A. A soft shell jacket is made from a soft to the touch fabric and due to the flexibility and breathability of the fabric they are popular for active pursuits. You can tell the difference between a softshell and hardshell jacket as a hardshell jacket will rustle more than a softshell jacket.
A ski jacket is traditionally a hardshell jacket but softshell jackets are becoming a popular alternative for the slopes. Softshell jackets are much lighter than hardshell jackets. To cut down on weight a softshell jacket will not always have the same features that a hardshell ski jacket will have such as snow skirts, hoods or large pockets.
Hardshell ski jackets are more insulated than a softshell jacket and will often be more waterproof. As layering is important for skiing a softshell jacket can be layered under a hard shell jacket for added warmth.