Tent Stakes Roundup: Pros and Cons of 6 Ultralight Options

Gear ReviewsAli Becker
Best Ultralight Stake UL Tent Stakes Backpacking Accessories Shelters


Tent stakes can often be overlooked when it comes to an ultralight shelter system, but when you consider the amount of them you need to secure your sleeping quarters, the weight can really add up. This, coupled with the fact that stakes can create a comfortable sleeping space in order to get a good night's rest for tomorrow's adventures, these small pieces of gear become a worthy investment.


Carbon Fiber Tent Stakes by @t Stakes

AT Stakes Best Ultralight Stake UL Tent Stakes Backpacking Accessories Shelters

  • Size - 6” L x 0.25” D
  • Weight - 0.15 oz / 4.25 g 
  • Cost - $6.99 USD/ ea

If you’re looking for an incredibly lightweight tent stake, look no further than the glow-in-the-dark, carbon fiber tent stakes handmade by Mike and Shelby Adams-Calway-Fagen in Liberty, West Virginia.

Available in a range of sizes and colors, with or without a matching grosgrain loop (which I recommend for easier removal), these bright and light stakes add a fun factor to your kit, while being equally durable, strong and dependable. 

The hand-machined aluminum points and reinforcements, paired with the tubular, carbon fiber arrow shafts, make these stakes great to use in many different soil types, with the exception of super soft snow.

It’s worth noting that the carbon fiber shafts (like most ultralight stakes) should not be set into the ground by repeatedly hammering with brute force; but rather pushed in with slow, continual pressure using a piece of bark, or some form of dampener in between you and the stake. 

AT Stakes Best Ultralight Stake UL Tent Stakes Backpacking Accessories Shelters


Once secured into the ground, they are super stable and easy to see. All they need is a few minutes bathed in light, and they will glow-in-the-dark all night long, which is great for late-night bathroom missions and finding your way back ‘home’ after dark.

PROS

  • ultralight
  • durable
  • good in most soil types
  • visible
  • glow in the dark
  • handmade
  • easy to extract (with loop)

CONS

  • more expensive than other stakes
  • carbon can splinter if hammered on


Atani Titanium Stakes by Suluk46

Atani Titanium Best Ultralight Stake UL Tent Stakes Backpacking Accessories Shelters

  • Size - 6” L
  • Weight - 0.176 oz / 5 g per stake 
  • Cost - $21.99 USD/ pack of 4

Canadian-based gear builder and designer, Steve Evans, is the brains behind Suluk 46, makers of the ultralight titanium Atani stake. Weighing in at a mere 5g, these thin, flexible but super strong tent stakes are great at penetrating sturdy soil and staying put.

They boast a machined, t-shaped top that has a good groove for holding onto your guy lines and ensuring they won't slip off. I found these tent stakes to be a bit more challenging to remove than options with an added pull cord, but the flat nature of the design makes them easy to pinch between your thumb and fore-finger to pull out.

Their natural, titanium coloring makes them sleek and discreet, but also hard to see in the dark, and easier to leave behind if you forget to do a head count once you’ve extracted them. The flat shape makes for ultimate packability; along with their light weight, it makes you almost forget you have them along.

PROS

  • ultralight
  • strong
  • titanium won’t rust
  • good for firm ground
  • notch for guy lines
  • packable

CONS

  • harder to extract
  • not highly visible
  • not as good for soft soil

 

Titanium Shepard’s Hook by Vargo Outdoors 

  • Size - 6.5” L x 0.14” D
  • Weight - 0.3 oz
  • Cost - $3.75 USD

The Titanium Shepard’s Hook by Vargo Outdoors is a classic tent stake designed with impressive strength, flexibility and versatility. The sharp pinpoint end makes them easy to insert into the ground, and their flexible shaft is able to maneuver around roots and rocks quite well.

I found these stakes to be suitable for a wide variety of soil and staking applications, but limited in their ability to hold strong in snow or super soft sand. In those instances, I usually add a rock on top for extra holding power.

I appreciate the vibrant, orange-coated handles, which adds visibility and makes the stakes easier to grip. The curved shape of the shepherd's hook top keeps the guy lines from slipping off the handle and also makes for incredibly easy extraction. 

PROS

  • lightweight
  • durable
  • packable
  • titanium won’t rust
  • easy to use
  • visible
  • flexible

CONS

  • not great in sand and snow


Titanium Nail Peg by Vargo Outdoors

Vargo Nail Peg Best Ultralight Stake UL Tent Stakes Backpacking Accessories Shelters

  • Size - 6” L x 0.15” D
  • Weight - 0.3 oz
  • Cost - $3.75 USD

The ultralight Titanium Nail Peg by Vargo Outdoors is perfect for staking your tent in hardpack, even frozen ground. As the name suggests, the flat head of the nail can take a hammering without bending, breaking or getting damaged, which can’t be said for all ultralight stakes.

