5 Best Tent Stakes

Anyone who loves to camp and explore the back country knows what a difference a quality tent makes. The right tent keeps you dry, warm and out of the elements.

Although many campers will spend weeks or months choosing the right tent, they don’t always spend so much time choosing the appropriate tent stakes.

That’s really a shame, because I’ve discovered that having the right tent stakes can make all the difference in the success or failure of a trip.

It may not seem like such a small item can make a huge difference, but when you know more about tent stakes, you’ll begin to understand why.

Comparing the Five Best Tent Stakes

Tent Stake BrandPriceLengthMaterialSpecial Features
Obecome Black Heavy Duty High Strength Steel
Our Best Pick
Check Price
8 inchesSteelTotal steel construction; tops for durability
TNH Outdoors 10X Aluminum Tri-BeamCheck Price7 inchesAluminumEnvironmentally-conscious design and packaging; tri-beam construction
MSR GroundhogCheck Price8 inchesAluminumLightweight design; Y-beam profile
ColemanCheck Price10 inchesSteelExtra-long; steel construction
Galvanized Non-rust 10-inchCheck Price
10 inchesGalvanized steelRust-resistant, galvanized steel, screw-in design

How to Choose the Best Tent Stakes for Your Needs

Tent stakes are available in many different sizes, configurations and materials. When possible, it is advisable to choose stakes that are made by the same manufacturer as the tent you have.

That’s because these stakes should be specifically made to meet the needs of your tent. You won’t have to worry about whether or not the stakes you chose are up to the job of anchoring your particular tent.

However, if you find yourself with some options or needing to buy replacement stakes, then it helps to understand more about them.

You want a stake that is lightweight and easy to drive into the ground. It has to be durable, and it would ideally be able to withstand being hammered into harder ground.

Most tent stakes are made of either aluminum or steel. Aluminum is particularly lightweight, making it ideal for the smaller, more portable tents that are suited to long, back country camping trips.

Steel tent stakes are more heavy duty. This makes them the right choice for those family camping trips when you’re using a large, heavy tent.

The basic aluminum stake has a sharp, pointy end for driving into the ground. Its other end is hooked or curved to hold a line from the tent. These tent stakes generally are inexpensive, but there is a downside. They are not particularly durable.

If you have to hammer them into the ground, they are likely to get bent out of shape. Additionally, these stakes aren’t the best choice if the terrain where you’re camping has loose soil or is sandy.

Needle stakes also are made of aluminum, but tend to stand up better to hammering. This stake has a series of fins or ribs running down its length, which gives it superior gripping ability in the ground.

The thicker shaft makes it easier to penetrate hard soil, but attaching guylines from the tent is not always easy.

Ultralight stakes are constructed from titanium so that they are extra portable. If you’re going on an extended back country trip and traveling light is a must, these may be the ideal choice. The bad news is that they are comparatively expensive. Plus, they easily can be damaged with hammering.

Camping in the snow requires special considerations, which is why you may want to invest in specially made snow stakes. Made from aluminum with a slightly curved profile, snow stakes have holes that help them freeze into place wherever you put them.

This gives your tent a stable, secure anchor even in the midst of a blizzard. These are heavy and expensive, so it makes sense to reserve them only for snow camping.

Now that I’ve introduced you to the basics, it’s time to highlight the products that I believe are the five best tent stakes for general camping purposes.

These are all quality items that could form an important part of your camping toolkit. However, some models may be better than others depending upon the terrain where you’ll be pitching your tent.

Here’s my take on the five best tent stakes on the market today.

1. Obecome Black Heavy Duty High Strength Steel Camping Tent Pegs

If weight is not a factor and you want something that is really tough, then these tent stakes are for you. Everything about them is solid and well made. Completely constructed from S45C steel, these stakes are eight inches long and 0.4 inches in diameter.

The manufacturer boasts that these stakes are so tough that they can driven through asphalt. With any luck, you’ll never have to test that claim. However, even the most solid ground surface won’t stop you from pitching your tent wherever you like when you use these stakes.

Each stake features a large head that is made to be pounded on with a hammer or rock. Additionally, you’ll find a hole and a hook, both of which can be used for the guylines on your tent.

These stakes from Obecome are sold in packages of four at a price that’s affordable enough to pick up two or three sets. They are heavy duty enough to stand up to family camping trips and adverse weather conditions.

Of course, they also are larger and heavier than other products on this list. If weight is your primary consideration, then these may not be the stakes for you.

