Camping, Backpacking & Hiking Gear

The Best Tent Stakes for a Solid Pitch in Any Terrain [Updated for 2019]

best tent stakes
Bertie
Written by Bertie

Don't you hate bending your tent stakes?  I mean, on the one hand it’s just one of those things that’s always going to happen but I still find it frustrating when it does. And it’s not helped by the fact that tent manufacturers never include the best tent stakes in the world.

Early in my camping career I just always assumed that all tent stakes were a bit bad. It wasn’t until I had to buy my first replacement set that I realised quite how much choice there was out there. And that this was a really simple way to pimp my tent!

Now, after looking at dozens of different options, I think I can simplify things anyone in the same position and for this article I’ve reviewed 9 different options for different budgets and uses including stakes for snow, sand and loose ground.

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TNH Outdoors 10X Aluminum Tri-Beam Tent Stakes and Bag - Made for Camping - Support A Start UpTNH Outdoors 10X Aluminum Tri-Beam Tent Stakes and Bag - Made for Camping - Support A Start Up
Best tent stakes
TNH Outdoors Aluminum Tent Stakes (10-pack)
    Special Features
  • Available in 2 sizes: 7" and 11"
  • Only 0.5oz per stake
  • Great product (& comes with handy carry bag!)
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Cosmos® Pack of 6 Orange Color Aluminum Tent Stakes for Camping / Trip / Hiking / Backpacking or Other Outdoor Activities in Sand or SnowCosmos® Pack of 6 Orange Color Aluminum Tent Stakes for Camping / Trip / Hiking / Backpacking or Other Outdoor Activities in Sand or Snow
best tent stakes for sand
Cosmos Sand & Snow Tent Stakes (Pack of 6)
    Special Features
  • 12" long
  • Extra wide for maximum purchase in sand
  • 6 holes for extra rigging options
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TRIWONDER Steel Tent Stakes Heavy Duty Tarp Pegs Solid Stakes Footprint Camping Stakes (Black - 11.81in - 10 Pack)TRIWONDER Steel Tent Stakes Heavy Duty Tarp Pegs Solid Stakes Footprint Camping Stakes (Black - 11.81in - 10 Pack)
best heavy duty tent stakes
TriWonder Steel Tent Stakes (Pack of 10)
    Special Features
  • 8" long
  • Extra strong steel
  • Perfect for large canopies and windy conditions
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TOAKS Titanium Larger V-shaped Tent Stakes (Pack of 6)TOAKS Titanium Larger V-shaped Tent Stakes (Pack of 6)
Toakes Titanium Tent Stakes (Pack of 6)
    Special Features
  • 6.5" long
  • Just 0.25oz per stake
  • Excellent strong, ultralight stake
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Hikemax 7075 Aluminum Tent Stakes - Swirled Shape Tent Pegs with Reflective Pull Cords & Pouch - 10 PackHikemax 7075 Aluminum Tent Stakes - Swirled Shape Tent Pegs with Reflective Pull Cords & Pouch - 10 Pack
Hikemax Aluminum Tent Stakes (Pack of 10)
    Special Features
  • 8" long
  • Lightweight aluminum
  • Available in 3 colors
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MSR Blizzard Stake KitMSR Blizzard Stake Kit
MSR Blizzard Tent Stakes (Sold Individually)
    Special Features
  • 9.5" long
  • Very wide
  • Best snow tent stakes
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MSR Cyclone 10\MSR Cyclone 10\
MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes (Pack of 4)
    Special Features
  • 10" long
  • Spiral design to anchor in soft soil & sand
  • Great beach tent stakes
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Chill Gorilla 10X Tent Stake. Heavy Duty Lightweight Strong Aluminum Alloy pegs for Camping, rain tarps, Hiking, Backpacking. Essential Camping & Survival Gear. ENO Accessory. RedChill Gorilla 10X Tent Stake. Heavy Duty Lightweight Strong Aluminum Alloy pegs for Camping, rain tarps, Hiking, Backpacking. Essential Camping & Survival Gear. ENO Accessory. Red
Chill Gorilla Budget Tent Stakes (Pack of 10)
    Special Features
  • 7" long
  • Strong
  • Excellent cheap stakes
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best all round tent stakes

Specs

These awesome aluminum stakes from TNH Outdoors come in two sizes, 7" (Regular) and 11.8" (X-Large). They are extremely lightweight (about half an ounce per stake) and compact. They come with reflective paracord (already attached) and a neat carry case. Sold in packs of 8. ($$)

The Verdict

These bad boys are great all-rounders. I think they strike a very good balance of quality, weight, compactness, length and price. Made from a strong, lightweight aluminum they come in a “Racing Red” and have a handy, neon-colored pull loop that makes them stand out against the terrain, as well as make it easy to pull them out of the ground. The TriBeam design provides good holding power. And you just won’t find many of them bending or breaking.

