Best Tent Stakes for Camping in Any Environment

As simple as tent stakes may seem, the difference between good ones and bad ones is huge. In this guide, we'll help you find the best tent stakes for your camping adventures and provide all the info you need to make the right choice.

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The Best Tent Pegs for Camping & Backpacking

Looking For A Great Set Of Tent Stakes

You’re in the right place! In this guide, we will be covering the following:

    • Why you should upgrade your camping tent stakes
    • Types of stake & what to look for when buying
    • Tips on how to stake out a tent
    • Which tent stakes get our seal of approval

As we all know, the stability of any structure is determined by the solidity and quality of the apparatus that secures it to the ground. In the case of your tent, that means your tent stakes.

While most of us are happy to splash the cash on a fancy tent or other camping gear, not so many are keen to splurge on mere “accessories” like stakes. Given they are responsible for preventing our fancy tents from being blown into trees, campfires, the ether, or our faces while we sleep, investing in a good set is, without doubt, the way to go.

All tents come with a set of stakes from the manufacturer, but these – in most cases – leave a lot to be desired in terms of pack weight, strength, durability, and their ability to keep your tent upright in windy conditions. If this applies to your stakes, it’s time for an upgrade!

To help you choose the perfect pegs for your adventures, we’ve taken a look at several of the best tent stakes out there and put them through their paces.

Editor’s Choice

MSR Groundhog Tent Stakes

MSR Groundhog Tent Stake Kit, 6-Pack, Regular - 7.5-Inch , Red

With so many variables to take into consideration, choosing one tent stake as our top pick wasn’t easy. After much deliberation, we plumped for the stake that served us best in all terrain types, all conditions, and on varying types of trip: the MSR Groundhog.

These tent pegs tick all the boxes, no matter where or when you do your camping. They’re light and compact enough for backpacking, have enough holding power for howling gales and hefty car-camping tents, and unlike most tent stakes are versatile enough for use in soft, hard, and rocky ground alike. 

Bottom line: A versatile, well-made, and easy-to-use stake that performs well in every situation.

At a Glance: Our Tent Stakes Recommendations

  • Best Overall:  MSR Groundhog
    “These pegs tick all the boxes for car-camping, backpacking, and wild-weather adventures. They’re light, have great holding strength, and perform well in various types of terrain.”
  • Best Budget:  All One Tech 12-Pack
    “A Y-shaped stake that offers outstanding holding power at a very palatable price point.”
  • Best Value:  NEMO Airpin
    “This needle-style stake is outstanding in hard ground, built to last, and even saves you the hassle of tying knots when staking out your guy lines.”
  • Best for Hard Ground:  Vargo Titanium Nail Peg
    “An exceedingly strong stake that penetrates even the toughest ground with ease.”
  • Best for snow:  MSR Blizzard Tent Stake
    “The concave shape, perforated design, and added length mean it grips the white stuff better than any other stakes we know.”
  • Best for car camping:  Eurmax Galvanized
    “These oversized pegs might be heavy, but their impressive holding strength and tough construction make them among the most durable reviewed and ideal for frontcountry adventures.”
  • Best for Soft Ground:  TOAKS Titanium Tent Stake
    “These ultra-durable and lightweight stakes work well in snow and boggy conditions, and are probably the best tent stakes for sand out there.”
  • Best Hook Stakes:  Vargo Titanium Shepherds Hook
    “This classically styled stake weighs next to nothing but is as tough and durable as they come, and very easy to extract when breaking camp.”
  • Best Ground Anchor:  Orange Screw Ultimate Ground Anchor
    “This corkscrew-style anchor boasts the most impressive holding capability of all the stakes in our review. The perfect pick for stormy weather and/or oversized tents.”
  • Best Ultralight:  MSR Carbon Core
    “This featherweight, surprisingly strong, needle-style stake is the ideal pick for campers keen to keep pack weight to an absolute minimum. “
Orange Screw tent stake
Made for sandy, snowy or otherwise loose soil, then Orange Screw has incredible holding power © MyOpenCountry

Review Of The Best Tent Anchors & Pegs

MSR Groundhog

Best Overall

MSR Groundhog Tent Stake Kit, 6-Pack, Regular - 7.5-Inch , Red

The MSR groundhog is a standout performer in every type of terrain. As such, it’s a great pick for buyers looking for one stake that can do it all.

The Y-stake design provides enough surface area to deliver excellent holding power in soft terrain, while the tapered tip and tough materials mean it can be stomped or struck into hard or frozen ground with ease.

The Groundhog’s are also light, packable, and have reflective pull cords that increase visibility and make extraction a cinch.

