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Title:
AN INFLATABLE PORTABLE LEDGE APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/160673
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An inflatable portable ledge apparatus comprises an inflatable platform having a plurality of transverse baffles and a plurality of longitudinal baffles. There are a plurality of suspension straps connected to the inflatable platform. The suspension straps are connected the inflatable platform so that a load on the inflatable platform is distributed across all the suspension straps when the portable ledge apparatus is anchored at a single point.

Inventors:
SCHINDFESSEL TOM (CA)
KUKATHAS NATHAN (CA)
Application Number:
CA2020/050156
Publication Date:
August 13, 2020
Filing Date:
February 06, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
GRADE VII EQUIPMENT LTD (CA)
International Classes:
A63B29/00; A45F3/22; A47C17/64; A47C17/84
Foreign References:
CN106473435A2017-03-08
US5860175A1999-01-19
CA2827120A12012-08-23
CA2549793A12005-06-30
US20060162086A12006-07-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OYEN WIGGS GREEN & MUTALA LLP (CA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A portable ledge apparatus comprising: an inflatable platform including a plurality of transverse baffles and a plurality of longitudinal baffles; and a plurality of suspension straps connected to the inflatable platform, wherein the suspension straps are connected the inflatable platform so that a load on the inflatable platform is distributed across the suspension straps when the portable ledge apparatus is anchored at a single point.

2. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein a first said longitudinal baffle is positioned adjacent to a first longitudinal side of the inflatable platform and a second said longitudinal baffle is positioned adjacent to a first longitudinal side of the inflatable platform.

3. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the inflatable platform has a longitudinal axis, and wherein the transverse baffles extend between longitudinal sides of the inflatable platform and extend perpendicular to said longitudinal axis of the inflatable platform.

4. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3 wherein the inflatable platform has a first end and a second end, wherein the transverse baffles are spaced-apart at intervals from adjacent the first end of the inflatable platform to adjacent the second end of the inflatable platform, and wherein the longitudinal baffles extend between the first end of the inflatable platform and the second end of the inflatable platform.

5. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 4 wherein the inflatable platform has a top and a bottom, and wherein the transverse baffles are disposed between and are enclosed by the longitudinal baffles, the top of the inflatable platform and the bottom of the inflatable platform.

6. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5 wherein the transverse baffles are spaced-apart from the longitudinal baffles, thereby enabling air to flow around the baffles when the inflatable platform is being inflated.

7. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6 wherein the baffles are positioned to align below a person lying on top of the inflatable platform.

8. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the inflatable platform has a top, a bottom, and longitudinal sides extending between the top thereof and the bottom thereof, wherein the inflatable platform has a first longitudinally- extending sub-chamber formed by a first said longitudinal baffle, the top of the inflatable platform, the bottom of the inflatable platform and a first said longitudinal side of the inflatable platform, wherein the inflatable platform has a second longitudinally-extending sub-chamber formed by a second said longitudinal baffle, the top of the inflatable platform, the bottom of the inflatable platform and a second said longitudinal side of the inflatable platform, and wherein the inflatable platform has a plurality of transversely-extending sub-chambers each being formed by adjacent said transverse baffles, the top of the inflatable platform and the bottom of the inflatable platform.

9. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7 wherein the inflatable platform includes a plurality of transverse-extending sub-chambers, a plurality of longitudinally-extending sub-chambers, and insulation positioned within said sub-chambers.

10. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7 wherein the inflatable platform includes a plurality of sub-chambers with air spaces therein to inhibit conductive heat loss, wherein the inflatable platform includes insulation positioned with said sub-chambers to inhibit convective heat loss, and wherein the inflatable platform includes a reflective member to inhibit radiant heat loss.

11. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 10 wherein each said baffle has one or more apertures extending therethrough.

12. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 11 wherein each said baffle includes a plurality of elongate, vertically-extending strips between which respective apertures extend and wherein each said baffle includes a plurality of elongate, horizontally-extending strips between which the vertically-extending strips extend.

13. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein the strips are connected together and form an integrated whole.

14. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 12 to 13, wherein an upper said horizontally-extending strip couples to an interior surface of the top of the inflatable platform, and wherein a lower said horizontally-extending strip couples to an interior surface of the bottom of the inflatable platform.

15. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 14 further including a bottom strap.

16. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in claim 1 further including a bottom strap, the bottom strap extending transversely between opposite longitudinal sides of the inflatable platform.

17. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 16 further including a wear patch.

18. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 17 further including an adjustable strap formed from a braided cord, the adjustable strap having a first end portion and a second end portion, the first end portion of the adjustable strap being fed back through a hollow sub-portion of the braided cord and the first end portion of the adjustable strap terminating in an end-splice, and the second end portion of the adjustable strap terminating in an eye-splice.

19. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 18 further including a connector coupled to a suspension web of at least one of the suspension straps to allow the portable ledge apparatus to be coupled to another portable ledge apparatus.

20. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 19 further including a rainfly having a wedge of fabric to allow the rainfly to be moved to an extended configuration.

21. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 20 further including a plurality of links coupled at least one of the suspension straps to allow asymmetric suspension of the portable ledge apparatus.

22. A portable ledge apparatus comprising: an inflatable platform including a plurality of baffles; and a plurality of suspension straps connected to the inflatable platform, the suspension straps connecting to the inflatable platform so that a load on the inflatable platform is distributed across all of the suspension straps when the portable ledge apparatus is anchored at a single point.

23. A portable ledge apparatus comprising: an inflatable platform having a top, a bottom, and first and second longitudinal sides extending between the top thereof and the bottom thereof; a plurality of baffles coupled to and extending between the top and the bottom of the inflatable platform, including a first longitudinally-extending said baffle extending parallel with the first longitudinal side of the inflatable platform, a second longitudinally-extending said baffle extending parallel with the second longitudinal side of the inflatable platform, and additional said baffles extending between the longitudinal sides of the inflatable platform; and one or more suspension members connected to the inflatable platform.

24. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein the suspension members connect to the inflatable platform so that a load on the inflatable platform is distributed across the suspension members when the portable ledge apparatus is anchored at a single point.

25. The portable ledge apparatus as claimed in claim 24 wherein the suspension members are suspension straps and wherein the load is distributed across all of the suspension straps when the portable ledge apparatus is anchored at said single point.

26. A height-adjustment assembly for a suspended load, the height-adjustment assembly comprising: a first end portion of rope; a second end portion of rope coupled to the first end portion of rope, the second end portion of rope including a hollow sub-portion and a first anchor-point loop connectable to the suspended load; and a second loop formed by extending the first end portion of rope through the hollow sub-portion of the second end portion of rope, the second loop being connectable to an elevated coupling member, with the suspended load causing the hollow sub portion to constrict in cross-section and frictionally engage the first end portion of rope, whereby pulling on the first end portion of rope expands the hollow sub-portion, enabling the first end portion of rope to be further pulled through the hollow sub portion, thereby reducing the size of the second loop and raising the suspended load.

27. The assembly as claimed in claim 26, wherein the second loop has a first vertically- extending piece of cord comprising the hollow sub-portion of the second end portion of rope, wherein the second loop has a second vertically-extending piece of cord coupled to the first vertically-extending piece of cord, with the suspended load causing a downward force on both pieces of cord, resulting in the hollow sub portion of the second end portion to extend in length and constrict in cross-section, and frictionally engaging the first end portion of rope.

28. The assembly as claimed in claim 26, wherein the second loop has a first vertically- extending piece of cord comprising the hollow sub-portion of the second end portion of rope, wherein the second loop has a second vertically-extending piece of cord coupled to the first vertically-extending piece of cord, whereby pulling downwards on the first vertically-extending piece of cord causes the hollow sub portion of the second end portion to constrict in cross-section and frictionally engage the first end portion of rope, and pulling downwards on the second vertically-extending piece of cord causes the hollow sub-portion of the second end portion of rope to expand in cross-section and enable the first end portion of rope to selectively extend therethrough, with the second loop thus expanding in size and the suspended load selectively lowering thereby.

29. The assembly as claimed in any one of claims 26 to 28 wherein the second end portion of rope terminates in an eye-splice.

30. The assembly as claimed in any one of claims 26 to 29 wherein the first end portion of rope terminates in an end-splice.

31. The assembly as claimed in claim 30 wherein the first end portion of rope includes a knot adjacent to the end splice.

32. The assembly as claimed in any one of claims 26 to 31 wherein the rope comprises braided cord.

33. The assembly as claimed in any one of claims 26 to 32, wherein the first loop comprises a first anchor point and wherein the second loop comprises a second anchor point.

34. The assembly as claimed in any one of claims 26 to 33, wherein the assembly comprises an adjustable strap and wherein the suspended load is a portable ledge apparatus.

35. The assembly as claimed in any one of claims 26 to 34, where the coupling member is a carabiner.

Description:
AN INFLATABLE PORTABLE LEDGE APPARATUS

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

[0001] The present invention relates to a portable ledge apparatus and, in particular, to an inflatable portable ledge apparatus.

