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The Strategist Haul: What the Editors and Writers Bought in July

Photo: Retailers

If you follow our monthly feature Your Shopping Cart, you know that we have some eerily good intel on what you all are buying. Which led us to think that, as Strategist editors, we could turn the tables and highlight all the things we’ve been buying for ourselves. As you’ll notice, it’s both a blessing and a curse to be a Strategist editor; we’re picky, but sometimes we just have to get on with it. (It’s online-shopping expertise meets IRL needs.) Below, what we all bought in July.

Maxine Builder, managing editor

If you’re a regular reader of this column, you likely won’t be surprised to hear that I went a little wild at REI’s Fourth of July sale. I picked up three pairs of Smartwool socks, a quick-drying Mountain Hardware tank top, and a half-off ski helmet from the rarely on-sale brand POC. But I was most excited about the Aeropress travel kit I bought (even though it wasn’t on sale). It’s a little smaller than the original Aeropress, able to make eight ounces of coffee instead of ten, but the whole thing packs away into a neat travel mug and makes coffee that tastes far better than the instant coffee I usually bring on overnight camping trips.

The best thing I bought this month, however, was this camping chair from L.L. Bean. It’s super-lightweight — just over 2.5 pounds — and it packs up in a little bag, to about the size of an extra-long Nalgene bottle. That means it’s compact enough to throw in a tote bag or backpack. And though it looks like it might be uncomfortable, I swear that sitting in it is like being swaddled in a hammock. It’s so comfortable and supportive that I’ve even taken to setting it up inside my house.

Karen Irio-Adelson, senior writer

$27 for 5

I was looking for face masks with string ties (the elastic ear loop ones are usually too big on me) and these, with their understated striped pattern, caught my eye. They fit nicely — long ties above and below the ears let me adjust the mask for the perfect fit — and they’re thick and sturdy feeling without being too hot. I think they’re actually pretty chic-looking, and now that I have five well-fitting masks, I can always have a clean one on hand.

Chloe Anello, junior writer

I bought a pair of sandals from Madewell not that long ago when they were on major sale, but I tried on my boyfriend’s pair of these cushy foam Birkenstocks and decided I needed my own, especially since I threw out my very beat-up leather ones earlier in quarantine. So far, they’re very comfortable — and there’s been no break-in time, unlike traditional Birkenstocks, which I think is the biggest selling point.

I kept telling my boyfriend we would make popsicles this summer, but I had yet to get around to buying molds. I finally picked up this fun, plastic-free set. This one stood out to me because it came with a rack and a little cleaning tool for easy use, not just the molds. I also hate the feeling of wood popsicle sticks when eating a popsicle, so I liked that this one came with metal ones instead.