Camping & Hiking Tech

10 Best Tent Stakes of 2019 [Buying Guide]

The 10 best tent stakes

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We put 10 of the most effective tent stakes available on the market via months of experiments and real-world use. 

On the finish of our checks, our prime decide was the MSR Groundhog. It’s robust, sturdy, light-weight, and the best choice if you need one stake that may do all of it. 

The burly Coleman 10-in Metal Tent Stake was our prime decide for automotive tenting. You wouldn’t need to carry a set of these very far, however they have been merely unmatched of their potential to maintain a tent in place.

Learn on for our full critiques and for recommendations on how to determine what sort of tent stake is best for you.

The 10 best tent stakes

The 10 tent stakes we examined.

MSR GroundhogThe MSR Groundhog is a staple for many backpackers, and for good purpose. By way of all of our exams, it stood out as probably the most versatile of all of the stakes we examined.

At zero.46 ounceseach, the Groundhog is lots mild for backpacking, but in addition robust sufficient for absolutely anything you’ll be able to throw at it.

In our holding power check, it held properly over 50 lbs of pressure. The one stakes stronger than the Groundhog have been additionally twice the load (or extra!).

These are sturdy sufficient to be pushed into more durable floor with a rock or a hammer if want be. Regardless of months of onerous use, we’ve solely ever had one minor bend in a single Groundhog.

Some reviewers have stated that the Groundhogs are likely to bend or break on the slender neck. We’ve put the Groundhogs by way of quite a bit of use and by no means had a problem with this, although.

At $19.95 for a set of six, they aren’t low cost. However they gained’t break the financial institution, both.

We expect they’re a strong funding, particularly for backpackers who want a stability between weight and power, or for anybody who needs one set of stakes that they will use nearly anyplace.

Coleman 10-in Steel Tent Stake

Speak about bomber! For automotive tenting, you couldn’t ask for a stronger stake than the Coleman 10-in Metal Tent Stake.

Plus, at $1.75 per stake, it’s additionally one of the least costly we examined.

The Coleman held a mean of slightly below 90 lbs in our checks, making it by far the strongest stake we examined.

Actually, throughout our power check, we truly needed to cease and go discover some 110 lb paracord as a result of our 3mm cordage stored breaking earlier than this stake failed.

In our sturdiness check, we genuinely tried to bend or break the Coleman Tent Stake, however might barely even scratch it.

You may wail on this beast all day with a rock or a hammer and it might barely really feel it.

One adverse is that the plastic prime appears pretty weak in comparison with the remaining of the stake. We by no means had points with it breaking, however we did have it slide out of place and down the stake a pair of occasions

A number of different reviewers talked about that the plastic prime broke, and we might see how a misplaced blow from a hammer might simply do exactly that.

In fact, nobody would ever name these light-weight — should you want a set of eight, you’re taking a look at properly over a pound!

So long as you solely have to hold them 20 ft from the automotive to the tent, although, the Coleman 10-in Metal Tent Stake is superior, and an amazing addition to anybody’s tenting gear stash.

REI Co-op Snow Stake

All three of the “extreme” stakes we examined (the REI Co-op Snow Stake, the MSR Blizzard and the MSR ToughStake) have been in the identical ballpark when it got here to power.

So our best choice right here got here right down to minor particulars:

The REI Snow Stake is the lightest and least expensive choice and outperformed the MSR Blizzard simply barely when buried as a “deadman” anchor.

We usually convey a number of of these for key stake-out factors, and have weathered some fairly epic blizzards with 4 REI Snow Stakes and 4 MSR Groundhogs.

We have been curious if this might double as a daily stake in a pinch, so we examined it within the floor.

Whereas it held very nicely in each onerous floor and smooth soil, it was very troublesome to press into the bottom, and bent a lot faster than a daily stake would.

We don’t advocate it for normal tenting. However for tenting on snow, the REI Co-op Snow Stake is reasonably priced and dependable, and is our stake of selection.

MSR Carbon-Core Tent StakeThe MSR Carbon-Core Tent Stake is just not solely the lightest stake we examined — it’s loopy mild. A set of these looks like subsequent to nothing in your hand.

Regardless of that, they have been sturdy and far stronger than we anticipated for the load.

We anticipated them to bend or break simply, however they confirmed hardly any indicators of put on all through our subject testing and sturdiness testing.

In fact, you pay for it — these value $34.95 for a set of 4.

We aren’t huge followers of the form of the highest. It was too straightforward for the cordage to slide off, and there’s nothing there to actually catch the tent strains.

