i use the stands with speedlights/pocketwizards and umbrellas, so i cant speak to strobes specifically. that said, they are very sturdy and I'm sure they could be used with strobes as well. you could always buy a sandbag if you are worried.
Each stand has a carry bag that fits it. It isn't overly thick, but enough to protect it. I ended up buying another bag that both of these stands fit in, and it has room for one thinner backdrop, clamps and umbrella adapters that fit the stands.