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Title:
SEAMLESS SHOULDER STRAPS FOR A BACKPACK
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/140395
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A backpack (100) includes a main body (102) and a seamless shoulder strap (130). The main body defines a storage compartment (108). The seamless shoulder strap is coupled to the main body. The seamless shoulder strap includes a knitted tube (170) having a seamless edge on at least one outer surface.

Inventors:
GRILL CHRIS (SE)
MAK HO LUN (SE)
JACKSON GRAHAM (SE)
THIBADEAU MARK (SE)
HUNG MAN LUNG (SE)
LIU LANG (SE)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2020/062220
Publication Date:
July 15, 2021
Filing Date:
December 18, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
THULE SWEDEN AB (SE)
International Classes:
A45F3/04; A45F3/12; D04B1/22
Foreign References:
EP3001928A12016-04-06
US5896758A1999-04-27
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A backpack comprising: a main body defining a storage compartment; and a seamless shoulder strap coupled to the main body, wherein the seamless shoulder strap comprises a knitted tube having a seamless edge on at least one outer surface.

2. The backpack of claim 1, further comprising a second seamless shoulder strap, wherein the second seamless shoulder strap comprises a knitted tube having a seamless edge on at least one outer surface.

3. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the seamless shoulder strap comprises a foam insert disposed freely inside the knitted tube.

4. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the seamless shoulder strap comprises a knitted padding disposed freely inside the knitted tube.

5. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the seamless shoulder strap comprises a knitted padding integral with the knitted tube.

6. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the seamless shoulder strap comprises a strap webbing integrally formed in the knitted tube.

7. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the seamless shoulder strap comprises a load lifter configured to support an upper fastener coupled to the main body and inserted into a slot formed in the seamless shoulder strap and secured by a bartack and a strap webbing.

8. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the seamless shoulder strap comprises a sternum strap configured to contour the seamless shoulder strap.

9. The backpack of claim 8, wherein the sternum strap is secured by a bartack and a strap webbing.

10. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the seamless shoulder strap comprises a tension lock configured to support a lower fastener coupled to the main body and inserted into a slot formed in the seamless shoulder strap and secured by a bartack and a strap webbing.

11. The backpack of claim 1, wherein an inward-facing outer surface of the seamless shoulder strap comprises a plurality of first perforations.

12. The backpack of claim 11, wherein an outward-facing outer surface of the seamless shoulder strap comprises the plurality of first perforations.

13. The backpack of claim 11, wherein an outward-facing outer surface of the seamless shoulder strap comprises a plurality of second perforations smaller than the plurality of first perforations.

14. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the knitted tube comprises a flat seamless knitting construction.

15. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the knitted tube comprises a curved portion where an inner seamless edge comprises a convex curved portion and an outer seamless edge comprises a concave curved portion opposite the convex curved portion.

16. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the knitted tube comprises a first knitted material, a second knitted material, and a third knitted material.

17. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the seamless edge on the at least one outer surface is disposed along a longitudinal length of the knitted tube.

18. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the knitted tube comprises an outer seamless edge and an inner seamless edge.

19. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the entire knitted tube is seamless.

20. A method of forming a seamless shoulder strap for a backpack, the method comprising: knitting a knitted tube; assembling a load lifter into the knitted tube; assembling a sternum strap into the knitted tube; and assembling a tension lock into the knitted tube.

21. The method of claim 20, further comprising inserting a foam insert into the knitted tube.

22. The method of claim 20, wherein knitting the knitted tube comprises integrally forming a knitted padding with the knitted tube.

23. The method of claim 20, wherein assembling the load lifter, the sternum strap, and the tension lock occurs sequentially.

24. The method of claim 20, wherein knitting the knitted tube comprises performing flat seamless knitting.

25. The method of claim 20, wherein knitting the knitted tube comprises knitting a first material, a second material, and a third material.

26. The method of claim 20, wherein assembling the load lifter comprises assembling a first bartack and a first strap webbing.

27. The method of claim 20, wherein assembling the sternum strap comprises assembling a second bartack and a second strap webbing.

28. The method of claim 20, wherein assembling the tension lock comprises assembling a third bartack and a third strap webbing.

29. A seamless shoulder strap for a backpack, the seamless shoulder strap comprising: a knitted tube having a seamless edge on at least one outer surface; and an insert disposed freely inside or integrated with the knitted tube, wherein an inward-facing outer surface and an outward-facing outer surface of the knitted tube comprise a plurality of first perforations.

30. The seamless shoulder strap of claim 29, wherein the insert comprises a foam insert.

31. The seamless shoulder strap of claim 29, wherein the insert comprises a knitted padding integral with the knitted tube.

32. The seamless shoulder strap of claim 29, wherein the knitted tube comprises a flat seamless knitting construction.

33. The seamless shoulder strap of claim 29, wherein a sternum strap is disposed in the knitted tube, and the sternum strap is configured to define a curvature of the seamless shoulder strap.

34. The seamless shoulder strap of claim 29, wherein the seamless edge on the at least one outer surface is disposed along a longitudinal length of the knitted tube.

35. The seamless shoulder strap of claim 29, wherein the knitted tube comprises an outer seamless edge and an inner seamless edge.