We needed to re-do our holding power exams a number of occasions as a result of the cordage stored slipping off earlier than the stake truly got here out of the bottom.

So long as you’re taking additional care to make it possible for the angle of pull is perpendicular to the stake and never upwards in any respect, they’ll work. However we discovered it somewhat bit annoying how troublesome it was to get the cordage to remain on them.

If you need the lightest tent stakes on the market, and don’t thoughts paying a premium, these are fairly candy. Aside from being barely irritated on the cordage slipping excessive of the stake if we weren’t cautious, we beloved them.

Evaluations of the 6 Different Tent Stakes We Examined

REI Co-op Metal Stake

REI Co-op Steel StakeAt solely $1.00 every, the REI Co-op Metal Stake is the most cost effective stake we examined.

In case you are in search of a cheap, robust, and sturdy set of stakes, we expect this can be a nice choice.

Simply don’t plan on bringing them backpacking — every stake is a strong 2.7 ounces.

The REI Metal Stake took second place in our power check, holding a mean of 74 lbs at a 45-degree angle.

Out of all of the stakes we examined, it instantly felt the hardest with its easy, strong, and heavy metal development. Our sturdiness check confirmed our preliminary impression: this stake is principally indestructible.

What we didn’t like was that it was troublesome to get this stake out and in of the bottom. The blunt tip didn’t drive very nicely via the soil and virtually all the time required a pair of good hits from a hammer.

The highest of the stake, whereas it held onto tent strains with no drawback, provided nearly no grip to tug the stake out.

Regardless of these minor annoyances, so far as automotive tenting tent stakes go, these are an in depth second to the Coleman 10-in Metal Stake. They’re an amazing selection for anybody who needs a set of low cost however extremely robust automotive tenting stakes.

MSR Blizzard Tent Stake

MSR Blizzard Tent Stake

The MSR Blizzard Tent Stake makes for an excellent strong snow anchor, holding a mean of 65 lbs of pressure when buried as a deadman anchor.

The primary purpose this didn’t win our “Best Snow Tent Stake” award is that, at lower than half the price, the REI Snow Stake outperformed this one simply barely when buried as a deadman, although the distinction between the 2 was minimal.

At 1.12 oz, the MSR Blizzard Tent Stake can also be barely heavier than the REI Snow Stake, which weighs simply an oz.

We tried utilizing this as a daily stake and located that, just like the REI Snow Stake, it bent very simply. These undoubtedly aren’t meant for something aside from snow (and unfastened sand) tenting.

On the entire, this can be a nice snow stake that we might belief 100% by means of the harshest of winter circumstances. We simply don’t assume it’s well worth the premium worth when in comparison with the REI Snow Stake.

MSR ToughStake

MSR ToughStake

The MSR ToughStake is a singular design, which we have been excited to check out.

It’s a steep funding, although. It’ll set you again $39.95 for a set of 4 small or two medium ToughStakes.

In snow, it didn’t outperform the REI or MSR Snow Stakes as considerably as we anticipated. It held a max of 78 lbs when buried at a 45-degree angle, to the REI Snow Stake’s 69 lbs.

That’s spectacular, to make certain, however for its worth and weight, we anticipated the ToughStake to go away the opposite two snow stakes utterly within the mud.

We’re unsure if the slight distinction in holding energy in snow is sufficient for us to justify the load and excessive value.

We suspect that you may make up that hole pretty simply by simply burying the MSR or REI stakes just a little bit deeper, or piling extra snow on prime of them.

(Actually, an MSR Groundhog buried about four ft deep outperformed any of the snow stakes. It took a pair of tries to get it positioned proper and we needed to bury it about twice as deep, however we discovered that how nicely you bury a snow stake impacts the holding energy about as a lot or greater than the precise stake itself.)

We examined the small model, and MSR additionally sells a bigger medium model. At 5.5 ounces every, these are fairly hefty to deliver backpacking.

Nonetheless, they get good critiques, and is perhaps value contemplating in case you’re anticipating a full-on blizzard. We suspect that with the additional floor space, they’d maintain extremely properly as soon as you bought them buried and set within the snow.

Whereas we didn’t have an opportunity to check the MSR ToughStake in deep sand, different critiques price it extremely for that objective. We’d undoubtedly contemplate a set of these for a windy day on the seashore.

General, this was a incredible stake in snow — simply not nice sufficient that we’d purchase and carry a full set of them when there are cheaper and lighter snow stakes that work almost as nicely.

REI Co-op Aluminum Hook Tent Stake

REI Co-op Aluminum Hook Tent StakeThe REI Co-op Aluminum Hook Tent Stake did a lot better than we anticipated.