While not as light as the NEMO Airpin or either of the Vargo models, it holds better than all three in all but the hardest ground. 

Specs

  • Type: Y-stake
  • Material: 7000-series aluminum
  • Weight: 0.46 oz. per stake
  • Length: 7.5”
  • PROs

    • Lightweight
    • Y-shape provides great hold
    • Reflective pull cord
    • 7000-series aluminum is tougher than other varieties
    • Excels in a variety of terrain types
  • CONs

    • Not as tough as titanium options

Bottom-Line: A well-made and super-versatile tent peg that’s ideal for minimalists, car campers, and everyone in between.

MSR Blizzard Tent Stakes

Best for Snow

MSR Blizzard Stake Kit

Winter camping in snowy conditions? If so, there are few options out there that will provide comparable stability to the MSR Blizzard.

These snow tent stakes are made with tough, 7000-series aluminum, and use a concave design with an extra-large surface area to provide extra holding power in the white stuff. Pull cords aren’t included, but can easily be attached to eyelets in the shaft. 

Although the Blizzard are almost three times heavier than other snow stakes like the TOAKS Titanium Tent Stake, their extra 3” of length makes them a better option in windy conditions or softer snow. 

 

Specs

  • Type: Snow/sand stake
  • Material: 7000-series aluminum
  • Weight: 1.12 oz.
  • Length: 9.5”
  • PROs

    • Holds well in very loose ground, sand, and snow
    • Shaft holes provide added grip
    • Extra-long
    • 3-year warranty
  • CONs

    • Pricey
    • Not ideal in tough ground

Bottom-Line: A slightly heavy, but otherwise practical, stake that holds well in snow, sand, and boggy terrain.

All One Tech 12-Pack

Best Budget

12 Pack Tent Stakes, 7075 Ground Metal Camping Aluminum Tent Pegs, Lightweight Stakes Heavy Duty Spikes

These Y-shaped, nicely priced pegs are a solid option for campers looking for a cheaper alternative to the winner of our top prize, the MSR Groundhog.

Like the Groundhog, the All One Tech uses a Y-shaped design providing an impressive holding strength in various types of terrain, making them among the most versatile models on our list. They’re also a generous 7” long and have a reflective pull cord for added visibility.

While not as strong, durable, or lightweight as the Groundhog, the All Ones cost a fraction of the price and, as such, offer great value.

Specs

  • Type: Y-stake
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 0.6 oz.
  • Length: 7”
  • PROs

    • Lightweight
    • Good holding power
    • Reflective cord
    • Value for money
  • CONs

    • Weaker than titanium models
    • A fraction heavier than pricier models

Bottom-Line: The versatility, light weight, and excellent holding capability of these pegs mean they offer top bang for your buck by some distance.

NEMO Airpin

Best Value

Nemo Airpin Tent Stakes, Set of 4

How does a pricey stake win our value award? 

In addition to its light weight, tiny pack size, and impressive performance in hard ground, the Airpin scooped this prize on account of its intelligently designed attachment system. Instead of leaving you to fiddle around with knots when staking out every guy line, the Airpin uses a smart, three-point locking system that eliminates the need for knots, cord locks, or guyline tensioners.

This equals less time faffing around, and more time enjoying your whereabouts. If that ain’t value, we don’t know what is. 

The Airpin are also the second lightest pegs in our review, after the MSR Carbon Core, and only lost out to the Vargo Nail Peg in our “Best Tent Stake for Hard Ground” category because we found the Vargo a fraction stronger and easier to stomp or strike with a foot or mallet.

Specs

  • Type: Nail/needle
  • Material: Premium 7075 aluminum
  • Weight: 0.3 oz.
  • Length: 6”
  • PROs

    • Great in firm soil
    • Ultralight
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Knot-free tie-in system
  • CONs

    • Pricey (but worth the extra cost!)
    • Not great in soft or loose soil

Bottom-Line: These funky-looking pegs are great in tough terrain and the easiest to use on our list.

Vargo Ti Shepherd´s Hook

Best Titanium Stakes

Ti Shepherds Hook Stake Orange

Definitely, the lightweight pegs of choice among some campers, these lightweight Shepherd’s hook style pegs are a mere .3 ounces each and made with titanium, renowned for its strength. The bright, fluorescent orange coating makes them easy to spot in a variety of terrain. These hook stakes are made in the USA and are available for domestic shipping. They are just .2 inches in diameter, with 8 ½ inches of in the ground anchor power. The larger Shepherd’s Hook style is designed to hold both your tent and guy lines securely in place. These are the classic tent peg design and come in packs of six without a bag.