36. The seamless shoulder strap of claim 29, wherein the entire knitted tube is seamless.

Description:
SEAMLESS SHOULDER STRAPS FOR A BACKPACK

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/957,447, filed January 6, 2020, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

Field

[0002] The present disclosure relates to backpacks having seamless shoulder straps. More specifically, embodiments of the present disclosure relate to a seamless shoulder strap system and apparatus for a backpack and a method of forming a seamless shoulder strap.

Background

[0003] Backpacks typically include a shoulder strap or a pair of shoulder straps with a seam, for example, along an edge of the strap or along an outer surface of the strap. Shoulder straps with seams can rub against the user and become uncomfortable to the user over time, especially when carrying a heavy load in the backpack and/or traveling for an extended period of time. Further, components of the shoulder strap may protrude and be exposed to the user, and can cause additional irritation or discomfort. In order to reduce unnecessary irritation and discomfort to the user, a seamless shoulder strap is needed to improve user comfort and reduce irritation so the user can remain focused on their primary activity.

BRIEF SUMMARY

[0004] In some embodiments, a backpack includes a main body and a seamless shoulder strap. In some embodiments, the main body defines a storage compartment. In some embodiments, the seamless shoulder strap is coupled to the main body. In some embodiments, the seamless shoulder strap includes a knitted tube having a seamless edge on at least one outer surface. [0005] In some embodiments, the backpack further includes a second seamless shoulder strap. In some embodiments, the second seamless shoulder strap includes a knitted tube having a seamless edge on at least one outer surface. In some embodiments, the seamless shoulder strap includes a foam insert disposed freely inside the knitted tube. In some embodiments, the seamless shoulder strap includes a knitted padding disposed freely inside the knitted tube. In some embodiments, the seamless shoulder strap includes a knitted padding integral with the knitted tube. In some embodiments, the seamless shoulder strap includes a strap webbing integrally formed in the knitted tube.

[0006] In some embodiments, the seamless shoulder strap includes a load lifter configured to support an upper fastener coupled to the main body. In some embodiments, the load lifter is inserted into a slot formed in the seamless shoulder strap. In some embodiments, the load lifter is secured by a bartack and a strap webbing.

[0007] In some embodiments, the seamless shoulder strap includes a sternum strap configured to contour the seamless shoulder strap. In some embodiments, the sternum strap is secured by a bartack and a strap webbing.

[0008] In some embodiments, the seamless shoulder strap includes a tension lock configured to support a lower fastener coupled to the main body. In some embodiments, the tension lock is inserted into a slot formed in the seamless shoulder strap. In some embodiments, the tension lock is secured by a bartack and a strap webbing.

[0009] In some embodiments, an inward-facing outer surface of the seamless shoulder strap includes a plurality of first perforations. In some embodiments, an outward-facing outer surface of the seamless shoulder strap includes the plurality of first perforations. In some embodiments, an outward-facing outer surface of the seamless shoulder strap includes a plurality of second perforations smaller than the plurality of first perforations.

[0010] In some embodiments, the knitted tube includes a flat seamless knitting construction. In some embodiments, the knitted tube has a curved portion. In some embodiments, an inner seamless edge includes a convex curved portion and an outer seamless edge includes a concave curved portion opposite the convex curved portion. In some embodiments, the knitted tube includes a first knitted material, a second knitted material, and a third knitted material.

[0011] In some embodiments, the seamless edge on the at least one outer surface is disposed along a longitudinal length of the knitted tube. In some embodiments, the knitted tube includes an outer seamless edge and an inner seamless edge. In some embodiments, the entire knitted tube is seamless.

[0012] In some embodiments, a method of forming a seamless shoulder strap for a backpack includes knitting a knitted tube. In some embodiments, the method further includes assembling a load lifter into the knitted tube. In some embodiments, the method further includes assembling a sternum strap into the knitted tube. In some embodiments, the method further includes assembling a tension lock.

[0013] In some embodiments, the method further includes inserting a foam insert into the knitted tube. In some embodiments, knitting the knitted tube includes integrally forming a knitted padding with the knitted tube.

[0014] In some embodiments, assembling the load lifter, the sternum strap, and the tension lock occurs sequentially. In some embodiments, knitting the knitted tube includes performing flat seamless knitting. In some embodiments, knitting the knitted tube includes knitting a first material, a second material, and a third material. In some embodiments, assembling the load lifter into the knitted tube includes assembling a first bartack and a first strap webbing. In some embodiments, assembling the sternum strap into the knitted tube includes assembling a second bartack and a second strap webbing. In some embodiments, assembling the tension lock into the knitted tube includes assembling a third bartack and a third strap webbing.

[0015] In some embodiments, a seamless shoulder strap for a backpack includes a knitted tube and an insert. In some embodiments, the knitted tube includes a seamless edge on at least one outer surface. In some embodiments, the insert is disposed freely inside or integrated with the knitted tube. In some embodiments, an inward-facing outer surface and an outward-facing outer surface of the knitted tube includes a plurality of first perforations.

[0016] In some embodiments, the insert includes a foam insert. In some embodiments, the insert includes a knitted padding integral with the knitted tube.

[0017] In some embodiments, the knitted tube includes a flat seamless knitting construction. In some embodiments, a sternum strap is disposed in the knitted tube. In some embodiments, the sternum strap is secured by a bartack and a strap webbing. In some embodiments, the sternum strap is configured to define a curvature of the seamless shoulder strap. [0018] In some embodiments, the seamless edge on the at least one outer surface is disposed along a longitudinal length of the knitted tube. In some embodiments, the knitted tube includes an outer seamless edge and an inner seamless edge. In some embodiments, the entire knitted tube is seamless.

