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    Best Asphalt Shingles 2020: A Roofing Shingles Guide By Roofing Insights

    Welcome to the Roofing Insights 2020 Roofing Shingles Guide! 

    Over the last three months, we’ve been testing eight different asphalt shingles to see how they stack up against one another and which is this year’s top dog, as well as covered some of the best roofing tools, and how to spot a bad roofing job.

    We’ve been testing and comparing shingles for four years now, and this year, we spent more time researching and testing than all the other years combined. It’s our most exhaustive study yet. So whether your a professional installer, or a DIY roofer, this post is for you.

    We even changed our ranking system from prior years. This year, we ranked shingles on a 5-star ranking scale—the most popular ranking system today.

    To kick off our study, we contacted representatives from each manufacturer to decide which product we will be testing of theirs. We wanted to ensure that we were comparing apples to apples, so we chose the best sellers and most popular shingles on the market from each brand looking past their roofing marketing tactics.

    The Asphalt Shingle Participation Field

    The field of participants include: 

    • BP Vanguard 
    • Pabco Premier
    • Malarkey Highlander
    • IKO Dynasty
    • Owns Corning Duration
    • Tamko Heritage
    • Atlas Pinnacle
    • Certainteed Landmark

    Some of you may be wondering why GAF Timberline is not listed here. We reached out to GAF to see if they were interested in participating in this study, but they did not respond. If that changes, we will update this post to include their ranking. 

    The Categories

    The eight asphalt shingles were then put to the test in the following categories: 

    1. Weight
    2. Nail zone
    3. Pull test
    4. Coverage
    5. Count per bundle/consistency
    6. Online reputation
    7. Granule loss 
    8. Contractors programs, education, resources
    9. Sealant test
    10. Warranty issues, class actions

    We chose categories based on what is most important for both homeowners and installers. As you can see, we avoided categories such as looks and curb appeal because most of the shingles have extremely similar aesthetics and designs. 

    We also avoided pricing because these brands don’t have control over the prices, as roofing shingles are sold to distributors who decide what the price is. 

    Asphalt Shingle Weight

    Weight is not an absolute criterion for what makes a great shingle. You can have a lighter shingle that still performs well. However, we believe that thick shingles tend to be more durable. While it is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to what makes a great shingle, it can be a solid indicator of the quality you can expect. 

    Atlas Pinnacle, IKO Dynasty, and Certainteed Landmark all performed well in this category, with each of them receiving a 5 out of 5.

    All other shingles received a 4. 

    Weight Test Data

    Best Asphalt Shingles brand weight

    Nailing Zone

    The nailing zone is an extremely important factor in the quality of the shingle. The nailing zone should be big and visible so that installers don’t miss it while installing the shingle.

    The nailing zone is also an important factor when it comes to warranties. If the manufacturer comes to your home to check up on a warranty claim, they may deny the claim if the shingles were not properly nailed through the nailing zone. The more difficult it is to see the zone, the more likely the installer will miss it, causing the shingles to blow off. 

    Top performers in this category were Malarkey Highlander, IKO Dynasty, and Owns Corning Duration—all receiving 5s. 

    The lowest-performing shingle for the nailing zone was Tamko Heritage, which received a 3. Its zone was difficult to locate, making installation more difficult than it needs to be. 

    Pull Test

    Next up, we have the pull test, which OC Duration and IKO Dynasty performed very well in. Rounding out the bottom for the pull test are BP Vanguard and Tamko Heritage, which both scored 3s and were easy to pull off, therefore not inspiring a lot of confidence in that area. 

    Pull Test Data

    Best Asphalt Shingles brand pull test


    The common rule of thumb with shingle coverage is that three bundles equate to cover one square of the area of a roof. However, this isn’t always the case. 

    IKO Dynasty, Atlas Pinnacle, and Malarkey Highlander all scored 5s in this category (with Malarkey actually going slightly above and beyond that one square area). All other shingles scored 4s. 

    Count Per Asphalt Shingle Bundle

    We also took into consideration the consistency of the bundles. Not all bundles are the same. Usually, it takes 64 shingles to cover one square. Malarkey uses three bundles, each with 22 shingles. Therefore they received a 5 for this category. 

    IKO Dynasty uses 20 pieces, but they get about the same coverage as Malarkey and are very consistent as well, earning them a 5. Pabco Premier also received a 5. 

    Count Per Bundle Test Data

    Best Asphalt Shingles brand bundle count

    Online Reputation Of Asphalt Shingle Brands

    For this category, we looked online for reviews from homeowners and contractors, as well as whether or not the manufacturer was open to feedback—whether positive or negative. 

    Only Pepco and Atlas enabled Facebook reviews, which is a risk as they are opening themselves up to unwarranted criticisms. However, because they are willing to do that, they each received 5s.

    Malarkey also received a 5 in this category because we found mostly positive reviews and will remedy issues from customers without delay. 

    Tamko, IKO, and Certainteed all received 3s for online reputation, as they had issues with reviews, customer claims, and customer service. 

    Online Reputation Test Data

    Best Asphalt Shingles brand online rating

    Granule Loss

    Some manufacturers are doing a great job in the granule loss, while others… not so much. 

