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Tent Anchor Types

Rope vs Ratchet Buckles

Tents & canopies can be anchored down by using either rope tie downs or ratchet assemblies (consisting of ratchet buckles and straps). While each method of anchoring is effective, ropes and ratchets have significant differences.

Rope tie downs have been the original type of anchoring system since the Indians first erected tepees. The ropes are the most common type of tie down in the tent industry. They are connected to the tent top and then tie off at the stakes. The biggest pro for the rope system is the price. A rope system is the cheapest way to anchor a tent.


Ratchet buckles are a new innovation in the tent industry and standard on all GetTent.com tent & canopy systems. The ratchet buckle is attached to the stake anchor and then fastened to a strap that is attached to the tent top; at this point the ratchet is now able to be tightened down, holding the tent in place. The major benefit of the ratchet assembly (buckle and strap) system is the efficiency they provide when compared to the rope tensioning system. Ratchets assemblies allow for a reduction in labor costs because they are much easier to use and can be tightened by a single person. The ratchets are also much stronger, achieve a higher level of tension, and require less maintenance. The only down fall of a ratchet system is the initial cost; ratchet buckles are more expensive than ropes. However over the life of the tent installation process there is a tremendous labor savings in setup and teardown.



Stakes anchors are integral to both methods of tent & canopy anchoring. When anchoring a tent using either ropes or ratchets, the stakes need to be driven completely vertical at a distance that is half the height of the side pole (approximately 42" - 48" for a 7' or 8' eave height). This will create a 45 degree angle, which in turn will produce vertical forces that are equivalent to the lateral forces on the tent stake. This results in the strongest point of reference..

For more information on rope tensioning, ratchet assemblies, staking, and anchoring, view GetTent.com's Tent Staking Demonstration:

Unless you are familiar with rope anchors, we recommend ratchet anchors in all situations for all tent types.