Buyer's Guide: Best Tent Stakes for Backpacking

Rilor Staff
Update: August 7, 2020
Table of Contents

When it comes to making your tents stable and immobile, the best backpacking tent requires strong backpacking stakes play an essential role. By simply having them around, you can ensure that you can set your outdoor shelter anywhere you want. 

Of course, there are numerous instances where an excellent tent does not come with equally exceptional stakes. And that's quite heart-breaking, considering the fact that you have expected so much. But don't give up yet. There is still a myriad of high-quality stakes that can deliberately keep up with your pursuits. 

Reviews Of The Best Backpacking Tent Stakes

1. MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes - Editor's Pick

MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes - Package of 4
  • Constructed of lightweight 7000-series aluminum, the Cyclone stakes offer strength and holding power in a wide range of conditions
  • A reflective pull loop allows for easy removal

The MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes are among the most reliable stakes that you can get today. Whenever you are dealing with substrates like sand or any soft soil, this one is the most suitable choice. 

The stakes have a notable spiral body, which is far from the conventional stake designs. However, this design enabled us to hold tightly on the ground. Once you pinned too deeply and firmly, it won't move or rotate. It is a quality that you should never miss. 

These stakes are tailored from the special grade 7000-series aluminum. This material is not only light but offers extreme durability that you can rely on every backpacking trip. Specifically, each stake weighs only 1.2 ounces. 

Since the MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes have reflective pull loops, removing them is never difficult, even in low-light conditions. Notably, the stakes are long enough to give its users an assurance that you can drive it as deeply as you want. The stake has a length of 10 inches or almost a foot. 


  • Lightweight construction
  • Made from highly durable and bent-resistant material
  • Spiral design allows it to be stable on soft grounds
  • Can be removed easily with its pull loops
  • Each stake is long


  • They do not have a stuff sack for their storage

2. Vargo Ti Shepherd's Hook Stakes - Runner-Up

If you are looking for simple yet reliable stakes, you should check out the Vargo Ti Shepherds Hook Stake. These stakes are definitely a solid choice since they are made from genuine titanium. They are extremely light but have durability that you will never regret.

These stakes have a pointed end that enables you to pin them to the ground, regardless of how tough the latter is. With a camping hamper, you can easily pin them deeply. You don't have to worry about hammering these stakes since they are rugged in the first place. 

I also like the reflective design of these stakes. It makes them visible in any lighting condition. You can make quick adjustments during the night because of this feature. 

With a length of 6.5 inches, these hook stakes can be dug deeper to the ground. Pulling them away is easy, too. The hook does not only serve as an efficient platform for tying guylines, but it also improves the stake's overall usability. 


  • Extremely lightweight 
  • Impressive durability and sturdiness
  • Fluorescent coating improves its outdoor visibility
  • Versatile; can be used in any staking applications
  • Can be pinned to the ground quickly


  • Rotates when not placed securely

3. Coghlan's Ultralight Tent Stakes - Budget-Friendly Pick

Coghlan's Ultralight Tent Stakes
  • Largest single brand of camping accessories in the world
  • Everything you need to enjoy the outdoors
  • Durable, afforadable, practical
  • Tent stakes
  • Great for backpacking, day trips, and hikes

The Coghlan's Ultralight Tent Stakes are a cost-efficient and suitable option for backpacking purposes. These stakes have impressive rigidity, as they are all made from the highly robust 6061 aluminum series. They are also light. Specifically, each stake only weighs 0.5 ounce, which is downright impressive. 

However, the most notable feature of these tent stakes is their V-shape design. Unlike circular and rounded stakes, they have the capability to remain immobile once in the ground. They are not prone to rotate, which makes them ideal for backpacking in areas where the surface is soft or sandy. 

The Coghlan's Ultralight Tent Stakes are versatile enough to handle different types of stakes and conditions. They are not susceptible to rusting and corrosion. They can last long in service, even if you are going to use them frequently. 

Of course, the best part of these stakes is their cost. They are inexpensive, and will never make you bother of their price tags. That is something you should never miss.


  • Features impressive holding capability
  • Resistant to rotation and wobbling
  • Robust and durable construction
  • Includes pull cords for quick removal
  • Ensures quick attachment to guylines


  • May bend if hammered strongly

4. REI Co-op Snow Stake - Premium Pick

REI Co-op Snow Stake
  • Holes in stake fill in with snow to help anchor the stake in place
  • REI Snow Stake also works in sand
  • Alternatively, the Snow Stake can be used upside down if necessary; use one of the lower holes to tie off stake and bury the cord in the snow

The most difficult substrates to set your tent are snow and sand. Hence, you need a set of stakes that are incredibly reliable for these backpacking applications. If you have an upcoming trip to any of these terrains, I suggest that you bring a couple of REI Co-op Snow Stakes. 

These stakes have an innovative design that makes them suitable for these "grainy" areas. The holes that you see on the body of the stake allow the snow to pass through. This mechanism prevents the stakes from moving. They also guarantee that you can put the stakes securely and tightly to the ground. 

The width of these snow stakes proves that they are not easy to bend. They are made from high-grade aluminum, which is definitely worth trusting. Of course, they do not weigh heavy. 

