We write about hundreds of products a week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked some of our recent favorites: expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly launched gizmos, and very good deals we uncovered while trawling through the vast online-shopping universe, including an ultraslim portable charger, a fanny pack for hands-free fun, and Rachel Rabbit White’s palette for glam going-out looks.
A sporty yet stylish fanny pack
While researching the best fanny packs, we decided this sturdy, good-looking Patagonia waist pack is perfect for traveling. Charlotte Stone, who runs her own eponymous shoe label, calls it “ridiculously functional”; she first heard about it from her friend who works as a color designer at Patagonia (and who recommended this lime-green-and-teal combination). Stone uses hers to store doggy treats on daily walks with her two dogs and sometimes even tethers their leashes to the bag’s webbing straps, allowing her to go hands free.
A portable charger for all-day outings
Now that summer has officially arrived and we’re all spending more time out and about, a portable charger is at the top of our list of must-haves when packing for a full day’s worth of activities. The Anker brand is a reliable favorite, championed by Strategist writers, Megababe founder Katie Sturino, comedian Jacqueline Novak, and Outdoor Voices founder Ty Haney. This specific model is USB-C compatible and allows for a little over two charges on an iPhone or Google Pixel, which is more than enough to get you through a beach day or theme-park trip.
Rachel Rabbit White’s ’90s-esque eye-shadow palette
When we asked writer power couple Nico Walker and Rachel Rabbit White what they can’t live without, White said that this Morphe palette “offers several blue shades that range from a more Twiggy ’60s light blue to a darker, ’90s Barb Wire midnight blue.” She first bought the palette for Walker “because he likes to do a Bowie-esque shimmery-blue eye when we go out, and I ended up borrowing it so often that I had to buy one for myself.” It’s her go-to palette for creating her signature nighttime look: a “dark-blue smoky eye with a feather-thin touch on the brows. It’s a throwback to ’90s Pam Anderson or Jenna Jameson glam.”
Pistachio milk that gives Oatly a run for its money
Táche, the nondairy pistachio milk that converted Strategist writer and “longtime Oatly enthusiast” Dominique Pariso, released two new flavors this week. The new vanilla and unsweetened vanilla varieties don’t contain any added oils, are lower in calories, and offer two grams of protein per serving. Pariso, who uses the dairy alternative in “everything from matcha to lattes to bubble tea to hot chocolate and even oatmeal,” reports that the “thick, velvety texture gives half-and-half a run for its money.” We predict that Táche will soon become a fixture in many kitchens, so if you want to snag a carton, don’t dillydally.
A wine funnel for aerating your Merlots …
Kitchen-and-dining writer Emma Wartzman spoke with Camille Lindsley, co-owner and beverage director of the NYC-based queer restaurant HAGS, about the wine-shower funnel that keeps her wines aerated and sediment free. “It’s something that seems like a silly, pointless little gadget, but, honestly, it’s so utilitarian,” she says. If your cork accidentally crumbles or there’s solids floating around due to age, this little device will filter them right out. Plus, it exposes the wine to more oxygen while decanting, making it “easier to pick apart atoms and flavors that may be hiding,” Lindsley says.
… and a woven tote for transporting your Malbecs
Poet and DJ Mia Moretti recently walked us through her vacation in Valle de Guadalupe, where she dined on tostadas and roadside chicken, stocked up on ceramics and dishware from a Mexican supply store, and visited several natural wineries. She made sure to bring along this carrying tote she designed in collaboration with Kassatex; it has enough capacity for three bottles of wine and contains “woven dividers [that] will help keep your bottle standing upright.”
Ottessa Moshfegh’s at-home back-pain reliever
Author of My Year of Rest and Relaxation and the new novel Lapvona, Ottessa Moshfegh can’t live without this S-shaped back massager that she bought when COVID prevented her from seeing her physical therapist for chronic back pain. “I got this tool and just started using it on myself. What’s cool is, because it has two semi-circles, you can get it in the point you want to release and then you set your arms in the other semi-circle and just relax and hold it there,” Moshfegh says. “So you can be passive while also putting on pressure.” Since she still struggles with frequent flare-ups from scoliosis, this tool has become “part of [her] daily existence.”
A versatile cat carrier for cross-country flights
Strategist junior writer Kitty Guo narrowed down a crowded field to find the very best cat carriers, and this expandable Petsfit one emerged as a great option for cats embarking on long-haul trips. It also made our list of the best airline-approved pet carriers for its flexible mesh side panels that can be zipped up to comply with airline regulations, then expanded out while on the plane to give your cat a bit more room. Strategist senior editor Jen Trolio used this carrier to transport her cats across the country a few years ago and found that “the frame, while flexible, is really strong.” She admits that “you have to give up some legroom to actually expand the carrier on a flight, but if your cat needs the space, it’s a really nice feature to have.”
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.