[0019] Further features and advantages of the invention, as well as the structure and operation of various embodiments of the invention, are described in detail below with reference to the accompanying drawings. It is noted that the invention is not limited to the specific embodiments described herein. Such embodiments are presented herein for illustrative purposes only. Additional embodiments will be apparent to persons skilled in the relevant art(s) based on the teachings contained herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0020] The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated herein and form a part of the specification, illustrate the embodiments and, together with the description, further serve to explain the principles and to enable a person skilled in the relevant art(s) to make and use the embodiments. Objects and advantages of illustrative, non-limiting embodiments will become more apparent by describing them in detail with reference to the attached drawings.

[0021] FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a backpack, according to an embodiment.

[0022] FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of a backpack, according to an embodiment.

[0023] FIG. 3 illustrates a rear view of a seamless shoulder strap, according to an embodiment.

[0024] FIG. 4 illustrates a front view of a seamless shoulder strap, according to an embodiment.

[0025] FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of a knitted tube for a seamless shoulder strap, according to an embodiment.

[0026] FIG. 6 illustrates a front view of a knitted tube for a seamless shoulder strap, according to an embodiment.

[0027] FIG. 6 A illustrates a partial front view of the knitted tube of FIG. 6, according to an embodiment.

[0028] FIG. 7 illustrates a front view of a knitted tube for a seamless shoulder strap, according to an embodiment. [0029] FIG. 7 A illustrates a partial front view of the knitted tube of FIG. 7, according to an embodiment.

[0030] FIG. 8 illustrates a front view of a knitted tube for a seamless shoulder strap, according to an embodiment.

[0031] FIG. 8A illustrates a partial front view of the knitted tube of FIG. 8, according to an embodiment.

[0032] FIG. 9 illustrates a flow diagram for forming a seamless shoulder strap, according to an embodiment.

[0033] FIG. 10 illustrates a perspective view of a knitted tube for a seamless shoulder strap, according to an embodiment.

[0034] FIG. 11 illustrates a perspective view of a knitted tube for a seamless shoulder strap, according to an embodiment.

[0035] The features and advantages of the embodiments will become more apparent from the detailed description set forth below when taken in conjunction with the drawings, in which like reference characters identify corresponding elements throughout. In the drawings, like reference numbers generally indicate identical, functionally similar, and/or structurally similar elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0036] Embodiments of the present disclosure are described in detail with reference to embodiments thereof as illustrated in the accompanying drawings. References to “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” “some embodiments,” etc., indicate that the embodiment(s) described may include a particular feature, structure, or characteristic, but every embodiment may not necessarily include the particular feature, structure, or characteristic. Moreover, such phrases are not necessarily referring to the same embodiment. Further, when a particular feature, structure, or characteristic is described in connection with an embodiment, it is submitted that it is within the knowledge of one skilled in the art to affect such feature, structure, or characteristic in connection with other embodiments whether or not explicitly described.

[0037] The term “about” as used herein indicates the value of a given quantity that can vary based on a particular technology. Based on the particular technology, the term “about” can indicate a value of a given quantity that varies within, for example, 1-15% of the value (e.g., ±1%, ±2%, ±5%, ±10%, or ±15% of the value).

[0038] The following examples are illustrative, but not limiting, of the present embodiments. Other suitable modifications and adaptations of the variety of conditions and parameters normally encountered in the field, and which would be apparent to those skilled in the art, are within the spirit and scope of the disclosure.

[0039] Backpacks are used in a variety of activities, for example, running, biking, hiking, kayaking, skiing, motorcycling, or climbing. Backpacks typically include a shoulder strap or a pair of shoulder straps with a seam, for example, along an edge of the strap or along an outer surface of the strap. Shoulder straps with seams may cause irritation or discomfort to a user. For example, a seam on a shoulder strap can rub against the user (e.g., friction) and become uncomfortable to the user over time, especially when carrying a heavy load in the backpack and/or traveling for an extended period of time. Further, components of the shoulder strap (e.g., load lifter, sternum strap, tension lock, etc.) may protrude and be exposed to the user, and can cause additional irritation or discomfort. Therefore, there is a need to reduce unnecessary irritation and improve user comfort through a seamless shoulder strap (e.g., knitted tube) on a backpack. This allows the user to reduce irritation (e.g., blisters, rash, chafing, etc.) and discomfort, and remain focused on their primary activity.

Example Backpack

[0040] FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate backpack 100, according to embodiments. FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a front side 104 of backpack 100. FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of a back side 106 of backpack 100.

