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Many claims and perceptions exist for the holding power of tent stakes, but few actual comparisons of the performance of different stake designs and lengths have been performed. A few informal tests have been done, but the tests lack a scientific approach in terms of testing a wide range of stakes, comparing all stakes under common conditions, replicating tests, calculating holding power parameters, and properly documenting the results.

Therefore, the objective of this project was to compare the holding power of a wide range of tent stake designs and lengths under uniform ground conditions, and generate some hard data on their comparative performance.


  • Overview
  • Staking Angle
  • Stakes Tested
  • Materials, Methods, and Procedures
  • Results
  • Comparative Stake Holding Power in Two Ground Conditions
  • Holding Power:Total Length Ratio
  • Holding Power:Effective Length Ratio
  • Holding Power:Weight Ratio
  • Other Tests and Observations
  • Discussion and Conclusions

# WORDS: 1960

2019 Update: The Best Stake for the Weight

  • As of November 2019, it's still the MSR Groundhog Mini. Y-channel = strong holding power, aluminum = light, and Y-channel = durable (resists bending).
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