  • PROs

    • lighter packs at only .3 ounces each
    • easy to spot orange coating
  • CONs

    • thin, making them more prone to bending
    • not designed to grip, making twisting and slipping a potential problem
    • do not have added features for guy lines or ropes
    • do not have added features for guy lines or ropes

Bottom-Line: These titanium tent stakes are light and space-saving, making them the best ultralight tent stakes available.

Eurmax Galvanized

Best for Car Camping

Eurmax Galvanized Non-Rust Camping Family Tent Pop Up Tent Stakes Heavy Duty 10pc-Pack, with 4x10ft Ropes & 1 Green Stopper

These oversized, heavy-duty tent stakes are ideal for a car-camping trip in blustery conditions or with larger tents.

The Eurmax are tough, galvanized steel metal tent stakes that can be stomped or driven into any type of terrain with absolute ease. They also measure a whopping 10” long and have sizable, winged stoppers that can be twisted to tweak guy line tension while staking out. 

At 3.7 ounces, these are the heaviest option in our review, weighing twice as much as the next heaviest model (the Orange Screw Ultimate Ground Anchor). As such, they’re not a great option for camping trips in the backcountry.

Specs

  • Type: Nail
  • Material: Galvanized steel
  • Weight: 3.7 oz.
  • Length: 10”
  • PROs

    • Extra-long
    • Strong and durable material
    • Great holding power
    • Flat head makes it easy to stake down
    • Great value for money
  • CONs

    • (Very) heavy

Bottom-Line: This steel tent stake wins no prizes for minimalism, but it’s a great option for car camping, heavy tents, or blustery conditions.

TOAKS Titanium

Best for Soft Ground

TOAKS Titanium Tent Stakes

Camping in snow, loose sand, or boggy conditions? If so, then TOAKS are well worth a place on your shortlist. 

These V-shaped pegs combine a large surface area with a perforated shaft to provide outstanding holding strength when ground conditions are soft.

They’re also made with highly durable titanium, weigh a tiny 0.4 ounces per stake, and measure 6.5 inches in length. 

While a few inches shorter than the only other sand/snow stake in our review, the MSR Blizzard, they’re also almost three times lighter and half the price.

Specs

  • Type: V-stake
  • Material: Titanium
  • Weight: 0.4 oz.
  • Length: 6.5”
  • PROs

    • Awesome in sand and snow
    • Durable
    • Lightweight
    • Perfect tent stakes for beach camping
  • CONs

    • No pull cord
    • Not ideal in harder ground

Bottom-Line: A rugged, hard-wearing stake that comes into its own when softer underfoot conditions require a little more nuance and holding power.

Vargo Titanium Shepherd’s Hook Stakes

Best Hook Stakes

Vargo Titanium Shepherd's Hook Stake (6-Pack), 165mm

These lightweight tent stakes are a solid option for traditionalists who prefer the unfussy functionality of a shepherd’s hook design but want a little more strength and a little less weight than aluminum. 

Like all hook pegs, these aren’t the easiest to stomp/hammer into the ground and have poor holding strength in loose soil. If these metrics are a priority, we recommend flat-headed, V- or Y-shaped options like the MSR Groundhog or All One Tech. That hooked head, however, does make it very easy to extract the Vargos when it’s time to decamp. 

At 0.3 ounces, these are also among the lightest tent stakes in our review, and their titanium construction makes them tougher than most of the hook-style pegs supplied with tents by manufacturers.

Specs

  • Type: Hook
  • Material: Titanium
  • Weight: 0.3 oz.
  • Length: 6.5”
  • PROs

    • Strength and shape retention
    • Easy to extract
    • Ultralight
    • Stuff sack included
  • CONs

    • Poor holding power in spongy or looser ground
    • Pricey for hooks

Bottom-Line: The hook-style pegs look like generic, standard tent stakes, but bring added strength and durability thanks to their titanium construction.

Orange Screw Ultimate Ground Anchor

Best Ground Anchor

Orange Screw: The Ultimate Ground Anchor | Large 2 Pack | Made in USA (Black)

When holding power is top of your priority list, the OS Ground Anchor is the stake you need!

This corkscrew-style stake is made from recycled plastic and is surprisingly tough and durable. To use it, all you need to do is poke the tip into the ground and begin turning the handle on the head. Thirty seconds later, you’ll have a bombproof anchor that even the stormiest conditions will be unable to shift. 

The OS’s outstanding holding capabilities make it a great option for heavy family tents and wild weather. Its bulky dimensions and hefty weight, however, mean it’s a less suitable option for backpacking. For this lightweights like the MSR Groundhog, which isn’t as grippy but weighs a whole 1.3 ounces less will be a better option for you. 

