This Soltek easel review is help you decide which easel system to purchase before committing the big bucks. We recommend that you look at other systems such as Open Box M and Guerrilla Box systems as well. Take into consideration your particular needs and budget to get the best system for you. It will be your friend for a long time to come. Spending a few extra dollars may be worth it in the long run.
The Soltek Easel is a completely different design than most traditional Pochade Boxes. The legs, palette and painting panel holder are all one unit that folds up into a compact carrying case.
The photograph below shows the Soltek in its fully extended mode. Go to any art website to see what this unit looks like folded up.
Soltek Easel – Review by Plein Air Artist, Eunice Van der Linden of Scotts Valley, California
9lbs total weight
Folded 2.5" × 12.5" × 19"
*Is sturdy in high winds
*Legs adjust for uneven terrain
*The Canvas holder will adjust over 180 degrees.
*Will carry wet palette
*Will carry 2 wet panels
*Inside there are two 15 x 4 3/8 x 1 3/8 compartments which can hold paint brushes and supplies - The easel can hold paintings up to 30" high.
*Very easy and quick setup
*Ergonomically very comfortable. Painting can be held at eye level while palette is at elbow level
*15x4 inch shelf on both sides
*Works well as a table easel
*Works well with both panels and stretched canvas
*It can carry all your painting supplies if supplies are under 1 3/8 inches in diameter
*Locking mechanism on legs must be protected from sand and grit. If a leg sinks deeper than one inch into the ground the leg may not retract.
Problem can be managed by bagging the legs when in loose earth. Some artists use a latex glove on each leg. Small amounts of grit can sometimes be removed by extending the leg further. But if a leg does become stuck, the only solution is to replace the leg - this can be expensive as a replacement leg costs about $80 plus the shipping!
*Palette sits vertically in the unit. If you wish to use the palette horizontally, you must clip it down to avoid having it blown away.
The bottom line
The Soltek is an excellent easel for painting in your local area. However, because of the leg problem and the weight, it’s not a great travel easel.
Cost: $499 to $700 depending on where you buy it.
Experienced Painters love this easel because of its many benefits and because it allows for larger painting panels. They put up with the quirky leg problems.
This easel setup is great for tall guys (so they tell me) as it allows them more "wing span" in which to work.
French Easel Review - Click Here
Guerrilla Box Review - Click Here
List Your Used Plein Air Equipment for Sale - or Find some to Buy