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 trawling through the vast online-shopping universe this past week, including an elegant wall ladder, Rose Matafeo’s go-to oat milk, and Glossier’s latest skin-care launch. (And if you want even more Strategist stories sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our email newsletter.)
The best bicycle basket
After a recent move to Highland Park, Illinois, Strategist contributor Ariel Kanter felt like she’d found herself in the “biking capital of America.” She began looking for a bike basket to make her errand trips a little easier, and finally settled on these Baba Tree ones at Goodee. They’re “handmade in Ghana with vetiver grass that is woven nice and tight, so there’s no risk of a baguette, or even the stem of a freshly cut flower, slipping through,” she writes, and “each has handsome leather belts with big bronze buckles to attach to the bike.” The basket’s intricate design belies its hardiness and carrying capacity: It held firm with her 15-pound pup inside and has plenty of room for her “cross-body bag and water bottle — with space enough to fit a towel and a loaf of bread from the local French bakery when I’m riding to the park or beach.”
Glossier’s new skin-care product
Everyone’s favorite beauty brand, Glossier, launched a new product this week: a retinoid that’s a hybrid of pure retinol and sunflower-seed fatty acids. The unique formulation is meant to prevent the dryness and flakiness that retinoids are notorious for causing, and reviewers say it’s getting the job done: “The texture is rich and creamy, and it leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized each time I use it,” one writes. “If you’re nervous about getting into retinol, this one is gentle and a great place to start.” Priced at just $35, we suggest you don’t dillydally if you want to test it out for yourself.
A two-toned button-down
Strategist writer Ambar Pardilla asked more than a dozen stylish women about their favorite button-downs for larger busts — no gaping or straining here. Emma Zack of Berriez, a vintage shop that curates clothes for curves, owns several of these House of Tame button downs that are made from two different shirts spliced together. “Truthfully, it feels like a regular button-down,” she says, but she likes that it contains a “hint of edge — you feel extra cool when you’re wearing a shirt that’s actually two shirts fused together.” Her favorite is one that’s half-chambray and half-orange, but this gold-and-white combo is just as eye-catching.
Oat milk for your morning coffee …
Comedian Rose Matafeo is neither vegan nor vegetarian, but she’s “not the best of friends” with lactose, and for her “milk is definitely the worst offender over, say, butter and cheese.” That’s why she can’t live without this Minor Figures oat milk, which she says “tastes delicious, like drinking porridge.” She’s also a fan of the carton design; if she “[spies] it in a café I’m visiting, I know I’m going to like it there.”
… and vinegar for your afternoon salad
When kitchen and dining writer Emma Wartzman went searching for the best vinegars around, this apple cider vinegar from Pineapple Collaborative came up as a favorite of multiple gastronomic experts. It’s made from three varieties of apples and aged in whiskey barrels to impart a slightly smoky flavor, making it much more “apple-y” than what you would find on a grocery store shelf. Pineapple Collaborative founder Atara Bernstein says you can “really taste the fruit, both the skin and the flesh. But it’s very mellow at the same time.” She loves using it in dressings and marinades and even drinks it straight every morning for its health benefits.
An anxiety-soothing blanket
As the weather cools down, there’s no better feeling than snuggling under a heavy weighted blanket — and we found that this one from YnM is one of the best. It’s received rave reviews from sleep experts and Amazon reviewers alike, and it’s even been gushed over by our own writer Jenna Milliner-Waddell. “I couldn’t tell you how long it takes me to fall asleep because I’m actually sleeping instead of having nightly staring contests with my ceiling,” she writes. If that’s not enough to convince you, maybe the fact that it’s on sale for more than half off right now will. Already a relatively affordable $80, it’s currently sitting at just $39, so we suggest you snag one before the sale ends.
Stylish clothing storage
We asked some design-savvy folks for their favorite wall ladders, and this Yamazaki one checked all of writer Laura Perciasepe’s boxes: “Get my stuff off the ground and don’t take up a lot of space doing it and don’t look hideous and don’t cost too much.” It features six rungs and a large space under the last one that you could fit a basket for any overflow clothes. “Everything gets its own rung. Stuff is off the ground, off the chair, and I can see it all,” she says. If you attach an S-hook you can also easily store other items such as purses, totes, and even sunglasses.
Wellies for wet days
After swearing her allegiance to Hunter rain boots for years, Strategist contributor Chantel Tattoli recently hit upon a better — and more environmentally friendly — alternative. Made with a mix of hemp and recycled vinyl, these Plasticana Wellies are both lighter “and less expensive than a full-priced rubber pair of Hunters.” She’s worn them “all over rainy Paris, in the muddy countryside, and along Norman seashores,” and reports that they’re “especially comfy with woolen socks and felted-wool or sheepskin inserts during the winter.” One word of caution, however; Plasticana is France-based and follows E.U. sizing, “so if you’re purchasing over the web, ask the shop seller to help you find your footing,” Tattoli advises.
An immersive gaming chair
Gamers rise up: Amazon reviewers attest that this X Rocker gaming chair provides an unprecedented immersive gaming experience. Featuring two speakers near the headrest and a back-mounted subwoofer, the bass-heavy sounds and explosions of your game will actually vibrate the chair. One reviewer played Overwatch using this chair and reports that the experience is “wild … like being in a bubble of sound that is incredibly immersive,” adding that the chair’s speakers sound “better than the speakers I was using on my computer.” Another reviewer, whose son plays “games like Call of Duty or other action/shooting games,” says that he loves the chair and the vibrations make him feel more engaged with the games.
Felix Burrichter’s futuristic lamp
When we asked PIN-UP Magazine founder Felix Burrichter what he can’t live without, he said that he was “obsessed with cordless lights.” His favorite is this Tobias Grau salt & pepper lamp, which is “a little taller than a beer bottle and looks a little bit like the classic Arne Jacobsen salt-and-pepper shakers.” To change the lighting, you “benevolently lay your hand on it, almost like a priest would put his hand on someone’s forehead.” The moody lighting is perfect for everything from reading to taking baths to leaving on overnight: “I’m sure this makes me sound like a next-level nerd, but I really love this lamp.”
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.