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 better way to cook burgers outside, the perfect summer sweatshirt, and a shampoo for you (and your little dog, too).
An ‘insanely reliable’ electric scooter
That’s how one expert describes the Glion Dolly, which leads our list of the best electric scooters according to people who know a lot about electric scooters. At 28 pounds, it’s lightweight enough to haul around when you’re not riding it, the expert continues, noting that this model crucially has “has a built in ‘dolly’ feature, where you can pull out a handle and roll it on two small dedicated wheels, like carry-on luggage with wheels.” As we put it, the dolly may not sound particularly thrilling, but it’s especially useful when your battery runs low because you can simply use the dolly to roll the thing back to its charge station.
A baby balm that soothes mosquito bites
“I was playing with my baby sister in the sprinklers on our front lawn when the mosquitoes attacked en masse,” says Strategist writer Tembe Denton-Hurst of an all-too-familiar summer scenario. In Maryland, where the mosquito attack took place, Denton-Hurst notes that it gets “swampy and hot” this time of year, “which means when you’re outside, you’re surrounded by a seemingly endless parade of mosquitoes.” Without her go-to bug spray, she thought she had little recourse — until her sister’s mother pulled out this balm with the promise that “it really works.” Skeptical, Denton-Hurst slathered it on: “A few minutes later the itching stopped. Entirely. And soon after, my bumps all but disappeared.” She adds that “a little goes a long way: Just a dab was all I needed to cover my seemingly hundreds of bites.”
A Baby Yoda tiki cup
We’d understand if, after laying eyes on this cup, you wouldn’t want to drink from anything else. Strategist writer Nikita Richardson heard about it from a tiki expert whom she consulted about what you need to fashion an at-home tiki bar (from the rums to the mixers to the swizzle sticks). “Geeki Tikis has a lot of mugs that I like; my husband is a huge fan of Star Wars, so we have a lot of love for anything having to do with Baby Yoda,” the pro says of the mug (which is available for pre-order and expected to ship once in stock on July 27, according to its retailer).
The perfect summer sweatshirt
“Long beloved by outdoorsy dads, the quarter-zip sweatshirt has a high neck that gives a flattering frame to any face, and a little zipper that makes it both sporty and alluring,” Strategist writer (and sweatshirt collector) Liza Corsillo says of a style that, for too long, was missing for her stash. A fan of vintage, she started hunting for a pre-worn one, but “the usual places — Etsy, eBay, and Poshmark — turned up nothing, so I decided to look for something new. I remembered a brand called Comfort Colors that a graphic-designer friend had suggested for its stylish and budget-friendly pocket tees. (When I did a little research into the company, I discovered that Comfort Colors was started in the ’70s by a man named Barry Chouinard — the cousin of Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard.)” The Comfort Colors quarter-zip, Corsillo continues, is “perfectly simple, pre-worn-in, and feels like the hoodie you’d steal from a college boyfriend and hope he forgets about when you inevitably break up. It’s the kind of thing you wear over your swimsuit on windy days at the beach and throw on with a denim miniskirt when the temperature drops at night. And there will be even more opportunities to wear it this fall.”
A shampoo for you (and your little dog, too)
Drawn in by its “homey branding, ‘Oatmeal & Aloe’ label, and ‘Fragrance Free’ banner,” contributor Chantel Tattoli told us she used this shampoo for months before her husband pointed out that the product is made for cats and dogs. But by then, she “loved it, and had no intention of stopping. The company promises that it ‘helps relieve itching and dry skin,’ and the shampoo did all of those things — better than dozens of other hypoallergenic ones I’ve tried — without leaving a film on or stripping my hair or upsetting my scalp.” When she asked a dermatologist if using a pet shampoo would be problematic, the doctor assured her it is “totally safe,” noting that its ingredients are ideal for any being — human or animal — with sensitive skin. To quote the derm: “Fewer bells and whistles make for a product with fewer opportunities for reactions, and sometimes that’s all we need.”
Tie-dyed face masks we think will sell fast
In a new installment of our beloved Don’t Dillydally column, we write that “Everlane has officially entered the fabric face mask chat with this on-trend, tie-dyed five-pack (though it’s been making solid-color masks for a few weeks now). These have stretchy ear-loops, are made entirely from cotton, and, somehow, are still in stock.”
Some stripes for all seasons
We love a striped shirt over here at Strategist, and recently found 29 different kinds for every type of stripes-wearer. Due to their inherently nautical feel, lots of the styles scream summer, but this, from A.P.C., feels seasonless, thanks to its darker palette. As we note, it’s “an easy way to mix up an all-black wardrobe — and it’s not everyday you find A.P.C. at 60 percent off.”
A better way to cook burgers outside
Contributor Sal Vaglica’s hot take: “Not everything you cook outdoors should be cooked on a grill.” Especially burgers: “If you think about it, the last great burger you had likely came off a griddle’s large swath of hot steel. Five Guys? Griddled. Shake Shake? Griddled. In-N-Out? Also griddled.” That’s why Vaglica, who has written about grilling for 15 years, recently added one of these Camp Chef flat top grills to his arsenal (which also includes a Weber kettle, a Napoleon gas grill, and a Traeger wood-burning pellet smoker.) “It sits at just above countertop height and has sturdy legs. Both of those details help provide the leverage you need to properly smash your patty down to the perfect thickness. Because the patties fry in their own fat, which stays on the griddle surface instead of falling through the grates, the edges get all crispy and every bit of surface is covered in an even mantle of mahogany,” writes Vaglica, who says the grill is just as good for “putting the perfect sear on steaks, chicken, and veggies” and even cranking out “pancakes, bacon, eggs, and home fries.”
A very good deal on Swedish Hasbeens
The maker of what we’ve called “the official shoe of the Brooklyn Mom” has slashed prices on several of its wooden-soled shoes by up to 70 percent. We note that “it’s the cheapest we’ve ever seen a lot of these styles,” including this kicky pair of clogs that seem a downright steal at just $75. (If you don’t like the pink, you can get them in neon green for the same price.)
And a ‘surprising, subversive’ (and very giftable) brooch
Maybe you want to support a Black-owned business. Maybe you’re looking for an accessory that telegraphs your support of Black lives. Or maybe you’re looking for a little something to let a friend, loved one, or colleague know you’re thinking of them. Enter these brooches, which we heard about from Cynthia Gordy Giwa, who, with her husband Tayo Giwa, created the digital publication Black-Owned Brooklyn. “I get compliments on my Ashaka Givens brooch all the time, because it’s beautiful but also a little subversive,” Gordy Giwa says of the accessory she can’t live without. “It’s a spin on the Edwardian cameo brooch — it has the same antique setting, but instead of the white alabaster woman, there’s a Black woman with natural hair and hoop earrings. It looks like a typical cameo until you get up close. I like to surprise people in that way. I pop it on when I’m wearing something plain and simple, because it makes everything more interesting.”
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.