The only potential downside to them is that the TriBeam grip can be so strong that it’s sometimes a bit of an effort to get them out the ground!

In Summary…

I'm not sure you'll find a better all-round tent stake. (If you are looking for something unbreakable, check out these heavy duty steel stakes or these titanium stakes). But all in all, these are the perfect option for replacing and upgrading the tent pegs that came with your original tent. TNH are delivering fantastic value IMO!

best tent stakes for sand, sand stakes, extra long beach stakes

Specs

These sand stakes are 12" long and 1.4" wide. They're made from aluminum alloy and weigh 1.8oz each. They come in packs of 6. ($$)

The Verdict

These long, wide stakes are specially designed to hold fast in very loose ground, making them perfect for sandy terrain. They have a u-shaped design making them really strong and capable of holding firm in winds up to 40mph

The bright color is garish to say they least but it makes them really easy to spot  in all colors of beach sand. And the 6 extra holes in the blade mean you can rig them a bunch of different ways.

The aluminum alloy is quite soft which means if you use them in compacted ground they are likely to bend. They really are only intended for use in sand, snow or really loose soil. It also means that, while you can use a mallet, you'd want to use a really soft touch.

As you might expect they are extremely large and bulky, which is exactly what you need for locking down a beach canopy. But they are exactly what you don't need on your average backpacking trip (coastal thru hikes and arctic expeditions excepted).

In Summary...

These are incredible stakes for sand as well as for camping in the snow (although for snow camping you may consider springing for the pricier the MSR Blizzard stakes). They are perfect for beach camping and any beach canopy.

You'll want to avoid them for backpacking unless you specifically plan to pitch on sand or in snow.


best heavy duty steel tent pegs

Specs

Material: Steel

Length: 11.8 Inches

Number in Pack: 6-pack or 10-pack

Weight: OK

Packed Size: Bulky

Price: $$$

The Good

If you’re looking for a failsafe stake, look no further! The nail design makes these stakes ideal for rough ground that could cause other stakes to bend or break. The Steel should provide a firm hold for all but sandy terrain. The thin design may make it easier for you to drive-in/pull-out. They should hold well in winds if used properly. The coating should help prevent rusting.

The Less Good

These stakes are long, which will require that you carry extra equipment like a hammer or mallet in to drive them in properly, as well as get them back out after use. The extra equipment and the length of the stakes will make them bulky when backpacking with them. The coating used for rust protection may make them less effective in wet soils as it could make them slippery.

A Great Choice If…

These are an excellent choice for car camping, base camping or to hold down large canopies. Basically, so long as you aren’t planning to walk anywhere with them and you are concerned about hard ground or windy conditions, you will not be disappointed with these stakes.

Toaks - best titanium tent stakes

Specs

Material: Titanium

Length: 6.5 Inches

Number in Pack: 6

Weight: OK

Packed Size: OK

Price: $$$$

The Good

These titanium stakes are heavier than their aluminum counterparts but make up for that with their strength and durability. They nest together with means they pack away brilliantly. I could definitely see myself using these for many many years.

The Less Than Good

They are shorter than many stakes and I wouldn’t use them in softer ground (certainly not in snow or in sand). I’d also be wary of using them on bigger, heavier tents especially if there was a big wind. And while they aren’t exactly heavy, they won’t win the hearts and minds of the ultralight-brigade.

A Great Choice If…

If you tend to camp on normal ground with a small-to-medium-sized tent and you don’t mind an extra ounce or two, these are probably the stakes for you. And particularly so if you subscribe to the “buy cheap, buy twice” school of thought. (If you have a bigger tent or intent to pitch on sand or snow, I’d avoid them).

best lightweight tent stakes

Specs

Material: Aluminum

Length: 7 Inches

Number in Pack: 10-pack or 15-pack

Weight: Lightweight

Packed Size: Compact

Price: $

The Good

The Hikemax are actually another great buy (on reflection they might be the best price tent stake on the list). But my reason for including them is that they are extremely lightweight and take up a minimum of space when packed. The colors of the stake and pull loops will aid in locating the stakes in terrain, and the pull loop should aid you with removal. The Blade shape may prove to be ideal for softer dirt and sand, and help provide strength once it is hammered into place.

The Less Good

You need to drive these guys in all the way if you want them to hold firm as they have a tendency to wiggle out if only partially in. If you’re using a rock or a mallet you’ll want to have accurate strikes to avoid bending them. And also because they are so light, I probably wouldn’t use them to stake down bigger tents.

A Great Choice If…

They are better than the stakes you got with your tent for sure. And they are dirt cheap (if you’ll pardon the pun). So a fantastic budget replacement, but if you’re looking for the best of the best quality, look elsewhere.

