The Daytripper Easel is a combination of a palette box that hooks onto a tripod, and a support for your canvas or panel.
Company name: Prolific Painter
Pochade box name: Daytripper Starter Package
Type: Palette Boxes/PanelSupport
Price range: $250-$300
Weight: 4lb 1.8kg
Palette size: 9.5″x15.5″, 24cm x 39cm
The Daytripper is a lightweight setup with the advantage over a pochade because the palette is at a more comfortable height and there is less weight on the tripod head. This means the setup is more stable. It fits most 1/2′ 20 – thread tripods.
A recommended setup is:
- Daytripper easel
- Palette: Neutral Gray Plexiglass
- 18″ End Mount Upright Panel Holder with 8″ crossbars for small plein air paintings (11″x14″, 28cm x 76cm)
- extra quick release plate
The upright panel holders have wide crossbars which gives very good stability.
Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum Tripod
The construction is a strong plastic together with metal fixings for attaching to a tripod.
How to set it up
A nice feature of the horizontal bars that hold the canvas is that they are so thin so that they do not get in the way of your painting surface. Yet as you tighten the back screw it tilts and grips even a stretched canvas very tightly. It handles both thin panels and canvases, provided they are not too thick.
End or center mount?
Two types of panel holder are available: center mounted and end mounted. One question is whether to use the center mount or end mount?
This is the Daytripper easel with a center mounted upright panel holder. The specifications are:
- 24″ Off Center Mount Upright Panel Holder with
- 16″ crossbars
This setup is for larger plein air paintings (24″x30″, 61cm x 76cm). The canvas shown is a gallery wrapped 24″x24″ canvas on stretcher bars.
One small problem with this setup is that you cannot get it vertical with a canvas of these dimensions. It is also very wobbly and unstable with the Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum Tripod shown.
I found that if you bring the back leg forward it shifts the center of gravity too far forward and the easel becomes unstable. Extending the tripod top pole and lowering the legs lowered the canvas well below eye height for me, and so was also no solution.
The bottom line is I would recommend the Daytripper easel only with the end mount and possibly the center mount for a bit more stability, but only for panels no bigger than 16″x20″ except in an emergency.
To compare it with other pochade boxes, see my Guide to Pochade Boxes.
Reviews of Daytripper Easel
This is my current favorite portable system. It is very lightweight and easy to set up. Also the canvas holder system is really nice. You can fit panels on and also stretched panels. The narrow lip holds the panel really firmly and is completely unobtrusive. Even then I am finding the palette a little on… Read more “This is my current favorite”
I love the Daytripper – having used several alternatives in the past. I don’t paint huge panels/stretched canvas en plein air, but I DO use it for larger pieces in studio – it’s so easy to move around, and has a small footprint, and is so adjustable. I have 2 masts, the 18″ and the… Read more “I love the Daytripper –”
Josh’s palette box is fabulous! Needing to have the flexibility to paint really large, I designed my own easel but I take this palette box everywhere with me. I weighs ounces, fits easily in a carryon, cleans up well and of great importance, has enough space to readily mix paints, even for a 36×48″ painting.… Read more “The palette box is super!”
I use Josh Been’s Upright Panel Holders (UPH) for watercolor painting. They are well designed, sturdy and adaptable to the sometimes unique needs of a watercolorist. Since the UPH is designed to attach to a tripod with a ball head, I can lay my painting surface flat for wet-in-wet washes, or at a slight angle,… Read more “Great design by a prolific plein air painter”
My criteria for an enjoyable plein air experience is dependent on three things
1 Stability of the canvas
Because the palette rests on
two tripod legs I find it to be
much more stable than
those where all the weight
Is on the one point ball
Joint No… Read more “The Best Yet”
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