    IKO received just 1 star for this category, as their shingles shed a lot. While IKO scored relatively well across the board, they took a big hit with their poor rating here. Both Certainteed and Pabco received 3s. 

    The top performers in this category include Owns Corning Duration, BP Vanguard, and Tamko Heritage. 

    Granule Loss Test Data

    Best asphalt shinglesL brand granule loss

    Contractors Programs, Education, Resources

    For the most part, the manufacturers all did fairly well when it comes to educating those that are using their products. 

    Only Pabco (4), Tamko (3), and BP (4) scored poorly here. All the other brands received 5s, as they put effort and resources into ensuring that the contractors that they work with use their shingles correctly. 

    Sealant Tests

    5s across the board here! We didn’t find any issues with any of the shingles we tested for. 

    Warranty Issues

    We spent a ton of time on this category, looking for class actions, exclusions, and any of the B.S. from these manufacturers’ fine print. 

    Pabco, Tamko, and BP all received 3s here, while every other brand scored well with either a 4 or 5.

    The Results

    The Champion

    Malarkey Highlander comes out in first place here, with an average of 4.7 stars across every category. Malarkey has always been a consistent presence in our yearly shingle reviews, and we were not surprised to see them once again atop the list here. This is a high-shingle that will not disappoint. 

    The Contenders 

    OC Duration and Atlas Pinnacle tied, with a 4.6 average star-rating apiece—just barely behind Malarkey. These two shingles are also excellent options and deserve to be held in very similar regard as the Highlander. 

    The Others

    IKO Dynasty and CT Landmark both deserve some praise as well, finishing with a respectable 4.3 and 4.2 stars. 

    Finishing just behind them is Pabco Premier, with a 4.1 average star rating. Rounding out the bottom, we have BP Vanguard with a 4.0 average and Tamko, which finished last with a 3.7 average star rating. 

    We hope that you have a better idea of which shingle you’ll want to use on your next roofing project! And, make sure to watch the entire video breakdown so you can see why each manufacturer received the scores it did.

    Remember to look into roof financing options if you like any of these options but can’t afford to purchase them outright, or check out roofing certification classes. We hope you found this useful, we pride ourselves in providing more information than other contractor directories.

    For more good reading, check out our post on trade show booth ideas, or roofing insurance claims!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Which asphalt shingles held up best to a pull test?

    We found both OC Duration and IKO Dynasty shingles held up better than the other brands we tested. BP Vanguard and Tamko Heritage scored the lowest in this area.

    Of the shingles you tested, which weighed the most?

    The heaviest shingles included in this test were Atlas Pinnacle, Certanteed Landmark, and IKO Dynasty. They weighed in at 82.4lbs, 76.9lbs, 75.2lbs consecutively. Please let us know if you run into any roofing scams.

    What factors did you test to determine the best asphalt shingles for this year?

    There are ten overarching quality tests we run on each shingle manufacturer. They are as follows: Weight, Nail Zone, Pull Test, Coverage, Count Per Bundle, Online Reputation, Granule Loss, Contractor Programs, Sealant Test, & Warranty Test.

    Dmitry Lipinskiy
    Host of Roofing Insights YouTube channel CEO of Storm Group Roofing Founder of Roofing Business School

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    Roofing Online Business School
    Our school will teach you everything you need
    to know about the roofing business
    Roofing Process Conference
    December 9th - 10th, 2021
    Rosen Centre
    9840 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819


    1. Thanks for your reviews. I am shopping for a new roof and they have been really helpful for determining the right questions to ask the roofing contractors I’ve contacted for quotes. Question: the contractor that I am leaning towards hiring uses Malarkey – but has mainly shown me the Ecoasis shingle. Have you tested that line? The Highlander received pretty high marks from you so I’m just wondering if Ecoasis is comparable. Thanks!!

    2. Linda the Ecoasis Costa Nex is identical to the Highlander Nex with the exception it has 3M solar reflective smog eating granules to meet Title 24 California Energy code. We have a variety of colors to meet the home owners needs, while providing a product that reduces carbon emissions and diverts materials like car tires and milk jugs from a landfill.

    3. Fantastic review. All the info I wanted. Disappointed the IKO shingles showed so poorly in the category most important to me. I hate all the granules in the gutters and I see how that also is a safety factor for installers and doing maintenance. As a Canadian wanting to buy local I sure hope they get that fixed. Love your passion Dmitry. Could you please start reviewing other products. I need a new truck!

    4. Great review, I used the information to select a contractor for a new roofing job on one of my properties. I knew the company had a good reputation but wasn’t sure of their product choice. They use Atlas Pinnacle Pristine.

    5. I found your review very helpful. Thank you! I have sought and received several estimates. IKO shingles were quoted in one of them. The Cambridge, Dynasty, and Nordic were all quoted progressing in cost respectively. My question is do you have any data or information on the IKO Nordic shingle especially in the category of granule loss?

    6. Great review. Exactly the information I have been looking for as I am needing a new roof after Hurricane Sally. I do have a question though. Have you tested the Atlas Legend and if so, How does it compare to the Atlas Pinnacle?

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