5 Best Tent Stakes

I love camping, but I’ve had my fair share of miserable camp experiences, especially when it comes to tent problems. When I was a kid, my camp-loving family actually swore off tent camping and bought a trailer after the worst tent experience ever.

Of course, trailer camping isn’t quite the same as tent camping, you certainly can’t pack a trailer out into the wilderness. Want to enjoy great camping trips without tent failures? Then you need to invest in some good tent pegs.

Everyone knows the tent pegs that come with most tents are crap. You can’t pound them into hard dirt or expect them to stick in soft earth.

I once watched with great amusement as a friend’s tent blew across the beach after its tent pegs totally failed in the sand. If you don’t want to be the dude chasing a tent – or pounding dangerous rebar in the ground—then it’s time to get some real tent pegs.

If you want something you can rely on, then it’s a good idea to invest in quality tent pegs. As a rule, these tend to be affordable, and they can be worth their weight in gold when you get a good night of sleep out in the wilderness.

Wondering where to get good tent pegs for your next camping trip? You’re in the right place! We’ll look at the various types of tent stakes and give you a recommendation for each.

 MSR Groundhog
Our Best Pick
Coleman Steel NailsMSR Carbon CoreTi Shepherds Hook StakeMSR Blizzard Tent States
UseMulti-terrainSmall tents, all terrainSoft soilMulti-terrainSnow and sand
MaterialAluminumSteelCarbon and aluminumTitaniumAluminum
Length7.5 inches10 inches6 inches6 inches9.5 inches
Weight0.5 ounce3.2 ounces0.2 ounce0.20.74 ounce
TypeY-stakeNail stakeCarbon core stakeRoundwire pegSnow peg
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

1. MSR Groundhog Stake: Best Y-Stakes

Good for: Multi-terrain camping

If you’re an avid camper, these are good go-to tent stakes for you. These stakes are good for just about any terrain. The Y-design keeps them firmly attached to your tent, while the tapered ends stick solidly into the ground.

Size:

The MSR Groundhog Stakes are nice and light. They’re only half an ounce each! While this is fairly light, they don’t quite attain ultra-light status. Still, you could probably get away with backpacking while using these stakes.

The stakes are 7.5 inches long, so they can stick deep into the earth. They won’t get pulled out by windy weather! They also won’t slip out of the ground.

Materials:

The MSR Groundhog Stakes are made of 7075 series aluminum. Not only does this make them light, but it also makes them durable! These will last you for a long time.

Remember, though, most tent stakes—especially those made of aluminum—aren’t designed to be pounded into the ground.

You’ll need to skip the rocks and hammers when using these. Fortunately, the tips are pointy enough that they should slide right in with a little coaxing

In addition to the aluminum pegs, these stakes also have a pull loop. The loops are long, so you can attach them to your tent easily or use them to carry the stakes. As a plus, they are also reflective. If you’ve ever tripped over a tent peg in the dark, you know why this is a good idea!

Package:

The MSR Groundhog Tent Stakes come in packages of six. Am I the only one who gets really annoyed by four-packs of tent pegs?

It’s so nice to get a six-pack, just in case I lose one. Because I know I inevitably will. These are also priced well. They’re not the cheapest on our list, but they’re one of the lower-priced options. Plus, they are a good deal for their quality!

2. Coleman 10-In. Steel Nail Tent Pegs: Best Nail Stakes

Good for: Small tents in all terrain

These are a favorite tent stake design for many reasons. For one thing, they are easy to use. They’re also affordable, tough, and light.

If you’re a backpacker, this is an all-around win. I love this particular product because of the plastic head.

The T-stake design makes attaching your tent so much easier! The one drawback to these little guys is that they just can’t hold big tents. You have to stick to your one-person or two-person tent in order to use these.

Size:

Basically, these are massive nails. That means they’re strong and easy to use! As the name advertises, these Coleman stakes are ten inches long.

Materials:

They’re made of steel and iron, so they are really tough! Unlike most tent pegs, you can actually pound these in with nails or rocks. No worries about broken stakes here!

They are pretty much indestructible. Since the top is rounded, they are also a lot safer than rebar, and they won’t give you a horrible shin scar if you trip over them.

And yes, I’m speaking from experience… thanks for asking. However safe the top may be, the bottom is very sharp, so watch your kids around these if you’re camping with your family.

The top of these stakes is made of tough plastic. On one side of the plastic top, there’s a hole, and on the other, there’s a hook. You can use these with pretty much any type of tent!

These are very heavy and bulky, so they’re not ideal for backpacking. However, they’re great for drive-up camping. They’re awesome for hard or stony earth, since you can drive them in with a hammer! That’s what makes this type of tent peg great to keep on hand.

Packaging:

These are the cheapest stakes on our list! You can grab a pack of four for only a few dollars. You may as well buy a couple packages, just in case of the stakes wanders away while you’re packing up your camping things.

