The largest and most heavy-duty light sands I currently own and use are Manfrotto’s 1052BAC Compact Light stands. You’d be excused, if at first glance, these appeared to be nothing more than bog standard air cushioned light stands. Except in one important way, they stack for storage.
The 1052BAC stands are middle range aluminum light stands. Their stats fit generally quite well with similar sized stands. In the case of the 1052BAC, the stands stand 93.3-inches tall when the 3-sections are fully extended, weigh 2.65 pounds, have a max load of 11 pounds, and a footprint of 43-inches. They’re air cushioned, so if the lock nobs come loose the stands will collapse softly, hopefully, protecting the load from a sudden impact.
What makes them, in my opinion standouts from the competition, is that they’re part of Manfrotto’s patented Quick Stack System. Instead of remaining triangular in profile, the legs fold flat when collapsed, and the top and bottom “castings” (which are made of very high-grade plastic, which Manfrotto claims is stronger than the metals they used previously) have interlocking tabs that allow stands to be connected together into a compact easy to carry unit.
Stacking is as simple as collapsing the stand. Setting the tab in one stands base in the recess in another’s, and then snapping the tops together. Unstacking is accomplished by pushing the small “unlock” button on the top of the top base casting and the stacked stands come apart.
Stands using Manfrotto’s Quick Stack System, can additionally be had in 7’, 9’, and 12’ extended heights.
Though they aren’t the heaviest duty stands available I find the Manfrotto 1052BAC, and its Quick Stack System counterparts, provide very easy to transport and store solution for heavier duty needs than my normal 5001B Nano stands can handle.