[0041] In some embodiments, backpack 100 can include main body 102, storage compartment 108, side panel 110, edge binding 112, vent panel 114, hipbelt 120, spring cam 128, seamless shoulder strap 130, second seamless shoulder strap 160, sternum belt 162, handle webbing 164, lower fastener 166, and/or upper fastener 168. When carried conventionally by the user, seamless shoulder straps 130, 160 can be generally disposed on a front side 104 of the user (e.g., over the shoulders and chest) and the main body 102 can be disposed on a back side 106 of the user (e.g., against the user’s back). Seamless shoulder straps 130, 160 can extend from main body 102, over the user’s shoulders, in some cases partially around the user’s chest, and reconnect with the main body 102. In some embodiments, seamless shoulder straps 130, 160 can be adjustable, for example, via spring cam 128, lower fastener 166, and/or upper fastener 168. For example, spring cam 128 can adjust a position of seamless shoulder straps 130, 160 relative to main body 102 along a longitudinal length of main body 102, for example, about 25 cm. For example, a length of lower fastener 166 and/or upper fastener 168 can be extended or shortened, for example, via tension lock 150, about 25 cm to adjust a distance of seamless shoulder straps 130, 160 away from main body 102. In some embodiments, sternum belt 162 can releasably couple seamless shoulder straps 130, 160. In some embodiments, seamless shoulder strap 130 can include a knitted tube 170. Where particular features are described herein with respect to seamless shoulder strap 130, a person skilled in the art would understand how to employ the features for second seamless shoulder strap 160.

[0042] As shown in FIG. 1, for example, in some embodiments, main body 102 can include storage compartment 108 for containing items (e.g., apparel, hiking gear, climbing gear, camping gear, equipment, etc.). In some embodiments, backpack 100 can include side panel 110 disposed between storage compartment 108 and vent panel 114. Side panel 110 and vent panel 114 can be secured to front side 104 of backpack 100 via edge binding 112. Vent panel 114 can provide breathability to the user during use of backpack 100. In some embodiments, vent panel 114 can include a plurality of perforations configured to allow air to flow in and out of vent panel 114. In some embodiments, backpack 100 can include handle webbing 164 disposed above seamless shoulder straps 130, 160 on main body 102. Handle webbing 164 can be configured to provide a handle or a grip to the user to lift or carry backpack 100.

[0043] In some embodiments, for example, as shown in FIG. 1, backpack 100 can include hipbelt 120. Hipbelt 120 can include mesh wrap 118, pocket 122, belt 124, and/or buckle 126. Hipbelt 120 can be secured to vent panel 114 and main body 102 via tapered seam 116. Mesh wrap 118 can be formed on hipbelt 120 for comfort and improved airflow to the user. In some embodiments, mesh wrap 118 can be elastic. In some embodiments, mesh wrap 118 can include a plurality of perforations. Pocket 122 can be disposed on an exterior of hipbelt 120. In some embodiments, pocket 122 can be zippered. Belt 124 can couple to buckle 126. Belt 124 and buckle 126 can be configured to adjust a length of hipbelt 120 about the user. Belt 124 and buckle 126 can be configured to provide support to the user when carrying backpack 100. Example Seamless Shoulder Strap

[0044] FIGS. 1-4 illustrate seamless shoulder strap 130 of backpack 100, according to embodiments. FIG. 3 illustrates an inward-facing outer surface 132 of seamless shoulder strap 130. FIG. 4 illustrates an outward-facing outer surface 134 of seamless shoulder strap 130.

[0045] In some embodiments, seamless shoulder strap 130 can include insert 136 (e.g., a foam insert), load lifter 138, sternum strap 140, strap webbing 142, bartack 144, bottom slot 146, top slot 148, tension lock 150, outer seamless edge 152, inner seamless edge 154, large perforations 156, small perforations 158, and/or knitted tube 170. In some embodiments, second seamless shoulder strap 160 can be similar (e.g., mirror symmetric) to seamless shoulder strap 130. In some embodiments, foam insert 136 can be disposed freely in seamless shoulder strap 130, such that foam insert 136 is not fixedly attached to seamless shoulder strap 130. For example, foam insert 136 can be disposed freely inside knitted tube 170 and be capable of adjustment (e.g., movement) relative to knitted tube 170. This can facilitate efficient manufacturing and assembly. While described herein primarily as a “foam insert,” the insert may be other materials (e.g., polymer, polyurethane, polyethylene, polyester, polyvinyl, resin, latex, rubber, syntactic foam, open cell foam, closed cell foam, etc.) with sufficient structural rigidity to form a contour of knitted tube 170 while also having sufficient flexibility and softness to provide comfort to the user. Knitted tube 170 can have an inner seamless edge 154 and an outer seamless edge 152. That is, unlike typical shoulder straps, seamless shoulder strap 130 does not have any edge binding to hold material components together.

[0046] As shown in FIG. 3, inward-facing outer surface 132 of seamless shoulder strap 130 can include perforations, for example, large perforations 156. For example, large perforations 156 can be formed in strap webbing 142 (e.g., lowest density thread count). Large perforations 156 can be configured to provide airflow through seamless shoulder strap 130 and provide breathability to the user. In some embodiments, large perforations 156 can have a diameter of about 1 mm to about 10 mm. In some embodiments, large perforations 156 can have a diameter of about 2 mm to about 5 mm. For example, the diameter can be about 3 mm. In some embodiments, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, strap webbing 142 can be a stitching (e.g., webbing) of a specific density for a seam strength per inch (SPI), for example, about 5 SPI (e.g., low density) to about 15 SPI (e.g., high density). [0047] As shown in FIG. 4, outward-facing outer surface 134 of seamless shoulder strap

130 can include perforations, for example, large perforations 156 and/or small perforations 158. For example, large perforations 156 (e.g., similar to large perforations 156 in inward facing outer surface 132) can be formed in strap webbing 142 (e.g., lowest density thread count) and small perforations 158, having a smaller diameter than large perforations 156, can be formed in strap webbing 142 (e.g., higher density thread count than large perforations 156), for example, in a different region of outward-facing outer surface 134. Large and small perforations 156, 158 can be configured to provide airflow through seamless shoulder strap 130 and provide breathability to the user. In some embodiments, small perforations 158 can have a diameter of about 0.1 mm to about 5 mm. In some embodiments, small perforations 158 can have a diameter of about 0.5 mm to about 2 mm. For example, the diameter can be about 1 mm.

