Where we camp there is hard rocky soil and it can be hard to drive stakes in. We had previously forgotten to take a mallet and it took 30+ minutes to pound 6 stakes in the ground with a rock. We've since been using this mallet and it's wonderful! It doesn't take more than a minute or two to get the entire tent staked down. The hook on the other end pulls stakes out with ease.
For car camping tenters, this stake mallet is a must. It's a great favor to your camp neighbors so that they won't have to endure the thwack-thwack of a hard plastic mallet. This rubber mallet is almost silent when it hits a tent stake. And it is remarkably durable -- I've been using the same one for a decade and dozens of camp trips. Very highly recommended.
i have used both mallets shown here. the plastic mallet held up extremely well on a trip with very hard ground and a variety of stake types. this rubber mallet's cover broke down rapidly (2 week trip) and the stake puller loop gets caught on everything. it is also quite heavy in comparison.
I don't use these. I don't find them necessary. However I have some buddies I car camp with at RenFair and they use one all the time and every year I have my norse heritage put to the test as I am asked to use one of these to throw a line over a high tree branch. The line is looped on the hook at the bottom and skillfully thrown over a branch that is way too high. This mallet brings a smile to my face. Hail Odin.
The mallet is good for car camping. It's heavy, but it works very well for hammering in tent stakes. However, the hook on the end for pulling tent stakes needs to be a heavier gauge steel. I was using the stake puller, and the hook completely uncurled on me while I was pulling up a stubborn tent stake. I re-bent the hook and I've continued to use it, but I would recommend replacing the hook with a heavier hook.
Unfortunately, this mallet doesn't handle to well if you are driving a MSR Ground Hog Stake in very hard ground. It does what it's supposed to do, just would suggest a stronger rubber to withstand trying to drive those particular stakes in.