Teragon 3d printed tent stake in the ground

Teragon Gear Pioneer Stake Review

A 3D printed, titanium, ultralight, hyper-durable tent stake.

October 8, 2023 – Early test results are in, and so far the Teragon Gear Pioneer Stake, made of 3D printed titanium, has been an outright terrific piece of ultralight gear. These Norwegian tent stakes represent overdue innovation in a category that has, until recently, been stagnant. They are likely the best ultralight performance option on the market, and they are almost certainly the most expensive. This could be the G.O.A.T. of stakes. Shop now.

  • Price: $20 per stake
  • Weight: 5.1 g (.18 oz) per stake
  • Length: 150mm/5.9in
  • Material: 3D printed titanium
  • Shape: Y-Stake
  • Pros: Ultralight. Ultra durable. Great holding power. Textured to create friction with soil. Narrow neck grips line securely. Comes with pull loop. Y-beam is strongest shape. Wide head absorbs rock hits.
  • Cons: Prohibitively expensive. Lacks multiple notches. Longer option currently unavailable.

Editor’s note – As of 10/11/23, Teragon dropped the price of Pioneer Stakes from $25 to $20 after they “clarified some issues regarding VAT on exports from Norway.”

You make Adventure Alan & Co possible. When purchasing through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Here’s why you can trust us. Now back to the Teragon Gear Pioneer Stake review.

3d printed stake

Teragon Gear Pioneer Stake Overview

Weighing only 5.1g (0.18oz) per 150mm (5.9 in) stake, the 3D printed Teragon Gear Pioneer Stakes are 2-3x lighter than your typical aluminum stake, and on par weight-wise with the lightest of ultralight stakes, such a titanium shepherd stakes, and carbon fiber cylinder stakes. Only they have way better durability and holding power than either of those two.

The Y-beam shape is the strongest, and best holding design for a tent stake. It is least likely to bend, and creates a secure hold against push and pull from all direction. We always prefer Y-stakes when we can get them. What’s special about this Y-beam is the way it rounds in the center, rather than forming sharp angles at the arm intersections. This certainly increases the strength of the stake.

The narrow neck creates an exceptional grip on your line, and 3D-printed struts reinforce the head-neck-connection-point to prevent it from bending or snapping. The flat circular surface on the head is perfect for pounding with a rock, and has so far proven to be extremely durable. It even has a textured surface along the body of the Y, for improved friction with surrounding soil.

close up on texture of y beam with logo

Testing Teragon Gear Pioneer 3d Printed Stakes

Teragon sent us four stakes for testing, straight from their Norway HQ. We’ve used them to tension out the corners of a trekking pole shelter on a few backcountry nights so far, and every time they held marvelously in calm to moderate conditions. We haven’t used them in a storm yet.

We tested durability by wailing on a stake repeatedly with a rock, while driving the point against another rock. It never bent, the point didn’t dull, and the surface of the head was barely scraped up. And we were hitting hard enough to draw sparks, at least a dozen times. BTW, you could probably even use these stakes to start a fire in an emergency!

Once we have a full season of using these stakes under our belt, we will report back  with added long term durability info.

Close up on head of teragon pioneer stake

3D Printed Teragon Pioneer Stake Vs Competition

Price ($) Weight (g) Shape Length (mm) Material
Teragon Pioneer 20.0 5.1 Y-beam 150 Titanium
Zpacks Ultralight Titanium 2.25 5.4 Shepherd 152 Titanium
Zpacks Carbon Fiber 3.95 6.2 Cylinder 160 Carbon Fiber
MSR Mini Ground Hog 4.5 9.4 Y-beam 150 Aluminum
Vargo Titanium Ascent 3.95 10 V-beam 158 Titanium
Zpacks Titanium V 3.25 11 V-beam 165 Titanium
AnyGear 7075 Aluminum 0.7 13.5 Y-beam 175 Aluminum
MSR Ground Hog 5.0 14 Y-beam 190 Aluminum
testing Teragon 3d printed tent stake for review

Value Proposition

With the Teragon Gear Pioneer Stake, you are buying what is currently the single best performing ultralight option on the market within its category. Teragon Pioneer stakes are manufactured with emerging technology, and shipped directly from Norway, so you would expect them to be expensive. But even still, $20 per stake is a tall order!

The average backpacker could likely find a more productive way to spend $200 on upgrading gear. But to the dedicated ultralight enthusiast, one who already has a fully optimized kit and wants nothing nothing less than the very best, this could be a worthwhile splurge upgrade. And you’ll definitively impress your friends with some emerging gear technology wow factor.

Teragon 3d printed tent stake, view of head from side

What could be better?

Well, obviously the price of the Teragon Gear Pioneer Stake is the thing we’d like to see changed most. 3D printing is expensive, and until manufacturing ramps up, they’re unlikely to get substantially cheaper.

So from a technical perspective, we’d like to see a slightly longer stake offered. A stake’s hold is a critical potential failure point when using a trekking pole shelter that requires tension, so we prefer not messing around. While a 150mm/5.9in stake is industry average, we actually recommend something closer to 175-200mm/7-8in, to get an even more secure hold.

For that same reason, elongating the arms at each end of the y-shape by 1-2 mm would also increase the stakes holding power nicely. Because the material is so totally ultralight, those combined size increases would likely only add about 1g per stake, 1.5g max. And doing so would up the holding power from great to excellent. Or they could present a range of size offerings, include a 150mm, 175mm, and 200mm to accommodate varying conditional needs and shelters. Hopefully that’s all coming down the road as Teragon expands.

Another potential area for improvement would be the addition of multiple notches for line placement optionality. The advantage of this is that, in rocky ground, you may not be able to pound the stake in all of the way. By tying off the guy line lower down on the stake, rather than at the neck just below the top, you reduce the mechanical leverage pulling against the stake, thereby reducing the likelihood of a large gust of wind pulling the tent so hard it rips the stake out of the ground. Maybe they could 3D print some magic to innovate a new style of notch.

close up on teragon 3d printed tent stakes

Teragon Gear Pioneer Stake Review Verdict

It’s always thrilling to handle best-in-class kit, and the 3D printed Teragon Gear Pioneers Stakes are certainly top tier. From materials, to stats, to backcountry performance, this stake is truly exceptional in all regards. We hope to see price drops in the future so more people can access this technology. But until then, it’s really sweet to see innovative 3D printing technology used to manufacture outdoor gear in new and exciting ways. Nice one, Teragon!

See what these stakes pair best with in our guide to the best backpacking tents.

teragon gear pioneer stake