2. TNH Outdoors 10X Aluminum Tri-Beam Tent Stakes and Bag

Billed by the manufacturer as “The Stake That Does Not Break,” these all-aluminum stakes are ultra-lightweight. They are seven inches long, which makes them shorter than the offering from Obecome, but they are strong enough to handle most terrain.

TNH Outdoors sells their tent stakes in bags of 10. The end of each stake features a length of reflective, glow-in-the-dark paracord. This makes it easy to spot the stakes even in low-light conditions. No more tripping over stakes in the dark.

Each stake boasts a specially designed head that is supposed to withstand repeated hammering. The profile is characterized by tri-beam construction to increase strength and the stake’s ability to grip the earth.

At the end of each stake is a hook for attaching guy lines. This is one of this product’s only shortcomings. The hook is fairly small.

It’s really only designed for three millimeter ropes, though you might be able to make it work with five millimeter ropes in a pinch. If you’re using stouter ropes, you’ll need to look for a different stake.

The combined weight of the 10 stakes is just over four ounces. Consequently, these stakes are lightweight enough for a back country trek.

3. MSR Groundhog Tent StakeKit

MSR relies on 7075- series aluminum to construct this light yet rugged tent stake. One set comes with six stakes, which is plenty for the average tent.

Each stake measures approximately eight inches long and weighs fewer than four ounces. That does not make these an ultra-light choice, but their ruggedness makes up for that shortcoming.

The MSR Groundhog stakes feature a Y-beam profile that allows them to really take a firm hold in the soil. With a sharp end, it’s pretty easy to drive these stakes into the ground. Because they are aluminum, pounding them into the ground with a rock or hammer is not recommended. If the terrain where you’re going is hard or rocky, you might do better with different stakes.

Still, these Groundhog tent stakes have been around for years, and they have consistently impressed people who are experienced with outdoor recreation. They are fairly rugged, inexpensive and have a glow-in-the-dark cord attached.

Grooved indentations near the top of each stake are designed to hold ropes and guylines.

4. Coleman 10-Inch Steel Nail Tent Pegs

Durable and built to last, these Coleman tent stakes are a reliable addition to anyone’s outdoor gear. Each one is a whopping 10 inches long, which means that you’ll be able to anchor your tent in even the windiest conditions.

Just as attractive is the steel construction. In fact, some people have used these tent stakes year after year without ever having to replace them.

Near the top of each stake, you’ll find a large polypropylene attachment with a hook and a hole. The manufacturer says that these high-impact tops are built to stand up to hammers and rocks.

These Coleman tent stakes are sold in sets of four at an affordable price. Because they are steel, they certainly outweigh the aluminum options on this list.

The manufacturer estimates a total weight of almost 13 ounces for the entire set. That’s less than a pound, so it will only really matter if you’re trying to shave off every possible gram.

The one complaint that most consumers seem to find with these stakes is that the plastic attachment that provides the hook and hole is somewhat flimsy. Handle these with care to make these tent stakes last.

5. Galvanized Non-rust 10-inch Tent Stakes

These threaded, galvanized steel stakes put a different spin on the tent-stake category. Basically, these get screwed into the ground for extra gripping power.

Of course, this means that you’re not going to be using a hammer or a rock to pound these stakes into the ground. You may need considerable arm and shoulder strength to anchor these 10-inch stakes in the soil, which means that they may not be for everyone. When soil is rather soft, they can be an excellent solution.

Each galvanized steel stake features a high-impact polypropylene top that is easy to grip like a handle. They also provide a heavy-duty hook for attaching ropes and guylines.

The tops are available in glow-in-the-dark white or a bright orange for improved visibility. The shape of the top also assists with removal.

These stakes are sold in a package of 10. At 10 inches long and with steel construction, these are not ultra-light stakes. Still, their sturdiness and durability will appeal to many outdoor enthusiasts.

My Favorite Tent Stake

I believe that the best value on this list is represented by the eight-inch, steel Obecome stakes. Especially attractive to me is that both the stake itself and the hook attachment are made from steel. These two pieces are welded together to form an all-but unbreakable bond.

The eight-inch length is sufficient for just about any purpose, and I really like the idea that these tent stakes are capable of being pounded through rocks if necessary.

The Obecome stakes are a great choice for general camping purposes. Now, if I was going on a back country trek where I was being careful of every ounce in my pack, they wouldn’t be my first choice.

Still, I might be tempted to bring them along. You never know what kind of terrain you’ll encounter out in the wild.