I thought I would elaborate a little more about the benefits of plein air easels and the differences. Last week I mentioned the French easel which is made of wood. It contains most of your equipment but it is heavy. Also, the pochade box which is very attractive but limited to the size of canvas or panels you can use.
My main two plein air easels are both by Stanrite. One is a watercolor easel which will tilt to many angles and has extendable legs. It has clips which will hold a board to which I’ve attached my watercolor paper.
The other easel, and my go-to easel in the field, is for oils or acrylics. It, too, has collapsible legs, plus it has fold-out spikes which can provide extra security by stabbing into the soil. The easel will take canvases up to 18 x 24, maybe a little larger. The two hooks will adjust to hold panels or canvasses of different depths, too.
I have used these easels for years. They each fit into a homemade carry bag (made from a pair of old blue jeans) which I can toss over a shoulder or attach to my bicycle. Neither weighs more than a few pounds.
There are some new light weight aluminum French easels but they’re a bit pricey. I probably didn’t pay more than $40 for either of these easels.
In the end, it’s all up to you and personal choice. What works for me may not work for you but these are some nice options for travel easels.