I found it best to stake these pegs into the ground on a bit more of an angle than usual, so your guy lines don’t slip off the top if the weather gets weird. The reflective cord attached to the long, slender pegs makes them easier to see at night and also makes for easy extraction when packing up.

These stakes are small but mighty and bundle together well with an elastic band wrapped around them, making for a really paired down tent stake situation.

PROS

  • can be hammered into firm ground
  • ultralight
  • durable
  • titanium won’t rust
  • packable
  • cord for easy extraction

CONS

  • no notch for guylines
  • not so great in soft soil or sand


Titanium Ascent Stake by Vargo Outdoors 

Best Ultralight Stake UL Tent Stakes Backpacking Accessories Shelters vargo ascent

  • Size - 6.2” L
  • Weight - 0.3 oz
  • Cost - $3.95 USD

The V-shaped, titanium Ascent stakes by Vargo Outdoors shine in soft, supple and snowy ground. While they can be used for a variety of soil types, you might find them difficult to insert into firm ground with only your hands.

The notch at the top of these stakes provides the guy lines with a stable place to sit, and the reflective cord loop makes them easier to see and remove from the ground. The cut out patterns along the wide surface of the shaft shave weight and look pretty cool, too!

The V-shaped stakes nest together nicely, reducing pack space and that obnoxious noise made by stakes clanging together. 

PROS

  • ultralight
  • packable
  • nesting design
  • titanium won’t rust
  • good in soft and snowy ground
  • notch for holding guy lines
  • aesthetic design

CONS

  • harder to insert in firm ground


Sonic & Super Sonic Stake by Zpacks 

Best Ultralight Stake UL Tent Stakes Backpacking Accessories Shelters

Sonic

  • Size - 6” x 8mm
  • Weight - 0.3oz 
  • Cost - $2 USD

Super Sonic

  • Size - 7” x 11.5mm
  • Weight - 0.44oz
  • Cost - $2.25 USD

Both the Sonic and the Super Sonic tent stakes by Zpacks boast a bright, light aluminum makeup with a three-sided, Y-beam shape that has great holding power, especially in windy weather conditions.

While the high-grade aluminum can take a bit of a beating, it’s really best practice (as with all ultralight tent stakes) to press them into the ground with continued, steady force — avoiding putting your whole weight onto the stake (read: don’t stand on it)!

Best Ultralight Stake UL Tent Stakes Backpacking Accessories Shelters


The Zpacks Sonic and Super Sonic stakes stand out with their vibrant blue bodies that are topped off with bright orange cordage, making them easy to spot and extract. 

Choose the longer 7” length when you need to plunge your stake deeper into the ground, and go for shorter when less will do.

PROS

  • ultralight
  • strong
  • visible
  • cord for easy extraction
  • easy to use
  • inexpensive

CONS

  • not as packable as others


Final Thoughts

Best Ultralight Stake UL Tent Stakes Backpacking Accessories Shelters


Upgrading to a set of ultralight, durable and easy-to-use tent stakes is a great way to lower your pack weight while creating a comfortable, reliable and secure shelter system.

With the ability to mix and match tent stakes on the GGG store, you can select the components that will best suit your unique adventures, helping you ‘rest assured’ that you have everything you need for good recovery, no matter the weather.

 

 

Best Ultralight Stake UL Tent Stakes Backpacking Accessories Shelters
Ultralight Tent Stakes

 

 

Ali Becker is a freelance adventure writer and narrative storyteller who shares compelling conversations about personal transformations, overcoming limitations, wellness education and adventurous situations. You can follow her rambling adventures on social at @thisisalibecker or at her blog thisisalibecker.com. 



Gear reviews

2 comments

Alan Lau

Alan Lau

I still love my 6" Easton tent stakes. No issues and I’ve had a set since 2007. They are relatively hard to find on the web. 0.3 oz per 6" stake. Great holding power. Can use a rock to hammer it into the ground if absolutely need to.

Doug

Doug

Use case matters and so does length. If you have a self supporting tent, any of these will work. hiking pole/tarp folks literally have it all riding on the stakes. For the major stress points, go to 7". For Misc tie-outs, 6" is enough Other options worth looking at (not carried by GG) are Lawson Equipment stakes and Big Sky International Tube Stake. They come in longer lengths and are worth a few more grams when a storm rolls in.

Leave a comment

Featured Products

Save 10%
Vecto 2L Water Container by Cnoc OutdoorsVecto 2L Water Container by Cnoc Outdoors
Save 20%
Portable Bidet by CuloCleanUltralight Portable Bidet by CuloClean
Ultralight Portable Bidet by CuloClean
From $ 7.99 $ 9.99
In stock