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Best Tent Stakes 2021

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This is a review of all the best tent stakes on the market in 2021. All the best ultralight tents on the market can be made lighter and safer with quality lightweight tent stakes. Below I have reviewed all the best tent stakes on the market.

Best Tent Stakes for Backpacking 2021

The best tent stakes for 2021 are:


Best Tent Stake Overall

MSR Mini Groundhog

Best Overall Tent Stakes

MSR Mini Groundhog

Weight: 0.35oz / 10g
Length: 6inches / 15cm
Pros:

> Lightweight
> Strong
> High-visibility pull cord.
> Compact
> Easy to use
Cons:
> No Stuff Sac
> Can be difficult to remove

For anyone heading into the backcountry or going on overnight trips I recommend these user-friendly and lightweight tent stakes. They are the best balance between value, durability and lightweight.

The tri-beam stake is made of aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum and drives well into a variety of soil types, withstanding even the harshest of conditions. 

The shorter length makes installation easier using your hands and feet and lets you keep a stabilizing heel on the ground with a boot placement. The stakes are easily removed from the ground thanks to the paracord loop but if you like to pack super light this paracord loop can be removed.

The thin neck at the notch is also a weak point, and while it is one of the easier stakes to install by stepping it with your boot, you need to take care when achieving a decent placement and you need to watch out for any breakage. 

But there are some issues we have to point out. Like many stakes, they can be difficult to remove by hand in hard, firm soil even with the help of the paracord loop. I like to give them a light sideways kick first to loosen the soil around them before pulling them out.

Overall, the MSR Mini Groundhog is the best tent stake on the market. It has the best balance between price, weight and strength.


Best Ultralight Tent Stake

MSR Carbon-Core Tent Stakes

Best Ultralight Tent Stake

MSR Carbon-Core Tent Stakes

Weight: 0.2oz / 5.5g
Length: 6inches / 15cm
Pros:

> Super lightweight.
> Large diameter for good holding power.
> Extremely strong and durable.
> Highly visible
Cons:
> Expensive

Another great option for ultralight campers, these Carbon-Core tent stakes from MSR are only 0.19oz. But while they are super lightweight, they are strong and durable too thanks to their carbon fiber core and 7000-series aluminum.

However, their strength is relative to their weight. These stakes will not hold up under intense hammering, but the stake head is wide enough that you can exert decent enough pressure with your hand to drive them into the ground. 

They’re also a bright red color that really stands out once they’re once set. If you want to pack as light as possible, you need to make sure you have these ultralight stakes in your rucksack.

If the you want the best ultralight tent stake on the market then this is for you.

Another great option for ultralight campers, these Carbon-Core tent stakes from MSR are only 0.19oz. But while they are super lightweight, they are strong and durable too thanks to their carbon fiber core and 7000-series aluminum.

However, their strength is relative to their weight. These stakes will not hold up under intense hammering, but the stake head is wide enough that you can exert decent enough pressure with your hand to drive them into the ground. 

They’re also a bright red color that really stands out once they’re once set. If you want to pack as light as possible, you need to make sure you have these ultralight stakes in your rucksack.

If the you want the best ultralight tent stake on the market then this is for you.


Best Budget Tent Stake

Coghlan’s ABS Plastic Tent Pegs

Best Budget Tent Stake

Coghlan’s ABS Plastic Tent Pegs

Weight: 0.3oz / 8.5g
Length: 6 inches / 15cm
Pros:

> Affordable
> Lightweight
> Highly visible.
> Holds strong in firm ground.
Cons:
> Poor durability.
> Hard to install.
> Not versatile.

Looking for a budget tent stake that just works. These plastic tent pegs from Coghlan’s Tent Pegs is a great lightweight tent stake at just 0.3oz.

It’s bright yellow color also makes it highly visible, and it also holds up well in all ground types despite being made of plastic. Even when installed with a hammer into firm ground the Coghlan’s Tent Peg will hold up but they are not as strong as most of the other tent stakes in this review.

In very hard ground it’s impossible to install them with hand and foot, and also hard to install with a hammer. The pegs are also too small and wide to make them completely successful for use in softer ground.

Overall, these are the best budget tent stakes for backpacking. They are as light or lighter than most expensive titanium tent stakes at a fraction of the cost, they just lack the strength and durability of the more expensive tent pegs.

Looking for a budget tent stake that just works. These plastic tent pegs from Coghlan’s Tent Pegs is a great lightweight tent stake at just 0.3oz.

It’s bright yellow color also makes it highly visible, and it also holds up well in all ground types despite being made of plastic. Even when installed with a hammer into firm ground the Coghlan’s Tent Peg will hold up but they are not as strong as most of the other tent stakes in this review.