Specs

  • Type: Ground Anchor
  • Material: Durable recycled plastic
  • Weight: 1.8 oz
  • Length: 9.5”
  • PROs

    • Outstanding holding power
    • Recycled materials
    • Relatively lightweight (for plastic stakes)
    • Useful handle for easy insertion/extraction
  • CONs

    • Bulky
    • Expensive
    • Overkill for most conditions

Bottom-Line: It may be a little on the bulky and heavy side, but this intelligently designed ground anchor is among our favorite camping stakes for extreme conditions.

MSR Carbon Core Tent Stake

Best Ultralight Tent Stakes

MSR Carbon Core 6-Inch Tent Stake, 4 Pack

These game-changing pegs are ideal for buyers keen to ensure their pack’s loaded with no more weight than is necessary. 

Weighing a measly 0.2 ounces, these are the lightest on our list, trumping even featherweight titanium options like the NEMO Airpin and Vargo Titanium by 0.1 ounces per stake. The difference may be negligible, but if you’re on the type of trip where every gram counts…

The good news is that the MSR Carbon are relatively strong, come with a reassuring 3-year warranty, and easily penetrates firm ground thanks to their needle-style design and mallet-friendly top. 

The bad news is that they’re less durable than the titanium options featured above and are so pricey that you might have to remortgage your home to finance a purchase.

Specs

  • Type: Needle
  • Material: Carbon fiber core
  • Weight: 0.2 oz.
  • Length: 6”
  • PROs

    • Ultralight
    • Strong
    • 3-year warranty
    • Flat top for easy insertion with foot/hammer
    • Great in firm ground
  • CONs

    • Not as durable as most stakes featured above
    • (Darned) expensive!

Bottom-Line: Weighing a mere 0.2 oz, these surprisingly strong carbon needles are ideal for multi-day trips when you need to pack light.

Do You Really Need New Tent Pegs?

All too often, the generic tent pegs supplied with tents by manufacturers aren’t fit for purpose. While they may survive a few outings if you’re pitching on softer ground, in most cases they’ll break or bend to the point of uselessness after a few trips. They also usually lack the design characteristics required for stability and hassle-free pitching in more challenging terrain. 

Even if your tent is sold with a set of passable pegs, it’s likely your camping experience could be seriously improved by investing in an upgrade. Aftermarket sets, for the most part, are more robust, have superior holding power, and boast features that make them both easier to use and more suitable for use in varying terrain types. 

Snow/sand stakes, for example, excel in softer ground, while nail or needle-style models trump the best of the rest when conditions underfoot are rocky or firm. And when the conditions are wild, screw stakes will provide the added stability and holding capability you need. 

How to Choose the Best Tent Stakes for Your Needs

When choosing tent pegs, the most important factors to consider are the type of terrain you anticipate using them in, the quality of the materials, weight, design, ease of use, and holding power. 

Which Terrain Will You Use Them In?

There are different kinds of camping tent pegs and tent anchors that cater to different underfoot conditions:

Small Camping Tent in dark forest - In Text

Loose terrain

In loose terrain, such as sand or snow, pegs with wide blades and a larger overall surface area will provide the best holding power and stability. Some wide-bladed pegs also have a concave shape that improves grip and/or a series of holes that increase friction between the stake and the terrain.

Our favorite tent stakes for softer ground are the MSR Blizzard snow/sand stake and the TOAKS Titanium, both of which anchor in the soft stuff twice as well as standard nail or hook pegs. 

ProTip: When pitching in sand or snow, it’s a good idea to use the “dead man” technique. This involves weighting the top of the inserted stake with a bag of sand/snow to keep it in place. 

Hard ground

Penetrating hard-packed ground requires a narrower stake with a sharp point, a strong top that can be struck with a mallet, and to be made from tough materials that won’t bend or break when stamping or hammering them into place. 

Our favorite stake for firm ground is the Vargo Titanium Nail Peg, which weighs just 0.3 oz making it a great option for backpacking. A close second is the Eurmax Galvanized, whose 3.7- ounce weight makes it a better option for car campers.

Types of Tent Stakes

V-Pegs

Shaped (as the name suggests!) like a ‘V’, this style of stake provides good grip because it can’t rotate in the ground and has a greater surface area than nail or hook pegs.

Example: TOAKS Titanium Stakes.

Y-Stakes

Similar to V-pegs, these have an extra “wing” to provide extra holding strength and make them less likely to bend when stamped/hammered into compact ground. These can be tricky to extract, so we recommend choosing ones with a pull cord to simplify removal.  

