It's time to replace my 10 year old burton jacket. I've been looking into softshells. The burton beacon, softshell hoodie, or the 686 plexus zenith to name a couple. Anyone have experience with softshells and how they compare to the "hardshells"? I need something a little lighter and breathable, I layer underneath so I don't need much for insulation in a jacket.
Generally softshells aren't as durable or as light and won't keep you quite as dry. But they are a heck of a lot more comfortable and breathable. I think for casual snowboarding/skiing softshell is the way to go. Maybe if you are working at a resort or something you should buy a hardshell if you could only buy one thing just because you don't really want to be wearing a softshell in a downpour. For something like backpacking I only use a hardshell and layers because of the better protection and lower weight.