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 a Mother’s Day set full of mouthwatering jam, Cole Sprouse’s powerfully precise chef’s knife, and an adjustable kids’ scooter that can be enjoyed for years to come.
Classic can’t-fail Chelsea boots
When writer Ambar Pardilla set out to find the Best in Class women’s Chelsea boots, she concluded that classic Doc Martens can’t be beat. Docs came up more “than any other boot-maker,” Pardilla writes, noting that “they’ve made appearances all over our archives — as further proof of their power.” Jenni Lee, founder of luxury sock label Comme Si, loves these boot’s’ sleek, stylish silhouette that “looks good even when you’re treading through city slush.” New York Review of Books marketing manager Abigail Dunn agrees, stating that their slim soles are a little subtler than chunkier versions but still manage to withstand heavy abuse.
Tried-and-true tools for the perfect char
Warmer weather means lots of people are getting ready to fire up their grills, but your burgers will end up scorched and crispy if you don’t have the right tools for the job. While scouring the internet’s sales bins, we found this chef-approved Oxo spatula-and-tongs set currently marked down more than 40 percent off. The sturdy silicone handles are extra long to keep you at a safe distance from the fire with loops at the end for easy storage. Plus, like all Oxo products, they’re well-built from heavy-duty stainless steel meant to last you many summers over.
An executive assistant’s one normal purchase
We recently spoke to “Ted,” who’s worked as an executive assistant for over a decade, about all the wild and wacky things he’s bought by request of his bosses over the years. Peppered in between $500 place settings and $1,000 puffer coats on Ted’s shopping list are some surprisingly reasonable requests, such as these dark-chocolate-with-nuts-and-sea-salt Kind Bars. “If they haven’t eaten lunch or maybe haven’t eaten all day, [these] are there to make them less hangry,” Ted says.
A water bottle to fill up before your hike …
The reusable water bottle landscape is vast, so kitchen and dining writer Emma Wartzman set out to narrow down dozens of options to the very best ones. After lots of research, she named the iconic Hydroflask as the best overall water bottle, writing, “It’s sleek and durable, and it keeps my water cold or cool all day.” Additionally, she likes that “it’s quite customizable to your particular needs. Plus there are both bright and neutral color options.” Strategist editor Maxine Builder is also a fan; she became a loyal convert when her Nalgene couldn’t keep her water cold enough. “That’s why the Hydro Flask is my favorite water bottle to bring on long car rides, where I don’t want my water bottle to get baked and weight isn’t a primary concern,” Builder says.
… And a gadget for removing ticks after your hike
Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo loves gardening, hiking, and generally lying around in the grass; she also has a dog and spends a lot of time in coastal Connecticut — all of which means she’s especially susceptible to being bitten by ticks. Luckily, a little gadget called the Tick Tornado has come to her rescue multiple times. “Designed like an actual crowbar but many times smaller, the Tick Tornado uses leverage to gently but firmly remove ticks without squishing them,” Corsillo says. “It has cupped, spoonlike edges on the toothed end that keep tiny, newly removed ticks from falling on the floor and crawling away” and can easily be attached to a keychain or hiking pack. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast who’s also nervous about Lyme disease, we advise you to pick one up.
Cole Sprouse’s favorite knife that handles like a dream
Actor Cole Sprouse can’t live without his trusty Shun Classic chef’s knife, which he says has changed his “entire relationship to cooking.” He bought the knife to prep a fish soup, and though skinning salmon steaks can be tricky, this knife “changed the game” for him. He thinks of it “as an extension of my hand” and uses it no matter what dish he’s making: “As long as I have to cut something, this is what I use.”
Fun spring frocks for a wardrobe refresh
Now’s the time to shed those thick woolen sweaters and heavy down coats in favor of something a little lighter and brighter. We found lots of pretty spring dresses on sale for less than $100, including this trippy optical-illusion button-down style from Urban Outfitters that’s very on trend. Whether you prefer a simple slip or plenty of ruffles and pleats, our roundup truly has something for everyone.
A scrumptious Mother’s Day set
There are only a few short weeks left until Mother’s Day, so if you haven’t already, now’s the time to peruse our many gift guides. If Mom is a gourmand with exquisite taste, she’s sure to love this delicious Trade Street Jam Co. bundle from our list of the best Mother’s Day gift sets. This specially curated set from the Black-owned business includes sour-cherry and ginger jam, cherry-chipotle mocktail mix, a wooden spoon for scooping, and a Baggu tote printed with the cheerful slogan “Spread Jam.”
Sexy, smoky unisex perfume
Boy Smells recently expanded its line of fine fragrances to include three gender-neutral iterations of its popular Kush scent family, which mixes traditionally masculine and feminine notes to create expansive, unpredictable aromas. The limited-edition release includes Italian Kush, Cashmere Kush, and Cowboy Kush, shown here, which features top notes of hazelnut and white leather, heart notes of saffron and suede, and base notes of patchouli and oud. Boy Smells’ statusy candles have long been a Strategist favorite, so if you want to get your hands on these eaux de parfum, don’t dillydally.
An adjustable scooter that grows with your kid
Scooting helps kids “build fitness skills, such as balance and hand-eye coordination, and when done vigorously, it provides a great cardio workout,” explains David Jacobson, a consultant at nonprofit organization Fit Kids. When Corsillo researched the best kids’ scooters, the Micro Kickboard Maxi Deluxe emerged as a top choice for kids ages 5 to 12. “The Maxi’s adjustable handlebars allow it to grow with your child,” Corsillo writes. “Plus the brand offers a two-year manufacturer’s warranty combined with replaceable parts so your scooter will last for years and be usable by older and younger siblings.”
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.