If you are new to shell jackets, you may be wondering what the difference is between a soft shell and a hard shell jacket. In essence, the difference is due mostly to the level of resistance to rain and wind.
A soft shell jacket for instance, is water resistant and very breathable. It is often warmer and ideal for activities like climbing or skiing because they wick moisture away from the body.
A hard shell jacket on the other hand is waterproof and very often windproof. It is especially versatile in the winter when you are most likely to encounter rain and snow.