We have now at the very least a dozen cheaper aluminum hook stakes which were mangled and destroyed through the years, so we have been pleasantly stunned that this stake held its personal.

It’s the most cost effective stake in our check that we’d think about bringing backpacking, costing solely $1.95 and weighing solely zero.5 ouncesper stake.

It held a good 45 lbs in our holding power check, placing it across the center of the pack.

Whereas we did handle to bend this stake barely in our sturdiness check, it held up higher than anticipated. We didn’t have any points with it throughout our area testing, regardless of driving it into some rocky soil.

When you’re in search of an affordable set of fairly light-weight backpacking tent stakes, you can do lots worse than the REI Co-op Aluminum Hook Tent Stake.

MSR Groundhog Mini

MSR Groundhog MiniWe appreciated the thought of the Groundhog Mini greater than we appreciated the stake itself.

Initially, it appeared superior. In any case, we love the complete measurement Groundhog, so a stake that’s smaller and lighter and nonetheless has most of the Groundhog’s holding energy appeared good.

In apply, although, we discovered simply the other.

Whereas it’s considerably smaller, the Mini is just .11 ounceslighter than the full-sized Groundhog. That interprets to a weight financial savings of zero.66 ouncesfor a set of 6.

In our holding power check, the Mini held barely half of the drive that the full-sized Groundhog held, and was one of the weakest stakes we examined.

It’s not dangerous, by any means. We simply don’t see a lot profit of going with this one over the full-length Groundhog.

We’re all about shaving weight from our packs, however in relation to gear as essential as tent stakes, we’ll sacrifice lower than an oz for considerably stronger gear.

Size comparison of MSR Grounghog Mini vs. MSR Groundhog

Measurement comparability of MSR Grounghog Mini (left) vs. MSR Groundhog (proper)

Vargo Titanium Tent Stake

Vargo Titanium Tent StakeWe beloved the sunshine weight and slim profile of the Vargo Titanium Tent Stake.

Sadly, it was the least sturdy and weakest stake in our exams, holding solely 27 lbs at its greatest.

One of the Vargos bent considerably within the first few days of our subject testing, and one other bent fairly early on within the sturdiness checks.

Though some reviewers have stated they have been capable of merely bend the stakes again, these of us with out superhuman power had hassle with this and have been caught with crooked stakes.

The Vargo Titanium Tent Stake’s slender, needle-like diameter did make it simpler than some of the thicker stakes to drive into hard-packed floor. In the event you typically camp in very onerous soil, this stake could also be value contemplating.

We have been additionally very, very glad for the fluorescent orange coating on the top of the stake. The coating chipped very simply, however there have been a number of occasions when these tiny stakes would have utterly disappeared on us if it weren’t for that coating.

The Vargo Titanium Tent Stake was straightforward to make use of, tiny, and very mild, and it served us properly on fair-weather tenting journeys. It simply doesn’t have sufficient holding energy for us to depend on it in something worse than a light-weight breeze.

The chipped orange coating of the Vargo Titanium Tent Stake

The Vargo Titanium Tent Stake’s fluorescent orange coating helped us find the stakes, however chipped very simply.


Listed here are one of the best tent stakes:

  • MSR Groundhog
  • Coleman 10-in Metal Tent Stake
  • REI Co-op Metal Stake
  • REI Co-op Snow Stake
  • MSR Blizzard Tent Stake
  • MSR ToughStake
  • REI Co-op Aluminum Hook Tent Stake
  • MSR Carbon-Core Tent Stake
  • MSR Groundhog Mini
  • Vargo Titanium Tent Stake

Learn how to Select the Best Tent Stakes for Your Wants

There isn’t any one-size-fits-all tent stake. What’s good for the automotive camper on mushy, grassy campsites goes to be ineffective for the backpacker who ceaselessly units up camp in rocky or snowy places.

Under, we break down the different sorts of tent stakes, the totally different properties to search for, and the way to determine what’s greatest for you.

Varieties of Tent Stakes

5 different types of tent stakes

Shepherd’s Hook: The Shepherd’s Hook is the basic tent stake. Relying on the diameter and development, these could be fairly robust.

Y-Stakes: Formed like a “Y,” these stakes pack lots of floor space into a reasonably mild weight, giving them wonderful capacity to grip the soil.

J-Stakes (aka V-Stakes): Rather a lot of tents include aluminum J-Stakes (additionally typically referred to as V-Stakes). These are light-weight, and have so much of the identical benefits of Y-stakes, though we’ve discovered them to be barely weaker.

