Wooden field easel vs. camera tripod

I often read that watercolour artists seem to dislike wooden field easles and go for a camera tripod instead. They argue, wooden easles are too heavy, too large or not stable enough. After beeing outdoors recently and feeling my back hurting a bit, I thought, maybe I should switch to a camera tripod, too. So today I went to Saturn and checked some tripods. I went there with the qualm, I might end up with new equipment for my painting hobby, less money in my purse and a job to do (attaching a tripod connector to my hardboard). But then I was quite surprised to see, that the mentioned advantages of tripods don’t seem to be that obvious: The affordable tripods (i.e. about 40 – 50 Euros) are not that much lighter in weight than my Winsor & Newton Dart easel. The tripods were around 1200 gramms or even heavier. When doing some internet research I cam across this product: http://www.inaquarell.de/staffelette.html It weighs 2200 gr. This is quite a lot, actually. My W&N weighs 1530 gramms. My paint box weighs about 500 gr. So I am even lighter with my paint box included. Those tripods which were lighter in weight were much more expensive (about 150 Euros). Also: The tripods don’t seem to be that small. My W&N has a folded length of a bit more than 80 centimetres. The tripods were – if at all – only slightly shorter when folded. The last argument – stability – is another thing. My easel is very stable in the field and I can even hang my water container down from the canvas holder.

Here’s my equipment for plein air painting:

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This is how it looks when packed:

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And when in use:

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Of course, it is a bit to carry. But this is what you have to do as a plein air painter, haven’t you? Or is there somenthing that escaped my notice?

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