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Review - Pepper's Diplomat

Manufacturer: Pepper's Pepper's Diplomat
Model: Diplomat
Price Paid: $35
Made in: China
Lenses: Polarized
Quality / Finish: 1.5 / 5.0
Durability: 4.0 / 5.0
Comfort: / Wearability: 3.0 / 5.0
Tint - Visibility Balance: 2.5 / 5.0
Peripheral Vision: 4.0 / 5.0
Lense Coverage: 2.5 / 5.0
Average: 2.9 / 5.0
What's in the box: Sunglasses, case, cleaning cloth and warranty booklet
Pepper's Diplomat Pepper's Diplomat Pepper's Diplomat Pepper's Diplomat Pepper's Diplomat Pepper's Diplomat

To provide an assessment of sunglasses across all price ranges, we chose to demo the low price brand Pepper’s, and their Diplomat model. We went with the Shiny Bronze frames which feature amber polarized lenses. I was impressed that I could get polarized lenses on $35 sunglasses…but how would they perform? We will see.

We bought these sunglasses through Shoebuy.com and found the experience both easy and pleasant.

Quality / Finish
As you can see from the photos the quality of the Diplomat is a little off. There is glue on the frames where the plastic arm covers are attached. Some of the writing on these same arm covers was already rubbed off, right out of the box. The frames are a beautiful bronze/copper color, although the finish has started to wear off around the hinges. The hinges themselves are great, they are spring loaded to snap open or close. They are also dual-action, allowing the arms to open further when putting them on or to accommodate a larger head. The lenses have no blemishes and fit into the frames perfectly.

The monel frame Diplomat hold up well to abuse. They are firm, yet give a little and are lightweight. As is the trademark of all lightweight sunglasses, the Diplomats are more prone to bounce when dropped, causing less damage. The dual action of the hinges also allow for a certain amount of “give” when the sunglasses are squished.

As mentioned above, the Diplomat are lightweight, so as you can imagine they are comfortable to wear. I have been trying them out for several months and wore them on a recent day trip to the Oregon coast. After an hour of driving there was slight discomfort on the backs of my ears. This may due to the fact that the plastic arm covers have a pattern of ridges and holes. I would recommend to the manufacturer to make these covers smooth. Through the rest of the day I continued to wear these during different activities and only experienced the mild soreness mentioned above.

I also took the Diplomat jogging a few days later. They performed well although there was a slight movement every time my foot hit the ground. I would imagine this would translate to other sports like mountain biking or beach volleyball.

Tint / Visibility
These sunglasses work better in low light conditions than in bright sunshine. On our recent beach trip, these glasses worked great while driving through the shade of the Oregon Coast Range. They also worked well while the sun was behind the clouds as we walked along the beach. But as soon as the sun came out, it was too much and I found myself squinting. For long periods of bright sunlight, it may become tiring to wear these sunglasses

Peripheral Vision
With the wrap around nature of the lenses and the thinness of the frame, the peripheral vision of the Diplomat is not compromised. Although part of this peripheral view is beyond the reach of the lenses, you can see far to both sides.

Lens Coverage
Lens coverage is average. For the style of these sunglasses, it cannot be expected that they will completely cover your eyes. If you like the look of the Diplomat, you have to expect the sun to peek in. The bad part, this sunlight invasion will come from the top, bottom and both sides.

When I opened the box of these Pepper’s sunglasses and started going through the contents I was impressed with what I found. There is a zippered canvas carrying case which is sturdy and has a spring loaded clip for attaching the case to whatever you please. There is also a cleaning cloth that is 4” x 6” and which carries the Pepper’s name/logo. We have bought sunglasses for hundreds of dollars more and not received this quality of accessories.

It is obvious the Diplomat have their flaws, between the inferior materials and substandard workmanship. Despite this, I believe the lenses are of equal quality to lenses of sunglasses that cost several times as much. At $35 the value exceeds the Diplomat short comings.

Reviewed by Brian, 09 September 2009


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