Channels 26, groove 20 and exit apertures 28 together enable a cord 18 to be threaded internally through the handle 12. The cord 18 may be a rope, a plastics tube, or a shock cord. A knot 24 or a metal clip is provided at each end of the cord 18 to prevent the complete length of cord from being pulled through exit apertures 28. The length of the cord or its elasticity enable to move between extended and retracted positions.
In its extended position, the cord 18 is pulled clear of groove 20 creating a loop 30 using the extra length of cord provided. In this position, the knots 24 abut the smaller diameter exit apertures 28 and in doing so support the weight of the bag. The loop 30 created by the excess
cord can then be hooked around larger items than would be suitable for the finger aperture 22, such as a vehicle head restraint or more awkward supports such as hooks provided on grab handles in motor vehicles.
In its retracted position, the cord 18 sits flush in the groove 20, such that it follows the shape of the finger grip section 16. In this position any excess cord may merely protrude from exit apertures 28. With this arrangement the free ends of cord 18 merely dangle inside the bag (not shown).
If the cord 18 is a shock cord then it can simply fit within the channel 26 without intruding into the bag.