sunday circular

8 Products That Delighted Us Last Week: From Instant Coffee to Mini Massagers

Photo: Retailers

We write about hundreds of products a week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked out some of our favorites — expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly-launched gizmos, and the very good deals we uncovered while trolling through the vast online-shopping universe this past week, including a grill for the smallest of outdoor spaces, the notebook a K-Pop star uses “for everything,” and lots of gifts for dad.

An expert-recommended grill whose name says it all

According to Mark Jenner, the editor-in-chief of barbecue site, the Go-Anywhere grill is perfect for even the smallest of outdoor spaces (even those, like balconies or roofs, that do not feature a yard — just be sure to check your local fire, safety, and building regulations before setting one up in an atypical spot). We note that it “comes in both gas and charcoal versions, and its flat, rectangular design and foldable legs, which keep the lid in place, make it even easier to store and transport than a grill with a round top.”

A handy hanging table

While we’re on the topic of yardless outdoor spaces like balconies or fire escapes, architect Ming Thompson told us about this nifty piece of furniture that can instantly transform one of those into an office or dining area. “The tuckaway, balcony-mounted tabletop is a perfect thing to latch to the rail on your fire escape — you can pop it up for impromptu dinners or drinks, then put it back down when it’s not in use,” she says.

Some of our favorite wireless earbuds, on sale

When we pulled these for a recent micro sale, we noted that “Strategist managing editor Maxine Builder, after testing an array of wireless earbuds, found them to be unrivaled in sound quality, comfort, and design.” While the discount isn’t as deep as it was the day we found them, they’re still more than a third off, and Sennheiser is a brand approved by reviewers, experts, and Chris Black.

A liquid instant coffee that’s perfect for at-home lattes

Photo: Retailer

“I relish the ritual of picking up a latte at my favorite café on weekend mornings, but when my café closed its door because of the pandemic, I feared it’d be months before my next chance to have a warm cup of smooth, rich, nutty coffee with a creamy layer of foam on top,” Strategist’s Chloe Anello writes of an all-too-familiar reality. “A few weeks ago, I got a well-timed press release for a new brand called Jot that promised a cafélike latte in just a few minutes, with no professional equipment needed — just a stovetop and pot.” After getting her hands on some, Anello says she “did as the instructions told me: I boiled my eight ounces of oat milk in a sauce pot, poured it into a mug, added the Jot in, and stirred. It took about seven minutes total, but the final product had the exact same color and smell as my beloved latte. And the stuff tastes great.”

A quick-drying hat to help you beat the heat

“For long runs in sunny weather, I often put this on because I don’t really like running in sunglasses, nor do I like sunburns on my forehead. It is so lightweight and well-ventilated and thin that I can actually feel a breeze blowing through it,” contributor Steven John told us of the TrailHeads hat, which he says is one of the best pieces of sweat-proof exercise gear he owns (a version for women is here). “Even if saturated, the hat dries quickly, so I can wear it in the rain or sun and still count on those moisture-wicking and cooling abilities.”

An (actually nice-looking) in-stock inflatable pool

First it was hand sanitizer. Then toilet paper. Then flour. And now … inflatable pools? “Seemingly overnight, many inflatable pools are now quite hard to come by,” we wrote after noticing that many styles recommended to us had sold out in days. With the help of some interior designers, we rounded up a handful that actually look nice and are still available to buy, including this retro-looking one that one designer calls a“showstopper.” Made from durable vinyl and PVC, it can comfortably fit two adults — and if you are lucky enough to have access to an actual pool, this would work just as well as a float. For more inflatable pools, click here.

A miniature version of an athlete-approved massager

In helping a reader find utilitarian — but not basic — Father’s Day gifts that a dad might actually use, Chris Black pointed to this pint-sized version of the percussive massage-therapy device that many athletes and trainers swear by. Chris says it “could be tucked away in dad’s home-office desk (or, when he starts going out again, his briefcase)” and notes the Theragun G4 Mini “has three different speeds and is so compact, he could even use it to keep his quads limber during long conference calls.” (For more, lots more, Father’s Day gift ideas, head here.)

And the notebook a K-Pop star uses “for everything”

“It has all my thoughts — from ideas that just pop into my head to scheduling to designing to lyrics,” K-Pop star and skin-care entrepreneur Jessica Jung told us of this sequin-covered notebook that she can’t live without. “It’s so cute, and when you run your hand from top to bottom, the sequins change to a different color.”

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.

8 Products That Delighted Us Last Week on the Strategist