In very hard ground it’s impossible to install them with hand and foot, and also hard to install with a hammer. The pegs are also too small and wide to make them completely successful for use in softer ground.

Overall, these are the best budget tent stakes for backpacking. They are as light or lighter than most expensive titanium tent stakes at a fraction of the cost, they just lack the strength and durability of the more expensive tent pegs.


Best Tent Stake for Snow Camping

MSR ToughStake

Best Snow Stake

MSR ToughStake

Weight: 1.5oz / 43g
Length: 9inches / 22cm
Pros:

> Made of lightweight aluminum
> Perfect for snow and sand
> Rigid, curved shape
Cons:
> Bulky
> Only suitable for soft soil

These have the strongest holding power of all the pegs in this review but they are for soft sand or snow only. Do not even consider using these in any other conditions.

They are a specialist snow and sand tent stake that is buried into the sand or snow then the cable is attached to the tent guyline from the bottom of the stake. All the other tent stakes attach via the top. This is why this tent stake has the highest holding power of all the tent pegs in this review.

These are the best sand tent stakes and they are also the best snow stakes in this review.

These have the strongest holding power of all the pegs in this review but they are for soft sand or snow only. Do not even consider using these in any other conditions.

They are a specialist snow and sand tent stake that is buried into the sand or snow then the cable is attached to the tent guyline from the bottom of the stake. All the other tent stakes attach via the top. This is why this tent stake has the highest holding power of all the tent pegs in this review.

These are the best sand tent stakes and they are also the best snow stakes in this review.

REI

More Tent Pegs for Backpacking

Vargo Ti Shepherds Hook

Weight: 0.3oz / 8g
Length: 6.6oz / 16.5cm
Pros:

> Ultralight
> Suitable for both firm and rocky soil.
> Compact and packs away small
> Easy to remove from the ground.
Cons:
> Does not include a stuff sack
> Directional placement needed

Extremely lightweight, the Vargo Ti Shepherd’s Hook is a titanium stake that is perfect for ultralight backpackers. The stakes come in a pack of six and are surprisingly flexible, able to adapt to whatever ground they’re driven into.

This easy flexibility also lets the stake bend with the direction of pull and then returns to its original shape when removed. The hook design also makes it easy to remove even in the toughest ground. Meanwhile, it’s narrow profile means it can work in rocky ground too. 

But while the Vargo Ti Shepherd’s Hook flexibility and durability are impressive, there is a downside to its flexibility.

The stake can be quite tricky to install by hand and foot, especially underfoot as you break into the hard ground. You have to be careful not to stamp too hard to get a good placement, as is usually the case with lightweight stakes.

The compact size of these lightweight stakes is impressive. However, a stuff sack to keep them all together would be appreciated.

But we’re sure most ultralight backpackers would prefer to leave a stuff sack home anyway. The cylindrical shaft also doesn’t have as much holding power as tri-beam models. 

However, these stakes are a must for ultralight backpackers and are super functional.


Orange Screw Ultimate Ground Anchor

Weight: 1.8oz / 51g
Length: 9.5 inches / 24cm
Pros:

> Strong holding power.
> Easy to install.
> High visibility.
> Made from sustainable materials.
Cons:
> Bulky
> Best suited to soft, loose sediment.
> Doesn’t include a stuff sack.
> Heavy

For those who enjoy camping on the beach, or anywhere with soft sediment, the Orange Screw Ultimate Ground Anchor could be a good option.

Its screw design does not need a hammer or nearby rock to bang it into the ground. Instead, you install them with a plastic tube that threads through the top of the anchor for extra leverage to help you screw the stakes in by hand. Even if the anchor can only get halfway into the ground, the flexible plastic and effective traction of the screw in the ground should still provides a good hold.

However, while the Orange Screw is only good in soft ground and not suitable for backpacking in anything other than very soft, sandy soils.

They also have high visibility which makes them great for backyard canopies, car camping, and festivals. They’re also great for the environmentally conscious as they’re made from recycled materials. 

Overall, these would be one of the best tent stakes for car camping in soft sand, backpackers would prefer something lighter and less bulky.


TOAKS Titanium V-Shaped

Weight: 0.6oz / 17g
Length: 6.6 inches / 16.5cm
Pros:

> Low weight profile.
> Neat, stackable design.
> Great holding power in softer ground
Cons:
> Have to be careful when installing by foot.
> Hard to remove.
> Flimsy

There is a lot to like about the Toaks Titanium V-shape tent pegs. Their v-shape design makes them great for holding strong in softer ground but they also work quite well in hard packed ground. The nesting nature of these stakes makes them compact and easy to store. And they are ultralight at 0.6 oz weight.

