That’s a tough question and here is how it breaks down:
- solo, companion or kids (individual or shared) - solo or companion camping is easy when you’re using a hammock. Having younger kids in a hammock poses a number of security and technical challenges.
- use the hammock as a chair? Depending on the orientation of the camp you might not need to brink a chair or a log to sit on.
- trees available - if there are no trees for at least a ridgeline then you’re going to be sleeping naked, so to speak.
- disaster strikes and a pole breaks or a rope snaps - most kits have spare parts or you should be able to make it through the night. Chances are good you have spare cordage.
- does your pack get wet - when tenting there is a good chance your pack will fit in the tent or you might be using it as a pillow. And if not it’s in the vestibule. When using a hammock you might tie it to a tree, directly under your hammock, inside the hammock if there is room… but you have choices.
- ground conditions - wet is wet.
- mattress optional - in the right weather and with the right hammock a mattress might not be necessary.
- 4-season - this could go multiple ways. There are examples of hammock in the winter but for the most part the camper is relying on a good sleeping bag and insulation from a pad as well as proper fly setup.
- weight - they are close enough except that the tent get’s some economy of scale as things are often integrated.
- no-poles although the poles could be walking sticks and so they are serving multiple roles. Don’t lose or break them.
- cost - hammocks seem to be cheaper than the lightest tents.
One thing I like is choices and here is one combination I want to try:
- Guardian basecamp bug net - what makes this interesting is that it has a tub-like bottom. This should keep some ground water from getting to you kit
- House Fly - this fly is 10x10.
combining the two with or without the hammock gives you some choices whether to hang or not but keep in mind that they are considerably heavy at about 5 or 6 lbs.
However, if it’s already raining, like it does in Florida, getting that rain fly into position makes the rest of the setup almost dry.