Examples: All One Tech and MSR Groundhog.

Hook Stakes

Aka “shepherd hooks,” these are the classic tent spikes typically supplied with tents by the manufacturer. Hook pegs are compact, affordable, and relatively lightweight, but offer the lowest holding power due to their smooth, cylindrical profile. They also bend easier than any other style of stake in our review, so are more suitable for medium-soft ground.  

REI Steel tent stake
Cheap and sturdy, the REI steel stake is a great option for pitching out car camping tents © MyOpenCountry

Example: Vargo Titanium Tent Stakes (Shepherd’s Hook).

Snow/Sand Stakes

These are usually V or Y-shaped with the holding capability further increased by having a wider surface area. The most effective also feature holes or “teeth” that improve grip in softer ground. When camping in snow, titanium models are a better option since aluminum is known to break in freezing conditions.  

Examples: MSR Blizzard and TOAKS Titanium Tent Stake.

Needle/Nail Stakes

These have sharp tips that make it easier to pound or stamp them into very hard soil, and often a flattish head that can be struck with a hammer. To avoid breakage or bending, most are also made with tough materials like galvanized steel or titanium.

Examples: Eurmax Galvanized and Vargo Titanium Nail Peg.

Ground Anchors

These screw-in tent stakes (aka “spiral tent stakes”) are designed to provide maximum holding strength in extreme conditions. Resembling giant corkscrews, they are twisted into the earth until the entire spiral section is anchored. 

Example: Orange Screw Ultimate Ground Anchor.

Holding Power

This refers to how strong a hold any stake provides in terrain, and is directly proportional to the length and area of the surface of the stake. Longer and wider models, therefore, are usually a better option for pitching in looser terrain or in particularly wild conditions. 

Ease of Use

This refers to how easy it is to get your pegs into the ground when pitching and then out again when it’s time to decamp. 

As mentioned above, pegs made with tougher materials, have pointed ends, and a flat top that can be struck with a mallet or pushed in with a foot are the easiest to insert without breaking or bending. On the other hand, hook and aluminum stakes are often tricky to stake out when the ground is any harder than butter. 

When it’s time to head home, the easiest pegs to remove are those with something you can yank on – either a hook or a loop of cord-like those used on the MSR Groundhog. In some cases, these loops will be reflective for added visibility, which will (hopefully) help you avoid stubbing toes or spilling your nightcap when moving around camp at night.  

Material & Design

Titanium

  • Durable and the lightest option available
  • Highest strength-to-weight ratio
  • Can bend without breaking, making it an excellent choice for camping on hard ground
  • Expensive

Examples: Vargo Titanium Nail Peg, Vargo Titanium Stake, TOAKS Titanium.

Aluminum

  • Lightweight, cheap, easy to replace
  • Not as strong as titanium or steel stakes
  • Bend easily (particularly hook pegs)

Examples: All One Tech and MSR Blizzard.

Steel

  • Strong and durable 
  • Cheap
  • Rust-resistant
  • Heavy

Example: Eurmax Galvanized.

Carbon 

  • Ultralight
  • Prone to breakage
  • Pricey

Example:  MSR Carbon Core Tent Stake.

Plastic

  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive
  • Relatively durable
  • Often made in bright colors for increased visibility at night

Weight & Packability

While this metric isn’t quite so consequential for car campers, for backpackers, every ounce of weight saved will make your life a little easier. 

The lightest materials are carbon and titanium (aluminum is a close third), while the heaviest is any variety of steel, and the bulkiest is plastic. 

The lightest pegs in our review are the MSR Carbon, weighing in at just 0.2 oz. per stake. The heaviest are the Eurmax Galvanized, which tip the scales at 3.7 oz.

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Kieran James Cunningham is a climber, mountaineer, and author who divides his time between the Italian Alps, the US, and his native Scotland.

He has climbed a handful of 6000ers in the Himalayas, 4000ers in the Alps, 14ers in the US, and loves nothing more than a good long-distance wander in the wilderness. He climbs when he should be writing, writes when he should be sleeping, has fun always.

Kieran has taught mountaineering, ice climbing, and single-pitch and multi-pitch rock climbing in a variety of contexts over the years and has led trekking and mountaineering expeditions in the Alps, Rockies, and UK. He is currently working towards qualifying as a Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor and International Mountain Leader.

Kieran’s book Climbing the Walls—an exploration of the mental health benefits of climbing, mountaineering, and the great outdoors—is scheduled for release by Simon & Schuster in April 2021.

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