Description of the Related Art

[0002] United States Patent No. 5,673,444 which issued on October 7, 1997, to Middendorf discloses a portable ledge apparatus in the form of a suspended hammock for mountaineering. The suspended hammock is for suspending a climber adjacent a substantially vertical face of a mountain. The hammock includes a supporting membrane which forms a bed of a size to support the climber in a substantially prone position, and a T-shaped supporting frame to which the bed is attached by a plurality of suspension straps. The straps are positioned along the edges of the bed, with one strap being positioned at each side of the head end, two straps being positioned on each side in the middle, and a fourth strap being positioned on each side at the foot end of the bed. The straps can be adjusted in length by means of a buckle. The T-frame comprises a spreader bar and a cross bar, with the spreader bar being attached to the cross bar at its midpoint. The suspension straps are attached in a spaced relationship to the first and second ends of the spreader bar. The T-frame in turn is attached to the mountain face by a set of T-frame suspension straps attached to the extreme ends of the cross bar and the first end of the spreader bar. One of the T-frame suspension straps can be made adjustable in length. The use of the suspended hammock reduces thermal exchange between the climber and the mountain environment while resting. [0003] International Patent Application Publication No. WO 2018/132021 A1 to Schulze discloses a suspendable portable shelter, suitable for use in outdoor activities such as mountain climbing, cycling, boating, or hiking. The shelter comprises an inflatable base member and a flexible outer cover configured to envelop the base member. The flexible outer cover comprises a mounting means from which the suspendable portable shelter may be suspended in use. An interior portion of the flexible outer cover is adapted to receive the inflatable base member and has a complementary shape to the inflatable base member.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION [0004] There is provided a portable ledge apparatus comprising an inflatable platform having a plurality of transverse baffles and a plurality of longitudinal baffles. There are a plurality of suspension straps connected to the inflatable platform. The suspension straps are connected the inflatable platform so that a load on the inflatable platform is distributed across all the suspension straps when the portable ledge apparatus is anchored at a single point.

[0005] The portable ledge apparatus may be used as a platform to support a person standing, sitting or lying down. The portable ledge apparatus may be used as platform to carry a person like a stretcher, or suspended. The portable ledge apparatus may be used as a platform suspended form vertical face, for example, a cliff face. [0006] There is also provided a portable ledge apparatus according to a further aspect.

The apparatus includes an inflatable platform including a plurality of baffles. The apparatus includes a plurality of suspension straps connected to the inflatable platform. The suspension straps connect to the inflatable platform so that a load on the inflatable platform is distributed across all of the suspension straps when the portable ledge apparatus is anchored at a single point.

[0007] There is further provided a portable ledge apparatus according to an additional aspect. The apparatus includes an inflatable platform having a top, a bottom, and first and second longitudinal sides extending between the top thereof and the bottom thereof. The apparatus includes a plurality of baffles coupled to and extending between the top and the bottom of the inflatable platform. This includes a first longitudinally-extending said baffle extending parallel with the first longitudinal side of the inflatable platform, a second longitudinally-extending said baffle extending parallel with the second longitudinal side of the inflatable platform, and additional said baffles extending between the longitudinal sides of the inflatable platform. The apparatus includes one or more suspension members connected to the inflatable platform.

[0008] There is yet additionally provided a height-adjustment assembly for a suspended load. The height-adjustment assembly includes a first end portion of rope. The assembly includes a second end portion of rope coupled to the first end portion of rope. The second end portion of rope includes a hollow sub-portion and a first anchor-point loop connectable to the suspended load. The assembly includes a second loop formed by extending the first end portion of rope through the hollow sub-portion of the second end portion of rope. The second loop is connectable to an elevated coupling member, with the suspended load causing the hollow sub-portion to constrict in cross-section and frictionally engage the first end portion of rope. Pulling on the first end portion of rope expands the hollow sub-portion, enabling the first end portion of rope to be further pulled through the hollow sub-portion. This reduces the size of the second loop and raises the suspended load.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF DRAWINGS

[0009] The invention will be more readily understood from the following description of the embodiments thereof given, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure l is a perspective view of an inflatable portable ledge apparatus;

Figure 1A is an enlarged view of an adjustable strap of the portable ledge apparatus of Figure 1; Figure 2 is a top plan view of the portable ledge apparatus of Figure 1;

Figure 3 is a longitudinal cross-section view of the portable ledge apparatus of Figure 1 taken along lines 3 - 3 of Figure 2;

