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What Strategist Readers are Buying: Tick Repellent and Keto-Friendly Cereal

Photo: Courtesy of the retailers

Welcome back to Your Shopping Cart, wherein we break out the top ten products that you, devoted Strategist readers, all bought in droves. Think of this as the TL;DR of the Strategist: If your like-minded brethren are buying these items, maybe you’d like to, too.

This week, a high-protein, low-carb cereal makes its debut in the top spot after a writer’s stellar review. Two additional products appear for the first time — a hair-loss treatment kit for men in seventh place and a Harriet Tubman stamp for updating your $20 bills in eighth. Some seasonal summer picks return to the list as the weather warms up, like a powerful insect-repellent spray in second place, a cooling tower fan in fifth, and Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton’s favorite sunscreen in ninth. We also have some returning classics like a pillow for side-sleepers in third, a tiny but mighty Dustbuster in fourth, and a fancy lube in sixth. Finally, in tenth place (down from fourth in our last installment) is this rose gold lighting charging cable.

Strategist contributing editor Jessica Silvester was pleasantly surprised with this low-carb, keto-friendly cereal, writing that it “tasted delicious, as cereals tend to do — in this case, like a shimmery space Cheerio, weightless and crunchy and sweet,” and, unlike other breakfast cereals, actually kept her full until lunchtime. Sweetened with allulose, a type of sugar that doesn’t elevate blood-sugar levels, and featuring “very neo–Lisa Frank” pastel packaging, it quickly became a favorite among our readers as well.

At the start of last summer, this tick-and-insect-repelling spray shot to the top of the list after Strategist managing editor Maxine Builder discovered it when searching for the best products to keep disease-carrying pests away. The spray works by protecting your outdoor attire: “Spraying your sneakers or hiking boots before going out into the woods is another solid tick-prevention technique, as is spraying gardening gloves, pants, shorts, or T-shirts.” With the buggy summer season approaching, Strategist writer Dominique Pariso checked back in with experts and learned it’s still the best option out there.

While this Strategist favorite has appeared on our list 14 times, this third-place finish is actually its highest ranking. Strategist deputy editor Jason Chen first discovered it when he tested out a wide selection of pillows designed for side-sleepers and concluded that the Wamsutta Extra-Firm was the most comfortable and supportive of them all: “Unlike other pillows that mistake plushness or fluffiness for support, the WEF didn’t sink as soon as I rested my head. Instead, it had a firm, satisfying spring — it’s a different sensation, but one I took to right away. And even though I didn’t do any measuring, my head felt more propped up from the mattress and sheets than with any other pillow.”

With more than 16,000 reviews on Amazon, this cordless vacuum is known for expertly handling tasks ranging from “5 and 8-year-old [kids’] messes” to “vacuuming stink bugs from my [organic] plants.” It’s also praise for its durability. As one reviewer writes, “I have been using this vacuum for six years now. No broken parts, battery still holds a decent charge and the vacuum basically functions as it did when I purchased it.”

Last seen on our list during last summer’s heat wave, this cooling tower fan is another Amazon reviewer favorite with more than 5,000 five-star reviews. Reviewers like that it “reaches right up to bed height so you can ‘get absolutely drilled in the face by that cool, angelic wind current,’” and one happy owner calls it “a voucher slip out of a damn heat stroke.” Now with warm temperatures returning, lots of our readers are picking one up to get some relief from the heat.

Making its 15th appearance on the list (the fourth highest of any product), this very elegant-looking lube is a certified Strategist reader favorite. We first learned about it from Samantha Bard, co-owner of the sex-positive shop Shag in Williamsburg, who says it’s “one of the highest-quality silicone lubes out there.” Emily Morse, doctor of human sexuality and host of Sex With Emily on SiriusXM, is impressed that it has only two ingredients: “pure silicone with a trace of Vitamin E.”

Designed to prevent hair loss — and help hair grow back — in men, this kit includes two powerful ingredients, oral finasteride and topical minoxidil. Experts told us that using both in combination is like a “full-court press” against hair loss. As dermatologists explain, “finasteride inhibits an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, the hormone that causes hair loss in men [and] can actually help hair grow back,” while “minoxidil is better at slowing down or preventing more loss.” This week marks its first appearance on our list.

Another newcomer, this handmade stamp that replaces Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on $20 bills, recommended by Jazzi McGilbert, founder of Reparations Club, hits our radar at just the right time. With the Trump administration’s decision to postpone officially making the iconic abolitionist the face of the bill, McGilbert say the stamp helps make the currency “my go-to tool for civil disobedience.” Plus, all proceeds are donated to civil-rights organizations.

Unfortunately the stamp is sold out, but if you’re handy, you can learn how to make your own here.

After taking a couple of weeks off, this sunscreen, one of Rio’s favorites, is back on the list. It’s packed with all-star ingredients like soothing centella asiatica, brightening niacinamide, and moisturizing hyaluronic acid. “The Purito,” she writes, “almost immediately improved the texture, radiance, and moisture levels of my skin for the better.” She even raves, “it’s one of the best products I’ve ever tried in general, not just in the sunscreen category.”

Last week’s fourth-place finisher, this under-$10 USB lightning cable (an Amazon favorite) is worth keeping in your bag for emergency charging situations. One reviewer says, “I’ve ordered endless cables and they all work great for a week and then die. I decided to try this one since it had the lifetime warranty, and I’m so glad I did. It’s excellent and pretty much just like the Apple USB. It charges my phone in the car super fast and even faster via wall charger.” And since it’s rose gold, you’ll always know which one’s yours in a sea of white cords.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

What Strategist Readers are Buying: Cereal and Bug-Repellent