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What Strategist Readers Bought in May: Garden Hoses and Vaccine-Card Holders

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Welcome back to Your Shopping Cart, where 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.

By the looks of it, readers are gearing up for a post-vaccine summer of travel, with top spots in your carts going to immunization-card holders, a dermatologist-recommended sunscreen, and disposable masks that would work well for any upcoming vacation flights. There were only two items appearing on our list for the first time this month: a stretchable garden hose and (very) distracting dog toy. The rest we’ve seen before, including luxurious gel-infused pillows, an oscillating tower fan for fighting the summer heat, and a reader-beloved lightweight moisturizer that’s making its 14th appearance.

Even if you’re vaccinated, masks are still required by the CDC on all forms of public transportation, as well as in many indoor settings. These masks, the South Korean equivalent of N95s, took the top spot in your carts back in March, as double masking gained popularity, and they’re having a resurgence now as more people prep for their summer travel plans. This particular brand is a longtime favorite of Strategist senior vice-president of e-commerce Camilla Cho. She says these masks are tight enough so as not to cause her glasses to fog up, and she likes that the adjustable straps make for a comfortable fit.

Although they’re down one spot from last month, these immunization-card holders remain a top seller. Carolyn Frisa, owner and head conservator at Works on Paper, recommends them as a way to keep your flimsy vaccine card protected because, unlike lamination, these sleeves won’t cause any long-term damage. Plus, they leave your card easy to remove for verification or to update after potential booster shots.

With the impending arrival of warmer temperatures, it seems that Strategist readers are gearing up to take care of their lawns and COVID gardens. This lightweight expandable hose from TBI is great for saving space. The only downside, says Timothy Hammond of Big City Gardener in Houston, is that “the same thing that makes them light … also leaves them prone to tearing or punctures.” To keep them safely stored when not in use, Southern California gardener CaliKim hangs hers from a wall-mounted rack.