|Rating:||8.7 / 10|
|Value for Money||1.7 / 2|
|Durability||1.6 / 2|
|Versatility||1.8 / 2|
|Weight||1.8 / 2|
|Ease of Use||1.8 / 2|
Hook stakes are very much the original stake. They are essentially a straight length of metal with a small section at the top bent over proving a handy little hook. This type of stake keeps the tent guy line from coming off and provides a mechanism to easily pull the peg out of the ground when breaking camp. As a result, these pegs typically don’t come with a small nylon to ease removal loop that other pegs have.
Without a doubt this style of tent peg is the most common on the market and usually the easiest and cheapest to find in any outdoor store. Hook stakes are ideally suited to very rocky and hard ground being the best peg style in these conditions but while they are super cheap they are also usually very poor quality. Typically when I am hiking on well known and heavily used trails its not unusual to find this style of stake either lost or abandoned. Large bends in them is common and can render them useless unless you have the strength to straighten them out.
MSR has spent the time to design this Hook Stake. They looked at what’s so good and bad about this style of peg and designed-out the flaws in this version as much as possible. While most hook stakes are made from a piece of round metal, MSR has used a squared profile which has a slight rounding on each of the corners. This still allows the peg to be easily driven into the ground but at the same time it provides additional strength which limits bending. This design also provides additional holding power in the ground which minimises twisting that may allow the peg to pull out of the ground in soft soils. In addition, MSR has included a sharper point on the pegs which aids in driving them into the ground.
One thing you can’t see when comparing pegs is the quality of the alloy used in the manufacturing process. As always MSR uses the highest grades of aluminium alloy in production. In this case 7075 alloy which has an extremely high tensile strength that minimises potential bending – one of the biggest flaws in this style of peg. The MSR Hook Stakes are 17 cm long which is about average length for this style of stake and weighs in at 10 grams each which is pretty good as far as tent pegs go.
The MSR Hook Stakes are sold in a pack of six and like the rest of MSR’s tent stakes, are red in colour. While this is a good marketing tool it also means MSR pegs are instantly recognisable. This colour also stands out in almost any environment particularly when you are camping in an area with lots of ground vegetation. There’s always one tent peg trying to hide!
The most obvious negative of the MSR Hook Stakes is the price with a pack of six selling for AUD $25.65 RRP ($4.28 per peg). MSR doesn’t do ‘cheap and nasty’ gear and this peg is no different – you get what you pay for! There are cheaper versions of this style of peg in many outdoor stores but you are very much paying for what you get. The cheaper options just aren’t as good so I prefer to shop based on ‘value for money’ rather than just price.
The other limitation with this style of peg is that it doesn’t work well on soft or sandy soils but in all honesty that’s not what these pegs are made for. They work extremely well in hard or rocky ground often being one of the few pegs that can manage to penetrate between the rocks; I wish I had been using these pegs on the Larapinta Trail!
Also, these pegs don’t have the best holding power in very windy conditions and while I would choose the MSR Hook Stakes over the cheaper versions, in strong winds any day I would opt for a different style of peg. The short of it is, if you are camping in soft or sandy soils, snow or areas known for strong winds and you are going to be out in the open, then this is not the best peg option to choose. Over the years I have moved away from carrying just one style of peg unless I know exactly what type of soils I will be coming across. So I prefer to carry multiple styles of pegs to cover that ‘just in case’ situation.
I’ve had the opportunity to test this peg out and I have come to love it – I will definitely be adding a couple to my kit to allow for all eventualities.
Please Note: At the time of this review, availability of these pegs was limited however they are expected to be back in stock at the end of October 2021.
You can purchase the MSR Hook Tent Stakes in Australia from Snowys
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AUD $25.65 RRP for six stakes
MSR produces a wide range of stakes but the ones listed below are some of the better known ones:
MSR Hook Tent Stakes sold as a pack of six
MSR Hook Stake in a large male hand
7075 Aluminium Alloy means this stake is about as tough as it gets. The additional strength provided by the squared of profile will outlast cheaper options
Squared profile on the MSR Hook Stake provides a level of strength that cheaper round versions won’t provide
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by Australian Hiker