[0048] Load lifter 138 can be configured to support upper fastener 168 and be coupled to main body 102. In some embodiments, load lifter 138 can be inserted into top slot 148 formed in seamless shoulder strap 130 and secured, for example, by abartack(s) 144 and/or a strap webbing 142. For example, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 6A, load lifter 138 can be inserted into top slot 148 in knitted tube 170 and secured (e.g., sewn) to knitted tube 170 by strap webbing 142 (e.g., a high density thread count). In some embodiments, other securement mechanisms, for example, button(s), latch(es), zipper(s), stitch(es), adhesive(s), VELCRO®, fastener(s), hook-and-loop fastener(s), buckle(s), pin(s), snap(s), magnet(s), etc., can be used instead of bartack(s) 144 and/or strap webbing 142 to secure load lifter 138, sternum strap 140, and/or tension lock 150.

[0049] Sternum strap 140 can be configured to contour seamless shoulder strap 130. In some embodiments, sternum strap 140 can be secured by a bartack(s) 144 and/or a strap webbing 142. For example, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 7A, sternum strap 140 can be inserted into knitted tube 170 and secured (e.g., sewn) to knitted tube 170 by strap webbing 142 (e.g., a high density thread count). In some embodiments, sternum strap 140 can be secured by a plurality of bartacks 144 to form a particular contour or curvature of seamless shoulder strap 130. For example, as shown in FIG. 7A, a plurality of bartacks 144 can form a chain (e.g., linear array) in order to form a contour (e.g., an arcuate shape) in sternum strap 140.

[0050] Tension lock 150 can be configured to support lower fastener 166 and be coupled to main body 102. In some embodiments, tension lock 150 can be inserted into bottom slot 146 formed in seamless shoulder strap 130 and secured by a bartack(s) 144 and/or a strap webbing 142. For example, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 8A, tension lock 150 can be inserted into bottom slot 146 in knitted tube 170 and secured (e.g., sewn) to knitted tube 170 by strap webbing 142 (e.g., a high density thread count).

[0051] Strap webbing 142 can be configured to integrate and secure various components

(e.g., load lifter 138, sternum strap 140, tension lock 150, etc.) of seamless shoulder strap 130. For example, strap webbing 142 can integrate various components into knitted tube 170. In some embodiments, strap webbing 142 can be integrally formed in knitted tube 170. In some embodiments, strap webbing 142 can have a specific density (e.g., thread count). In some embodiments, strap webbing 142 can have a plurality of different densities (e.g., thread count). For example, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 6, strap webbing 142 can have a plurality of different densities in different regions of seamless shoulder strap 130, for example, a first density (e.g., lowest) for large perforations 156, a second density (e.g., higher than the first density) for small perforations 158, a third density (e.g., higher than the second density) for inner and outer seamless edges 154, 152, and/or a fourth density (e.g., higher than the third density) to secure load lifter 138, sternum strap 140, and/or tension lock 150.

Example Knitted Tube

[0052] FIGS. 5-8 illustrate knitted tube 170 for seamless shoulder strap 130 of backpack

100, according to embodiments. FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of knitted tube 170 of seamless shoulder strap 130. FIGS. 6 and 6A illustrate a front view of knitted tube 170 that incorporates load lifter 138. FIGS. 7 and 7A illustrate a front view of knitted tube 170 that incorporates sternum strap 140. FIGS. 8 and 8A illustrate a front view of knitted tube 170 that incorporates tension lock 150.

[0053] In some embodiments, knitted tube 170 can include a top opening 176 and a bottom opening 178. For example, as shown in FIG. 5, foam insert 136 can be inserted inside knitted tube 170 via top opening 176 or bottom opening 178. In some embodiments, foam insert 136 and knitted tube 170 can have corresponding shapes (e.g., ergonomically contoured shapes). In some embodiments, knitted tube 170 can have a sock-shape. For example, as shown in FIG. 5, knitted tube 170 can include a convex curved portion 172 along inner seamless edge 154 and a concave curved portion 174, opposite convex curved portion 172, along outer seamless edge 152. [0054] In some embodiments, knitted tube 170 can have a flat seamless knitting construction. For example, knitted tube 170 can be constructed via flat knitting, in which knitted tube 170 (e.g., fabric) is turned periodically (e.g., via alternating sides) such that no seam is formed in knitted tube 170. In some embodiments, knitted tube 170 can include a variety of different patterns (e.g., large perforations 156, small perforations 158, strap webbing 142, etc.). For example, flat knitting provides complex stitch designs, shaped knitting, and/or precise width (e.g., perforation) adjustment for knitted tube 170.