Figure 4 is a transverse cross-sectional view of the portable ledge apparatus of Figure 1 taken along lines 4 - 4 of Figure 2;

Figure 4A is an enlarged view of a connection webbing loop of the portable ledge apparatus of Figure 1;

Figure 5 is a side elevation, fragmented view of the portable ledge apparatus of Figure 1;

Figure 6 is a sectional view taken along lines 6 - 6 of the portable ledge apparatus of Figure 5;

Figure 7 is a perspective view showing use of the portable ledge apparatus of Figure 1;

Figure 8 is a perspective view showing a rainfly deployed to cover the portable ledge apparatus of Figure 1;

Figure 9 is another perspective view showing the rainfly deployed to cover the portable ledge apparatus of Figure 1 ;

Figure 10 is a perspective view showing the portable ledge apparatus of Figure 1 coupled to another substantially identical portable ledge apparatus in a vertical configuration;

Figure 11 is a perspective view showing rainflies deployed cover the portable ledge apparatuses of Figure 10; Figure 12 is a perspective view showing the portable ledge apparatus of Figure 1 coupled to another substantially identical portable ledge apparatus in a horizontal configuration;

Figure 13 is an enlarged view of connection webbing loops of the portable ledge apparatuses of Figure 12; Figure 14 is a transverse cross-sectional view of the portable ledge apparatuses of Figure 1 taken along lines 14 - 14 of Figure 12;

Figure 15 is an enlarged view of connection webbing loops of the portable ledge apparatuses of Figure 14;

Figure 16 is a perspective view showing a rainfly deployed to cover the portable ledge apparatuses of Figure 14

Figure 17 is a perspective view showing a rainfly deployed to cover the portable ledge apparatuses of Figure 14;

Figure 18 is a perspective, fragmentary view within the rainfly of the portable ledge apparatuses of Figure 17; Figure 19 is a bottom, side, front perspective view of the portable ledge apparatuses of Figure 17;

Figure 20 is a bottom perspective, fragmentary view of the top of the rainfly of the portable ledge apparatuses of Figure 17;

Figure 21 is a perspective view of an inflatable, portable ledge apparatus according to a second aspect; Figure 22 is a perspective view showing a rainfly deployed to cover the portable ledge apparatus of Figure 21;

Figure 23 is a perspective view of a plurality of straps and links of an inflatable, portable ledge apparatus according to a third aspect; Figure 24 is a perspective view of the portable ledge apparatus of Figure 23, with the link configuration thereof enabling asymmetric suspension of the portable ledge apparatus in a first mode;

Figure 25 is a perspective view of the portable ledge apparatus of Figure 23, with the link configuration thereof enabling asymmetric suspension of the portable ledge apparatus in a second mode.

Figure 26 is a sectional top plan view of an inflatable, portable ledge apparatus according to a fourth aspect;

Figure 27 is a sectional view taken along lines 27 - 27 of the portable ledge apparatus of Figure 26; and Figure 28 is a perspective, fragmented view of the interior of an inflatable, portable ledge apparatus according to a fifth aspect.

DESCRIPTIONS OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0010] Referring to the drawings, and first to Figures 1 and 2, there is shown an inflatable portable ledge apparatus 10, also known as a portaledge, which comprises an inflatable platform 12. The inflatable platform 12 has a top 9, a generally oblong and oval shaped top surface 13 extending along the top. As seen in Figure 3, the inflatable platform has a bottom 11 and a generally oblong, oval shaped bottom surface 14 extending along the bottom. The top and bottom surfaces of the platform extend between a first end 16 of the inflatable platform 12 and a second end 18 of the inflatable platform 12 seen in Figure 1

[0011] Still referring to Figure 1, the inflatable platform has a longitudinal axis 15 which extends from the first end to the second end thereof. The first end 16 of the inflatable platform 12 has a larger radius than the second end 18 of the inflatable platform 12. In this example, the inflatable platform is constructed by laminating a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to a woven, non-woven or knit textile. Multiple layers of thermoplastic polyurethane are laminated to the textile. Each layer of thermoplastic polyurethane laminated to the textile may have different properties including color, hardness, melt temperature, etc. This results in improved abrasion resistance and puncture resistance.

