I've recently been field testing some prototype 6-inch, high-visibility 6g (0.2oz) titanium tent stakes manufactured by Gossamer Gear. These stakes are a new (unreleased) version of their popular Tite-Lite titanium tent stakes, with one major difference - they have a bright yellow, high-visibility ceramic coating.
If you've ever lost one or more of your tent stakes during a backpacking trip, you'll know how useful it is to have tent stakes that are easily seen when dropped on the ground. That's even more important when you start buying more expensive lightweight titanium stakes, you definitely don't want to be losing them all the time.
I was initially concerned about the durability of a ceramic coating. In my experience, I've found other similar types of ceramic coatings to be very brittle and susceptible to cracking or splitting when flexed. To my surprise, the GG Tite-Lite stakes were incredibly strong and not at all easy to bend by hand, so my initial concerned proved to be unfounded.
The tip or point of the Tite-Lite stakes are cone shaped to help make them easier to insert into hard or rocky ground. They are not completely pointed, but chamfered just enough to help.
I did notice however, that after dozens of insertions into the very hard, rocky, clay soil that we have in North Carolina, the ceramic coating did begin to show very small signs of wear at the end/point of the stake. After speaking with Grant at Gossamer Gear, he told me that the final version that will go into production will only have the ceramic coating on the top half of the stake. That means the end that gets all the abuse will be uncoated titanium and extremely durable.
The ceramic coating added almost no noticeable weight to the stakes that I tested. I weighed all eight of the stakes and every one weighed 6g, which is the same as the weight listed for the uncoated Tite-Lite Ti stakes on the GG website. Given that the final version of these will only be coated on half of the stake, I can't see the weight being any different.
According to Grant, these ceramic coated stakes will be available to purchase from their website in April. They are also planning to make a slightly longer, seven-inch version of these same ceramic coated stakes. No word yet on the price, but these will be worth the money even if all they do is help stop you losing any more stakes.
Disclosure: Gossamer Gear provided Brian's Backpacking Blog with a complementary set of Ti stakes to review.
Brian is a Charlotte based backpacker, gear junkie, runner, and CrossFit(er). Originally from Southampton, England, Brian has lived in the US for over 20 years, finally settling in North Carolina. He spends as much time backpacking as his busy work schedule and family life will allow.