Stack 'Em, Danno...With Manfrotto
Things have changed somewhat - new Manfrotto designs are smooth and stylish and elegant. Still well-built and heavy castings, but nowadays there is a lot of thinking in the design - thinking that has obviously been stimulated by contact with working photographers.
Case in point are the new ( to me...) light stands that have just come into stock. These are the 1004BAC model. They are a standard three and a bit metre tall stand with regular half inch spigot on the top and a 3/8 inch screw. Tripod legs. Black with thumbscrew lock for the extension tubes - nothing exceptional there.
Where it scores big in convenience is the basic framework - it has been compressed so that when the legs are folded, the tripod becomes a flat package rather than a round one. A rest and a lock have been incorporated into the yoke and base so that one tripod can be locked onto another when stored flat. You could link up a whole line of them like guardsmen for compact storage.
Okay - you are rarely going to do that, but if you do outside events there are a lot of times when you want to transport three light stands to the job. Putting three old cumbersome stands into he back of the Hyundai hatch used to be a real mess - and at the first sharp turn you were guaranteed to get the pile shifting and one of the legs would hit you in the ear.
This stack is a breeze - three fit in about the same space as one of the old ones and you can carry them upstairs and through submarine hatches or hobbit holes with ease. Plus you look cool and professional.
Come try them here at the shop - the Rental Department has a whole phalanx of them ready to go when you hire light sets. We've got plenty for sale as well.