The 10 Best Watercolor Travel Easels

Tired of being stuck indoors while you’re drawing your favorite anime characters or recreating a beautiful landscape? Get outside and live your life of an en plein air watercolorist to your fullest! You can’t just go out there and drag your heavy easel. You’ll need a nice light and portable one. Go ahead and splurge on one of these top ten watercolor travel easels.

Alternatively, if you're a new parent and you want to raise the next Monet, check out these art easels for kids! We also have an ultimate guide for every kind of easel you'd want here!

1. Advanced Series- En Plein Air Pro

One of the best portable watercolor easels out there is the En Plein Air Pro Advanced Series watercolor package. This travel easel has a very wide stance that’ll ensure your canvass never blows over in the wind. The Advanced Series includes a watercolor palette shelf that contains over 80 square inches of mixing wells, giving you nearly endless possibilities of color combinations. The palette shelf is also removable and can lay flat on a table, allowing you to take this indoors and use it like a normal studio palette. The shelf includes brush holders, a palette tray, and space for water. This updated larger easel can support ¼ sheets and has a painting board with dimensions of 12 inches by 15.7 inches. This En Plein Air Pro also provides a carrying bag for this easel is compact and lightweight but is still large enough to hold your other needed supplies such as paint, water, brushes, and canvas. This is our go-to travelling easel; you won’t lose out with this purchase!


2. Heritage Arts HAE660 Champlain Aluminum Watercolor Easel

The Heritage Arts aluminum easel is a great portable easel made from a durable aluminum. It is a classic, attractive black and can be easily left out in display or brought out with you for en plein air painting! This easel has a plethora of adjustable features. The head pivots horizontally so that you can use this for watercolor and can hold canvases up to 37 inches in this position. If you are painting vertically, this position accommodates canvases up to 54 inches. You can also adjust the easel to hold lightweight display signage up to 69 inches tall with the two sets of tray support brackets. The extendable legs are adjusted with convenient and easy-to-use clamps and end in pivoted, rubber feet. These rubber feet will ensure a stable easel no matter the surface. You also get a 17 ½ inch canvas tray that contains two extendable shelves to hold your brushes and a small water bag. This easel is very easy to assemble and to take apart, folding into compact 27 inches. Get this ultra-portable easel that weighs only 4 ½ pounds and comes with a free carrying bag. This is a must for your painting when travelling.


3. US Art Supply HARBOR Basic Portable Wood Field Sketch Easel with Foldable Tri-Pod Legs

This one is simple, easy-to-use, and ultra-portable. The US Art Supply HARBOR sketch easel is constructed of wood, yet weighs only 3 pounds. It can hold canvases up to 28 inches and could be adjusted to 49 inches to 72 inches or even laid flat for watercolor painting. The wooden easel also folds up and sets up easily when travelling. The easel is put together using bolts and butterfly fasteners that can be easily adjusted and tightened by hand. This is perfect for your en plein air painting! The feet are rubber-tipped, providing stability and protection against scuffing floors. While this is a great portable easel, you do need to purchase a painting board to support your canvas as one is not included. The US Art Supply easel is extremely durable without sacrificing portability.


4. Mabef Mbm-29 Basic Large Field Easel

You can’t go wrong with this classic French field easel by Mabef. Their M-29 field easel is very sturdy and constructed with high quality parts. This one is their large version, and can hold canvases up to 46 inches high. It is very easy to set up when in the field, as all of the parts fold into each other. There is no disassembling and assembling needed. Everything is held together with a leather strap when folded down. This Mabef is constructed with strong, oiled beech wood yet only weighs 3.5 pounds. The painting angle can be quickly adjusted from vertical to horizontal for oil or watercolor painting. Everything is adjusted with simple brass knobs that won’t wear out when tightened and loosened. Take this easel out for en plein air or use it in the studio; it will make the transition from both simple and fluid. Be sure to get the Mabef field easel for an easel you can be confident will exceed your expectations and will be reliable when you’re painting outside.


5. US Art Supply 73 inch Large Watercolor Aluminum Metal Easel

Another easel from US Art Supply, this adjustable one is made from a high quality lightweight aluminum metal. This one features two clamps at the top and at the bottom of your canvas, to ensure an extremely stable set up when tilting the head horizontally for all your watercolor needs. While laid flat, the easel can support up to 22 inches. In the upright position, this easel can hold a large canvas up to 55 inches high. This easel has easy turn adjustable knobs for streamlined height and angle adjustments. The adjustable legs also make it ideal to use indoors, outdoors, and on tabletops. Taking this easel with you on your travels is simple to do as it folds down into a convenient 27 inches and weighs only 3 pounds and comes with a carrying case. There is also a tray that can hold brushes and a small water bucket.