Nail Pegs: Primarily, these are formed like giant nails that you simply drive into the bottom. They often have some type of pull twine or plastic prime that will help you get them out of the bottom.

Snow/Sand Stakes: These stakes have a a lot greater floor space and sometimes have a number of holes that are supposed to refill with sand and snow and assist anchor the stake down. They’re particularly designed to carry in unfastened sand/snow circumstances when most different stakes gained’t, however aren’t very helpful in another situation.

Different: From spirals to screws to material designed to be buried beneath the snow, there are dozens of different varieties of tent stakes. Most are extraordinarily specialised, although, and never too widespread.


Aluminum is the most typical materials for tent stakes, particularly within the backpacking world. It’s mild, comparatively cheap, and, whereas it does generally tend to bend, it’s lots robust sufficient when used appropriately.

Metal is the fabric of selection for many automotive tenting tent stakes. Metal stakes are undoubtedly not mild, however they’re some of the strongest stakes on the market.

Titanium and Carbon Fiber are comparatively new available on the market for tent stakes. Whereas extraordinarily mild and powerful, tent stakes made with these supplies are additionally extraordinarily costly.


For backpackers, weight is essential. Nevertheless, having the lightest tent stakes on the path doesn’t do you any good in the event that they don’t truly maintain your tent down, or in the event that they flip themselves right into a pretzel as quickly as they contact a pebble within the soil.

Even for a full set, ultralight tent stakes will in all probability solely prevent round an oz or much less.

Our two cents: in terms of tent stakes, campers and most backpackers shouldn’t sacrifice an excessive amount of efficiency for the minimal weight financial savings.

Holding Power

How a lot drive a tent stake can maintain, and the way sturdy it’s, might be an important consideration, particularly when you typically camp in lower than ultimate circumstances.

To provide you some concept of how robust your stakes must be, we did some calculations.

We used a wind load calculator to find out that 40 mph winds would put someplace from 30 to 45 lbs of strain on a tent stake (relying on how massive your tent is, what number of stakes the load is distributed amongst, the elevation, and a quantity of different elements). 60mph gusts would vary from 50 to just about 100 lbs.

We’re not engineers, so these are unfastened estimates. However ensure no matter stakes you deliver are greater than robust sufficient to face up to any circumstances you might encounter. Seek the advice of our check outcomes under for an concept of every stake’s holding power.

How We Examined

Holding Power Checks in Floor & Snow

Testing the MSR Blizzard's holding strength in loosely packed snow

Testing the MSR Blizzard’s holding power in loosely packed snow. We shortly found that it wanted to be buried at the very least 2 ft down with a purpose to maintain.

We needed to know what number of kilos of drive every stake might maintain, so we used a pull scale to measure the drive at which every stake popped out of delicate, grassy floor.

We have been additionally curious if placing stakes into the bottom at a 45-degree angle actually is stronger, so we examined every stake at 45 levels and at 90 levels.


For the snow stakes, we tied cordage by way of the holes of the stakes and buried them a minimum of 2 ft deep in reasonably dense snow, in a typical stake configuration (buried at a few 45 diploma angle towards the course of pull) and as a deadman (buried horizontally).

Testing notes:

  • The MSR ToughStake shouldn’t be meant to be buried as a deadman anchor, so we didn’t check it on this approach
  • For every check, we took the typical of three measurements. We tried to maintain the course of pull at round 45 levels from the bottom, to simulate the path of pull from a tent rainfly or guyline.
Burying the REI Snow Stake

It might be exhausting to inform within the image, however this REI Snow Stake is buried about 2 ft deep.

Sturdiness Check

We needed to understand how simply every stake bent, so we discovered a spot subsequent to a big rock and pressed the stakes in diagonally towards the rock.

As soon as the stake hit the rock, we continued urgent on them with the toe of our boots for round 30 seconds every. After that, we gave every one a strong 10 faucets on the highest with a rock.

Testing notes:

  • We didn’t carry out this check on the MSR Blizzard and REI Snow Stakes. They bent once we pressed them into the tender, barely rocky floor the place we did our power checks.
  • We additionally didn’t carry out these exams on the MSR ToughStake, since it isn’t meant to be pressed into the bottom in any respect

Bent tent stakes as a result of our durability testing

Area Testing

We changed our normal tent stakes with these for almost 4 months. From tenting on snow within the Tetons to tenting in sandy Southern Utah, to tenting in rocky Redwood forests alongside the California Coast, we examined these stakes in a spread of circumstances.