Virtual Art Academy
Daytripper Easel

Daytripper Plein Air Easel

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

Construction: Plastic

Average Rating: 5.0 stars (based on 5 ratings)


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.

Daytripper Easel
Daytripper Starter Package

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.

Daytripper panel support system
Daytripper panel support system

Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum Tripod

Or Amazon
Dolica GX650B204 Proline GX Series 65 inch Aluminum Tripod and Ball Head Combo for DSLR, SLR 


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.

Daytripper Crossbar for panel holder
Daytripper Crossbar mechanism for gripping canvases

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.

Daytripper easel with a center mounted upright panel holder
Daytripper easel with a center mounted upright panel holder

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

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”

Barry Raybould
United Kingdom

I love the Daytripper –

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 –”

Casey Cheuvront
United States

The palette box is super!

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!”

Cynthia Rosen

Great design by a prolific plein air painter

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”

Doug Moench

The Best Yet

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”

Jean comerford

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