[0055] Knitted tube 170 can be an integral tube. For example, knitted tube 170 can be a continuous shell or monocoque. Knitted tube 170 includes a textile (e.g., fabric), for example, a polymer. For example, knitted tube 170 can include yam, thread, cotton, wool, nylon, elastane, rayon, acrylic, polyester, polyurethane, and/or some combination thereof. In some embodiments, knitted tube 170 can include a first knitted material, a second knitted material, and/or a third knitted material. For example, knitted tube 170 can include a polyester (e.g., 30%), nylon (e.g., 40%), and elastane (e.g., 30%) composition. For example, knitted tube 170 can include a first polyester, a second polyester, and nylon composition.

[0056] In some embodiments, seamless edge 152, 154 on at least one outer surface 132,

134 can be disposed along a longitudinal length of knitted tube 170. For example, as shown in FIG. 5, outer seamless edge 152 can be along the longitudinal length of knitted tube 170 between top opening 176 and bottom opening 178. In some embodiments, as shown in FIG. 5, knitted tube 170 can include outer seamless edge 152 and inner seamless edge 154. In some embodiments, as shown in FIG. 5, knitted tube 170 can be completely (e.g., entirely) seamless.

[0057] In some embodiments, knitted tube 170 can include a longitudinal seam 171 that is disposed adjacent to an outer longitudinal edge (e.g., outer seamless edge 152 and/or inner seamless edge 154) of knitted tube 170. For example, the longitudinal seam 171 can be disposed about 10 mm to about 100 mm from the outer longitudinal edge (e.g., between outer seamless edge 152 and inner seamless edge 154) such that the longitudinal seam 171 is disposed on inward-facing outer surface 132 or outward-facing outer surface 134 of knitted tube 170. In some embodiments, the longitudinal seam 171 can be disposed about 20 mm to about 50 mm from the outer longitudinal edge (e.g., between outer seamless edge 152 and inner seamless edge 154). In some embodiments, the longitudinal seam 171 can be disposed about midway between outer seamless edge 152 and inner seamless edge 154.

[0058] As shown in FIGS. 6 and 6 A, load lifter 138 can be inserted into top slot 148 of knitted tube 170 and be secured by a bartack(s) 144 and/or strap webbing 142. Load lifter 138 can be configured to support (e.g., connect to) upper fastener 168 coupled to main body 102 to assist support of a load in backpack 100. In some embodiments, load lifter 138 can be assembled in knitted tube 170 subsequent to foam insert 136 being inserted into knitted tube 170, for example, as shown in FIG. 5. In some embodiments, load lifter 138 can be assembled at the same time knitted tube 170 is being formed (e.g., knitted).

[0059] As shown in FIGS. 7 and 7 A, sternum strap 140 can be inserted into knitted tube

170 and be secured by a bartack(s) 144 and/or strap webbing 142. Sternum strap 140 can be configured to form or to define a particular contour or curvature of knitted tube 170 and seamless shoulder strap 130 (e.g., an arcuate shape or multi-curve shape). The contour or curvature of sternum strap 140 can assist the user with a load in backpack 100, for example, by providing the user with an ergonomic fit and reducing pressure points along seamless shoulder strap 130. In some embodiments, sternum strap 140 can be assembled in and/or to knitted tube 170 subsequent to foam insert 136 and/or load lifter 138 being inserted into knitted tube 170, for example, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. In some embodiments, sternum strap 140 can be assembled at the same time as knitted tube 170 is being formed (e.g., knitted).

[0060] As shown in FIGS. 8 and 8A, tension lock 150 can be inserted into bottom slot 146 of knitted tube 170 and be secured by a bartack(s) 144 and/or strap webbing 142. Tension lock 150 can be configured to support (e.g., connect to) lower fastener 166 coupled to main body 102 to assist support of a load in backpack 100 and/or adjust a length of lower fastener 166. In some embodiments, tension lock 150 can be assembled in and/or to knitted tube 170 subsequent to foam insert 136, load lifter 138, and/or sternum strap 140 being inserted into knitted tube 170, for example, as shown in FIGS. 5-7. In some embodiments, tension lock 150 can be assembled at the same time as knitted tube 170 is being formed (e.g., knitted).

Example Flow Diagram

[0061] FIG. 9 illustrates flow diagram 900 for forming a seamless shoulder strap 130, according to an embodiment. It is to be appreciated that not all steps in FIG. 9 are needed to perform the disclosure provided herein. Further, some of the steps may be performed simultaneously, sequentially, or in a different order than shown in FIG. 9. Flow diagram 900 is described with reference to FIGS. 3-8. However, flow diagram 900 is not limited to those example embodiments.

[0062] In step 902, as shown in the example of FIGS. 3-5, knitted tube 170 is constructed via flat knitting. In some embodiments, knitted tube 170 can include various slot(s), perforation(s), curvature(s), opening(s), and/or stitch design(s), for example, bottom slot 146, top slot 148, large perforations 156, small perforations 158, convex curved portion 172, concaved curved portion 174, top opening 176, bottom opening 178, and/or strap webbing 142.

[0063] In step 904, as shown in the example of FIG. 5, foam insert 136 is inserted into knitted tube 170. In some embodiments, foam insert 136 is inserted at the same time as knitted tube 170 is being formed (e.g., knitted). In some embodiments, flow diagram 900 can omit step 904. For example, as shown in FIG. 11 and discussed below, in some embodiments, knitted tube 170 can be knitted tube 170' with integrally formed knitted padding 136". In some embodiments, knitting knitted tube 170 can include integrally forming knitted padding 136" with knitted tube 170'.

