There are two “issues” with your casual light stand – A) chances are it is pretty boring. Most are pro black (with a minor percent being silver to break the uniformity). B) while they would be perfect as a tripod for a small digital camera (or even a smartphone), they lack the tilt/pan head to make them useful.
Enter The Lollipod – a somewhat of a hybrid between a light stand and a tripod. It has a narrow base with a mechanism that resembles a light stand and a top with a light-duty tilt-pan head.
I played with a unit before they went public and absolutely loved it. At 320 grams, It is incredibly light and definitely small enough (32 cm) to fit in a backpack where you usually place a water bottle. Mine came screaming pink which immediately grabbed the attention of my daughter and I got a few minutes of photo-participation from her. (You can get them in a selection of other colors as well).
The Lollipod rises to about 1.30 meters extended and can carry up to 420 grams. That is a small camera (like the Canon X110, a smart phone or a strobe).
The Lollipod comes with two clever mashes – a small one that can be used to harness some weight to the light stand part of the legs. Kinda like a small sandbag. And a bigger bag like mesh.
The only issue I had with the Lollipod was its narrow base. When fully extended it was at about 25cm in diameter, so I would not leave it with anything heavy or sail-like out in the open.
[Lollipod – The Tripod / Monopod / Boom / Lighting & Selfie Stand | $ 48.00]