The radiological properties of the normoxic polymer gel dosimeters MAGIC, MAGAS, and MAGAT [methacrylic and ascorbic acid in gelatin initiated by copper; methacrylic acid gelatine gel with ascorbic acid; and methacrylic acid gelatine and tetrakis (hydroxymethyl) phosphonium chloride, respectively] have been investigated. The radiological water equivalence was determined by comparing the polymer gel macroscopic photon and electron interaction cross sections over the energy range from 10 keV to 20 MeV and by Monte Carlo modeling of depth doses. Normoxic polymer gel dosimeters have a high gelatine and monomer concentration and therefore mass density (kg m-3) up to 3.8% higher than water. This results in differences between the cross-section ratios of the normoxic polymer gels and water of up to 3% for the attenuation, energy absorption, and collision stopping power coefficient ratios through the Compton dominant energy range. The mass cross-section ratios were within 2% of water except for the mass attenuation and energy absorption coefficients ratios, which showed differences with water of up to 6% for energies less than 100 keV. Monte Carlo modeling was undertaken for the polymer gel dosimeters to model the electron and photon transport resulting from a 6 MV photon beam. The absolute percentage differences between gel and water were within 1% and the relative percentage differences were within 3.5%. The results show that the MAGAT gel formulation is the most radiological water equivalent of the normoxic polymer gel dosimeters investigated due to its lower mass density measurement compared with MAGAS and MAGIC gels. © 2005 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.