[0064] In step 906, as shown in the example of FIGS. 6 and 6A, load lifter 138 is assembled into knitted tube 170. In some embodiments, load lifter 138 can be assembled by being inserted into top slot 148 in knitted tube 170 and secured (e.g., sewn) to knitted tube 170 by bartack(s) 144 and/or strap webbing 142 (e.g., a high density thread count). In some embodiments, load lifter 138 can be assembled at the same time as knitted tube 170 is being formed (e.g., knitted).

[0065] In step 908, as shown in the example of FIGS. 7 and 7A, sternum strap 140 is assembled into knitted tube 170. In some embodiments, sternum strap 140 can be assembled by being inserted into knitted tube 170 and secured (e.g., sewn) to knitted tube 170 by bartack(s) 144 and/or strap webbing 142 (e.g., a high density thread count). In some embodiments, sternum strap 140 can be assembled at the same time as knitted tube 170 is being formed (e.g., knitted).

[0066] In step 910, as shown in the example of FIGS. 8 and 8A, tension lock 150 is assembled into knitted tube 170. In some embodiments, tension lock 150 can be assembled by being inserted into bottom slot 146 in knitted tube 170 and secured (e.g., sewn) to knitted tube 170 by bartack(s) 144 and/or strap webbing 142 (e.g., a high density thread count). In some embodiments, tension lock 150 can be assembled at the same time as knitted tube 170 is being formed (e.g., knitted).

[0067] In some embodiments, knitted tube 170 can be constructed via flat knitting. For example, knitted tube 170 can be constructed via seamless flat knitting through, for example, rotation and/or alternative knitting sides. In some embodiments, knitted tube 170 can be constructed via circular knitting. In some embodiments, assembly of load lifter 138, assembly of sternum strap 140, and assembly of tension lock 150 occurs sequentially.

Additional Example Seamless Shoulder Straps

[0068] FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate seamless shoulder straps 130', 130" of backpack 100, according to embodiments. FIG. 10 illustrates seamless shoulder strap 130' with knitted padding 136' which can be disposed inside knitted tube 170. FIG. 11 illustrates seamless shoulder strap 130" with knitted padding 136" integrally formed with knitted tube 170'.

[0069] FIG. 10 illustrates seamless shoulder strap 130', according to certain embodiments.

The embodiments of seamless shoulder strap 130 shown in FIG. 5, for example, and the embodiments of seamless shoulder strap 130' shown in FIG. 10 may be similar. Similar reference numbers are used to indicate features of the embodiments of seamless shoulder strap 130 shown in FIG. 5 and the similar features of the embodiments of seamless shoulder strap 130' shown in FIG. 10. One difference between the embodiments of seamless shoulder strap 130 shown in FIG. 5 and the embodiments of seamless shoulder strap 130' shown in FIG. 10 is that seamless shoulder strap 130' includes knitted padding 136' disposed inside knitted tube 170, rather than foam insert 136 shown in FIG. 5. Although seamless shoulder strap 130' is shown in FIG. 10 as a stand-alone apparatus and/or system, the embodiments of this disclosure can be used with other apparatuses and/or systems, such as, but not limited to, backpack 100, seamless shoulder strap 130, second seamless shoulder strap 160, and/or knitted tube 170.

[0070] As shown in FIG. 10, an aspect of seamless shoulder strap 130' is knitted padding

136'. In some embodiments, knitted padding 136' can be similar to knitted tube 170 and/or foam insert 136. Knitted padding 136' can be configured to have sufficient structural rigidity to form a contour of knitted tube 170 while also having sufficient flexibility and softness to provide comfort to the user. Knitted padding 136' can include a textile (e.g., fabric), for example, a polymer. For example, knitted padding 136' can include yam, thread, cotton, wool, nylon, elastane, rayon, acrylic, polyester, polyurethane, and/or some combination thereof. In some embodiments, knitted padding 136' can include a first knitted material, a second knitted material, and/or a third knitted material. For example, knitted padding 136' can include a polyester (e.g., 30%), nylon (e.g., 40%), and elastane (e.g., 30%) composition. For example, knitted padding 136' can include a first polyester, a second polyester, and nylon composition.

[0071] In some embodiments, knitted padding 136' can be disposed freely in seamless shoulder strap 130', such that knitted padding 136' is not fixedly attached to seamless shoulder strap 130'. For example, knitted padding 136' can be disposed freely inside knitted tube 170 and be capable of adjustment (e.g., movement) relative to knitted tube 170. In some embodiments, knitted padding 136' can be inserted inside knitted tube 170 via top opening 176 or bottom opening 178. In some embodiments, knitted padding 136' and knitted tube 170 can have corresponding shapes (e.g., ergonomically contoured shapes). In some embodiments, knitted padding 136' can include a plurality of ridges configured to provide cushioning to the user. In some embodiments, knitted padding 136' can have a flat seamless knitting construction. For example, knitted padding 136' can be constructed via flat knitting, in which knitted padding 136' (e.g., fabric) is turned periodically (e.g., via alternating sides) such that no seam is formed in knitted padding 136'. In some embodiments, knitted padding 136' can include a variety of different patterns (e.g., large ridges, small ridges, webbing, etc.). For example, flat knitting provides complex stitch designs, shaped knitting, and/or precise height (e.g., ridges) and/or width adjustment for knitted padding 136'.