[0012] There are corresponding suspension webs 20a and 20b disposed near the first end 16 of the inflatable platform 12, and there are corresponding suspension webs 22a and 22b disposed near the second end 18 of the inflatable platform 12. There are also corresponding suspension webs 24a and 24b disposed respectively between the suspension webs 20a and 20b and the suspension webs 22a and 22b. Respective ones of the corresponding suspension webs are disposed along opposite longitudinal sides 26 and 28 of the inflatable platform 12 and, in this example, the suspension webs 20a, 20b, 22a, 22b, 24a, and 24b are connect to or formed from the seam allowance the inflatable platform 12 and reinforced by the multiple layers of thermoplastic polyurethane and fibres. As seen in Figure 6, the longitudinal axis 15 of the inflatable platform is positioned between the sides 26 and 28 of the inflatable platform.

[0013] Referring to Figure 1, each of the suspension webs 20a, 20b, 22a, 22b, 24a, and 24b is connected to a respective one of suspension members, in this example suspension straps 30a, 30b, 32a, 32b, 34a, and 34b. The suspension straps 30a, 30b, 32a, 32b, 34a, and 34b are each coupled at a single point to a carabiner 36 to allow the portable ledge apparatus 10 to be anchored from a single point. The suspension webs 20a, 20b, 22a, 22b, 24a, and 24b are disposed along the longitudinal sides 26 and 28 of the inflatable platform 12 so that a load on the inflatable platform 12 is distributed equally across all the suspension straps 30a, 30b, 32a, 32b, 34a, and 34b. In this example, a rainfly 38 is also coupled to the carabiner 36, but this is not required. A further carabiner 40 is generally employed in examples where the rainfly 38 is also coupled to the carabiner 36. [0014] In this example, there is also a height-adjustment assembly in this example an adjustable strap 41 which is best shown in Figure 1A. The adjustable strap 41 is formed from a braided cord and has a first end portion 51 of rope. The first end portion of rope terminates in an end-splice 53 which inhibits unraveling thereof. The first end portion 51 of rope also includes a knot 55 adjacent to the end-splice in this example. [0015] The adjustable strap 41 has a second end portion 57 of rope which is loop shaped in part and which comprises a first loop 59 of the adjustable strap in this example. The second end portion of rope terminates in an eye-splice 61 in this example. Loop 59 formed by the eye-splice of the second end portion 57 is an anchor point that may be used to couple the adjustable strap 41 to a coupling member, in this example a carabiner 43 that is coupled to the rainfly 38 seen in Figure 1.

[0016] Referring back to Figure 1 A, the second end portion 57 includes a hollow sub portion 63. The first end portion 51 is positioned so as to extend through the hollow sub portion . Friction inside the hollow sub-portion 63 prevents the inside from pulling out.

[0017] Threading the braided cord into itself in this manner also forms a second loop 65. The second loop may be used to couple the adjustable strap 41 to the carabiner 36 of a suspended load, in this example the portable ledge apparatus 10. The second loop 65 comprises a first vertically-extending piece of cord 67 comprising the hollow sub-portion 63 of the second end portion. The second loop further comprises a second vertically- extending piece of cord 69 coupled to first vertically-extending piece of cord. [0018] The portable ledge apparatus 10 seen in Figure 1 due to gravity causes a downward force, as shown by arrow of numeral 71, being applied to both pieces of cord 67 and 69 of the second loop 65 of the adjustable strap 41 seen in Figure 1 A simultaneously. This causes hollow sub-portion 63 to extend in length and constrict in cross-section, and frictionally engage or pinch the first end portion 51. Pulling downwards on cord 67 also causes the hollow sub-portion to constrict and frictionally engage the first end portion.

[0019] Pulling on the first end portion 51 via knot 55, for example, causes the second loop 65 to reduce in size and causes the inflatable platform 12 seen in Figure 1 to selectively rise upwards relative to the Figures 1 and 1 A. [0020] Selectively pulling downwards on cord 69 causes the hollow sub-portion 63 to shorten in length and expand in cross-section and enable the first end portion 51 to selectively extend therethrough up to the point where knot 55 abuts adjacent to the hollow sub-portion 63. The second loop 65 thus expands in size and the inflatable platform 12 seen in Figure 1 is selectively lowered relative to Figures 1 and 1 A thereby. [0021] Positioning a threaded portion of the adjustable strap 41 within the eye of the eye-splice thus forms a closed loop with an adjustable function. The adjustable function is achieved by having the second end portion 57 pinching the braided cord that is fed back through the hollow sub-portion 63 when a load is applied.

