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Top Picks

How we choose: The best stakes highlighted here were selected based on 43 reviews of 22 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

How we test: Trailspace is powered entirely by our community of readers. The reviews posted here reflect the real-world experiences of outdoor enthusiasts just like you.

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MSR Groundhog Tent Stakes

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (14 reviews)

Lightweight, strong tent stake with good holding power. A tent stake is a low-key, basic item that just needs to work. These do.

Reasons to Buy

  • Light weight
  • Holding power
  • Design features

Reasons to Avoid

  • Price

 A tent stake is a lowly item that just needs to address some very basic issues: Easy to drive into the ground; Stays put when in the ground; Easy to remove from the ground; Light and small enough to be carried; ...yet durable enough to do its job when replacements are not readily available. With such a basic list of requirements, you'd think that this would be an easy job to fulfill. Well, anyone who has ever set up a tent more than once already knows that this is not necessarily the case.

Read more: MSR Groundhog Tent Stakes reviews (14)

MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

The Cyclone Tent Stake is designed for holding power without compromise. Ideal for loose soil or windy conditions, this is the go-to stake for ease of mind.

Reasons to Buy

  • Extreme holding power
  • Excellent strength-to-weight ratio

Reasons to Avoid

  • Pricey for some
  • Cumbersome

Mountain Safety Research (MSR) has been a titan in the industry for decades, well known for their design and attention to detail. Regardless of one’s chosen shelter, upgrading/customizing stakes is a very important factor in ensuring a good night's rest.  Product testing the MSR Front Range Ultralight Tarp Shelter prompted additional needs for such a large shelter—adding stakes with strong holding power during windy and stormy weather.  A spiralized design provides increased gripping power.

Read more: MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes review (1)

TiTo 6 mm Titanium Tent Pegs

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Extremely strong 6x145/165 mm titanium pegs for pitching on rocky, compacted, or frozen ground. Such pegs are successfully hammered into ground, which would otherwise damage any aluminum stake.

Reasons to Buy

  • Inexpensive
  • Virtually indestructible
  • Relatively lightweight at 19/20 grams each
  • Storage bag and cord loops are included

Reasons to Avoid

  • Sharp eyelet edges may cut the cord loop
  • No cord stop on the bag cover

Since 2016 I've owned several tunnel tents, which require four stable pegs for successful pitching: Hilleberg Kaitum 3, Nallo 3 and Fjallraven Abisko Lite 3 (all reviewed by me). Quite often the stock DAC J-stakes don't work well, namely on rocky, compacted or frozen ground. Hammering the peg in such conditions may lead to its damage, sometimes — beyond repair. To simplify the pitching, in early 2017 I decided to purchase a set of strong titanium nails, not usual ultralight stakes made of titanium wire.

Read more: TiTo 6 mm Titanium Tent Pegs review (1)

MSR Mini Groundhog Stake

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

For their smaller size (6”), these stakes are deceptively strong and lightweight. While a dollar more expensive than other aluminum stakes, a few of these will go a long way holding down any tent, tarp, or even recreational equipment. I have encountered no problems in the slightly sandy/red clay/compact soil of central and western N.C.

Reasons to Buy

  • Great weight-to-strength
  • Brightly colored (visible if misplaced)
  • Easy to drive into ground
  • Holds well to staked item

Reasons to Avoid

  • More "expensive" than other stakes
  • Dirt can easily stick once removed

I originally didn’t have any thought to review these MSR Mini Groundhog stakes as they were part of a tent I purchased. The Hubba Hubba NX comes with a pack of 6 stakes. I have never used the mini or regular size before buying this tent. I am used to the typical shepherd’s crook style aluminum stakes that come with a basic car camping tent. These stakes are actually available to be purchased individually, and this was the catalyst for me to review my experience for others. To begin, I’ll touch on the con listed above; there is one caveat though in that I really don’t much if anything bad to say about the stakes at all.

Read more: MSR Mini Groundhog Stake review (1)

DAC J-stake

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3 reviews)

The stakes of ultimate choice for most smaller tents (1-2P). They are lightweight, quite strong and durable, endure careful hammering and may be equipped with cord loops. Of course, such stakes are not designed for sandy soil and for large tents.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Very resistant to bending
  • Ideal for dense soil and smaller tents
  • Quite suitable for compacted ground with a bit of rocks
  • May be equipped with cord loops

Reasons to Avoid

  • Very difficult to remove if the cord loop is missing
  • Not reliable in sandy soil
  • Not enough hold for large tents
  • Collect some dirt in the groove

DAC J-Stakes are blue, yellow, and silver in this photo I’ve been actively using these pegs since 2012, since five of my tents were equipped with them: MSR Hoop Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 Hilleberg Kaitum 3 Fjallraven Abisko Lite 3 Hilleberg Nallo 3 I also purchased a spare set of these pegs in 2013. In comparison to other pegs I found the DAC J-Stakes being almost perfect for smaller tents (1-2P and lightweight 3P): They are extremely strong in comparison to “shepherd hooks” made of aluminum rod (such pegs bend too easily).

Read more: DAC J-stake reviews (3)

MSR Hook Tent Stakes

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

These Hook tent stakes are a very impressive light duty stake for mild conditions, or where holding power is not an absolute necessity. Easy to set, easy to remove, easy to clean!

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent strength-to-weight ratio
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not the strongest holding power

MSR (Mountain Safety Research) has an impressive line of seven tent/shelter stakes, allowing users to customize their setup, based on location and conditions. Groundhog—MSR's gold standard—comes with many of their shelters Mini-Groundhog—Compact and lightweight CarbonCore—MSR's lightest full-strength stake Core—Lightweight aluminum for hard ground Cyclone—Maximum holding power Blizzard—For snow and sand Hook—All purpose and lightweight Note: Virtually all of the tent stakes offered by MSR can be used with other shelters/tents.

Read more: MSR Hook Tent Stakes review (1)

Tentsile X3 Giant Pegs

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

Tentsile's Giant Pegs are a quick and easy solution to placing stakes in hard soil when a rock or hammer is not readily available. This reviewer found these pegs so handy, he is left wondering why screw-in tent stakes are not more common.

Reasons to Buy

  • Sets without tools
  • Goes into rocky soil
  • Goes into hard soil
  • Holds as well (or better) as other styles
  • Not worried about poking a hole in my gear when in my pack

Reasons to Avoid

  • Slightly heavier
  • Plastic

Recently, I tested and reviewed the Tentsile Flite for Trailspace. While I did not care much for that product, I did find the stakes that came with it to be superior to the cheap J-stakes that normally come with a tent or tarp. In fact, I felt these X3 Giant Pegs deserved their own review. Unlike other stakes that are driven into the ground by force, the X3 Giant Peg screws into the ground by hand. There is no need to use your foot, a rock, or a mallet. One simply presses down and screws the stake into the ground.

Read more: Tentsile X3 Giant Pegs review (1)

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Trailspace reviewers have shared 43 reviews of 22 different stakes.

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