3. MSR Carbon Core Stake Kit: Best durable stake

Good for: Camping in soft soil

These tent stakes are ideal for camping in soft soil. They are big, heavy, and thick, so they don’t slip out of loose soils, like sand or mud. They are highly durable, and they’ll take just about any conditions you throw at them. These are their own category of tent stake! You can’t beat the tough-as-nails makeup of these tent stakes.

Size:

The MSR Carbon Core stakes are six inches long. That’s shorter than most of the stakes here, but their thickness makes up for the lack of length. They’re around 0.2 ounces per stake, and every bit of that weight works to keep the stake in the earth and your tent on the ground.

Although these are big and bulky stakes, they’re light enough to make them useable for backpacking. You might be a bit concerned about the space they take up in your pack, but you certainly won’t be worried about the weight!

Material:

The MSR Carbon Core stakes have a unique design. They boast a carbon core center, and they’re covered with 7000 series aluminum. The carbon core keeps the center durable, while the aluminum makes the stakes nice and light. The downward end is very sharp so that it can penetrate deeply into the earth. The head is shielded with plastic, making it a safe tent peg.

Packaging:

These tent stakes come in packs of four. They’re pretty pricey! In fact, these are the most expensive tent stakes on our list. However, you’re paying for the specialized, practically indestructible design. Just make sure you don’t lose them.

4. Ti Shepherds Hook Stake Orange: Best roundwire peg

Good for: Almost anything

If all you want is a classic tent stake with the highest possible quality, look no further. These roundwire peg stakes are just what you need!

Use these just about anywhere on just about any type of terrain. They’re strong enough to hold a big tent, they’re light enough to pack, and they don’t take up much space.

If they’re not your go-to type of tent stake, it’s still a good idea to keep a bag of these on hand in case you break or lose one of your tent pegs. They’re hard to destroy and easy to replace.  Every camper needs a pack.

Size:

The Ti Shepherds Hook Stake is six inches long. It’s slim, so it can easily fit anywhere. Each one is only 0.2 ounce. You can stack these in your pack for trekking without a problem.

Material:

The material is what makes these simple tent stakes absolutely awesome! They’re made of titanium, which is much stronger than steel or aluminum.

Titanium doesn’t rust or corrode, and it’s very durable. This type of metal is also flexible, so your chances of snapping a tent stake go down considerably when you use titanium stakes.

These particular stakes also have an orange coating on the top half. This makes them easier to grip, and it also makes them easier to see.

You’ll appreciate this safety feature when you’re not tripping on them, and you’ll also be able to find them easier when you’re packing up your campsite.

Packaging:

Ti Shepherds Hook Stakes come in packs of six. Grab a few extra packs to keep on hand! They make great back-ups, and the price is low so you won’t mind lending them to a friend in a pinch.

5. MSR Blizzard Tent States: Best Snow Pegs

Good for: Snow and sand

If you’re going to be camping in the snow, you’ll need the right kind of tent peg. And trust me, the MSR Blizzard Stake is the right kind of tent peg. This stake has a specialized concave design to keep it anchored in the snow.

It also has holes all the way down to make it grip tightly. Rather than ending in a point, the bottom is only slightly rounded. It slides easily into snow and even sand, and it stays there despite weather conditions.

Size:

These are pretty long stakes! Each one is 9.5 inches long and an inch wide for stability. They’re a bit heavy, though, at 0.74 ounces apiece.

Honestly, you’re not likely to find lighter snow stakes of this caliber, so the weight isn’t much of a factor. If you’re backpacking in cold weather, you probably expect to carry a lot more equipment, anyway.

Material:

These snow stakes are made of 7075 series aluminum. This is definitely not the most durable tent stake on our list, but gets the job done. They’re not designed for terrain that would require pounding, so you won’t risk breaking them if you use them correctly. This particular product is red and highly reflective, which makes it easy to spot against the snow.

Packaging:

The MSR Blizzard Stakes come in packages of four. They are a decent price, so they’re definitely worth having on hand if you plan to go winter camping or beach camping.

As you can see, there are many different types of tent pegs out there. We’ve offered you a look at the best tent pegs for each category! Which type of tent peg is best for you? It really depends on where you’re planning to go camping.

If you’re heading to the snow and ice, get a package of MSR Blizzard Tent Stakes. If your destination has soft soil, pick the MSR Carbon Core Stakes.

If you’re backpacking, you’ll want to be equipped with Ti Shepherds Hook Stakes. If you’re taking on the world in a one-man tent, go for the Steel Nails.

Finally, if you just like camping and don’t care where, you can’t go wrong with the MSR Groundhog Stake. Personally, this is the one I’d go with. You can take it just about anywhere, it’s priced well, and it comes in a six-pack.

Which one will you use? Let us know in the comments!

Breana
 

Chief editor here at Sky-Liners, Breana is a former expat and outdoor enthusiast who grew up on camping, hunting, and hiking. If she could live anywhere, it would be a tree fort in the woods. For now, she's surviving on weekly hiking trips and monthly mountain breaks. You can read more about Breana's adventures on her blog at 3rdCultureWife.

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