MSR Blizzard - best tent stakes for snow

Specs

Material: Aluminum Alloy

Length: 9.5 Inches

Number in Pack: 4

Weight: Heavy

Packed Size: OK

Price: $$$$$

The Good

The Blizzard Tent stake is designed with snow in mind and perform excellently in both snow and in the sand. The bright color may make these easier to find in the terrain, and each stake has six holes that will offer you multiple tie-down points on each. The product is also designed to be a deadman anchor.

The Less Good

The length may prove to be a disadvantage if you plan to use these stakes on any terrain other than loose material like sand or snow and could bend if driving the stakes in completely into other ground surfaces. They are also extremely expensive for tent stakes, which could be a problem for some people.

A Great Choice If…

These will be a great choice if you plan to camp in snowy conditions or may need a tie-down point in the sand.

MSR Cyclone - best tent stakes for wind

Specs

Material: Aluminum Alloy

Length: 9.8 Inches

Number in Pack: 4

Weight: Heavy

Packed Size: Bulky

Price: $$$$

The Good

The Cyclone stakes have a twist design to their shaft, which is intended to extra holding power in windy conditions. The red color should allow these stakes to stand out against the terrain. The product has a cord tied to the top that may ease removing them from the ground.

The Less Than Good

While the stakes are long, extra length would help them hold in softer soils and sand. In order to prevent them from working loose they must be inserted at a steeper angle. The stakes are very heavy compared to similar products, which may be a factor is you are wanting to pack light. They also do not come with a storage bag, requiring you find one or let them remain loose in your pack.

A Great Choice If…

These are a great choice if you need tie-down points in windy conditions and really come into their own if you are planning on beach camping or using a beach canopy.

best price tent stakes

Specs

Material: Aluminum Alloy

Length: 7 Inches

Number in Pack: 10

Weight: Lightweight

Packed Size: Compact

Price: $

The Good

The Chill Gorilla Lightweight stakes are a great bargain buy and live up to their name as an extremely light offering at about half-an-ounce each. The Tri-Beam blade design gives really good holding power. And they’ve got three latch points which can be pretty handy. The stakes are also covered by the manufacturer’s hassle free warranty and Chill Gorilla have a reputation for great customer service.

The Less Good

The top is quite sharp which makes it difficult to push the stakes in by hand (and you might not want to use your boot either). So a mallet or a rock is really needed to get them in the ground and that sort of pressure can have an impact of the long term durability. The design could limit the roles of this product to a backup stake or as an equipment tie-down.

A Great Choice If…

Another fantastic budget choice. Although my preference might be for use as a light duty stake or as a lightweight backup when backpacking.

Hikemax Swirl


Specs

Material: Aluminum Alloy

Length: 8 Inches

Number in Pack: 10

Weight: Heavy

Packed Size: OK

Price: $$

The Good

The Swirl Shaped stakes come at a cheap price point and have a twisted shaft with multiple blades that should offer decent purchase in materials such as sand and loose dirt. The bright colors should make located stakes easier on the ground, and the pull loop that is installed may make retrieval easier. The manufacturer offers a full money back guarantee on these stakes.

The Less Good

The stakes are heavy for their size, which may be an issue if you wish to keep your pack light. In order to allow the stakes to work effectively, they will need to be driven in at a deeper angle. The notches near the head of the stake may weaken structure strength, so caution must be used when hammering them in. The shorter length may cause them to work loose easier than other twisted shaft designs that are longer.

A Great Choice If…

These may be a great choice if you are looking for a casual use stake for loose terrains like sand and soft soils.


What To Look For In Tent Stakes?

Length: Impacting Weight, Packed Size & Tent Stability

7 inches is fairly standard. If you go much shorter than that you risk losing purchase in looser ground. There are also longer stakes, and these tend to be for slightly more specialised use such as in snow or sand or in very windy conditions. And for car camping, there’s no harm in going for a longer heavy option if it’s going to give you peace of mind.

Material Used: For Weight, Strength & Packed Size

Aluminum is most common but you also get steel, titanium and plastic choices too. You’re obviously looking at a weight-to-strength trade off as well as pack size when it comes to this, and you’ll be in the best position to assess what’s most important to you. When it comes to packed size I’ve given each stake a rating of “Compact, OK or Bulky” to help you make a decision.

Price Per Stake

This is one of the more annoying things to understand when buying new stakes, largely because each manufacturer sells a different number of stakes in a pack. In this list they range from about $1 per stake to $15 per stake. To simplify things, I’ve offered a rating of $ - $$$$$ so you can get an indication of cost.

What Are They For?

It’s difficult to recommend the very best tent stakes without knowing what the intended use is. If you are camping in snow, you’ll want big, wide blades. If you are putting up a big beach canopy, you might want long, heavy spikes. If you are backpacking, you’ll be looking for sturdy, lightweight stakes.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Tent Stakes
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About the author

Bertie

Bertie

I’m Bertie and I’ve been enjoying the wilderness for as long as I can remember. I get out camping, hiking and backpacking whenever I can. And when I can’t, I enjoy writing about outdoor-related stuff!

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