[0072] FIG. 11 illustrates seamless shoulder strap 130", according to embodiments. The embodiments of seamless shoulder strap 130' shown in FIG. 10 and the embodiments of seamless shoulder strap 130" shown in FIG. 11 may be similar. Similar reference numbers are used to indicate features of the embodiments of seamless shoulder strap 130' shown in FIG. 10 and the similar features of the embodiments of seamless shoulder strap 130" shown in FIG. 11. One difference between the embodiments of seamless shoulder strap 130' shown in FIG. 10 and the embodiments of seamless shoulder strap 130" shown in FIG. 11 is that seamless shoulder strap 130" includes knitted padding 136" that is integrally formed with knitted tube 170', rather than knitted padding 136' disposed inside knitted tube 170 shown in FIG. 10. Although seamless shoulder strap 130" is shown in FIG. 11 as a stand-alone apparatus and/or system, the embodiments of this disclosure can be used with other apparatuses and/or systems, such as, but not limited to, backpack 100, seamless shoulder strap 130, second seamless shoulder strap 160, and/or knitted tube 170.

[0073] As shown in FIG. 11, an aspect of seamless shoulder strap 130" is knitted padding

136" integral with knitted tube 170'. In some embodiments, knitted padding 136" and knitted tube 170' can be similar to knitted tube 170. Knitted padding 136" can be configured to have sufficient structural rigidity to form a contour of knitted tube 170' while also having sufficient flexibility and softness to provide comfort to the user. Knitted padding 136" can include a textile (e.g., fabric), for example, a polymer. For example, knitted padding 136" can include yam, thread, cotton, wool, nylon, elastane, rayon, acrylic, polyester, polyurethane, and/or some combination thereof. In some embodiments, knitted padding 136" can include a first knitted material, a second knitted material, and/or a third knitted material. For example, knitted padding 136" can include a polyester (e.g., 30%), nylon (e.g., 40%), and elastane (e.g., 30%) composition. For example, knitted padding 136" can include a first polyester, a second polyester, and nylon composition.

[0074] In some embodiments, knitted padding 136" can be integrally formed with knitted tube 170', such that knitted padding 136" is formed simultaneously with knitted tube 170'. For example, as shown in FIG. 11, knitted padding 136" can be formed between outer and inner seamless edges 152, 154 of knitted tube 170' to provide a raised (e.g., cushioned) height along a longitudinal centerline of knitted tube 170'. In some embodiments, knitted padding 136" and knitted tube 170' can be sealed and completely seamless. For example, as shown in FIG. 11, seamless shoulder strap 130" can include top seamless seal 176' and bottom seamless seal 178'. In some embodiments, knitted padding 136" can include a plurality of ridges configured to provide cushioning to the user. In some embodiments, knitted padding 136" and knitted tube 170' can have a flat seamless knitting construction. For example, knitted padding 136" and knitted tube 170' can be constructed via flat knitting, in which both knitted padding 136" (e.g., fabric) and knitted tube 170' (e.g., fabric) are turned periodically (e.g., via alternating sides) such that no seam is formed in knitted padding 136" and knitted tube 170'. In some embodiments, knitted padding 136" can include a variety of different patterns (e.g., large ridges, small ridges, webbing, etc.). For example, flat knitting provides complex stitch designs, shaped knitting, and/or precise height (e.g., ridges) and/or width adjustment for knitted padding 136". [0075] In some embodiments, seamless shoulder strap 130 and/or second seamless shoulder strap 160 can include knitted tube 170 having a seamless edge 152, 154 on at least one outer surface 132, 134. For example, as shown in FIG. 1, outer seamless edge 152 can be on inward-facing outer surface 132 and/or outward-facing outer surface 134. In some embodiments, as shown in FIG. 10, seamless shoulder strap 130' can include knitted padding 136' disposed freely inside knitted tube 170. In some embodiments, as shown in FIG. 11, seamless shoulder strap 130" can include knitted padding 136" integral with knitted tube 170'.

[0076] It is to be appreciated that the Detailed Description section, and not the Brief

Summary and Abstract sections, is intended to be used to interpret the claims. The Summary and Abstract sections may set forth one or more but not all embodiments of the seamless shoulder strap system and apparatus, and thus, are not intended to limit the present embodiments and the appended claims.

[0077] The present disclosure has been described above with the aid of functional building blocks illustrating the implementation of specified functions and relationships thereof. The boundaries of these functional building blocks have been arbitrarily defined herein for the convenience of the description. Alternate boundaries can be defined so long as the specified functions and relationships thereof are appropriately performed.

[0078] The foregoing description of the specific embodiments will so fully reveal the general nature of the disclosure that others can, by applying knowledge within the skill of the art, readily modify and/or adapt for various applications such specific embodiments, without undue experimentation, without departing from the general concept of the present disclosure. Therefore, such adaptations and modifications are intended to be within the meaning and range of equivalents of the disclosed embodiments, based on the teaching and guidance presented herein. It is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation, such that the terminology or phraseology of the present specification is to be interpreted by the skilled artisan in light of the teachings and guidance.

[0079] The breadth and scope of the present disclosure should not be limited by any of the above-described exemplary embodiments, but should be defined only in accordance with the following claims and their equivalents.