[0022] Referring back to Figures 1 and 2, the suspension straps 30a, 30b, 32a, 32b, 34a, and 34b may each be provided with a respective loop, for example, loops 42 and 44 shown for one of the straps 30a. There may also be bottom strap 46 which, in this example, extends transversely between the opposite longitudinal sides 26 and 28 of the inflatable platform 12, but a bottom strap is not required. The position of the loops 42 and 44 on the suspension straps provide the option to suspend the portable ledge apparatus 10 by a carabiner. This results in the portable ledge apparatus being suspended at a substantial distance to the anchor point. The purposes of this is to allow anchoring the portable ledge apparatus 10 in less than optimal terrain such as caves with tight spaces and obstructions, and for suspending the portable ledge apparatus 10 from a lowering or repelling system when the portable ledge apparatus is employed as a rescue stretcher with a rescuer attending to a rescue who is in a prone position on the portable ledge.

[0023] The inflatable platform 12 is provided with a valve 48 which is employed to inflate the inflatable platform 12. The valve 48 is disposed near the first end 16 of the inflatable platform 12. The valve 48 is provided with a cord 50 which may be secured to a designated location to prevent the valve 48 from being accidentally opened.

[0024] As seen in Figures 3 and 6, the inflatable platform 12 is also provided with a plurality of spaced-apart transverse baffles, for example, transverse baffles 52, 54 and 56 disposed within the interior 17 thereof. Referring to Figure 6, the transverse baffles extend between the longitudinal sides 26 and 28 of the inflatable platform and extend perpendicular to longitudinal axis 15 of the inflatable platform. The transverse baffles are spaced-apart at intervals from adjacent first end 16 to adjacent second end 18 of the inflatable platform 12. As seen in Figure 3, the baffles 52, 54 and 56 couple to and extend between the top 9 and bottom 11 of the inflatable platform 12.

[0025] As seen in Figure 6, the inflatable platforml2 is provided with a pair of spaced- apart longitudinal baffles 58 and 60. Baffle 58 is positioned adjacent to side 26 of the inflatable platform and baffle 60 is positioned adjacent to side 28 of the inflatable platform in this example. The transverse baffles 52, 54 and 56 are disposed between and are enclosed by the longitudinal baffles 58 and 60. However, the transverse baffles 52, 54 and 56 do not contact the longitudinal baffles 58 and 60, with gaps being provided between adjacent baffles, as shown in Figure 6 by gap 5 between baffles 52 and 58, and gap 7 between baffles 52 and 60. This allows air to flow around the baffles when the inflatable platform 12 is being inflated, as shown by arrows 73, 75, 77, 79, 81, 83, 85, 87, 89, 91, 93 and 95. As seen in Figure 4, the baffles 58 and 60 couple to and extend between the top 9 and bottom 1 1 of the inflatable platform 12. [0026] Still referring to Figure 6, the inflatable platform 12 is made out of one air chamber that is sub-divided by transversal and longitudinal sub-chambers in this example. Referring to Figure 3, the transverse baffles 52, 54 and 56 thus define a plurality of transverse sub-chambers in the inflatable platform 12 each being formed by adjacent transverse baffles and the top 9 and bottom 11 of the inflatable platform. This is shown by transverse or transversely-extending sub-chamber 62 defined by transverse baffles 52 and 54 and top 9 and bottom 11 of the inflatable platform 12, and transverse or transversely- extending sub-chamber 64 defined by transverse baffles 54 and 56 and the top and bottom of the inflatable platform. Each transversely-extending sub-chamber is a rectangular in shape in top and side profile in this example.

[0027] As seen in Figure 4, the inflatable platform 12 has a first longitudinally- extending sub-chamber 66 formed by longitudinal baffle 58 and the top 9, bottom 11 and longitudinal side 26 of the inflatable platform. The inflatable platform has a second longitudinally-extending sub-chamber 68 formed by longitudinal baffle 60 and the top, the bottom and longitudinal side 28 of the inflatable platform. Each longitudinally-extending sub-chamber is elongate and has an outer portion that is curved and circular in cross-section in this example.

[0028] The transversely-extending sub-chambers 62 and 64 and longitudinally- extending sub-chambers 66 and 68 form an air space that insulates against conductive heat loss. The sub-chambers as herein described may be referred to as air passageways.

[0029] Figure 4A shows a connection webbing loop 9c of a suspension web of the portable ledge apparatus 10. The connection webbing loop allows adjacent portable ledge apparatuses to be coupled.

