Today we will be taking a closer look at the Matthews Low Boy Double Riser Combo Stand. This is a pretty straight forward product so this is going to be a short review.
There are all sorts of light stands on the market but the Matthews Low Boy belongs to the most robust pro level stands group and it can be used in a very similar capacity to a C-stand like the Matthews C-stand that we reviewed here recently. It does have the advantage of folding to a much smaller size which makes it more convenient to store and transport in our opinion although it is exceptionally heavy – even more than most C-stands at about 15kg or 33lbs and the compact size makes it feel even more heavy and concentrated.
The entire unit is made out of very robust steal – there is no plastic parts here and the general feeling is extremely well made. Although each of the sections has rubber gaskets to protect your gear from accidental falls, this stand is not air cushioned in any way so keep that in mind when you work with the stand (Matthews where kind of surprised that we even suggested this on our previous C-stand review – we still think that this can be a great idea although we realise that due to the very heavy nature of the risers it might simply be too complex and expensive to add to the stands).
Low Boy – rubber gaskets but no air cushioned risers
Talking about height, when folded the Low Boy is about 90cm or 35 inches and when fully open you can squeeze up to 2 meters or 78 inches depending on how much you are willing to pull the lower section and the legs.
At least for our uses so far the max height was more than enough, although you need to remember that most C-stands go much higher than that to about 3 meters or 10 feet. There is a much taller 3 section version of this stand called the Sky High Combo Triple Riser which goes up to an unbelievable height of 4.6 meters or over 15 feet, it is more expensive though.
1-1/8″ Junior receptor – if you need it
On the top of the stand you can find a really useful spring loaded baby pin and a 1-1/8″ Junior receptor for those really heavy pro lights. We only used the baby pin and we love the retractable mechanism which works well and prevent the stand from getting into other things when transporting it.
Spring loaded baby pin
One of the three legs of this stand has an interesting mechanism which allows it to be opened and place the stand in an angle – which seemed odd to us – until we realised that this is a rather strange version of the Rocky Mountain leg mechanism that you can find on many of Matthews’ C-stands that lets you place the stand on uneven surface like a stair. From our tests this mechanism works much better on C-stands (you can compensate for much larger height differences than with the Low Boy mechanism) and for most stares it won’t work at all. If this feature is important to you – get a C-stand.
The knobs are very well made – although just like with C-stands they are all metallic and quite cold to the touch in cold weather so if you are using this on a regular basis we would suggest using gloves. One thing which was less than ideal – two of the knobs on the base where quite close (only when you fold the stand mind you), we would prefer it if Matthews would have found a more convenient way of placing them.
Knobs are a bit too tight when the stand is closed
So let’s sum up this quick review. The Matthews Low Boy is probably the most robust compact light stand that we have ever worked with and you will be hard pressed to find a sturdier base to hold your heavy lights. We also loved the fact that it is much shorter than a regular C-stand
Besides the very heavy weight which makes the unit a bit hard to travel with and the somewhat cramped knobs the only real drawback is the price. At close to $260 the Matthews Low Boy is more expensive than most of Matthews’ C-stands which can go higher and typically come with a grip arm (if you have one you can use it with the Low Boy – we have done that many times). With that said, if you are looking for a super heavy duty light stand which has a built in Junior receptor and can be folded to a under 1 meter or 35″ the Low Boy will do a fantastic job, and if you can live without the Junior receptor, Matthews has a different version called the Hollywood Beefy Baby Stand which is a just little larger when folded, but is less expensive and goes up much higher.
A very beefy light stand for heavy duty tasks – Matthews Low Boy
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