They also come in a lightweight, high-visibility orange stuff sack, which reduces all the fumbling and frustration you get while searching for your stakes while trying to pitch a tent at night, or in a dark backpack.

However, the Toaks Titanium V-shaped tent pegs are not without their issues. While it’s super simple to hammer these pegs in in certain conditions, it gets a bit harder when installing these pegs with hands and feet in harder ground.

Overall, the Toaks Titanium V-Shape tent stakes are lightweight design and pack together into a small stackable shape. These are a great choice for ultralight backpacking.


REI Co-Op Snow Stake

Weight: 1oz / 28g
Length: 9.6 inches / 24cm
Pros:

> Excellent for camping in snow.
> Affordable
> Lightweight
> Bright color
Cons:
> Hard to press into the ground

The REI snow stake is a good budget option tent stake for snow camping. It is relatively lightweight considering the large size at 1oz. For most people heading off on a backpacking trip or ski touring trip into the backcountry this will be all you will need for snow camping. They could also be used in soft sandy soils but don’t use them on anything other than that.

Overall, the REI Snow Stakes are the best budget tent stakes for snow camping.

REI

MSR Blizzard Tent Stake

Weight: 1.19oz / 34g
Length: 9.6 inches / 24cm
Pros:

> Perfect for soft snow and sand.
> Red color helps them stand out in the snow.
> Very packable
Cons:
> Not suitable for hard ground

The concave design of the MSR Blizzard Tent Stake makes it great for sand and snow. The several holes found along the length of the stake also provide sturdy anchors in the softest of soil.

If using these stakes in snow, hammer the stakes vertically, but if the snow is particularly soft they hold better when placed horizontally. These stakes hold so well in snow conditions because the snow goes through the holes and keeps them in place.

They’re quite lightweight at 1.19oz and made of aluminum. They’re a bit longer than normal stakes, which is exactly what you need for holding in soft snow.

Overall, these are a good solid option for snow and sand camping.


Buyers Guide

Here are some things you might need to known about tent pegs prior to purchasing them:

Types of Tent Pegs

Shepherds Hooks are the thin pegs that have the hook shape at the top. These are often the lightest of all the peg styles but they also prone to bending easy of mistreated.

Y stakes are usually stronger than Shepherds hooks but a little heavier and bulkier.

V Stakes are similar to Y stakes and some styles are more packable

Nail Pegs are simple and usually strong but often need to be a bit heavier and thicker than Shepherds hooks.

Snow and Sand stakes are thicker and flatter to provide a larger surface area in sand and snow. They are usually unsuitable for hard soil.

Screw stakes are a specialist peg that screws into both hard and soft soil.

Material

Titanium is regarded as the strongest and lightest material for tent stakes. This strength and weight saving comes at a higher price.

Aluminum tent stakes are the best compromise between cost, weight and durability. These are the prefered items for most tent manufacturers.

Carbon tent stakes are very niche and come with an expensive price tag. They are strong and impressively ultralight. Generally they are only for those wanting the latest and lightest tent pegs.

Steel tent stakes are best avoided as all the other materials listed are better options.

Weight

Almost all tents stakes nowadays are lightweight but when you have all the best ultralight hiking gear and want to cuts some grams here and there they are a good option.

I would recommend buying the best you can afford only when you are replacing broken ones rather than buying new ones and throwing the old ones away.

Durability

All the tent stakes in this review will bend and break. Try to hammer them into hard ground or use your Hiking Boot to put pressure on them in an attempt to sink them into the ground and they may bend.

I like to buy a couple more than I really need and use them as replacements when I bend them out of shape. You can bend and straighten them if needed but usually they will never be the same again when they have been bent once.

Holding Power

How strong does the wind need to be to pull out the tent stake, or worse, bend it. A bent tent stake will cause the guy rope to slip off so always best prevented.

The worst kind of wind that will cause issues for the tent peg is the blustery gale that will cause the guy ropes to pull hard then release tension on the tent stake. Often this causes the tent peg to loosen in the ground and either bend or pull loose.

Snow and sand stakes are the stand out performers in soft conditions due to the larger surface areas but V and Y shaped stakes work very well in most other soils.


Conclusion

Overall the best tent stake is the MSR Mini Groundhog

The best ultralight tent stake is the MSR Carbon-Core Tent Stakes

The Best Budget Tent Stake is Coghlan’s ABS Plastic Tent Pegs

The best tent stake for snow and sand is the MSR ToughStake

Another one of the Best Hiking Gear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.

Further Reading:
Best Ultralight Tents for Thru Hiking
Best Titanium Cookware for Backpacking

Best Tent Stakes for backpacking

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Sydney, Australia.

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