[0030] Figure 7 shows the inflatable portable ledge apparatus 10 is use. A user 70 will generally lie with their head 70a near the first end 16 of the inflatable platform 12. The valve 48 is also disposed near the first end 16 of the inflatable platform 12. This allows the user 70 to add air to the inflatable platform 12 at night, if there is a slow leak, without having to move from a sleeping position. The user 70 may also stand on the inflatable platform 12 without causing the inflatable platform 12 to collapse inwardly and/or bow longitudinally. The transverse baffles 52, 54 and 56 prevent the inflatable platform 12 from collapsing inwardly. The longitudinal baffles 58 and 60 prevent the transverse baffles from bowing longitudinally. The user may also hang a bag 72 from the bottom strap 46 and/or a bag 74 from the loops, for example, loop 42 on the suspension straps. The inflatable platform 12 is also provided with wear patch 76 bonded to the longitudinal sides 26 and 28 thereof. The wear patch comprises a plurality of layers, namely, a first layer 78 having a first color, a second layer 80 having a second color, and third layer 82 having a third color. When the first layer 78 wears away, the second layer 80 will become visible and provide a visual warning to the user that the caution should be taken. When the second layer 80 wears away, the third layer 82 will become visible and provide a visual warning to the user that repairs are required.

[0031] The rainfly 38 may be deployed to cover the portable ledge apparatus as shown in Figures 8 and 9. The rainfly is closed by a single zipper 86 which is best shown in Figure

9.

[0032] It is possible to couple to the portable ledge apparatus 10 to a substantially identical portable ledge apparatus 110 in a vertical configuration, as shown in Figure 10. The suspension straps, for example, suspension strap 120a of the portable ledge apparatus 110 are coupled to respective loops, for example, loop 42 of the portable ledge apparatus

10. Rainflies 38 and 138 may be deployed in a diamond configuration to cover the coupled portable ledge apparatuses 10 and 110 as shown in Figure 11. It is also possible to couple the portable ledge apparatus 10 to the portable ledge apparatus 110 in a horizontal configuration, as shown in Figure 11. As seen in Figure 12, the respective suspension straps of each of the portable ledge apparatuses 10 and 1 10, for example, respective suspension straps 30a and 130a are coupled to the carabiner 36. Figures 13 and 13A show connection webbing loops 9c coupled together by a carabiner 9d. This allows for a stable connection. [0033] The rainfly 38 may be deployed to cover the portable ledge apparatuses 10 and 110 as shown in Figures 12 and 16. The rainfly 38 can cover both the portable ledge apparatuses 10 and 110 because of an addition of material, for example fabric, to a circumference of the rainfly 38 to cover portable ledge apparatuses 10 and 110 as shown in Figures 17.

[0034] As seen in Figure 18, the rainfly 38 is structurally connected to the apparatus 10 by a loop of cord 25 threaded inside the top loop of the rainfly to which the apparatus 10 is suspended. Referring to Figure 19, the bottom 27 of the rainfly extends about the bottom 11 of the inflatable platform 12. As seen in Figure 20, an elastic cord 29 in the bottom of the rainfly 38 constrains the fabric and allows the rainfly to stay under the inflatable platform. As seen in Figure 19, there also three compressions straps 19, 21 and 23 that retain the rainfly under the inflatable platform 12.

[0035] Figures 21 to 22 show an inflatable portable ledge apparatus 10.1 according to a second embodiment. Like parts have like numbers and function as the embodiment shown in Figures 1 to 20 with the addition of“.1”. Inflatable portable ledge apparatus 10.1 is substantially the same as inflatable portable ledge apparatus 10 shown in Figures 1 to 20 with the following exceptions.

[0036] Another portable ledge apparatus 10.1 is shown in Figure 21. The portable ledge apparatus 10.1 is substantially identical to the portable ledge apparatus shown in Figure 1 to 4 with the notable exception that the portable ledge apparatus 10.1 is a twin portable ledge apparatus which is about double in size relative to the portable ledge apparatus 10. The portable ledge apparatus 10.1 is also provided with a divider 280 which separates a first portion 212a of an inflatable platform 12.1 from a second portion 212b of the inflatable platform 12.1. The portable ledge apparatus 10.1 is a twin portable ledge apparatus but may be covered by the rainfly 38.1, as shown in Figure 22, in a similar manner as described above when the portable ledge apparatuses 10 and 110 are coupled in a horizontal configuration. The portable ledge apparatus may also be provided with adjustable straps, for example adjustable strap 41.1, disposed along respective suspension straps thereof. The adjustable strap 41.1 is substantially similar in function to adjustable strap 41 shown in Figure 1A.