The length of each of the REI Co-op Snow Stakes is approximately ten inches. You can ensure that it will have a deep hold to the snow. It is indeed perfect for extreme backpacking trips. 


  • Perfect for both sand and snow
  • Ensures a tight hold to the ground
  • Made to be lightweight and rugged
  • Long enough to be burrowed deeply
  • Can weather moderate gusts of wind


  • Not suitable for extremely deep snow

5. Snow Peak Solid Stake

The Snow Peak Solid Stake is excellent for backpacking. It is constructed for securing large tarps and tents. This one is notably sturdy. It is not prone to bending or chipping either. 

The stake also features a big head so that you will no longer have any problems in hammering it. Once in the ground, it can remain tight and immovable. But if you are already packing up, its hole will allow you to detach it from the surface easily. 

You don't have to question the quality of the Snow Peak Solid Stakes. After all, they are manufactured from Japan. They have been constructed with adherence to quality. Specifically, the stakes are crafted from S55C steel, which is ultra-rugged and durable. 


  • Engineered to withstand challenging outdoor conditions
  • Made from premium materials 
  • Comes with four different sizes
  • Includes a hole and hook for quick removal
  • Not prone to bending


  • Not the lightest stakes you can encounter

A Guide In Choosing The Best Backpacking Tent Stakes

One of the most integral parts of tents, or your outdoor shelter, is the stake. Its job is pretty simple but nifty: it is the one responsible for holding your tent or tarp. 

Whenever there are strong gusts of wind or torrential rain, these stakes ensure that your tent will not be dragged and toppled. At the same time, they also keep your tent immobile even if you move a lot inside. 

Stakes are the pegs that you punch or drive to the ground. They work hand-in-hand with guylines to guarantee the stability of your tent. In the olden times, stakes are made from sharpened branches of wood. With the advent of modern technology, the backpacking stakes are now tailored from ultralight materials such as titanium and aluminum.

In choosing a tent stake for backpacking purposes, the following factors should be taken into account. 

  • Length - It is important that you can get a stake that can provide a deeper hold to the ground. The deeper a stake can go to the ground, the tighter and firmer the hold it can make. Hence, longer stakes are the optimal choice for substrates that aren't that stable when shallow. 
  • Size - A stake that has a bigger surface area is more reliable than those that are considerably thin. When a stake is thick, it signifies that it is robust. It can also provide exceptional traction to the ground. 
  • Weight - Most of the high-quality stakes in the market today are already light. After all, they are crafted from rugged but lightweight material, which is truly advantageous, considering that it would allow their users to carry them conveniently. For backpacking purposes, it is essential that the stakes are light. You don't want to be burdened by heavy sticks. 
  • Material - When choosing a stake, you need to inspect the kind of material where it has been derived. The type of material determines the actual cost, weight, and performance of a stake. 

Because we are talking about backpacking, it is essential that you get stakes that are made from aluminum. They are light and robust but don't cost too much. If you are looking for something lighter than aluminum, consider titanium. Be careful with their cost, though. They are not as inexpensive as aluminum. Carbon fiber is on the higher scale of the price range. They are extremely strong and reliable but tend to be pricey.

Type Of Backpacking Tent Stakes

  • Pegs Or Needles - The basic type of stake is a peg. Usually, it is either in a cylindrical or square construction. It features one sharp end and the other end being its head. It is easy to drive a peg in the ground. However, it is exceptionally susceptible to bending since it doesn't have a large surface area. Fortunately, there are pegs that have large and thick bodies. You just have to look around. 
  • V-Stakes - They are called V-stakes because of the "V-like" formation of their bodies. Of course, their shape provides them with a better surface area that pegs. Moreover, their construction prevents them from moving or rotating whenever they are grounded on the soil. One notable feature of V-stakes is the notch near their heads. You can use them as attachment points to the guylines of the tent. 
  • Y-Stakes - There are similarities to Y-stakes and V-stakes. Their stark difference in their respective shape. Because of the way they constructed, these Y-stakes gained larger surface areas than V-stakes. They are also resistant to movement. They do not rotate once bound to the ground already. Moreover, Y-stakes are notably robust. You don't see them bend easily.
  • Shepherd's Hook - One of the most notable stakes for backpacking and camping purposes is the shepherd's hook. Its construction is quite similar to needles or pegs; however, the other end of the stake has a hook-like head. You can tie guylines on these hooks easily. But just like pegs, these hook stakes are still susceptible to bending. If not secured tightly, they are prone to rotating. I recommend that you should pound a shepherd hook down to the ground so that its movement will be restricted. 
  • Snow / Sand Stakes - Stakes that are meant for unstable surfaces like the sand or snow require a large surface. Moreover, they also have a curved body to ensure that they can generate a tighter hold to the ground. Of course, they are heavier than other types of stakes. But at the same time, they are robust and reliable. You can use them whenever you are backpacking in areas where it is sandy and snowy. 


The best backpacking tent stakes are an indispensable tool for any backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts. Tents won't be able to stand steadily without stakes holding them on the ground. Hence, it is crucial that you invest in them, especially if you deem that the stakes that come with your tents are a little shabby. 

I hope that you learned from this guide. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below. 

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