6. Jack Richeson 694051 Italian Field Easel, Steel, Black

Tired of only finding aluminum easels? Check out the Jack Richeson option! This field easel is composed of quality stainless steel. Although it is steel, the easel is a classy black and has a very slim profile. It can be adjusted to 82 inches high and hold canvasses up to 30 inches. The canvas board can be tilted to a horizontal position, ideal for watercolor painting or sketching. The legs have rubber tips that help keep your easel in place while you work and prevent scuff marks on surfaces. While this easel does not include a carrying case, it is still a sturdy and versatile portable easel. It is about 4 pounds, so it is heavier than most travel easels and will keep your artwork steady. This one also does not come with a small tray, so you will need to purchase a separate painters tray if you would like the convenience. All-in-all, even though this easel does not come with extra accessories, it is still a reliable and durable easel that is sure to satisfy your en plein air needs.


7. Art Advantage Aluminum Field Easel with Case

The Art Advantage field easel is composed of durable and lightweight black aluminum. It can hold a canvas up to 34 inches. The central arm can be adjusted to an upright position for various mediums and lowered to a horizontal one for your watercolor paintings. The legs are fully adjustable with quick one-touch clamp adjustments. These can be adjusted to change your easel from a floor easel to a tabletop one within minutes. As a plus, the rubberized feet will prevent any slippage and scuffs on any surfaces. This portable easel only weighs 5 pounds and includes a hard shell carrying case that has both handles and a shoulder strap. The canvas tray can hold small brushes and features a convenient utility hook that can be used to hold a small water bucket.


8. CONDA Field Easel Adjustable Wooden Easel Sketch Painting Portable Beech Wood

Check out the Conda wooden field easel for an easel with sturdy construction and ease-of-use. This easel is made of beautiful, well-oiled beech wood. This varnish finish gives it a classy look. Each of the legs has a rubber foot to prevent any slippage when you’re on the go. The easel can be easily adjusted for table use or floor use. It can extend to 37.8 inches by 37.8 inches by 75.6 inches and yet still folds down and can be easily carried with its lightweight construction. This easel can hold canvases up to 41.7 inches and can be adjusted to any position as needed. It is simple to adjust from vertical to horizontal, allowing you to sketch and paint both oil and watercolor paintings. You can use this easel for multiple mediums and art supplies. Don’t forget to bring this Conda wood easel for your en plein air painting.


9. Martin Avanti Wooden Watercolor Field Easel

Nothing beats this wooden easel with its seasoned elm wood construction and hand rubbed oil finish. The quality of the Martin Avanti wooden easel clearly shows with its details. The easel is durable and sturdy, yet only weighs 2.8 pounds. This easel can easily adjust to 72 inches high and can be quickly changed from horizontal to vertical positions. This easel is great for watercolor painting, with a sturdy adjustable setting on the swing arm. When in the upright position, this easel is perfect for canvas painting or displaying. When fully extended, the easel is 34 inches by 34 inches by 72 inches. The center mast extends to 37 inches. Although this portable easel does not come with a carrying case, there is a convenient leather strap that holds everything together when transporting. This lightweight but durable easel is perfect for when you need a strong easel outdoors.


10. Aluminum Tripod Easel CONDA- 79” Tall Watercolor Collapsible Aluminum Painting Drawing Art Easel – include Black Carry Bag

This is easel from Conda is constructed of a lightweight yet sturdy black aluminum. The tripod easel has adjustable telescoping legs that go as far as 80 inches but can still be collapsed for a tabletop easel at 33 inches. This easel is simple and compact and weighs only 5.4 pounds. The aluminum easel can hold canvases up to 54 inches tall and is great for watercolor, oil, or acrylic painting. This easel is adjusted with easy-to-turn knobs when changing the height and angle. Conda also includes a free nylon bag for more convenience when taking this easel out for your en plein air session. When fully extended, the easel is 36 inches by 36 inches by 80 inches. The aluminum is an alloy that is sturdy and stable and is a black color, looking exquisite when displayed outdoors with your en plein air painting.

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