[0037] Figures 23 to 25 show parts of an inflatable portable ledge apparatus 10.2 according to a third embodiment. Like parts have like numbers and function as the embodiment shown in Figures 1 to 20 with the addition of“.2”. Inflatable portable ledge apparatus 10.2 is substantially the same as inflatable portable ledge apparatus 10 shown in Figures 1 to 20 with the following exceptions.

[0038] As seen in Figure 23, the inflatable portable ledge apparatus 10.2 includes a plurality of links, in this example a first link 31, a second link 33 coupled to the first link, a third link 35, and a fourth link 37 coupled to the third link. Each link comprises a loop shaped strap in this example. In Figure 23 the first link couples to the suspension straps 30a.2, 32a.2, and 34a.2 via loop 45, and the third link 35 couples to the suspension straps 30b.2, 32b.2, and 34b.2 via loop 47 according to one example. The carabiner 43.2 extends through and couples to loops 45 and 45 in Figure 23. [0039] The link configuration allows for asymmetric suspension of the portable ledge apparatus 10.2. This is seen in Figure 24 where loop 45 is spaced-apart below loop 47 and carabiner 43.2, and the carabiner extends through and couples to second link 33.

[0040] This is also shown in Figure 25 where loop 45 is further spaced-apart below loop 47 and carabiner 43.2. In this case, an additional carabiner 49 couples together fourth link 37 and second link 33.

[0041] Figures 26 to 27 show an inflatable portable ledge apparatus 10.3 according to a fourth embodiment. Like parts have like numbers and function as the embodiment shown in Figures 1 to 20 with the addition of“.3”. Inflatable portable ledge apparatus 10.3 is substantially the same as inflatable portable ledge apparatus 10 shown in Figures 1 to 20 with the following exceptions. [0042] The interior 17.3 of the inflatable platform 12.3 in this embodiment is provided with insulation, in this example synthetic fiber insulation disposed within transverse and longitudinal sub-chambers of the inflatable platform. This is shown in Figure 26 by insulation 97 and 99 positioned within transverse sub-chambers 62.3 and 64.3 and insulation 101 and 103 positioned within longitudinal sub-chambers 66.3 and 68.3.

[0043] As seen in Figure 27, the insulation is positioned with an upper portion 105 of the inflatable platform 12.3 which contacts the person (not shown) lying thereon. The insulation is coupled to and in this example glued to the inner surface 107 of the top 13.3 of the inflatable platform 12.3.

[0044] Referring back to Figure 26, the insulation 97, 99, 101 and 103 reduces convective heat loss. Also as seen in Figure 26, the inflatable platform 12.3 includes a reflective member, in this example film 109 coupled to the interior surface 111 thereof in this example to reduce radiant heat loss. Alternatively, or in addition, the insulation 97, 99, 101 and 103 may comprise reflective fiber to reduce radiant heat loss. The insulation reduces convective heat loss, the reflective film and/or fiber reduces radiant heat loss, and the air spaces in the sub-chambers 62.3, 64.3, 66.3 and 68.3 reduce conductive heat loss. These three features working together achieve to maximize insulating result.

[0045] Figure 28 shows parts of an inflatable portable ledge apparatus 10.4 according to a fifth embodiment. Like parts have like numbers and function as the embodiment shown in Figures 1 to 20 with the addition of“.4”. Inflatable portable ledge apparatus 10.4 is substantially the same as inflatable portable ledge apparatus 10 shown in Figures 1 to 20 with the following exceptions.

[0046] In this embodiment each baffle 52.4 of the apparatus has one or more apertures extending therethrough, in this example a plurality of spaced-apart apertures 113, 1 15, 117, 119 and 121. Each of the apertures is elongate and obround in shape in this example. Each baffle comprises a first plurality of elongate strips, in this example vertically-extending strips 123, 125, 127, 129, 131, 133 and 135 between which respective said apertures extend. Each baffle 52.4 includes a second plurality of elongate strips, in this example horizontally extending upper strip 137 and lower strip 139 between which the vertically-extending strips extend. The strips are integrally connected together and form an integrated whole in this example. Each upper strip 137 couples to the inner surface 107.4 of the top 9.4 of the inflatable platform 12.4 in this example. Each lower strip 139 couples to the inner surface 141 of the bottom 11.4 of the inflatable platform 12.4.

[0047] The baffles 52.4 so shaped are thus perforated, and this enables air to flow readily through the inflatable platform 12.4. The baffles so shaped also function to reduce the overall weight of the portable ledge apparatus 10.4. [0048] It will also be understood by a person skilled in the art that many of the details provided above are by way of example only, and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention which is to be determined with reference to the following claims.